Wombo Combo - Mono-Black Edition

(Dark Ritual| Art by Clint Langley)

Dead or Alive, You're Comboing With Me

Welcome back to Wombo Combo, the article series where we explore the best combo cards in EDH for each distinct color identity, with help from Commander Spellbook and EDHREC! In this edition, we will be heading into the murky swamps and hazy graveyards to examine the best mono-black EDH combo cards.

Black is the main color for several effects, including graveyard/recursion effects, destroying creatures, toughness reductions, and the extremely improtant Gravestorm effect. Combos involving mono-black cards commonly provide a variety of these effects, along with mill/self-mill, lifegain, lifeloss, discard triggers, and storm count among others. Let's hop into the swamps of Magic and see what they have to offer us!


#10: Biotransference

# of Combos: 87

Deck Inclusions: 16,554 (1.368%)

Biotransference was first introduced in the Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks, and is a great inclusion alongside some of the other Warhammer 40,000 artifact-heavy cards, such as Trazyn the Infinite or Anrakyr the Traveller. Turning your creature cards and spells into artifacts can be useful for various specific combo cards, such as Clock of Omens, Voltaic Construct and Dross Scorpion. It also creates a unique opportunity with cards such as Leonin Relic-Warder, which enables it to exile and return itself repeatedly. Biotransference has two cards that are similar in Encroaching Mycosynth and Mycosynth Lattice. Because its first ability also applies to creature spells you cast, every creature spell you cast is also an artifact, enabling for an easy way to generate some creature tokens.


#9: Saw in Half

# of Combos: 89

Deck Inclusions: 24,455 (1.572%)

Saw in Half has a very unique effect, and was introduced in none other than UnfinityUnfinity featured two different types of cards; cards that were legal in eternal formats, such as EDH, were denoted with an oval stamp at the bottom. Cards that were not legal in any format (formally known as "silver-bordered" cards in past Un-sets) were denoted with an acorn stamp at the bottom, such as the one on the bottom of Water Gun Balloon Game. Saw in Half's unique effect allows for some combo opportunities, using it on a creature such as Archaeomancer to allow the return of Saw in Half and a ritual-style card such as Dark Ritual or Cabal Ritual to your hand. Saw in Half also enables easy combo potential with Dualcaster Mage by creating tokens of it that can infinitely copy Saw in Half, and any other instant(s) or sorceries on the stack.

#8: Gravecrawler

# of Combos: 94

Deck Inclusions: 50,581 (3.016%)

Gravecrawler is a staple card in many Zombie and recursion-themed decks. The main theme behind Zombies, both inside and outside of Magic, is coming back to life from the dead, so a card like Gravecrawler makes perfect sense to bridge what we think Zombies are, and introduce that trope into Magic. While Gravecrawler's effect is very simple, it can be a huge combo asset. With the right draw of cards, Gravecrawler could go infinite with Phyrexian Altar in the first couple turns of the game. Alternatively, you can use either Rooftop Storm or Pitiless Plunderer to cover the mana to cast Gravecrawler, and then use your favorite sacrifice outlet, such as Altar of Dementia or Nantuko Husk.


#7: Bone Miser

# of Combos: 113

Deck Inclusions: 29,324 (1.748%)

Bone Miser is a common inclusion in discard-heavy decks, as an easy way to get extra value out of discarding cards. Discarding can be useful for recursion-style cards, or for other cards like Syr Konrad, the Grim. Bone Miser's third ability allows for some unique opportunities with dredge cards such as Dakmor Salvage or Life from the Loam. Its first and second abilities allow for combo opportunities using cards such as Tortured Existence, Dryad Arbor and Escape Protocol. If discarding cards is a main action in your deck, Bone Miser might be the easiest card to add for some quick comboing opportunities.


#6: Necrotic Ooze

# of Combos: 122

Deck Inclusions: 17,681 (1.054%)

Necrotic Ooze allows for the easy combination of abilities your creature cards have. This allows for a host of easy combos using cards that may not have much combo potential otherwise. One such example is to use Asmodeus the Archfiend's ability to actually draw seven cards instead of exiling them. Another is to use Phyrexian Devourer's ability to put near-infinite +1/+1 counters on Necrotic Ooze, without needing to sacrifice it, and then use those counters using Walking Ballista's ability to end the game. If you like tokens, use Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker's ability to get infinite Necrotic Ooze tokens. Since Necrotic Ooze checks all graveyards, it's also possible that your opponents can unknowingly cause their own defeat. No matter what your deck tries to accomplish, there is certainly a use for Necrotic Ooze to help you win the game.


#5: Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

# of Combos: 181

Deck Inclusions: 945 as commander (#800); 50,199 as card (2.993%)

Our first and only commander-eligible card on the list, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed decks are heavily centered around recurring non-Human creatures. Giving the creatures undying allows them to come back stronger for round two, and allowing for a second set of ETB and LTB triggers. This recursion allows for easily recurring a card such as Walking Ballista, who can remove the counter placed by Mikaeus, and deal damage to itself to offset the +1/+1 boost Mikaeus gives. You can also alternate Undying and Persist with cards like Puppeteer Clique or Putrid Goblin. If Persist cards aren't your thing, you can instead alternate Undying and flying counters using Luminous Broodmoth instead!


