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By: Flippers_Giraffe, Simon Smith
Jul 19 2009 11:02am
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Your probably reading this and wondering who on earth is this I've never heard of them before. I'm known in game as Flippers_Giraffe and use the same name on the boards as well, I hardly ever post but it doesn't mean I'm a noob in the world of MTGO. I read every body's post's on PureMTGO and on the Wizards forum every day so I'm always up to date on whats going on.

I'm a casual player at heart and this will be reflected in my articles I will mainly be presenting the game from the casual side and will also write some budget articles, these will include humour as well. I believe in having fun when I play and this will be reflected in my articles so watch out! I wont be basing my decks on netdeck's or bringing you decks that cost an arm and a leg unless I can give you an alternative version that plays just as well.

So what formats will I talk about everything and anything I play most formats online Classic, Ext, Std, Classic Tribal, 100 Singleton, Kaleidoscope, Block I even try Pauper from time to time but never do very well. The only thing I don't currently do is play multiplayer or events apart from the odd draft.

My first article will be a short one so I can get a feel on how you like it and what you think needs improving from your feedback, please leave a comment good or bad I can take it!!!

For my first article for PureMTGO I'm going to be showing you a mono Black Kaleidoscope build I made for the casual room, did it fare well? Read on to find out.

Card choices

When trying to run a mono deck in a format that's made to support multi coloured decks it's not an easy feat. Let's have a look at what we have to play with.

Possible Removal

Cankerous Thirst

A very expensive removal spell for 4 mana and we would only get half the benefit

Murderous Redcap

An excellent removal creature that comes back for more with persist


This is the best we are going to get with mono Black (soon to be Exile target creature from the game)

All in all there's hardly any removal available so we will have to go down the aggro route and find some interesting creatures that can take a beating if needed.


Ashenmoor Gouger   

A good solid beater for three mana, but unable to block if needed

Ashenmoor Liege

If we run the Gouger we should also run the Liege but it is subject to most removal with toughness one, also it won't be great in the beat down

Avatar of Discord

This is a great card in the right deck but losing too card's would slow are tempo

Demigod of Revenge

 An all round class card excellent P/T for the mana and they can bring themselves back from the graveyard

Murderous Redcap

 An excellent removal creature that comes back for more with persist

Creakwood Liege

 This is an interesting card from turn five we could be pumping out 3/3 worms

Deity of Scars

 A solid beater but not much else, would have been nice if it had trample

Sapling of Colfenor

 Not a great ability but she is indestructible which is a bonus

Ghastlord of Fugue

 This is a very powerful card , unblockable and makes your opponent discard if he connects

Glen Elendra Liege

 Your basic liege to pump blue/black creatures

Inkfathom Infiltrator

 I included this one, it's not very powerful but is unblockable

Oona, Queen of the Fae

 A great 5/5 flier, has a nice ability which is going to generate Faeries vs a lot of 2/3 colour decks

Sygg, River Cutthroat

 A nice card for two mana, if we include the other unbockables we could be getting an extra card each turn

Deathbringer Liege

 This liege has an amazing ability if we are going to include lots of black and white hybrid cards

Stillmoon Cavalier

This is a great card, pro Black and White and more abilities than you can shake a stick at

Divinity of Pride

 If we are going for the above two this would finish off very nicely, once we hit 25 life it goes from a 4/4 to an 8/8

Restless Apparition

 A nice all round pumpable creature three mana to go from 2/2 to 5/5, not bad.

Other spells, Enchantments and Artifacts

I won't add anything here as there isn't much to choose from


This is where the deck becomes very affordable compared to most K-scope decks as you only need swamps nothing else required. Because we are only running swamps it does give us an advantage just on that alone as our lands don't come into play tapped.

The Deck

I'm only going to run Demigod of Revenge or Stillmoon Cavalier as both are around 5 tickets each and having four of each isn't affordable to a lot of casual players. 

I went with Demigod of Revenge as this card is also very good in classic right now for decks that don't require Duals and he laughs in the face of Force of Will but that's for another article. The deck build I choose to run is....



