Black has various ways to ramp up mana. However it is relatively difficult to find ways to ramp lands. However this task is not all together impossible. One of the most fun decks I have come across to date, at least for multi-player, is a deck whose General is the only General at the current time with the Landfall mechanic.
Building around the Landfall mechanic in mono-black is extremely difficult to do. You have to be willing to add in cards that may be sub par in many other decks. However these additional cards are generally what make the deck run extremely smoothly. It isn’t at all unlikely in this deck to see the General on exactly turn 4 or 5, and then to proceed to kill not just one, but two players simultaneously with the General thanks to his ability which has an interesting ability which I will get to in a moment. First however I need to cover a special note about General Damage: General Damage can only be caused by Combat Damage. As such this General’s ability, which causes life loss cannot cause General Damage as it is neither damage, nor combat damage. Now as for that ability, it reads as follows:
Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may have target player lose 3 life. If you do, put three +1/+1 counters on Ob Nixilis, the Fallen.
The beauty of this ability is that if you can find a way to make Ob Nixilis unblockable, he can easily become a 12/12 creature in less than two turns. Further, even on the first trigger, if an opponent burns out Ob Nixilis with something like a Lightning Bolt, the primary trigger still occurs. That opponent will still lose three life before Ob Nixilis is killed. However the +1/+1 counters do not get put onto Ob Nixilis until after the Lightning Bolt has resolved, thus it is impossible for the creature to survive the Bolt that way. Alternatively, if an opponent goes to burn out Ob Nixilis, and you respond by using something such as a fetchland to trigger his Landfall ability, he will survive the bolt due to the way the stack resolves.
Now, Landfall is a mechanic that requires a very specific category of mana ramp. That is ramp that instead of generating as much mana as possible, instead puts as many lands as possible into play from either the deck or your hand in either a single turn or over the course of multiple turns. So… lets take a look at some of the better cards that generate such forms of land acceleration available to Black: Continue reading