One of the most exciting cards to come out of Dominaria is Cabal Stronghold. Mono-Black is always a popular archetype, with many people trying to make it work even when it doesn’t have all the necessary tools. The most recent iteration of Mono-Black showed up when we had cards like Thoughtseize, Pack Rat, and Hero's Downfall to fuel the archetype. With Dominaria, we get to find out if a new Cabal Coffers can push the archetype into relevance:
Mono-Black Midrange - Dominaria Standard | Barnyard, 5-0 Standard League
- Creatures (19)
- 3 Ravenous Chupacabra
- 4 Dread Shade
- 4 Gifted Aetherborn
- 4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
- 4 Walking Ballista
If you’re expecting to play primarily against creature-based decks, this deck seems fantastic. You have a solid curve of removal, with the ability to use Fatal Push, Walking Ballista, Ravenous Chupacabra, and Vraska's Contempt to contain early starts. When you combine that with Glint-Sleeve Siphoner to keep the cards coming and Gifted Aetherborn to keep your life total out of the red zone, you’ve got a really solid gameplan against opposing creature decks.
Against control decks, your plan is to overload their mana and removal. You ought to be able to leverage Glint-Sleeve Siphoner to force out early removal, and potentially get in some big hits with Dread Shade. If that doesn’t work, you’ve got a great backup plan of resolving one of your eight Planeswalkers to bury your opponent in cards.
One of the biggest strengths of this particular build is that it manages to leverage the advantage of Cabal Stronghold without giving up deck slots. There are no copies of cards like Torment of Hailfire. Instead, you just scale up your Dread Shades and Walking Ballistas, particularly with Memorial to Folly to let you rebuy them once you’ve got your mana engine set up. Not only that, but you can leverage Cabal Stronghold to cast multiple haymakers in a turn to constrain opposing control decks on mana.
You even get a ton of flexibility in how you build this deck. This build is configured to have a very strong game against opposing creatures decks in Game 1. You could easily add a pile of discard in place of some of the removal spells and shift yourself to be better at forcing through Planeswalkers against control decks instead.
The moral of the story here is that Cabal Stronghold is certainly powerful enough for Standard play, and is definitely something that you should keep in mind for your next Standard event.