4 X Demigod of Revenge

3 X Unmake

3 X Murderous Redcap

2 X Memory Plunder

2 X Sapling of Colfenor

2 X Helm of the Ghastlord

3 X Creakwood Liege


4 X Stalker Hag


2 X Sygg, River Cutthroat

21 X Swamp

2 X Wasp Lancer

1 X Leechridden Swamp

2 X Oona, Queen of the Fae

1 X Shizo, Death's Storehouse

4 X Inkfathom Infiltrator


2 X Cemetery Puca


2 X Ghastlord of Fugue



 (pic=Inkfathom Infiltrator) 

 Note: I would recommend running four Unmake if you have them, I only have three at present.

 Ok so on with the duels to see how the deck plays.

Game 1 vs sam5087

We both take a mull to 6, my starting hand now consists of 2 Swamps, Sapling of Colfenor and 3 Stalker Hag's could be good if they are playing swamps or forests. Turn 2 we draw a Creakwood Liege nice, all are creatures in hand are Green and Black so far just need another land to start dropping. Turn 3 sees me get a 3rd Swamp while sam has 2 lands in play so far ( Llanowar Reborn and Sacred Foundry ), down goes the first Stalker Hag. On sam's turn 3 he plays a Selesnya Guildmage and puts a +1/+1 counter on from his Llanowar Reborn and plays a Selesnya Sanctuary returning the Llanowar Reborn to his hand. Turn 4 we start attacking with the Stalker Hag and play another. Turn 5 see's the 4th swamp for the Creakwood Liege boosting both of the stalker's to 5/4's, we send them in for the attack one is blocked by the Guildmage who pumps himself so they both die. sam's turn 5 see a Sunhome Enforcer enter play with a +1/+1 from the replayed Llanowar Reborn. My turn 6 see's the first Worm token enter play and I draw another Creakwood Liege looking very good now. The Stalker hits for 7 damage (ouch). Turn 6 sees a concession from sam.

Not a bad game I was lucky to have that many Black/Green creatures in hand and to draw 2 Creakwood Liege's I was on a roll. 

Wins 1

Losses 0

Game 2 vs AJ_Impy

Sadly as I'm writing this the replay for this game is missing from the client I remember I won but not much else as it was the day before I wrote the article, what's going on there Wizards?

Wins 2

Losses 0

Game 3 vs djkensai


I start with a good hand 3 swamps Murderous Redcap, Memory Plunder, Wasp Lancer and Stalker Hag. I'll go straight to djkensai's turn 3 I have  Stalker Hag and 3 swamps in play, djkensai has  Seaside Citadel, Jungle Shrine, Fire-Lit Thicket and plays Knotvine Mystic. This has me slightly worried as on djkensai's next turn he will have access to 5 mana. On my turn I don't take the risk so hit it with Murderous Redcap and attack with the Stalker Hag. djkensai comes back with another Knotvine Mystic and Reflecting Pool. I draw Unmake and attack with both my creatures and they don't get blocked as expected. I hold the Unmake to see what djkensai plays next turn and cast the Wasp Lancer. djkensai plays an Exotic Orchard and brings down Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund I know I still have Unmake in hand but only 2 spare Swamps and take 7 to the head, but this is only turn 5. I'm dreading what I'm going to be facing over the next few turns, it's not looking good (at this point djkensai is on 12 life and I'm on 13).  I could have blocked with Wasp Lancer but wanted to keep it back for the attack next turn. My turn 6 I go all out for the attack leaving my swamps untapped to play Unmake on the dragon next turn, this takes djkensai to 4 life. djkensai's turn 6 Hellkite Overlord comes into play. I'm so lucky I have Unmake in hand otherwise it would have been game over, I take out the Hellkite and go for the win next turn.

That was a very close game considering I'm only playing 3 Unmake's I was lucky. djkensai has a very nice deck there very fast indeed I was very concerned to see Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund attacking on turn 5.

