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Black is the color of death, amorality, and individualism. It seeks satisfaction through ruthlessness.

Popular mono-black commanders include K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, and Marrow-Gnawer.


Black believes the only thing that should matter to an individual is their own success and power. Black looks at the world and sees that the people who are willing to do anything to gain power are the most successful. Black believes this is just the way life is, and thus, the only thing the individual can do is accept the state of things and ruthlessly pursue their own self-interest. Black believes concepts like goodness and morality do not exist, and are only tools for other power-hungry people to control the masses. This means that there is no length that black will not go to in order to achieve its goals. While this does mean that black can do things no other colors can do, this ruthlessness can often create more problems for black than it solves.

Popular Strategies in Mono-Black

Most Popular

Other Strategies


Creature Removal

Mono Black is the premier color for creature removal, usually able to destroy any type of creature it needs to, as well as mass removal that can destroy many creatures at once. Black may also use effects that force players to sacrifice creatures, or give all creatures -X/-X until end of turn.


Named after the card Reanimate, Black is the best color to bring creatures from the graveyard back to play. Black can also return these creatures to hand but often these effects are not as good.


Black uses ramp to advance its mana production, often by doubling the amount of mana its lands create. However, this form of ramp is almost exclusively dependent on the use of Swamps over other land types, making it less effective in multicolor decks.

Sacrifice for Value

There is no life that black will not use for their own ambitions. Mono-black can make small tokens or creatures and then sacrifice those creatures for beneficial effects, and gain advantage when those creatures die.

Card Advantage

Mono-Black excels at many abilities, including card draw, but almost always must pay life to access these abilities. Black may often accumulate a significantly large number of cards in hand, though often at the expense of hefty life payments.


Mono Black is the color with the most diverse tutor options, able to search its library for any type of card it desires. It may also use tutors that put specific cards directly into its graveyard.


Artifacts and Enchantments

Black excels at destroying creatures, but has only gained limited enchantment removal as of 2019 and it's artifact removal is very old, expensive and difficult to obtain. As such it is difficult for black to remove artifact and enchantment cards from the battlefield, especially in significant numbers and many mono-black decks may not even try. Black decks may need to find themselves animating opposing artifacts or using colorless removal for these permanents, often tutoring for these cards since they lack the density of such effects that white or green possess.

Graveyard Hate

Black uses the graveyard more than any other color. As such, it often finds itself shut down by cards that exile cards from those graveyards, such as Rest In Peace. Most of these effects also tend to be artifacts and enchantments, which compounds on Black's weaknesses.


Mono-black uses life or sacrifices permanents to gain lots of advantage, but it can be very easy for Black to push this too far. Large life payments, for instance, may provide Black with significant card draw, but will leave Black with an extremely depleted life total, which may allow opponents to defeat them much more easily.