B/W Death’s Shadow by IxidorsDreams on MtGO

Creatures (9)
4 Death’s Shadow
2 Geralf’s Messenger
3 Phyrexian Obliterator

Non-Creature Spells (29)
3 Bitterblossom
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
3 Phyrexian Unlife
3 Collective Brutality
4 Dismember
3 Fatal Push
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Lingering Souls
4 Night’s Whisper
4 Thoughtseize

Lands (22)
2 Bloodstained Mire
3 Concealed Courtyard
3 Godless Shrine
3 Marsh Flats
2 Polluted Delta
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
5 Swamp
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Verdant Catacombs

Sideboard (15)
1 Anguished Unmaking
1 Damnation
1 Duress
2 Engineered Explosives
2 Fragmentize
1 Lingering Souls
1 Phyrexian Unlife
1 Rest in Peace
2 Stony Silence
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Zealous Persecution

Summary

Even though it shares many cards with the Jund Death’s Shadow deck that has been gaining popularity in Modern, this deck is different in a number of ways. It completely eliminates both red and green from the deck, and instead plays more-dedicated black cards that want to play a longer game, and a certain white enchantment that we’ll get to later on.

In Jund Death’s Shadow, Tarmogoyf is the secondary creature choice, as it plays very well with what the deck already wants to be doing. Instead of ‘Goyf, this deck has a few favorites from their respective Standard formats: Geralf’s Messenger and Phyrexian Obliterator.

Geralf’s Messenger offers reach and resilience, as it frequently puts the opponent in a bind when it’s played. They can either use resources to kill it and take their life loss, or ignore it and try to win quickly through it, which is very difficult to do for most non-combo decks in the format. Phyrexian Obliterator operates in a similar way, but unlike Messenger it realistically can’t be blocked. There are a few decent answers to it in the format, but when the format’s premier removal spell is Lightning Bolt, Phyrexian Obliterator will always be a nice thought.

It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room. What the hell is Phyrexian Unlife doing in this deck? Well it’s actually pretty simple. Have you ever said to yourself, “man I wish my Death’s Shadow could get larger than a 12/12″? No? You haven’t? Well too bad, because that’s what you’ll be getting if you play this deck. Thoughtseize, Night’s Whisper, and Bitterblossom all cause you to lose life and don’t deal damage to you, so your life will continue to tick down as far as it can if you have a Phyrexian Unlife in play, and your Death’s Shadow will grow larger than you ever thought possible.

Additionally, you effectively have infinite life to play with when casting those aforementioned “lose life” cards, so unlike traditional Jund Death’s Shadow, this deck loves playing the long, grindy game. This shows us that the deck is not a combo-midrange deck like Jund Death’s Shadow, but is rather a midrange-control deck.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Collective Brutality

-1 Snow-Covered Swamp

-3 Any Fetchland

-2 Dismember

+2 Liliana of the Veil

+1 Lingering Souls

+1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

+3 Mutavault

Sideboard

-1 Duress

-1 Lingering Souls

-1 Rest in Peace

-1 Zealous Persecution

+1 Damnation

+1 Stony Silence

+1 Collective Brutality

+1 Anguished Unmaking

This is day 73 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 72 here, where we featured a Standard control deck that’s looking to disrupt the current metagame.

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