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By: DeeJay, Dj Cowell
Aug 13 2014 12:00pm
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Let me start by introducing myself. I am Dj Cowell. I've been a persistent Magic: The Gathering player since the release of the hard-hitting Zendikar block, mainly playing paper magic. Me and a group of friends would meet up almost daily and test our new strategies or discuss the release of new cards. One of my friends in particular had a deft skill in making even the worst card released, standard playable in one of his "Frankenstein" decks. In fact, he would look at cards others deemed to be unplayable and took it upon himself to make a deck to prove them wrong. My favourite example was when we played a standard tournament at our local FNM, he had built a G/B deck he deemed "Sorin Ramp". Now to a seasoned MTG player, Sorin and Ramp are two things that generally don't mix, but this guy found a way. Utilizing severe ramp cards such as Viridian Emissary, Primeval Titan and Rampant Growth to cast Sorin Markov to combo into Sorin's Vengeance. Or worse still, the frustrating play we all deemed "Double Sorin's Vengeance", which he regularly managed to do, in one turn. While his deck ideas seemed Ludacris, I inherited this curse shortly after he placed second in that FNM, being beaten by a misplay on his part at the very end. Which brings me to one of my favourite cards of the set:

Waste Not 

If you haven't already marveled at this cards potential, take the time to now before we continue...

Ready? Excellent.

Now as with every card, it does have its Pros and Cons, which I'll discuss before showing a few implementations for this card in the current standard metagame.


It's only two mana. TWO MANA!

It doesn't necessarily need to be played in a mono black deck due to its single Black mana. 

It literally pays for itself, if your opponent discards that land card turn 3 due to a well-placed Black Cat, you can place a second Waste Not, absolutely free.

I think Not.

It can be the sole win condition of a deck. Those Zombie's really do add up but realistically, you only need one.

Or it can sit there on the side, giving you benefits from the odd Thoughtseize in a control deck.

Card draw is always welcome in Black.


If your opponent has no cards in hand, it's completely useless, even if your opponent is top decking, he/she will be playing that card before you get the chance to remove it. 

You can find the deck quickly running out of steam against aggro if you aren't fast enough.

If you're relying on Waste Not as a win condition and you either, don't draw it, or it gets countered, you're virtually stuck dead drawing until the next Waste Not. 

There are many other benefits and downsides to playing this card, but I want to talk about implementation.  I never really thought of discard as a standard-worthy deck type (keep in mind, I’ve only played since Zendikar) until the release of another seemingly pointless card

Shrieking Affliction




To me, this card had the potential to be something special, and I wished it was. I tried for weeks on end to make this card a standard powerhouse. At first I thought a B/R build with Rakdos's Return as the main hand killer, but I always ended up turning it into some kind of burn deck with cards like Bump in the Night and Searing Spear along with the usual Duress and Mind Rot but it just didn't click for me. So I turned to Mono Black. This is what I ended up with: 

Shrieking Affliction
4 Black Cat
4 Drainpipe Vermin
8 cards

Other Spells
3 Mind Rot
4 Shrieking Affliction
4 Altar's Reap
4 Tragic Slip
4 Duress
2 Mental Agony
3 Liliana of the Veil
2 Sign in Blood
3 Appetite for Brains
2 Stab Wound
31 cards
21 Swamp
21 cards
Shrieking Affliction



Now I know it doesn't look like much but it did win me a few games when I got the elusive "God Hand" but to me it just wasn't enough. I played with this deck regularly in the hopes the next set would give me something to work with. 

I was about to give up hope, until I took a look at the spoiler for M15. It's a core set, so me being me, I went straight to Red to see if (Thunder Bolt) was reprinted like I always do or if wizards decided to release another Thunderous Wrath-esque card that I could use in my cheap win, burn deck. Alas, though there are a few nice reds, nothing tickled my fancy so I proceeded to view the other new cards wizards had decided to set upon this earth.

It was there I stumbled upon Waste Not and instantly the fire that had almost subsided on my hopes for a discard deck had suddenly reignited like Chandra, the Firebrand.

The day the set hit MTGO, I bought 4 and set upon building this beast. 


Each card in this deck plays a very specific role in the overall goal of the deck.

Main Deck

Black Cat is a very handy creature that your opponent will Think Twice about attacking. Not only does this cute lil' cretin force a discard, it forces a RANDOM discard, which could be anything. This could mean a Zombie, mana for the bank, or a replacement draw at your opponents loss. 

