Video Daily Digest: What’s Black And White And DreadedDead All Over?

It’s no great riddle! Ross Merriam highlights DreadedDead’s innovative B/W Control deck ahead of the Modern events at SCG CON!

Removal spells and card advantage: it’s a classic combination that players have used successfully for over twenty years. It’s not quite as effective now that creatures are more powerful but Modern has enough cheap removal to make it work.

Fatal Push, one-mana discard spells, and Liliana of the Veil already form a proven core, and it reappears here, but the rest of the deck gets a bit more interesting. Because of the rise of Humans and Meddling Mage, most players are diversifying their removal suites so as to not get their hand completely shut down as often. Each of the singleton removal spells has a significant hole: Collective Brutality misses big creatures; Cast Down whiffs on Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Tasigur, the Golden Fang; and Go for the Throat is blank against Affinity, Inkmoth Nexus, and Hollow One. Yet together they cover for each other.

I particularly like the Slaughter Pact, which can help catch up from behind or make a Zombie token immediately with Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, one of the few win conditions in the deck.

Kalitas obviously pairs well with removal, forcing an immediate answer and leaving aggro pilots in the awkward situation of wanting to leave in an answer to it that may rot in their hand.

The card advantage part of the equation comes from an oldie but goodie: Phyrexian Arena. If you keep the battlefield clear and land this early, it will run away with the game in short order, and most decks aren’t equipped to answer it. Kalitas and Shambling Vent provide some lifegain to stop it from killing you, but if you need something more guaranteed, there’s the singleton copy of Suffer the Past. Though it’s a weak card against decks without graveyard synergies, a Drain Life for five or more is still powerful enough to stabilize you against aggressive decks.

Mishra’s Bauble does a weak Serum Visions impression here, but between fetchlands and Field of Ruin, you can get a scry in there much of the time. It’s also nice with Liliana of the Veil, helping you empty your hand on your turn to get card advantage from her +1 ability before reloading for the next turn.

With enough removal to handle Humans, some great tools against attrition decks in Lingering Souls and Phyrexian Arena, and a sideboard full of hate cards against big mana, this list is ready for anything and certainly poised to be a tough out for Modern’s current top decks.