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CardShark Content - Beatdown Bedford Crenshaw (6/16/2005)

Continuing on with the series, here’s my review of black cards in Saviors.

Akuta, Born from Ash
Limited: B- Constructed: B- Overall: C+
Haste creatures outside of red always need to be considered. Discarded from your hand, this can be a quick creature. Discard cards from your opponent’s hand, and it’s a reliable beat machine. All and all, not bad, but it can’t just be thrown into any deck. Why did this have to be a Legend?

Choice of Damnations
Choice of Damnations
Choice of DamnationsSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Text:
Target opponent chooses a number. You may have that player lose that much life. If you don't, that player sacrifices all but that many permanents.

Limited: C+ Constructed: C Overall: B-
Usually, giving your opponent the choice is not a good idea. Look at all the red “punisher” cards in Odyssey block. This isn’t an exception, but Johnnies will like trying it out.

Death Denied
Death Denied
Death DeniedSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Return X target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand.

Limited: B- Constructed: C+ Overall: C
People prefer to see cards back into play, not just in the hand, Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.
notwithstanding. Great for long out battle, with lots of creature battles, which is why it stands out in Limited.

Death of a Thousand Stings
Death of a Thousand Stings
Death of a Thousand StingsSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have more cards in hand than each opponent, you may return Death of a Thousand Stings from your graveyard to your hand.

Limited: C- Constructed: D Overall: D-
Yuck! Very expensive with little effect and conditional returning. Forget
Forget
ForgetSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mike Kimble
Text:
Target player chooses and discards two cards, then draws as many cards as he or she discarded in this way.
this. Stick to recurring Bile Urchin
Bile Urchin
Bile UrchinSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
61
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Bile Urchin Target player loses 1 life.
with Soulshift instead.

Deathknell Kami
Deathknell Kami
Deathknell KamiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying 2: Deathknell Kami gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Sacrifice it at end of turn. Soulshift 1 (When this is put into a graveyard from play, you may return target Spirit card with converted mana cost 1 or less from your graveyard to your hand.)

Limited: C Constructed: C Overall: C-
Too slow to be effective as anything but Limited filler. Soulshift keeps it playable. Despite what the initial reports stated, this is not DeathSMELL Kami; that one lives in my bathroom after I go to Taco Bell after midnight.

Deathmask Nezumi
Deathmask Nezumi
Deathmask NezumiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Shaman
Rarity:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As long as you have seven or more cards in hand, Deathmask Nezumi gets +2/+1 and has fear.

Limited: C+ Constructed: C+ Overall: B-
I’m not convinced that this cycle will work, as colors other than blue and sometimes white like to get rid of cards in hand. However, it makes a decent finisher if you have 7 cards, so who knows; I may have to reevaluate my rankings.

Exile into Darkness
Exile into Darkness
Exile into DarknessSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have more cards in hand than each opponent, you may return Exile into Darkness from your graveyard to your hand.

Limited: B Constructed: C Overall: B-
Removal in Limited is always good, especially if it’s repeatable. That said, I don’t see it in Constructed, but who knows.

Footsteps of the Goryo
Footsteps of the Goryo
Footsteps of the GoryoSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to play. Sacrifice that creature at end of turn.

Limited: C Constructed: B- Overall: B+
This will be sweet in B/R Dragon decks. This could be tourney worthy card in conjunction with huge hasters like Akroma or Rorix. If you use the Oni of Wild Places
Oni of Wild Places
Oni of Wild PlacesSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
U
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
Haste At the beginning of your upkeep, return a red creature you control to its owner's hand.
Vanguard avatar, which gives all your creatures haste, this card’s value improves drastically. Time will tell.

Ghost-Lit Stalker
Limited: C- Constructed: D Overall: D-
The only reason to play this is to have a 1/1 Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
for 1cc to trigger Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
craft abilities. Bile Urchin
Bile Urchin
Bile UrchinSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
61
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Bile Urchin Target player loses 1 life.
is much better, as the activation costs for the Stalker are ridiculous.

Gnat Miser
Gnat Miser
Gnat MiserSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Shaman
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Each opponent's maximum hand size is reduced by one.