Master of the Feast is an interesting one, but a must have in this deck. One of my biggest problems in early testing was ripping my opponents hand apart early game leaving them top decking, and my Waste Not becoming obsolete by turn four along with the remaining discard effects I had in my hand. Master of the Feast gives you a stable blocker/attack but also gives your opponent discard targets on YOUR upkeep. The important thing is YOUR upkeep. This means they will almost always have a target for you to discard, with the exception of Instants and Flash (Ahhhh) in order to reap the benefits of Waste Not. As soon as I started playing this card, I found the effectiveness of Waste Not to double when used properly. Also, used in conjunction with Tormented Thoughts, is a quick way to empty an opponent’s nice, full hand and reap up to five Waste Not effects at once.

Disciple of Phenax A way of hitting lands that Thoughtseize can't hit and taking a look at what you're up against. Also a handy blocker on board to protect Lily.

Mind Rot Turn two Waste Not, turn three Mind Rot can do some serious early game damage. I found most players discarded lands to mind rot, which gave me four mana to play around with. Another Mind Rot maybe? 

Shrieking Affliction Slam this down turn one and your opponent will be afraid to empty their hand... Until you force them to. An easy win condition if Waste Not isn't up for it by itself. 

Waste Not The lifeforce of the deck. Need I say more?

Liliana Vess A discard every turn, a tutor for more Waste Nots or removal, and a game-winner uber-reanimate. A must have in this deck. Zombies from Waste Not and Master of the Feast keep this pretty lady nice and safe. She actually becomes very easily castable if your opponent decides to toss a land or two on your turn.

Read the Bones A nice alternative to Sign in Blood. The scry helps immensely.

Hero's Downfall When Doom Blade isn't an option game one against Black and can take our those pesky Planeswalkers. That's right Nissa, I'm talking about you.

Thoughtseize A hugely important card in this deck. Get a Zombie on the board or draw a card, your choice at the expense of your opponents hand.

Tormented Thoughts A quick Mind Rot with Black Cat or a hand wipe with Master of the Feast, the choices are endless.

Drown in Sorrow The best board wipe in standard at the moment. Especially useful in this deck as it only kills Black Cat on your side of the board, everything else survives. And is a dead Black Cat that much of a bad thing?

Doom Blade Simple, Quick, Clean. A good ol' fashioned kill spell. Against black, side in Bile Blight, simple as. 

Swamp 22 Swamps seems like the perfect number, considering Waste Not can give you the mana in a pinch if you need it and most of the cards in the deck aren't too mana heavy. 


Bile Blight Sided in for Doom Blade against Black, or Drown in Sorrow when it's not enough.

Drown in Sorrow Two more in case of Tokens or Zoo.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel Side in against Red for lifegain and Aggro for more board presence. Takes advantage of Master of the Feast, Liliana Vess, Shrieking Affliction and Waste Not for Devotion.

Brain Maggot A must have against control. An early removal of that counter spell can mean all the difference. Also another blocker for Lily.

Mind Rot An extra one for good measure. 


Now before I close, for those of you that actually read this far, I applaud your perseverance and thank you for taking the time to read this in full. As a reward, here's a little food for thought as a bonus:

Turn 1: Hand= Swamp Swamp Swamp Shrieking Affliction Waste Not Master of the Feast Tormented Thoughts
On the play. Swamp Shrieking Affliction Go

Opponent: Draw
Temple of Abandon Go
Hand Count: 7

Turn 2: Draw Doom Blade
Swamp Waste Not Go

Opponent: Draw
Forest Voyaging Satyr Go
Hand Count: 6

Turn 3: Draw Swamp
Swamp Master of the Feast Go

Opponent: Draw
Mountain Xenagos, the Reveler Make a Satyr Go
Hand Count 5

Turn 4: Opponent Draws, Draw Thoughtseize
Thoughtseize Taking Scavenging Ooze, get a Zombie token. Swing with Master of the Feast on Xenagos, the Reveler,
Main Phase 2: Tormented Thoughts on Master of the Feast

Opponent Concedes
True Story

That should cover everything on the deck, but I'm open to questions, ideas and contradictions, just hit the comment button. Thanks for reading my first ever article I've written on here. I hope you enjoyed the read as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hopefully some of you will give this deck a go, it gives a ton of play satisfaction and it makes Waste Not very standard worthy, and utilizes it to its full, almighty extent.

Thanks again for reading, see you all on the battleground,