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Building Chromatic Black

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Welcome back everyone! It’s Friday and we all know that means another Ali article! Last week wrote an article on Rainbow Lich and some updates I’ve made to the deck. Today we will be talking about a new deck and an update to the Grixis Dragons list I wrote about a couple weeks back. I recently went undefeated with Grixis Dragons in MTG Arena’s competitive league and I believe the deck is very well positioned now. The other deck we will be talking about is a Mono-Black Control deck… Kinda? Well, it’s Mono-Black but we are “splashing” for Niv-Mizzet, Parun. We’ll get to how in a minute; but, if you enjoyed Rainbow Lich, I think you’ll enjoy this deck too, which I’ve named Chromatic Black.

Speaking of which, let’s kick things off with that list. I’ve been having a lot of success with it on MTG Arena recently and it has been an absolute blast to play. Having access to Cabal Stronghold and all five colors of mana is very powerful. Let’s go ahead and look at the list.


As you can see, we are getting access to all five colors of mana through Chromatic Lantern. Chromatic Lantern ramps us and it also casts one of the strongest cards in the format, Niv-Mizzet, Parun. I’ve had some very lopsided games where I was able to cast Niv-Mizzet, Parun on turn five thanks to Chromatic Lantern and it was a slaughter. The rest of the deck functions like a Mono-Black Control. You have a lot of removal and card advantage in things like Demonlord Belzenlok, Karn, Scion of Urza, The Eldest Reborn, and Treasure Map.Cabal Stronghold is excellent at powering out multiple spells mid to late game which helps a ton against midrange and control decks.

Mastermind's Acquisition can get you whatever card you need on curve while late game it can just end the game. Chromatic Lantern coupled with Cabal Stronghold will allow you to Mastermind's Acquisition for game ending spells like Banefire, Overflowing Insight, Zacama, Primal Calamity, or Omniscience. I’ve Banefired people for fifteen plus thanks to multiple Chromatic Lanterns and just ended the game. Overflowing Insight is a powerful card but casting it when you have a Niv-Mizzet, Parun on the battlefield will just end the game.

The deck does not always have to get flashy to win. Demonlord Belzenlok, Niv-Mizzet, and Karn, Scion of Urza are all excellent ways to close the game out. Karn’s construct tokens work extremely well with Treasure Map, especially when you transform the map into Treasure Cove netting you three treasure tokens. This automatically makes any construct you make with Karn at least a 4/4 creature.

The Sideboard is mostly a wish board for Mastermind's Acquisition, but you have Arguel's Blood Fast for grindy matchups like midrange or control. Duress and Dread Shade are both excellent against control or decks with little removal. Dread Shade shines so much out of the sideboard because people tend to cut a lot of their removal when Sideboarding against you, allowing you to close games out quickly.

I know at first glance the deck looks gimmicky, but sleeve it up and test it out and you will be surprised at how powerful this deck really is. Having access to so much mana through Cabal Stronghold and then being able to play any other colored spells is… Well, awesome and game breaking!

The next deck I want to talk about is one that is not a brew but one I have mentioned previously. I’ve been playing this deck and it just seems to be crushing everything.


I’ve already said it but Niv-Mizzet, Parun is one of the best cards in Standard. Not only can you power it out faster with Sarkhan, Fireblood but you also have a playset of Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. It seems people have forgotten about Nicol Bolas and it is time to remind people of his greatness! Besides those two powerful dragons, the deck is chock full of the best cards. Thought Erasure, Search for Azcanta, Expansion // Explosion, and Ionize are all cards that are staples of the format and they all happen to conveniently slide right into this deck.

Spit Flame and Connive // Concoct are cards that are not seeing play right now, so let me talk about them. Spit Flame is obviously a removal spell that you can buy back when you play a Dragon. Not only can you kill more creatures with it, but it is also a free card to grab that you can cycle with Sarkhan, Fireblood. Four damage is in a sweet spot right now because of ur Drakes. It kills every creature in their deck Game 1. Connive can be used early to steal a Wildgrowth Walker, Goblin Electromancer, Adanto Vanguard, Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice, Legion Warboss, Thief of Sanity, Thorn Lieutenant, and more. Then Concoct allows you to re-buy a Nicol Bolas, the Ravager or Niv Mizzet, Parun (which can be pitched with Sarkhan.) Concoct is basically more copies of your powerful dragons without having to play more copies and having Connive attached for when you want to steal a two-power creature. Just make sure to not steal a Trostani Discordant with your Connive, otherwise you will be very sad at the end of your turn.

The cards in the Sideboard are currently there for the current metagame. Lava Coil is excellent against Mono-Red, Drakes, and Golgari. Exiling the Golgari Findbroker is relevant when you are trying to grind them out. Star of Extinction is only for Golgari decks or the random dinosaur decks that sometimes pop up. I would not bring in Star of Extinction against gw midrange / tokens just because it sucks against History of Benalia and Adanto Vanguard, you basically want it against the slower decks where you can slow them down even more with Thought Erasure and Ionize to buy enough time to make the battlefield extinct.

I have some more decks I’m working on, but they aren’t quite as competitive as I want them to be. Here’s a sneak peek of a Sultai Muldrotha deck that I’ve been working on, but I still need to test more. Maybe you will want to carry the torch and adjust the deck to your liking.


I tried having a good mix of all the permanent types to get maximum value out of Muldrotha, the Gravetide. The deck is very fun if you enjoy grindy games. So, if you like Golgari or maybe tired of playing Golgari but enjoy the playstyle, you can give this deck a whirl. Just keep in mind that this deck needs some more work, it is why I don’t have a Sideboard for it just yet. After I tune it and hammer some numbers out, I’ll revisit the deck in a future article.

If you enjoy seeing these types of decks, make sure to follow me and watch me on Twitch. It’s where I play all my decks and where I build my decks from scratch. So, if you just enjoy watching fun decks or are curious about my building process, make sure to check it out!

That’s all I have for you today ladies and gentlemen. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you all next Friday.

As always, thanks for reading,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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