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The goal with this deck was to make a star out of a severely underused commander that Timmy players will enjoy: Kuro, Pitlord.
Important note for anyone considering playing this commander: his 9 power and ability to remove blockers makes Tainted Strike an extremely powerful weapon. I am not running it only because getting killed like that can be particularly unpleasant, but it is otherwise a perfect card.
In the early game, this deck works to ramp toward casting the commander and keeping him out. Since he requires 9 mana to play and a dedicated BBBB per turn to keep alive, this takes a lot of work. For that reason, 18 nonland cards are concerned entirely or in part with generating mana, which together with the lands makes a total of 57 out of 99. Although that sounds like a lot, it is better to be flooded than dry. Excess mana can be used for many things, not least of which is re-casting Kuro for 11, 13, etc.
During the process of establishing a mana base for the giant commander, the deck avoids harassment by means of threats, deterrents, and boardwipes.
By midgame, this deck wants to control the board with Kuro, killing creatures that attack it or otherwise pose some existential threat. To fuel this activity, it needs to gain a lot of life.
Every turn Kuro is out, it wants to attack and, preferably deal commander damage. If it has trample or swampwalk (thanks Filth), then this is fairly easy. If not, the technique is to kill all the defender's potential blockers with Kuro's ability during the Declare Attackers Step. However, in many cases your life total may be too low for this to be possible or advantageous, in which case the fact the 9/9 body becomes its main weapon. Even tapped in a case like this, Kuro acts as a decent deterrent to those who would attack you, much like Dread would.
The deck closes out games either by attacking with big creatures or by funneling tons of mana into an Exsanguinate.
You'll notice I have excluded some great black cards such as Demonic Tutor; Animate Dead; Dark Ritual; K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth; and Chainer, Dementia Master—all of which are powerful additions. Instead, I've included some fun stuff like Season of the Witch and Word of Command.
Another strategy you can use if you're okay with letting other cards steal Kuro's thunder is substitute some things for Pestilence Demon, Thrashing Wumpus, Crypt Rats, (Swarmyard,) and some more lifelink effects. Especially with K'rrik, these cards increase the power significantly and can easily win the game on their own given the amounts of mana available. (Exception: Crypt Rats's ability does not include a black mana symbol, so K'rrik can't allow you to pay life for it.)
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