Standard Mono Black Auras Bo1 Deck Guide: The Bane of Creature Decks

Hello everyone! As promised, since the previous Bo1 Standard article did well, Dany and I are looking into making it a regular thing! Last time we tackled what was considered to be the best Bo1 deck, Monowhite Lifegain Aggro, but today, we’re exploring a more niche option. Monoblack Auras has been a mainstay in Bo1 Standard for quite awhile now and is a great option to attack the heavy creature metagame that Bo1 presents. Let’s take a look at the list.

Monoblack Auras Bo1 

Companion
1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Creatures (14)
4
Archfiend's Vessel
4
Serrated Scorpion
2
Fiend Artisan
4
Mire Triton
Spells (12)
2
Malakir Rebirth
4
Village Rites
2
Heartless Act
4
Call of the Death-Dweller
Enchantments (12)
4
Dead Weight
4
Hateful Eidolon
2
Mogis's Favor
2
Mire's Grasp
Lands (22)
2
Castle Locthwain
20
Swamp
Cards (60)

Gotta love it. My personal favorite aspect of this deck is that it reminds me of one of my favorite Standard archetypes ever: Rakdos Lurrus. This plays nearly all the same elements, but instead of the red cards, it leans into the Auras element instead. With a super low curve and plenty of interaction, this looks like an amazing choice if you need to smack some creature decks down.

CARD CHOICES

Lurrus of the Dream Den - Ikoria MtG Art

COMPANION: Lurrus of the Dream-Den

If I’ve learned anything about Magic within the past year, it’s that if your deck can play a Companion, you better be playing a Companion. Best of all, Lurrus is easily one of the most powerful companions available and is absolutely insane in this deck. Being able to recur helpful permanents is obviously always great, but when you get to recur removal too? Insane. Lurrus is just always either make two bodies with 4 mana or a psuedo Ravenous Chupacabra.

Archfiend’s Vessel

The floor and ceiling on this card are so hilariously disparate. The front side is a wildly unplayable card even by Limited standards as a 1/1 Lifelink, but we’re obviously not playing it for the 1/1 half (though that side is also better than you may think.) If you can get it back from the graveyard, which obviously isn’t too hard in this deck, you get a 5/5 Flier out of the deal which is obviously very good. If the Companion rule wasn’t changed, Vessel would’ve definitely been one of the better cards in Standard, but it still does an excellent job here.

Hateful Eidolon

The other half of the reason (beyond Lurrus) to play Auras. Hateful Eidolon draws a card for each Aura attached to a creature when it dies so you can turn any 8 of your Auras into cantrips as well. Furthermore, a 1/2 Lifelink body is surprisingly decent in a field of aggressive decks as well.

Serrated Scorpion

Ol’ Pinchy has been a mainstay with Lurrus for quite awhile, and it’s still not going anywhere. The effect may seem mediocre, but that’s on the first cast. Once you get Scorpion back multiple times, that life drain can very quickly add up which can easily lead to unexpected wins.

Fiend Artisan

Words can’t express my love for this card, but numbers can: 10/10. Fiend Artisan is an amazingly fun and powerful card where you get to tutor up the creatures you want at the time, and since all our creatures are so cheap, the ability is cheap as well. That being said, Fiend Artisan is more often going to be a sizeable beater which is still a great use for it.

Mire Triton

Mire Triton does one job and does it well. Milling is great for finding more to do with Lurrus, having a Deathtouch body makes trading easy, and the 2 life isn’t negligible. 

Call of the Death-Dweller

The cold stone killer in this deck. Call is amazing since it can either get 2 creatures back or recur a dead Lurrus. Both functions are extremely good and also getting to add some keywords to your creatures as well is a nice bonus.

Malakir Rebirth

MDFC Lands are excellent, and Malakir is definitely the one that’s been the most undervalued. I’ve always been a fan of Supernatural Stamina effects and having one that’s only slightly worse for the upside of it also being a land is more than worth it. 

Village Rites

We have a lot of scrappy creatures and sometimes we want to cash them in for a few cards. We can easily recur our creatures so having the means to sacrifice them for some value is a great addition.

Heartless Act

We play a good amount of removal in the form of Auras, but having a few pieces of hard removal is always good as well.

Dead Weight

Kills a small creature and pairs amazingly well with Lurrus. Can also use it to shrink a bigger creature if it helps you get a better attack or survive longer.

Mogis’s Favor

Favor is an interesting Aura as its primary function is to kill x/1s, but it’s also usuable as a buff enchantment on any creature above 1 toughness.

Mire’s Grasp

Dead Weight’s bigger counterpart.

POTENTIAL INCLUSIONS

Bloodsky Berserker - Kaldheim MtG Art

Bloodchief’s Thirst

This list has plenty of ways to kill cheap creatures, but no way to kill Planeswalkers. If that ever becomes relevant, this can certainly take the slot of Heartless Act.

Eyetwitch

The Learn package hasn’t been constructed playable for very long so I wouldn’t be that surprised if it finds its way into this deck. It would make way better use of the lack of sideboard as well which is a huge boon in Best of One.