Wins 3

Losses 0



Game 4 vs Coexistence

From the start we have 3 swamps, Stalker Hag, Ghastlord of Fugue, Sygg, River Cutthroat and Wasp Lancer. Turn two I bring down Sygg, River Cutthroat and have drawn another swamp and Oona, Queen of the Fae, Coexistence has a Treetop Village and Fire-Lit Thicket in play.  Coexistence plays a Wooded Bastion and takes out Sygg with Naya Charm. That's not great for me looks like I could be playing against a heavy removal deck. My turn 3 I draw Demigod of Revenge and drop down Stalker Hag and another swamp. Coexistence on turn 4 plays a Reflecting Pool and plays a Bloodbraid Elf cascading into Kitchen Finks and attacks with the Elf which I trade for the Stalker Hag. At this point it looks like I'm playing a top quality deck, can Mono black hold up its own let's see. Turn 4 I draw Inkfathom Infiltrator and play Wasp Lancer. Turn 5 Coexistence attacks with Kitchen Finks and plays Steward of Valeron (life points me 17 Coexistence 22). On my turn I attack back with Wasp Lancer and play 2  Inkfathom Infiltrator's one of which I have just drawn. I'm hoping I don't see a Jund Charm next turn. Turn 6 I drop to 12 life taking the attack from Finks and the Steward and Coexistence plays the dreaded Oversoul of Dusk, I sense the end is near. This is where I make the biggest mistake that cost's me the game I draw my 5th swamp and play Demigod of Revenge I add up he has 10 points of damage that he can deal next turn from Finks, Steward and Oversoul so go for a full out attack taking Coexistence down to 7 life. On his turn 7 he animates his Treetop Village and I hit my head on the wall, how could I have missed it, If I held back a creature to block I could have won on the next turn, he goes all out and takes me down.

Lesson learned always look out for man lands, I may have lost but it was an excellent game, this is one of the reasons I play magic it's not all about winning its about the experience and having fun along the way. (side note I did play Coexistence later on that day and did manage a victory that time with the help of Creakwood Liege).

Wins 3

Losses 1 

Game 5 vs Lord Erman

I start with 2 Swamps, Sapling of Colfenor, Demigod of Revenge, Sygg, River Cutthroat, Creakwood Liege and Unmake. I know I'm going to be up against a good player as turn one he plays Polluted Delta, on my turn two I play Sygg and draw another swamp, at the end of my turn Lord Erman's sacs the Delta for a Godless Shrine. Lord Erman plays Flooded Strand and passes. Turn 3 I draw another swamp and attack with Sygg, Lord Erman sacs the Strand for Sacred Foundry. On his turn he plays Reflecting Pool and drops a Kitchen Finks into play I take it out with Unmake, not sure if this was a good choice. Turn four I draw another swamp and play Creakwood Liege and send in Sygg for 2. In Lord Erman's turn he plays Blood Crypt tapped and takes out my Liege with Lightning Helix which takes him back to 20 health. At this point I start getting a bad feeling about this game only two non land cards played and they both have given back life, this could be a very bad match up. Ok so it's my turn 5 I draw Helm of the Ghastlord and play it on Sygg making him 3/5 (not bad) and send him in, Lord Erman discards Overgrown Tomb and I draw Inkfathom Infiltrator due to Helm of the Ghastlord at the end of turn I draw an extra card from Sygg as I dealt 3 damage and draw Creakwood Liege. Lord Erman untaps in his turn but doesn't play a card. My turn 6 I draw Murderous Redcap and play Demigod of Revenge and attack with him and Sygg, Sygg gets hit by Terminate and Demigod goes through to deal 5. (life points me 20 Lord Erman 12, I'm not doing too bad). Lord Erman passes on turn 6 nothing cast again and no lands dropped, could it be mana screw? Turn 7 I draw another swamp and make a mistake I attack with Demigod of Revenge when I should have cast Creakwood Liege before the attack phase. I pay big time for this mistake as Lord Erman casts Hit Hit/Run and I have to sac the Demigod. I then drop Creakwood Liege and Inkfathom Infiltrator and pass. Lord Erman plays Temple Garden tapped on his turn and takes out Creakwood with Lightning Helix. We are both now at 15 life. I draw another Inkfathom Infiltrator and play it and attack. On Lord Erman's turn 8 he plays Pillar of the Paruns and then cast's Void taking out both my infiltrators, that was not good. This is starting to turn in to a struggle at this point to keep a head. Turn 9 I draw Murderous Redcap so now have two in hand and play Sapling of Colfenor, Lord Erman plays Loxodon Hierarch taking him back to 17 life. Turn 10 I draw and play Ghastlord of Fugue and attack with Sapling, at the end of my turn Ghastlord is taken out by Terminate. It all went down hill from here, I took out a Kitchen Finks with Murderous Redcap but took a beating from Loxodon. On turn 11 Lord Erman plays Broodmate Dragon which I have no answer for and its game over. Broodmate Dragon


