Standard: M12’s Vengeful Pharaoh, Mono-Black in Standard and Innistrad Preview

In this Magic the Gathering card highlight, we take a look at M12 newcomer, “Vengeful Pharaoh”.

Currently sitting at a value of about $1, I don’t expect Vengeful Pharaoh to jump in value much at all. His casting cost almost forces you to use a mono-black design, but his effects are very powerful. His utility has me intrigued – this card could be a potential lynchpin for competitive mono-black aggro. With the reprinting of Doom Blade and Deathmark in M12, the Pharaoh’s Deathtouch and graveyard ability could couple to a fairly strong anti-creature package. Zombie Infestation and Reassembling Skeleton both appear to be a decent combo with the Pharaoh – pitch them to create a token army.

Another potential mono-black aggro staple includes Tormented Soul, a solid one-drop that can help you jump to an early lead.

It’s no secret that the upcoming block is going to involve some recursion themes, and it’s the latest set with design input from Magic creator Richard Garfield (his last was Ravnica, one of the most popular sets of all time). Rumor is that black could be getting a nice boost in this block, and mono-black decks are just a few key cards away from being truly competitive again. If nothing else, few people are playing the Pharaoh and it could be a sleeper powerhouse if your opponent lacks good removal.


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