Limited: C Constructed: C+ Overall: B-
I like the idea of the card, but you need it in multiples. That will be too hard to do in Limited, and probably the same story in Constructed. In Vanguard, it will really punish your opponent if they chose avatars with hand sizes penalties.

Hand of Cruelty
Hand of Cruelty
Hand of CrueltySet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)

Limited: B- Constructed: B Overall: B
Black’s needed a replacement for Black Knight
Black Knight
Black KnightSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white, first strike
. First Strike is better than Bushido, but this was still a needed card.

Infernal Kirin
Infernal Kirin
Infernal KirinSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Kirin Spirit
Rarity:
R
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, target player reveals his or her hand and discards all cards with that spell's converted mana cost.

Limited: B Constructed: B Overall: B
Ooooh, I like. 3/3 flyers for 4cc in Black is always nice, and the spiritcraft trigger works great against control decks, as long as you carefully choose your mana curve of spirits. Collect this card early; you should see it increase in value.

Kagemaro's Clutch
Kagemaro's Clutch
Kagemaro's ClutchSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -X/-X, where X is the number of cards in your hand.

Limited: B+ Constructed: B- Overall: C+
Black always like ways to destroy black creatures, and it’s easily splashable. And it’s common? Expect this to get early picked a lot in booster drafts.

Kagemaro, First to Suffer
Kagemaro, First to Suffer
Kagemaro, First to SufferSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Kagemaro, First to Suffer's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand. B, Sacrifice Kagemaro: All creatures get -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your hand.

Limited: B- Constructed: C+ Overall: C+
I’m not sold on its usefulness. If it’s a big critter, it kills all your other creatures. If small, it’s not worth playing. Very marginable.

Kami of Empty Graves
Kami of Empty Graves
Kami of Empty GravesSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
4
Toughness:
1
Text:
Soulshift 3 (When this is put into a graveyard from play, you may return target Spirit card with converted mana cost 3 or less from your graveyard to your hand.)

Limited: C- Constructed: D Overall: D+
Weak creature and average soulshifting make this a mediocre creature.

Kemuri-Onna
Limited: C+ Constructed: C- Overall: C
Too slow to be effective. If it was a 1/2 for 1BB it would be much better.

Kiku's Shadow
Kiku's Shadow
Kiku's ShadowSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Text:
Target creature deals damage to itself equal to its power.

Limited: B Constructed: B+ Overall: B+
This will kill most creatures, and it’s cheap. The Double-black cost hurts it in Limited, as does the fact that it’s an uncommon, but it should be a staple in Constructed for a long while.

Kuon, Ogre Ascendant
Kuon, Ogre Ascendant
Kuon, Ogre AscendantSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Monk
Rarity:
R
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
At end of turn, if three or more creatures were put into graveyards from play this turn, flip Kuon, Ogre Ascendant. ----- Kuon's Essence Legendary Enchantment At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices a creature.

Limited: C+ Constructed: C+ Overall: C+
A solid creature, but it’s hard to flip in Constructed and, if flipped, can be hard to manage as it could hurt you.

Kuro's Taken
Kuro's Taken
Kuro's TakenSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Samurai
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) 1B: Regenerate Kuro's Taken.

Limited: C+ Constructed: B- Overall: B-
A ratty Drudge Skeleton, with gaining Bushido at the cost of an additional 1 to regenerate. I like it in Tribal, and maybe block Constructed.

Locust Miser
Locust Miser
Locust MiserSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Shaman
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Each opponent's maximum hand size is reduced by two.

Limited: C+ Constructed: C Overall: B-
Gnat Miser
Gnat Miser
Gnat MiserSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Shaman
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Each opponent's maximum hand size is reduced by one.
’s sergeant? Too slow to have a home except maybe in Vanguard.

Maga, Traitor to Mortals
Maga, Traitor to Mortals
Maga, Traitor to MortalsSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Maga, Traitor to Mortals comes into play with X +1/+1 counters on it. When Maga comes into play, target player loses life equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it.

