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Brews From Scratch: Explorer Mono Black Gix Devotion

This is the third installment in the Brews From Scratch series where Altheriax records himself building a brand new deck from the beginning and explaining his choices as he goes - this time he's building Mono Black Devotion in Explorer built around Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor!

Hey everyone! I’ve had feedback from a number of people saying they’d be interested in seeing the deckbuilding process rather than just the final result, so I’ve been doing a series over on the MTGAzone Youtube channel called Brews From Scratch, where I record myself building a new deck from the very beginning and explain my thoughts as I go. This is the third installment in the series, and this time I’m building Mono Black Devotion in Explorer.

My main focus with this deck was to build a deck that was good without Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, but had a lot of good mana sinks when you do have it – a big issue I’d seen with a lot of other Mono Black Devotion decks is that they tend to run a lot of expensive payoff cards like Peer into the Abyss (to combo with Underworld Dreams) or Gray Merchant of Asphodel which I’m not a big fan of personally.

The issue with these cards is they’re often uncastable when you don’t have Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx since Black doesn’t have access to great ramp outside of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx (which you’re not always going to have), and it doesn’t have great ways to tutor for Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx either. Here’s the list I ended up on:

Mono B Gix Devotion
by Altheriax
Buy on TCGplayer $590.99
best of 3
7 mythic
35 rare
4 uncommon
14 common
Planeswalkers (3)
Instants (4)
Fatal Push
Lands (25)
Castle Locthwain
60 Cards
15 Cards

Overall I’m happy with how the deck came together, Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor alongside an aggressively slanted curve meant we were capable of going underneath the slower decks like Azorius Control, but the mana sinks we had available meant we were also able to grind well against the more attrition-based midrange decks too.

In the constructed event I ended up going 3-2 (beating Azorius Control, Mono Green Devotion, and Boros Heroic, and losing to Mono Green Devotion and Abzan Greasefang), but I believe both of the losses were punts on my part, and I think I had a good chance of potentially getting the 5-0 if I’d played better.

Overall, I think the deck is a lot of fun, is definitely powerful, but there’s also room for improvement so I’ll be working some more on this going forwards. If you’re interested in seeing how the deck came together and three of the games from the constructed event then definitely check the video out, and I’ll catch you in the next one!

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Alth is an MTG Arena grinder who has been #1 on the ladder multiple times and is always looking to bring new ideas and archetypes to the format and push them to the top spots on the ladder. You can follow him on Twitter and YouTube.

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