Pure and simply out played in this game.

Wins 3

Losses 2

Well thats it for now I hope you enjoyed the article let me know what you think?

Should I have played Stillmoon Cavalier and Divinity of Pride instead of Demigod of Revenge and Murderous Redcap?

If you fancy playing against the deck look me up online Flippers_Giraffe, I'm always happy to have a game.


Flippers_Giraffe's picture

No idea where the image went for the Inkfathom Infiltrator in the deck list it was showing when I submitted the article, Many apologies.

Ehmmm deity of scars HAS by Anonymous (not verified) at Sun, 07/19/2009 - 12:01
Anonymous's picture

Ehmmm deity of scars HAS trample...
Nice article and nice deck. I don't think the deck is the most powerful choice (it is good mostly thanx to unmake and demigods that are better in other decks) but I'm very pleased to see people not running those stupid 4cc manabases in kaleidoskope. It was born as a good casual format, now it is just a bad extended format. Why did they ban anathemancer... whyyyyy!?!?!?
I'd try a more BR way with gougers and the rest. However the deck would climb in price.

Nice start! As a player, by Lord Erman at Sun, 07/19/2009 - 14:41
Lord Erman's picture

Nice start!

As a player, every article about Kaleidoscope makes me happy as they help this young format to grow and get more attention.

Now a few notes about the deck: If it has to be mono black then I think that there are a couple of ways to go:

1- You can build an Orzhov-ish deck with Edge of the Divinity & Stillmoon Cavalier & Deathbringer Liege. But if you're playing those cards then why not simply add white and play Mortify too for example?

2- Or you can build a Golgari deck with lots of Wither creatures, Sapling of Colfenor and Deity of Scars. But the same question as above: If it is Golgari, then why not green too for Putrefy and Maelstrom Pulse?

3- Or you can mix the best cards. And if you are avoiding Stillmoon Cavalier because of price issues, then I would suggest something like this:

24x Lands

4x Oona's Gatewarden (no persist for that Kitchen Finks)
3x Sygg, River Cutthroat
4x Wasp Lancer
4x Crackwood Liege
4x Murderous Redcap
4x Voracious Hatchling (you have no chance in this format without some form of life gain)
4x Demigod of Revenge

4x Unmake
3x Gaze of the Gorgon (okay it's not Terminate but you said it has to be mono black!)
2x Memory Plunder (hopefully a Terminate this time!)

At least this would be what I would try first.

Now another thing: The layout of the article must improve. And by layout I mean two things actually:

1- Use this link for your decklists: http://jamuraa.com/pure/deck_new.php

2- Try using paragraphs. The part where you talk about the game you played against that jerk called Lord Erman(!), doesn't look good. It's like a big block of text. Paragraphs make reading easier.

Other than those, nice start and welcome aboard!


hmm by Paul Leicht at Mon, 07/20/2009 - 04:07
Paul Leicht's picture

I somewhat agree with 1&2 but I can see why no Putrefys and Maelstrom Pulses which have dropped slightly but not significantly in price. Same with Mortify (I own none of the above cards.) I can see that becoming a hardship if you must have those cards to compete. I thought K-Scope was supposed to be playable on a slim budget.

