Illustrated by Sam Burley

Mono Black

Black is the colour of death, cunning, selfishness, undead and terror. Black can do almost everything the other colors can do by paying life. As black can do almost everything, it is extremely popular color and has a multitude of very different, unique commanders.

Mono Black themes

Reanimate: Illustrated by Johann Bodin


Reanimate decks brings back creatures from the graveyard straight to the battlefield. The reanimated creatures are often expensive to cast, like demons, and are complete haymakers compared to the reanimation costs.

Caged Zombie: Illustrated by Josh Hass

Zombie tribal

Zombies are first and foremost: black creatures. Mono black is the original zombie tribal colours, and later received multiple great cards in Dimir colors.

With mono black zombie tribals are fully combat focused decks with resource advantage from abusing the graveyard. With looting effects, discard and creatures dying the graveyard is zombie decks most valuable resource after the zombies on the battlefield.

Barony Vampire: Illustrated by Daarken

Vampire tribal

Vampire tribal is second most popular mono black tribal. Eternal vampire have a multitude of different commanders available and different game plans, too. One vampire tribal can focus on full combat with lord effects, other focusing on life gain and life loss and third can focus on stealing other players creatures.

Demonic Embrace: Illustrated by Sidharth Chaturvedi


The ways to discard are plenty: cycling, rummaging, end steps discard phase, to name a few. Discard decks are built around triggers from discarding, like madness and synergizes well with reanimating.

Mono Black decklists

ghoulcaller-gisa-art how to build mono black zombies

Commander deck building challenge: Mono Black Zombies

Our playgroup had a deck building challenge: we chose a color for each randomly and I ended up with black. This is how I chose and built my mono-black Zombies EDH deck.
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose

Mono black commander: Vito, lifegain and vampire tribal

Next up in my mono colored decks is black. As black can do literally (maybe not ramp?) everything by paying life or sacrificing creatures and has the best tutors in the format I wanted to restrict my options by having a strict tribal deck.

Mono Black Commanders

Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose: Illustrated by Lie Setiawan

Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose

Vito is very powerful lifedrain commander in mono black and works as half of the infinite lifedrain loop with Exquisite Blood. As a vampire and a cleric Vito also works as a great tribal card both in Vampire decks and in Cleric decks as both benefit from lifegain.

K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth: Illustrated by Chase Stone

K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth

K'rrik, Son of Yawhmoth is one of the 'blackest' commanders in EDH. It uses two of blacks arche type mechanics: pay life and gain life extremely well and in synergy. K'rrik decks can be built into any direction, but it definitely shines with lifegain.

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician: Illustrated by Mark Winters

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is very versatile mono black commander. Yawgmoth is sac outlet, creature removal, card draw and proliferate in a single card. Due to this Yawgmoth is amazing engine piece for several mono black archetypes.

Ghoulcaller Gisa: Illustrated by Karla Ortiz

Ghoulcaller Gisa

Ghoulcaller Gisa is a great example of a zombie token commander in mono black. Sacrifing a creature gives you more power and the instant speed ability makes it that much better allowing you to sacrifice a surely-doomed creature to turn it into a threat for the next turn.