Most Free Wins in Modern: Black

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Hi all,

There are two things you should know about black. The first is that it is the color most classically known for preventing your opponents from playing Magic. Because of all the discard spells, the games that you win, you win big. Your opponent is embarrassed with no threat on the board and hardly any damage to your life total. If your opponent crawls out, it will only be because of the topdecks.

The second thing you need to know about black is that, appropriately, a lot of black cards are created to exploit the graveyard. This may be a point of contention with some readers, but the fact is that graveyards are not receiving any attention in Modern. “What about all the delve cards,” you may ask. Well, let’s say you board in [c]Relic of Progenitus[/c] or [c]Rest in Peace[/c] against [c]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/c] or [c]Become Immense[/c]. What do you do after those cards are played, and your opponent only has one or two cards in their graveyard? It’s embarrassing.

So without too much ado, let’s look at the top cards for free wins in Modern that are black.

8) [c]Night of Souls’ Betrayal[/c]

[c]Lingering Souls[/c] is so hot right now [-Will Ferrell], and this enchantment shuts them down. It is an enchantment that costs more than 3, so it is practically invulnerable. As far as its scope, it is not limited to spirit tokens. Consider: mana dorks in Little Kid Junk and Green Devotion, practically the entire Infect deck, and all but a few outs in Affinity. Oh yeah, there’s also every creature in Twin. [c]Night of Souls’ Betrayal[/c] hoses them all.

7) [c]Unburial Rites[/c]

I was tempted to save myself some trouble with bickering over [c]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/c] and [c]Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite[/c] last week in my White free wins article and just writing this in as a white card. Consider that it is played in a popular Modern deck that has no black mana sources in it: UW Tron, for example. Nevertheless, this card makes for easy wins by playing a number of broken fatties for four mana, and what’s more, all of the implements that put those creatures in the graveyard also work with [c]Unburial Rites[/c]. I think that this card’s potential can only go up as Modern develops.

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6) [c]Smallpox[/c]

Decks that include [c]Smallpox[/c] are built not to have a creature in play, to be able to take advantage of the card in the graveyard, and to include [c]Life from the Loam[/c] to get the land back. If you are on the play against any deck that plays a turn one creature, you treat them like Bane treated Batman.

5) [c]Wrench Mind[/c] and [c]Raven’s Crime[/c]

If you’ve ever played me in a ticketed event using these cards, then I will go ahead and apologize right now. I like to live a rage-free life, learning from my mistakes and counting on winning the next match if I lose. Losing to these cards never lets me look back on the game to see what I did wrong. I just look back at misery and torture. I never feel good playing against them.

4) [c]Goryo’s Vengeance[/c]

Like [c]Unburial Rites[/c], this card cheats out a game-winning fatty. Unlike Rites, Vengeance costs two mana. It enables many lines that lead to a turn two kill with [c]Griselbrand[/c] and [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c]. What’s worse is that if the demon comes out, any removal will receive the response of “draw 14, do it again.”

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3) [c]Ad Nauseam[/c]

Although its centerpiece spell costs 5 and depends on its combo enablers to resolve before it, somehow this deck is still amazingly difficult to interact with for control decks. Thanks to myriad [c]Lotus Bloom[/c] and [c]Pentad Prism[/c], I’ve watched [c]Lightning Storm[/c] resolve for the win through [c]Remand[/c] and [c]Mana Leak[/c] on the [c]Ad Nauseam[/c] on turn four. It’s crazy when something as awkward as [c]Temple of Deceit[/c] can make a deck better, but that’s the power level of this card.

2) [c]Dark Confidant[/c]

So if we take [c]Ad Nauseam[/c]’s effect and spread it out over the course of many turns, it has to be worse, right? Well, not exactly. “Bob,” as he is affectionately known, is as vulnerable as can be. All removal kills him. Burn enjoys having him around. Still, in the history of Magic: The Gathering, there are few creatures that are as impactful as [c]Dark Confidant[/c]. He may be down today in Modern, but he is certainly not out! Untap with him once, and he becomes [c]Night’s Whisper[/c]. Go ahead, read it again, but before you scroll down to the comments section, realize that the opponent has to do something about him eventually or drown in the cards that you have coming his way.
Honorable mention here: [c]Phyrexian Arena[/c]

And the final card for free wins in Modern with skulls in the upper right hand corner?

1) [c]Liliana of the Veil[/c]

That’s right, boys, pay to play. Lily is a card advantage machine, although much like [c]Dark Confidant[/c], she never reads “draw a card.” If you have ever played a creature-based deck, you know how frustrating this planeswalker can be. You have one creature. Your opponent taps for 1BB. The creature is gone. Now, you hope and beg and pray and everything else that you can topdeck a creature or [c]Abrupt Decay[/c], even though the card disadvantage there will be painful. But you don’t draw a creature, so you can’t play two of them. You play just the one, and it is removed, and your opponent upticks [c]Liliana of the Veil[/c]. Bad beats, you’ll never have a creature again. Good game.

There you have it everyone. The long story short for most of this article is this: Keep your opponents from playing Magic because sometimes it is best to play decks that don’t require thought. :)

Undoubtedly you think I missed something. Let me know below!