#4: Conspiracy

# of Combos: 185

Deck Inclusions: 7,586 (0.452%)

Conspiracy is an underused combo card with the very simple purpose of overriding the creature types of your creatures. Enforcing a particular creature type onto your creatures is effective for cards who care about a specific creature type when making tokens, such as Bishop of Wings, Rotlung Reanimator or Turntimber Ranger. Since it also applies to creature cards and spells, you can use that to your advantage with cards like Realmbreaker, the Invasion Tree or The World Tree to put all creature cards from your library onto the battlefield. While overriding the creature types of your creatures could be a downside depending on the deck, Conspiracy can be a game changer when paired with the right cards.


#3: Sacrifice Outlets

# of Combos: 500+ (Viscera Seer | Carrion Feeder)

Deck Inclusions: 182,054 (Viscera Seer - 11.283%); 101,381 (Carrion Feeder - 6.045%)

Sacrifice outlets are possibly the most useful combo cards, and black has a few very popular ones including Carrion Feeder and Viscera Seer, among many others. The majority of combos requiring recursion and/or the death of creatures require a sacrifice outlet to facilitate them. The added benefit of these sacrifice outlets (scry 1 for Viscera Seer and +1/+1 counters for Carrion Feeder) adds an additional bonus to help either find the cards you need to finish the game, or to have a very large creature to attack and kill an opponent with. Their individual effects also provide some unique synergies. For example, Viscera Seer (or the more expensive Woe Strider) can be turned into an easier back side of Jerren, Corrupted Bishop by adding Eligeth, Crossroads Augur alongside it. Carrion Feeder allows for easy combo potential with Animation Module, provided you add a Pitiless Plunderer or Mana Echoes to cover the mana needed. Speaking of Pitiless Plunderer...


#2: Pitiless Plunderer

# of Combos: 330

Deck Inclusions: 115,892 decks (7.268%)

Gimme dem dabloons, matey! If you are looking for a mana fix for your death-heavy decks, look no further than Pitiless Plunderer. The Treasure tokens it makes can allow many different combo lines, such as the aforementioned Carrion Feeder + Animation Module, or an easy two-card combo using Chatterfang, Squirrel General. Pitiless Plunderer can also take the place of Phyrexian Altar in providing mana, allowing you to use any sac outlet you wish to add that desired effect, such as Blasting Station to get infinite damage or Altar of Dementia to get infinite mill and/or self-mill. Even if you are unlucky and cannot achieve a combo with Pitiless Plunderer, creating a free Treasure token every time one of your creatures dies is a strong effect that can easily help you recover.


#1: Mortuary

# of Combos: 489

Deck Inclusions: 2,436 (0.145%)

Our #1 card on this list also happens to be one of my picks for the most underused combo cards in EDH - Mortuary. Mortuary is a rockstar card for getting back creatures that die by being able to draw them again later on. Mortuary is a bit of a counterintuitive card in recursion decks, because Mortuary removes the creature cards from your graveyard, which is the opposite of what most recursion decks want. However, Mortuary still allows recursion, just in a more roundabout way. Using cards such as One with the Multiverse or Bolas's Citadel, you can essentially turn any creature card into a Gravecrawler. You can also use cards that cause you to draw a card when a creature dies, such as Liliana, Dreadhorde General or Moldervine Reclamation to easily put the creature cards back into your hand so you can cast them again. Gyruda, Doom of Depths also utilizes Mortuary by having a clone of Gyruda (like Phantasmal Image) enter the battlefield, die due to the legend rule, and then go back on top of your library to then recur itself. Similar to Enduring Renewal which was featured in Wombo Combo - Mono-White Edition, if you're looking for a sleeper card to surprise your friends with, Mortuary is the answer to your (undying and persisting) prayers.


Honorable Mentions

If none of the above cards tickle your fancy, here are some other notable mono-black combo cards that didn't quite make the top 10:

  1. Skirge Familiar - one of the most popular discard outlets, and a catalyst for many discard combos.
  2. Zulaport Cutthroat and Blood Artist - very common cards in death-heavy decks, and can allow for the counteracting of life loss from cards such as Carnival of Souls.
  3. Priest of Gix - its status as a mana-neutral creature allows it to pay for itself to be cast over and over again.
  4. Bolas's Citadel - allows you to continuously play off the top of your library, perfect for cards like Mortuary or Golgari Thug, or just casting a bunch of cards quickly.
  5. Corpse Dance - a repeatable piece of recursion allowing for you to recur creatures over and over again, and get an infinite storm count while doing so.

With that, this concludes the mono-black edition of Wombo Combo! Thank you for reading and be sure to look out for the next edition! Also check out Commander Spellbook for more EDH combos, and to submit your own combos to be featured on our site!

Read more:

Wombo Combo - Mono-Green Edition

Too-Specific Top 10 - Sac Tokens

Ethan has been an avid EDH player since 2014 with the release of Core Set 2015. In 2021, he joined the Commander Spellbook project as an editor, and later a head-editor and moderator, and has assisted in the curation, updating and/or uploading of over 10,000 unique EDH combos. In his spare time, Ethan loves coming up with new jank EDH lines, playing video games, and going for long walks.

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