Tainted Æther


This is again old deck, in a sense older than “Elemental Augury”. I didn’t list this as my oldest “deck from a card” as this deck did not start from Tainted Æther. You see, I was new to Magic and – around year 2001 – I realized one can order singles of Magic cards. I ordered multiple black cards that sounded good. Mostly something like Dry Spell. (I told you I was new to Magic.) One of the cards I ordered was Tainted Æther. I put all those cards to a mono-black deck I carried with me when playing with friends.
The deck has evolved a lot then. Tainted Æther became four-of (all traded or from boosters!) Dry Spells are gone. I have added good creature control whenever I have gained some from boosters or by trading. I haven’t bought any cards to this deck. (Well, I use same tutors in all my decks so they have not been bought to this deck.) And there are even few combos. Currently deck has evolved to this:

The deck

4 x Tainted Æther
4 x Dark Ritual
1 x Curse of the Cabal
1 x Lethal Vapors
1 x Decree of pain
1 x Ensnaring Bridge
1 x Grafted Skullcap
2 x Havoc Demon
3 x Corrupt
2 x Massacre
3 x Engineered Plague
3 x Consume Spirit
4 x Seal of Doom
1 x Slaughter
1 x Smother
2 x Crippling Fatigue
1 x Demonic Tutor
1 x Vampiric Tutor
1 x Expunge
1 x Cabal Coffers
1 x Peat bog
21 x Swamp

How to play

You want to drop Tainted Æther as soon as possible, preferably turn 2 with dark ritual. When it is in play, every creature destruction in your deck (is there anything else in the deck?) is cheap land destruction. Kill opponent’s creatures so he/she has to sacrifice lands in order to get more into play. Then kill those too. You can drain opponent whenever you have nothing better to do with your mana. Cabal Coffers is awesome for that.

Want to try it? Cards you don’t need:

Anything past Tainted Æther and Dark Ritual is non-mandatory. You really need just creature removal spells (Dark Banishing & alike) and a way to kill opponent. “Your opponent sacrifices a permanent” style cards splash in very nicely and work as artifact/enchantment removal black is lacking.


• Your Tainted Æther was destroyed or you did not draw one? It’s okay, you are now playing one of the best creature control decks I have. Have fun! 😀
• Multiple Tainted Æthers are cumulative. For one creature entering the battlefield player must sacrifice as many creatures or lands as he there were Æthers in battlefield.
• Engineered plague destroys 1-toughness creatures as state based effect. Tainted Æther will trigger, but creature that entered the battlefield will be long gone before it could be sacrificed for the effect. Therefore opponent has to sacrifice yet another permanent.
• Grafted Skullcap is good if you are already having empty hand but it becomes double as useful with Ensnaring Bridge.
• Multiple drain spells double as creature removal if needed.
• Two Havoc Demons and Engineered Plague tuned to “Golem” can kill Darksteel Colossus. If opponent refuses to attack, consume the spirit of other of the demons to start the fun. 😉


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