I agree with the rest of your comments LE with the additional:
Are = Our. A common problem with us writers: Homonyms. Spellcheckers don't catch it and a casual reading might not either.

I was expecting it to be longer. Perhaps something about the impact of k-scope on the casual player. How does this format encourage people to experiment and try new things? What is most particularly exciting about it.

Final thought: I built a few monocolored K-scope decks for the contest (in May) but didn't really have time to think them through and test them. A friend who pointed me to the contest in the first place mentioned the idea so that was the first place I went looking. Any other interesting deck ideas come across your brain while making this? Please elaborate if so.

Thanks for sharing and keep writing!

AKA Winter.Wolf on MODO

At present K-Scope isn’t very by Flippers_Giraffe at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 05:32
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

At present K-Scope isn’t very budget friendly at all, most decks will set you back a small fortune and that's just with the lands. I didn’t run a total for my deck maybe it's something I should have included.

Yes there were a few issues in the article where I used the wrong spelling of a word, which has been noted. I'm not naturally a writer so it’s something for me to keep an eye on.

To be honest I didn’t think of writing about the impact the format has on casual. I've been playing since we had the first acknowledgment of the name of the format and the banning of Glittering Wish, before the format was added on MTGO. It doesn’t seem that new to me anymore, if I wrote an article back then I would probably have added a section on this.

In regards to other decks I did build a mono white deck but never played it, I was going to use it for another article but decided not to as it would be similar to this one. If anyone would like me to write an article for mono white let me now I could try a mono deck for the other four colours in one article. It's not something I had planned, but plans are made to be broken.

I don't play K-scope mainly by paul7926 at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 06:00
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I don't play K-scope mainly because of the expensive mana base. I do wonder however if that particular problem might have been made less painful by the inclusion of Anathemancer.

Some sort of penalty for running non basics might have kept in in check but it's immediate banning means that will not happen.

I guess it being a BR card means that it would have warped the format.

If by Warped by Paul Leicht at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 07:05
Paul Leicht's picture

You mean everyone felt obliged to play it then it seems so. Given time maybe people would have started not running it but the fact that it was so prevalent on the competing end of things means the card hit the b/r list ...imho there are other cards that would do well on that list (a certain red green elf comes to mind) but what do I know? :)

Anathemancer did cause a big by Flippers_Giraffe at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 07:19
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

Anathemancer did cause a big threat to the whole format in general. The format is like an extended version of what prismatic ended up as. You need a lot of money to compete. If you turn away the people running all the duals then the format would have died early on.

You need the mana base to include the good cards usually covering most colours. I wanted to show that this isn’t the case at this point in time. It's still affordable to play as a casual player you just need to limit your colours.

My only concern is how it’s going to be supported in the future. If the new block is going to be very mono coloured based, from what I've heard so far this may be true. Then there will not be many new cards entering the format for a while. Could this kill it I wonder or would Wizards open the gates to allow classic cards in?

Everyone has the ability to by Paul Leicht at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 07:10
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Everyone has the ability to write, but it is a skill that needs exercise like any good muscle group. And reading one's own work for mistakes is ALWAYS harder than reading someone else's work. Anyway I don't know if you should devote enough time to write an article on all possible mono builds but perhaps in the future when doing another such deck tech type article you could run through a synopsis of good mono strategies (if such actually exist.)

What date was our game? I'll by AJ_Impy at Sun, 07/19/2009 - 15:54
AJ_Impy's picture

What date was our game? I'll see if I can dig up the replay.

Thanks for the replys 1). by Flippers_Giraffe at Sun, 07/19/2009 - 17:03
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

Thanks for the replys

1). Deity of Scars HAS trample - I totally missed that on the card when I looked at it, my attention must have been pulled down to the other ability with the counters.

2). Lord Erman I wanted to keep the deck mono for a number of reasons the first to keep it cheap for casual players and the second as a deck building challange for myself to see if it could be done.

I'm going to take a look at the deck list you provided the Voracious Hatchling looks interesting for sure, I need to get my forth copy of some of the other cards.

