Posted in Feature on May 10, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

Both Crypt Ghast and Pontiff of Blight play really well together—Crypt Ghast gives you enough mana to pay to extort as many times as you have the ability and Pontiff of Blight makes sure you have lots of instances of the ability. They don't really look like strong enough creatures to build a deck around, but I love extort enough to try.

Pontiff of Blight

Sign in Blood is a perfect card with these creatures—extort will offset the life loss, it's cheap enough that I can easily extort off it many times, and it gives me more cards to use to extort.

I'd like to be able to stay mono-black, but I'd have to give up on so many powerful cards to do that. I think it's better to splash other colors.

Blue and white let me play more extort, more card draw, and Sphinx's Revelation, which might be hard to cast early but will be exceptional with Crypt Ghast later. Think Twice also ensures that I'll be able to use all of my mana every turn, no matter how much I end up with.

Lingering Souls works perfectly with Pontiff of Blight, offering lots of bodies to extort with (as well as two spells in one to trigger extort), and Blood Baron of Vizkopa wins quickly if I can extort my way into a sufficient advantage. If I can't, it's still an excellent body with protection from most removal in the format.

The sideboard offers more removal for aggressive decks and counterspells and hand disruption for controlling decks, all without asking for more than a single nonblack mana.

Black Esper Extort

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