Hatred Primer by Oscar Tan aka Rakso, Manila June 23, 2000

Beyond Dominia: Type One Primers: Hatred Primer by Oscar Tan aka Rakso, Manila

(note: This is a primer for casual Hatred, so put in the Mox Jet on your own, if you have it)

Black weenie was the second deck I played with, largely because it was easy to construct from Fallen Empires commons. I remember the look on the face of an opponent who had just spent five thousand pesos to buy a bunch of dual lands when a deck of mainly commons and Hypnotic Specter consistently beat him (of course, that was a week before Mind Twist was restricted).

With the printing of Hatred in the Rath block, however, black weenie took a combo twist, and was especially good against combo decks in an environment without Force of Will. Decks without Hatred were similar in structure and became the Suicide Black decks, with high-power creatures from Sarcomancy and Carnophage to Lurking Evil and Flesh Reaver.

Hatred is a weak choice in Type I for two reasons: 1) Every color except green has a commonly-played answer against the second-turn kill (Contagion, Swords to Plowshares, Force of Will, Lightning Bolt), and 2) the black creatures are very weak against other creatures. Hatred is useless even in its original role as an inconsistent deck that could race combo decks, since Necrodecks with heavy discard and Phyrexian Negator can do this more consistently.

Still, one cannot deny that second turn kills are fun...

Rakso's Hatred Deck (as of Urza's Saga)

Creatures (20)
4 Hypnotic Specter
4 Carnophage
4 Sarcomancy
4 Dauthi Slayer
4 Dauthi Horror

The "Combo" (12)
1 Demonic Tutor
3 Demonic Consultation
4 Hatred
4 Duress

Utility (6)
3 Cursed Scroll
3 Contagion

Mana (22)
4 Dark Ritual
4 Mishra's Factory
1 Volrath's Stronghold
13 Swamp

The combo
The players in my university were never able to understand the value of Demonic Consultation, so when I brought this deck out, they raised their eyebrows. Then, against a green Elf player, I got the following game:

Me: Swamp, Sarcomancy, done
Him: Forest, Elf, done
Me: Swamp, attack with Sarcomancy
Him: No, I'm not blocking.
Me: You sure?
Him: Why would I block? Sheesh.
Me: Demonic Consultation
Him: Ha, ha, that funny card.
Me: Naming Dark Ritual. Ritual-Ritual-Hatred for 18.
Him: What the...

This is the ideal game, barring a Fog powered by Elvish Spirit Guide. Of course, when not playing against green, it is advisable to go for Duress first instead of gambling. (It is used instead of Hymn to Tourach precisely because you need to see the opponent's hand.)

Demonic Consultation
Demonic Consultation greatly improves what is a very inconsistent combo. Do not be afraid to aggressively use the first Consult, as you have a very redundant deck. The cards you lose may well be on the bottom of the library, and you win instantly if you put together the Hatred combination.

On the second Consult, go ahead if you have three or four copies of the target card remaining, take a thought if you have two, and go for it if you have one only when very desparate. Do not forget to examine the cards removed; for example, you will need to note if you have no more Contagions or Cursed Scrolls in the library.

Kaervek's Spite is a popular alternative finisher, especially with decks that work with larger creatures or creature-boosters. It was left out of this deck due to Demonic Consultation consistency requirements, however (Consults work best with 3 or 4 of each card).

The creatures
This deck type needs creatures that have good evasion and have power at least equal to their casting cost. This makes the most powerful black shadow creatures (Dauthi Horror and Slayer) givens.

Hypnotic Specter is a 3-mana flyer (expensive for this deck), but nothing beats the best black creature ever printed. Dark Ritual + Hypnotic Specter is still one of the best combos in Type I.

Sarcomancy and Carnophage are very mediocre creatures, but their 1-mana cost has great synergy with Dark Ritual (the funny Dark Ritual + 3-Zombie draw). Remember that Carnophages are Zombies for Sarcomancy purposes (do use Unglued Zombie tokens, by the way).

When it looks like you do not need (or cannot play) the combo, you will be relying on an overrun by your cheap creatures. If you think a Ritual-Specter or Ritual-creature-creature-creature play is better than putting together the combo, you go for it. Overextending oneself is less of a concern in this deck than dealing damage before your opponent can mount a defense, so swarm him (unless he has something like Earthquake or Wrath of God and you can afford to play creatures two at a time).

Note that the deck has very minimal disruption and utility. One Kird Ape can slow the deck down by quite a lot. Once you are on the defensive with this deck, you are generally lost. Even if the opponent has blockers, see if you can deal damage by attacking en-masse. Even if he kills one attacker a turn, you may be able to get something through later with a smaller Hatred or finish with Scroll damage.

If you end up facing larger creatures and all else fails, at least try to use Contagion and Cursed Scroll to kill them after trading damage with your smaller creature.

Old-school creature alternatives such as Black Knight, Erg Raiders and Order of the Ebon Hand/Knights of Stromgald are less useful in the deck because they are easily blocked and the cheap Zombies are more useful against creatureless decks. The deck also has less mana to support pump-knights.

Skittering Skirge is a possible alternative due to its flying, but make sure to play it last. Lurking Jackals is also an interesting alternative. Phyrexian Negator could possibly replace Hypnotic Specter, but note that it is dead against decks with burn or blockers. Larger "suicide" creatures (Flesh Reaver, Hidden Horror, Lurking Evil) are used mainly with creature enhancers and Kaervek's Spite.

Enhancing your creatures
Some decks use spells that increase the power of the deck's creatures, the most popular being Bad Moon. Another classic choice is Unholy Strength (Ritual-Erg Raiders-Unholy Strength was sometimes unstoppable in my high school five years ago), and it now has cousins in Twisted Experiment (which can kill an opposing 1-toughness creature) and Parallax Dementia.

When using local enchantments, remember that killing an enchanted creature gives an opponent card advantage, so do not, in general, place more than one enchantment on a creature (unless it is your only shadow and he has no creaturekill, for example).

Other notes
Contagion is good because the fast kill of the deck means it has to worry with weenie blockers, if any, when the window for the combo is open. Cursed Scroll is included to give the deck a chance in the mid-game, and Consult for it immediately when your hand has emptied and the game is beginning to stall.

The Mishra's Factories in the deck give it an extra push if needed in the mid-game. They can actually be Crystal Veins, which I believe are superior to City of Traitors in the deck, to aid the combo, but I wanted to play with my Legends set. :)

Note that Wastelands and Strip Mine are not used because of the quick nature of the deck; there are simply no lands that are a large concern in the first three turns. (Technically, there's Glacial Chasm, but I won't get into that)