The article issues I'm going to have resolved for my next article. I'd not seen the deck list builder before, I'm going to have a play now.

In regards to the huge paragraph it didnt look that bad before but I was on a much bigger screen than I'm looking at it on now and your right it's very bad.

3). AJ I think the game was on the 11/07/09 it's possible it could have been the 12th. We had two games that day it was the second.

Couldn't have been the 12th, by AJ_Impy at Mon, 07/20/2009 - 14:33
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Couldn't have been the 12th, I was offline for half the 11th through to late on the 13th. Looks like it's missing from my archive as well, unfortunately.

Nice Article by Anonymous (not verified) at Mon, 07/20/2009 - 00:53
Anonymous's picture

Nice article, I always love deck tech posts especially outside of the norm STD/EXT/Classic.

I do think though that you might have missed a few good cards like Nip Gwyllion, Nightsky Mimic, Mourning Thrull, and Debtors' Knell.

I run a mono black K scope deck that is actually all black/white and yet I run no plains.

Creatures (28)
4x - Nip Gwyllion
4x - Nightsky Mimic
4x - Mourning Thrull
4x - Deathbringer Liege
4x - Stillmoon Cavalier
4x - Restless Apparition
4x - Divinity of Pride

Removal (4)
4x - Unmake

Enchantments (6)
4x - Edge of Divinity
2x - Debtors' Knell

22 Swamps

I've never taken this deck into a tourney but its still fun to play when I drop into the Casual room. It does lack removal and I have toyed with playing Memory Plunder to snach up a Terminate or Pure/Simple or Maelstrom Pulse etc. I've also messed around and cut the mana in half to plains/swamps so that I can play Tidehollow Sculler and it plays a bit better but again its not mono-black anymore.

Thanks again for the article,


That's a very nice build, I by Flippers_Giraffe at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 05:03
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

That's a very nice build, I would give this ago. I'm lacking the main cards at present though, the Liege and the Stillmoon's.

Out of interest do you get much play out of Debtor's Knell, I did look at using it but the mana cost put me off.

Knells are great late-game by AJ_Impy at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 07:22
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Knells are great late-game cards: If you get to the point where you reach a late-game stalemate, it will win you the game if unanswered. It doesn't do anything on its first turn, however.

Debtors' Knell by RagMan17 at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 15:26
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As a rough estimate I'd say I don't make the mana 7 out of 10 games, of those 7 I would say that the game ends with Knell in hand maybe twice.

So it hoses me 2 out of 10 games, and yet it's castable in roughly 3 out of 10 games, however it's probably a game winner in only 1 out of those 3 times (figuring the other 2 I got the mana and was about to die anyways, and the other I got the mana and was about to win anyways so Knell was a mute point).

I'm not much of a tourney player and not even a serious deck builder so there are probably half a dozen better cards to use but when I do get Knell out its alot of fun and not something your opponent was expecting in the late game.


(+): I genuinely enjoyed by Anonymous (not verified) at Mon, 07/20/2009 - 08:25
Anonymous's picture

(+): I genuinely enjoyed reading this -- who would have thought that mono black could make a home here?

(-): As someone who proofreads heavily as part of his job, I have to say that three typos in one sentence is pretty brutal. ("This is a great card in the right deck but losing too card's would slow are tempo"

mmm by Paul Leicht at Wed, 07/22/2009 - 01:35
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but as I said, it is not easy to peruse one's own writings and find errors. Painful is the word I'd use. And as he said he doesn't write much.

I liked the article the by Anonymous (not verified) at Mon, 07/20/2009 - 10:26
Anonymous's picture

I liked the article the format was a little rough though. Although they are strictly better in both green/black the Hag Hedge-Mage can be ok just for the x2 swamps, but being able to retreave a Demigod from the grave for next turn can turn a game around.

Hag Hedge-Mage is a nice by Flippers_Giraffe at Tue, 07/21/2009 - 05:08
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

Hag Hedge-Mage is a nice card, If I was running a Black/Green Golgari deck it would have been an auto include. Just for the discrad from the swamps though I dont think its worth it.