Whisper Squad

Whisper Squad isn’t as good as it was in Rakdos Lurrus since we lack more ways to leverage the small bodies, but it’s still an interesting option and mana sink.

Witch’s Cauldron

A relatively cheap and repeatable way to get value out of the creatures. If you go for a heavier creature version, this could be a consideration if you want something like a Village Rites, but don’t want to play as many copies. That being said, I think Village Rites is likely better.

Agonizing Remorse

If you need ways to clear out the opponent’s hand, this is one of the best ways.

There are other iterations of this deck I saw that leaned less on Auras and went more aggressive with Bloodsky Berserker which I think is a great way to take the deck as well. We’re double spelling nearly every turn so this can very easily get out of control.

Forever Young

This is likely too cute, but having one copy to potentially stack the top of your deck is somewhat appealing.

Hunt for Specimens

Same logic as Eyetwitch.

Infernal Scarring

I’m almost surprised that this list plays no Scarring as it makes our small creatures a lot scarier and recycles itself upon death. In conjunction with being recurrable with Lurrus, I can definitely see 1-2 copies of this in the deck.

Kitesail Freebooter

Kitesail doesn’t really synergize with the deck, but is very good at interacting with the opponent if that’s the direction you want to take.

Lampad of Death’s Vigil

Lampad was a mainstay in Rakdos Lurrus as a solid 1 of, but you would need a higher creature density to want this again.

Malefic Scythe

This may seem gimmicky, but getting this down early and forcing trades would very quickly make this go out of control. You would need more creatures and a heavier sacrifice theme to make this viable, but I wouldn’t count it out.

Order of Midnight

A way to recur your creatures and a decent body after the fact. We likely have enough recursion that this isn’t necessary, but it’s definitely interesting.

Plumb the Forbidden

Once again, great card but would need more creatures to make this more enticing.

Skyclave Shade

This recursive annoyance is a very powerful card and can easily see play if this deck wanted to be more aggressive.

Tymaret, Chosen from Death

If you find the mirror to be really relevant (or other graveyard decks), adding in a few copies seems smart.

Agadeem’s Awakening

Although MDFCs are great, we already play a lot of recursion so this likely isn’t necessary. That being said, having one copy in the deck also seems relatively free.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Fiend Artisan - Ikoria MtG Arts
  • Make sure to attack and block aggressively with Archfiend’s Vessel as it’s much more threatening in the graveyard than it is on the board.
  • Hateful Eidolon draws a card for each Aura you control attached to any creature when it dies. This means you can kill your own creatures to draw cards as well and this comes up surprisingly often.
  • Fiend Artisan is generally going to be a large beater, but using it to tutor out all your Serrated Scorpion is a great way to burn the opponent out that comes up quite often.
  • When deciding where to put the Call of the Death-Dweller counters, the general rule is to put Deathtouch on the smaller creature and Menace on the larger one. There is consideration to put both on the larger creature if the opponent is at a low life total and would be forced to sacrifice two creatures to trade. 
  • Archfiend’s Vessel exiles itself when it turns into a Demon so keep that in mind when counting cards in your graveyard for Fiend Artisan. Similarly, don’t put any counters on Archfiend’s Vessel if you get it back with Call of the Death-Dweller as the Demon won’t keep them.
  • Although Malakir Rebirth works best with Archfiend’s Vessel, using it on any of your creatures is generally quite good.
  • Try to save Village Rites for a removal spell or when you’re chump blocking, however if you want to cast it because you’re missing lands, just do it main phase. A lot of players get too caught up in the potential life loss which is marginal compared to being mana screwed.
  • It’s niche, but Call of the Death-Dweller makes your creatures Heartless Act proof!
  • Even if you can’t kill a creature immediately with an Aura, you can throw one on to be mana efficient then kill it a turn later with another one. I would avoid this if you don’t have a Hateful Eidolon to capitalize on this though.

Thank you for reading!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on Twitch and Discord.

6 Responses

  1. Seb says:

    Hi, nice write-up thanks, how do you manage creatureless or over the play deck? I usually just concede now, don’t see a way back from a resolved ultimatum / hex proof token kraken…
    Any advice?

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Realistically no deck is beating a resolved Ultimatum so just going as aggro as you can is the best bet.

    • Sparepeanut says:

      I have had some success going a bit higher up on the curve and playing Lurrus maindeck, so you can play Rankle, Demonic Embrace, and Hunted Nightmare. That deck is appreciably worse than a Lurrus companion version against creature decks, IMO. I also run snow lands and Faceless Haven in place of Castle Lochthwain. Some hand hate is nice, too. Kitesail Freebooter, Elderfang Disciple, or Acquisitions Expert all work, with the last combining well with an Archfiend’s Vessel to let you look at two cards instead of one.

  2. shikadi says:

    minor detail but i didn’t see mention of the fact that Malakir Rebirth will give you the 5/5 off of killed Archfiends Vessel, which is something i’ve enjoyed doing with my orzhov spin on this deck