Deck Tech: Mono-Black Control with Jason Golliher
Jason Golliher has been laying down the law against creatures.
One of the most unique decks spotted early in the event belong to Jason Golliher, piloting a unique take on Mono-Black Control that recalled fond memories of older times. While he stumbled early, Jason’s certain the archetype could bear fruit in the future.
“The co-owner of my business has been playing this deck forever—Ken Hartje, along with Josh Ernest,” he said. “Anything with creatures is going to be really good. Maverick’s going to be good, Junk Rock… I have more removal than RUG has creatures—they have very few ways to win against me!” Literally killing all of their creatures dead is a viable strategy against threat-light tempo decks. Even the backup plan is not so good. “Jace can be kind of good but not really. You have cards like Sorin and Consume+Spirit to help negate Jace, and it’s very difficult for creatures to win past you.”
Sorin and Consumer Spirit? Say what? Jason uses Cabal+Coffers to power out these massive threats. “Sorin Markov is definitely a contender. If you can take out the big creatures, he’ll clean them up.” Plus, the -3 is no slouch, either—especially when you can Consume+Spirits. One variant of that card has been especially strong. “I think Suffer+the+Past is actually pretty good, and more decks should be playing it.” The fact that you only need one Swamp to start making value is nice. “Decree of Pain has been yes and no. In playtesting, it’s been very good.” The effect is clearly absurd against most Maverick decks.
In the sideboard, Jason found himself with a couple of open spots that he filled with an oddball. “One card that might seem odd is Elixir+of+Immortality. I had two open slots and figured there might be some lesser-played deck, and Burn is a cheap deck,” he reasoned. “So far, I think my read was mostly right.” Indeed, Burn is a presence today.
So Jason beats creature decks—what does he lose to? The unfair decks, according to him. “I can’t beat Belcher and I can’t beat Helm, although I think High+Tide is actually a favorable matchup and Storm is close,” he explained. “Generally, in game 1 against those kinds of decks, you’re not going to win. I built my deck to beat the decks you see consistently in the Top 8s.” That cost him early, with stumbles against two decks that don’t run creatures. “I played against some very weird decks, which was not what I was hoping to do. I can actually beat Burn if they play creatures, but my opponent did not… not what I was hoping.”
There are other directions to take the deck, of course. “We considered playing Mishra’s Factory and Liliana. I didn’t play Liliana because I don’t want to discard lands, ever—she’s just a bad Edict, at that point.” If you’re trimming the deck down and no longer using a Coffers engine to mass-produce, she may be worth considering. “I think the deck needs a little bit of work, but I do think that mono-black is pretty strong in a creature-heavy format, and that’s what Top 8s make it look like the format is heading.”
The list is a stepping stone, and Jason’s not giving up on it yet. “The deck’s not perfectly tuned, but I think there are a lot of things here I could use to continue with it.”