Aren’t you tired of being nice? Don’t you just want to cause chaos, punish players for trying to defeat you, and win the game while sacrificing everything you have to do so?
Well, for those who love a bit of self-sacrifice in their MTG, it’s often best to take a look at the Black cards you have available to you. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best Mono-Black Commanders for you to try out.
The 10 best Mono-Black commanders
Before we get into the bulk of the list, it’s worth noting that Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon is an excellent choice for a Black commander, but we don’t think it’s as interesting as the rest of the list, so it remains here in the honorable mentions instead.
Now then, we’ve got a few different strategies to choose from here, and Black has some of the most varied choices around, so let’s jump into the best Mono-Black commanders.
10 – Marrow-Gnawer
Marrow-Gnawer is a five mana 2/3 Rat Rogue that gives all of your Rats fear. Now, fear isn’t an ability we see very often in modern MTG; it’s an ability that makes your Creatures unblockable by Creatures that aren’t Black or Artifact Creatures. It’s really useful if you feel like playing aggressive.
The other ability on Marrow-Gnawer allows you to sacrifice a Rat top put X 1/1 rats into play where X is the number of Rats you control. It’s very reminscent of Krenko, but the advantage here is that all of those Rats are likely unblockable, which makes them very dangerous.
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9 – Geth, Lord of the Vault
Now for a very big change of pace with Geth. Geth, Lord of the Vault is a six mana 5/5 with intimidate, which means it can’t be blocked by anything that isn’t Black or an Artifact, which is like fear, but not specifically for Black Creatures.
Other than being a little hench, you can pay X and one Black mana to put an Artifact or Creature from an opponent’s graveyard into play, and then that player mills X cards. It’s a fun way to win a game, because you can either steal all of their best stuff and beat them to death, or you can just mill them out. Either way, though, it’s a lot of fun.
8 – Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Back to being aggressive again now with Drana, Liberator of Malakir, who is a three-mana 2/3 with flying and first strike. That makes her a fairly good aggressive Legendary Creature anyway, but the ability is what makes Drana shine.
Whenever Drana deals combat damage to a player, you get to put a +1/+1 on every attacking Creature you control. Because Drana has first strike, this will likely buff up your Creatures before they actually get into combat, and this can very quickly spiral out of control.
7 – Tinybones, Trinket Thief
Them bones, them bones, them Tinybones. Tinybones, Trinket Thief is a two-mana 1/2 that, every end step, lets you draw a card and lose one life if an opponent has discarded a card that turn.
That’s fun in and of itself, but the kicker here is that you can pay six mana to make each opponent who has no cards in hand lose 10 life. Given how good Black is at making people discard cards, this makes for a really cool strategy, and one that is a lot of fun to play around with.
6 – Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
Mikaeus, the Unhallowed is another six mana 5/5 with intimidate, but this time around, there’s no mana needed for the special abilities. Instead, all you need to do is have Mikaeus out, and you’ll benefit from him being there.
For starters, anytime a Human deals damage to you, you get to destroy it, which is nice. The other ability is what you really want though, as it gives non-Human Creatures +1/+1 and undying, which means they’ll come back from the grave. It just means that all of your threats are bigger than before, along with being harder to get rid of.
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5 – Tergrid, God of Fright // Tergrid’s Lantern
You’re rarely going to use Tergrid’s Lantern, so we’re just going to sort of ignoring it here, but it’s nice to have options? Instead, we’ll focus on Tergrid, God of Fright, who is a five mana 4/5 with menace.
The big old load of text on this card reads, “Whenever an opponent sacrifices a nontoken permanent or discards a permanent card, you may put that card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.” It’s just a good way to keep getting more value out of your discard and sacrifice effects, and you’ve got a lot of them to use.
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4 – Razaketh, the Foulblooded
This is the most mana-intense commanders on the list at eight mana, but Razaketh, the Foulblooded is very much worth it. Razaketh is an 8/8 with Flying and Trample, which already makes him hard to defend against as is.
You can also pay two life and sacrifice another Creature to fetch a card from your library and put it into your hand. This is excellent for always having whatever you need, and you can very swiftly put together combos or unbeatable synergies with ease.
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3 – Toshiro Umezawa
Toshiro Umezawa is a three-mana 2/2 with Bushido 1, which means that he gets +1/+1 until end of turn whenever he’s blocked or blocks. He also basically gives an Instant flashback whenever an opponent’s Creature goes into their graveyard.
This basically means that you can use your kill spells twice in a row with no issues, but it can go way beyond that if you’re going to be filling your deck with interesting Instant spells to use. It’s not an ability often found on Black cards, and having it on your Commander makes it very easy to use, and a really unique way to build a Black Commander deck.
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2 – Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker
Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker is a five-mana 2/2 that is absolutely an engine for nonsense. “Whenever a creature with power 1 or less is put into your graveyard from the battlefield, you may return that card to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step if Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker is still on the battlefield.”
Basically, you’re going to fill the deck with cards like Viscera Seer, Zulaport Cutthroat, Yarok’s Fenlurker, and Big Game Hunter, and just recur them for all of time until you win the game through sheer force of will and the little people fighting back. It’s a lot of fun to play, but a horrible thing to fight against.
1 – K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth
Being able to reduce the cost of cards is a very easy way to kind of cheat in MTG. Sometimes that’s flat out playing stuff for free, but there are other ways to do it, like paying life instead of mana. Well, K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth is a seven mana 2/2 with lifelink that gets a +1/+1 counter on it whenever you cast a Black spell.
K’rrik also lets you pay two life instead of one Black mana in mana costs. This allows you to have a lot of extra mana, and all you need to do is make sure you have life, which is really easy to do when you have a big old lifelink commander.
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