Limited: C Constructed: D+ Overall: C
A triple black mana cost will hurt it, but it’s a decent addition to a Limited deck.

Measure of Wickedness
Measure of Wickedness
Measure of WickednessSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Text:
At the end of your turn, sacrifice Measure of Wickedness and you lose 8 life. Whenever another card is put into your graveyard from anywhere, target opponent gains control of Measure of Wickedness.

Limited: C Constructed: B- Overall: B+
Hard to work with in Limited, and dubious Constructed value, but Johnnies will love breaking this card.

Neverending Torment
Neverending Torment
Neverending TormentSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Text:
Search target player's library for X cards, where X is the number of cards in your hand, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library. Epic (For the rest of the game, you can't play spells. At the beginning of each of your upkeeps, copy this spell except for its epic ability. You may choose a new target for the copy.)

Limited: B Constructed: C+ Overall: B-
I like this Epic more than the others. With its relative cheapness, the propensity to hold extra lands, and low deck counts in Limited, it should be a bomb there. But it’ll prove too slow for Constructed.

One with Nothing
One with Nothing
One with NothingSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Text:
Discard your hand.

Limited: D- Constructed: C+ Overall: B
This card would seem a better fit in Odyssey block, with how it helps Threshhold and Madness. Many hate this card, especially for being a rare, but with deck manipulation, it could prove awesome in reanimator decks. And it’s for cards like this that I altered my grading system.

Pain's Reward
Pain's Reward
Pain's RewardSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Text:
Each player may bid life. You start the bidding with a bid of any number. In turn order, each player may top the high bid. The bidding ends if the high bid stands. The high bidder loses life equal to the high bid and draws four cards.

Limited: C+ Constructed: C- Overall: B
This will normally be a “win more” card, only usable when you should already win. But this should prove a blast to play in multiplayer. This card could never be in a base set, as R&D would think bidding to be too complex for newbies.

Raving Oni-Slave
Limited: C+ Constructed: C Overall: B-
I think this will prove to be too risky to play, especially with Volcanic Hammer
Volcanic Hammer
Volcanic HammerSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Volcanic Hammer deals 3 damage to any one creature or player.
and Kiku’s Shadow around. In a Seshiro (Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
s) deck for Vanguard, this should prove good. If Black suddenly gets a bunch of 1cc demons, then this card’s grades will go up.

Razorjaw Oni
Razorjaw Oni
Razorjaw OniSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
U
Power:
4
Toughness:
5
Text:
Black creatures can't block.

Limited: B- Constructed: B- Overall: C+
This should be useful in black vs. black games, and 4/5 for 4cc with a workable drawback is always worth consideration. For some reason I can’t help but think this card has already been done somewhere.

Shinen of Fear's Chill
Shinen of Fear's Chill
Shinen of Fear's ChillSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Shinen of Fear's Chill can't block. Channel - 1B, Discard Shinen of Fear's Chill: Target creature can't block this turn.

Limited: C- Constructed: C Overall: C
Marginal creature, marginal Channel
Channel
ChannelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Until end of turn, you may add colorless mana to your mana pool at a cost of 1 life per point of mana. These additions are played with the speed of an interrupt. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this loss of life.
ability, makes for a rather marginal card.

Sink into Takenuma
Sink into Takenuma
Sink into TakenumaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Swamps you control to their owner's hand. Target player discards a card for each Swamp returned this way.

Limited: C+ Constructed: C Overall: C+
Too slow to be effective, but it is a way to improve your Wisdom effects, so it can’t be totally discarded, so to speak. Might prove amusing if you can go mono-black in a booster draft.

Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.

Limited: B- Constructed: B Overall: B
I like the Stampeding Wildebeest cycle. Solid black creature, and it combos well with “187” effects like Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.
. You can also bounce back Ninjas to add to Ninjutsu madness.

So far, black looks like the best color in SOK, but we still have two colors to go. Next week’s review should blue you away. [Editor’s note: I would like to humbly apologize for this incredibly bad joke. Bedford has been poked with a pointed stick as punishment] If you want to rant about my ratings for One With Nothing, that’s what the link below to the forums is for.


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