I've played a lot of mono black. Including Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed
for a while with non-infinite loops with Victimize
and Living Death
(usually involving Kokusho and Gray Merchant). I also looped Profane Command
with XHD. I think my experience was a little toned down from where you're going, but, you could easily find yourself powered up with these game plans.
Where to begin
I would sort out your wincons first (even before picking your general). That part's pretty easy, the ones I used in a non-infinite loop-style deck are above (plus graveyard hate so no one else is doing the same thing to you on the back of your cards), and you can find your own (with sacrifice outlets and something like Twilight's Call
I think a big mana style deck would be different. If you're going for Torment of Hailfire/Exsanguinate style decks, I might consider a different general from Xiahou Dun. Like, if you want big mana, maybe Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
(with maindecked Ashnod's Altar
) or a draw-oriented Kagemaro, First to Suffer
control pile. Alternatively, you can have a big mana outlet in the command zone with Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
or Maga, Traitor to Mortals
, the latter of which is just kind of a fancy fireball in the command zone.
Mostly, I would want my general to shore up some weakness in the deck (Xiahou Dun being a strong recursion piece, Kagemaro being a board wipe, etc.)
Once you have wincons (and maybe your general) sorted out, you're going to want to find room for the deck to be good. Answers, draw, acceleration, and ways to find your ways to win before you die or otherwise enable them is what to do here. I find these slots tend to be the same in each monoblack; lots of monoblack players will play Hero's Downfall
, Erebos, God of the Dead
(or other wipes).
In terms of abiding by your restrictions with the looping style deck, it's a matter of exclusions. You'll probably want to leave out stuff like Ashnod's Altar
, Carnival of Souls
and Pitiless Plunderer
, or you might go infinite by accident. Even something innocuous like Pawn of Ulamog
might result in near-infinite games. If that's okay with you, and it seems like enough pieces to be fair, you could include a couple (I like Pitiless Plunderer for this, because you need something else to sacrifice guys with; you need to have Pitiless, a sac outlet, Living Death, and Xiahou Dun and a handful of creatures to loop Living Death).
I think the big mana decks are more complicated because you can't just win a game with Torment of Hailfire; you really need a lot of mana. I never really went this route so I'd appreciate others chiming in, but, I think you can probably get there with Extraplanar Lens
, Gauntlet of Power
, Caged Sun
, Crypt Ghast
and Nirkana Revenant
. Cabal Coffers
, Cabal Stronghold
, and maybe even Magus of the Coffers
. Alternatively, maybe some kind of Yawgmoth's Will
(plus Magus of the Will
and a set of Dark Ritual
type cards could get there, but you'd really be leaning on YW.
But, other than that, I think big mana decks will have the same things as other monoblack decks: Hero's Downfall, good draw/answers/acceleration, etc.