Traditional Historic - Historic MonoBlack BatGix

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Welcome to the next iteration of my continuing deck building efforts. We started out with a lovely Waste Notimage deck, but found that splashing for a tiny bit of Green to get access to Mosswood Dreadknightimage and Glissa Sunslayerimage did wonders for many of Mono Black's trickier match-ups. Whelp~ We're back at it again, but this time trying a much more card advantage focused build while keeping much of the discard elements that made the initial iteration so fun. Because nothing is more fun than ripping your opponent's hand apart and then killing them as they fail to find the right sequence of cards stacked atop their deck...

[1] Historic Waste Not:

[2] Bg Not Waste Not:

Main Deck:

Again, this particular build is much more focused on generating card advantage for ourselves than raw hand disruption. You may notice that quite a number of cards have started to crop up as "the core" but let's go over what's different first.


  • +3 Phyrexian Arenaimage: After playing the deck a bunch more, I've decided the Arena is simply better than the Ring IN THIS DECK. The Ring is undoubtedly a more powerful card overall, but the fact that Arena starts your draw engine 2 whole turns sooner is exactly what we're looking for. This deck needs a constant stream of resources and that lull where you've run out of action but aren't quite yet able to refill with the Ring was just something I wasn't happy with.
    • Also, post-nerf, Arena doesn't tax you that one mana each turn which is surprisingly relevant for a deck that's wants all the mana it can get.
  • +3x The One Ringimage: I hate this card but I won't recount every single way it's a mistake, there's plenty of content out there on the topic. For our purposes however, I'll just narrow it down to the fact it slots into just about every deck except the most aggressively linear ones and if they have access to it while you don't, it's just over. This card is busted in so many different ways it's laughable and I wish they'd just ban it. BUT, while it's legal, the tax of playing it must be paid so we're playing 3x in place of real 4-drops.
    • My next iteration is to cut all of these in favor of +1 land/+2 Invoke Despairimage, but I'm not optimistic that'll do as well as Just Playing The Mistake (tm).
  • +4x Deep-Cavern Batimage: Lost Caverns of Ixalan's uncommons are weirdly where you'll find much of the set's power. This innocuous little guy isn't the most thrilling thing at first glance, but it plays SO GOOD. It serves as Thoughtsiezes 5-8 and the flying & lifelink are not to be under-estimated, especially combined with our next card...
  • +4x Gix, Yawgmoth Praetorimage: Combos perfectly with the bat to form a ridiculous draw engine that lets us keep pace and get ahead of our opponents. The 3/3-for-3 body is on rate but not amazing so we do need to clear a path for this bozo. Once you connect once or twice with anything though, it feels so hopeless for our opponents.
    • The ideal curve is Turn 1: Seize/Push, Turn 2: Bat away their interaction, Turn 3: Gix > Swing into a refilled hand.
    • 4x is a lot for such a cheap Legendary creature, but we can always pitch to Liliana and they kill the Top-G often enough that you'll want a lot of copies.
  • +4x Sheoldred's Assimilatorimage: Another innocuous dork that pulls a surprising amount of weight. It interacts with opposing graveyards, hits like a truck for cheap, has evasion and more? Sign me up. 
    • It's especially fun to pick toys out of our own graveyard when we have one of our card advantage engines going. It's like having 5+ copies of Sheoldred, the Apocalypseimage!
    • The most disgusting post-board sequence I've managed to pull off is looping Invoke Dispairs while Ring and Gix are out... Yeah, I won that game.

"The Core":

  • 4x Liliana of the Veilimage: She's just. so. gooood. We want her on curve dang near every game. Special attention was paid to keeping the average CMC low so we can play as many copies as we can fit and that's why we stop at 4-mana (main deck). I will forever quote Aaron Forsythe who once said she was made to be a weapon, and that's exactly what she is.
    • Engrain the following facts of the universe into your minds:
      • The lower our mana curve, the better Lily gets.
      • The higher their mana curve goes, the better Lily gets.
  • 4x Sheoldred, the Apocalypseimage: I still see people registering less than full play sets and I just plain don't get it. Card's not even close to balanced. You know it. I know it. The opponent knows it, which is why they kill it so fast and why we play all those extra copies.
  • 4x Fatal Pushimage: Duh
  • 4x Thoughtseizeimage: Duh.
  • 1x Cling to Dustimage: As much as I hate The Ring, I love this card. 99% of the time serves as a 1-mana draw spell, but it also serves as an outlet for all the clutter that builds up in our graveyard. All that plus instant speed graveyard interaction comes up often enough that 1x in the main is well worth it.
  • 4x "Two mana Instant-speed kill spells": Take your pick from any of the following:

The Mana Base:

  • 1x Blast Zoneimage: "The Placeholder Slot". Literally put whatever land you want in here. See the "Other Options" part for some suggestions.
    • The Geier Reachs were a neat idea, but were never quite as one sided they are in the Pure Discard decks you normally tend to see it in. 
  • 2x Geier Reach Sanitariumimage: Probably the strangest inclusion, but I still like it, even if it is mostly a hold-over from the Waste Not builds. Feel free to slot whatever you'd personally like here, anything from Crawling Barrensimage to Blast Zoneimage to more Field of Ruinimage effects.
    • While your opponent is empty handed, this serves as strong card filtering.
    • Synergizes with Shelly to give her psuedo-double-strike while giving ourselves extra HP by way of doubling the amount of cards drawn on both sides.
  • 23x Field of Ruinimage: Keeps opposing man-lands in check and keeps the greedier mana bases in line. Also one of the only ways we can enable revolt for Push, but that rarely comes up.
    • You can arguably load as many as 6x of this effect into the deck, but I don't know if you actually need access to more than 2x.
  • 3x Castle Locthwainimage: It's here because it's brilliant in those matches where life total doesn't matter and/or where card advantage decides things.
    • I personally don't like 4x because it does come into play tapped a non-trivial amount of games and it's not like we need to draw more than one in most games. It's easy enough to trade a Swamp or Sanitarium for the 4th copy though, just remember I told you so.
  • 3x Hive of the Eye Tyrantimage Turns out, this is a pretty good card. Who knew?
    • At some point, I'm going to try re-arranging the mana base to try making Crawling Barrensimage my creature land, but I'm doubtful the improved raw size will do better than the Menace and ability to tap for black.
    • Coming into play tapped after 2 lands is a real draw-back since we really-really want to be hitting drops on curve all the way up to 4.
  • Other options include:
    • Takenuma, Abandoned Mireimage: I don't mind if you were to included it, but it may as well be a swamp for how rarely I find the space to discard a land, and I already have effects like Sheoldred's Assimilatorimage that act as a pretty good facsimile of the Buy Back.
    • Blast Zoneimage: Again, I don't tend to find much breathing space to wind this up and/or pop it but it is a way to deal with some oddball enchantments or artifacts.
    • Bojuka Bogimage: Graveyard hate in the form of a tapped land. Yay.
    • Crawling Barrensimage: Just another creature land.
    • Sunken Citadelimage: With how many other utility lands we play, this really does just taps for 2 mana a lot of the time.


  • 1x Sorin the Mirthlessimage: He's here for the card advantage matchups, but we're so good in those anyway he's the easiest to replace.
    • Murderous Riderimage would be my first attempt at a replacement. The Rider is both another kill spell and a threat... but it's slug slow.
  • 1x Cling to Dustimage: When you absolutely need instant speed graveyard interaction. Mizzix Mastery, Greasefang, Okiba Bossimage.
  • 1x Unlicensed Hearseimage: In over Agatha's Soul Cauldronimage because you really do want to exile 2 things vs the decks you bring it in for.
  • 2x Invoke Despairimage: Comes in against anything fair, relies on enchantments/planeswalkers and/or the mirror.
    • Avoid this and Lily in the same opening hand.
    • We have a surprisingly hard time getting to 5 mana sometimes so play for drawing it off the top instead of holding it.
    • Looping this by exiling it with Sheoldred's Assimilatorimage is a grand ol' time.
  • 2x Go Blankimage: Pulls double duty. Comes in vs "zero creatures" Control and graveyard decks.
  • 2x Bitter Triumphimage: Kills everything the Grasps killed without the color restriction so, yeah, bit of an upgrade.
  • 2x Noxious Graspimage: Another piece of spot removal that kills a surprising number of troublesome targets we wouldn't otherwise be able to tag.
  • 2x Pithing Needleimage: Nothing too exciting. Catch-all vs planeswalkers, misc combos or Maze's Endimage.
  • 2x Ritual of Sootimage: Kills dang near everything Collected Companyimage decks play...
  • 2x Extinction Eventimage: There to sweep against those decks that actually bother going over 3 mana. MonoGreen mostly.

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Last Updated: 27 Jan 2024
Created: 04 Dec 2023
163 26 0

Mainboard - 60 cards (16 distinct)

Creature (16)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (16)
Land (24)
Planeswalker (4)

Sideboard - 15 cards (9 distinct)


Maybeboard - 11 cards (11 distinct)


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