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CardShark Content - Jonathan Schmidt (3/13/2004)

I am going to break down Darksteel by color, with my preference for picks sorted by common, uncommon and rare. I am going to start with black. Black was one of the better colors in MMM draft (with red being the best), because of its removal abilities. It had Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
, Irradiate
Irradiate
IrradiateSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
67
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn for each artifact you control.
, Betrayal of Flesh
Betrayal of Flesh
Betrayal of FleshSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
58
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Choose one - Destroy target creature; or return target creature card from your graveyard to play. Entwine—Sacrifice three lands. (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
, Barter in Blood
Barter in Blood
Barter in BloodSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Each player sacrifices two creatures.
, and Consume Spirit
Consume Spirit
Consume SpiritSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
Spend only black mana on X. Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.
. What black lacked in was the creature department. It had nims, Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the Vault
Disciple of the VaultSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever an artifact is put into a graveyard from play, you may have target opponent lose 1 life.
, and Pewter Golem
Pewter Golem
Pewter GolemSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Golem
Rarity:
C
Number:
227
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
1B: Regenerate Pewter Golem.
s as their main creatures. Darksteel offers a few more creatures to the black arsenal, as well as more removal. Black is probably best used as a splash color, as many of the good cards only require a single black in its mana cost.

Black Commons:
Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.

Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.

Essence Drain
Essence Drain
Essence DrainSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Essence Drain deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain 3 life.

Grimclaw Bats
Grimclaw Bats
Grimclaw BatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. B, Pay 1 life: Grimclaw Bats gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Scavenging Scarab
Scavenging Scarab
Scavenging ScarabSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Scavenging Scarab can't block.

Dross Golem
Dross Golem
Dross GolemSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Golem
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear. Affinity for Swamps (This spell costs 1 less to play for each Swamp you control.)

Burden of Greed
Burden of Greed
Burden of GreedSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
38
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Target player loses 1 life for each tapped artifact he or she controls.

Hunger of the Nim
Hunger of the Nim
Hunger of the NimSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
46
Artist:
Puddnhead
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn for each artifact you control.


Black has lots of decent commons in Darksteel. The top 4 are all quite good, and depending on how your deck is already built, the top 4 can all be interchangeable. I am a big fan of Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.
because their tempo swing can be quite good and a 2/2 for 3 mana brings back the days of Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
Block. Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.
and Essence Drain
Essence Drain
Essence DrainSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Essence Drain deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain 3 life.
are both excellent removal spells. I seem to favor the Decay a little bit more as it is an instant and is a great combat trick. Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.
, on the other hand, is more of a finisher. It can go to the dome and finish an opponent or just kill a creature, all while gaining you life. It is also easily splashable. Grimclaw Bats
Grimclaw Bats
Grimclaw BatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. B, Pay 1 life: Grimclaw Bats gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
are one of my favorite black cards for a black heavy deck, and they are often times under-drafted. Fliers are great for 2 mana. Throw in the fact its Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
-like ability and you got yourself a real flying powerhouse. Just be careful with the combat tricks so you don’t spend 8 mana and 8 life just to have it killed by a Barbed Lightning
Barbed Lightning
Barbed LightningSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
55
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Choose one: Barbed Lightning deals 3 damage to target creature; or Barbed Lightning deals 3 damage to target player. Entwine 2.
because you didn’t stack it correctly. Scavenging Scarab
Scavenging Scarab
Scavenging ScarabSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Scavenging Scarab can't block.
is a decent filler card. If you are light on creatures then throw in a Scar
Scar
ScarSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
ab. The Scar
Scar
ScarSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
ab is quite beefy and a bargain for a black common. Dross Golem
Dross Golem
Dross GolemSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Golem
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear. Affinity for Swamps (This spell costs 1 less to play for each Swamp you control.)
is probably the worst of the golems. It has fear in a format where most creatures are artifacts. The possibility of coming out early is a bonus. It is on par with the Scar
Scar
ScarSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
ab, but the Scar
Scar
ScarSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
ab is splashable and therefore not reliant on having multiple swamps in play for it to be put to good use. Burden of Greed
Burden of Greed
Burden of GreedSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
38
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Target player loses 1 life for each tapped artifact he or she controls.
is virtually unplayable, unless you are playing against an all artifact deck sporting multiple Myr Incubator
Myr Incubator
Myr IncubatorSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
212
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
6, T, Sacrifice Myr Incubator: Search your library for any number of artifact cards, remove them from the game, then put that many 1/1 Myr artifact creature tokens into play. Then shuffle your library.
s. Hunger of the Nim
Hunger of the Nim
Hunger of the NimSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
46
Artist:
Puddnhead
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn for each artifact you control.
needs to say “Instant” instead of “Sorcery” and even then it would be borderline playable.

Black Uncommons:
Murderous Spoils
Murderous Spoils
Murderous SpoilsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Destroy target non-black creature. It can't be regenerated. You gain control of all equipment attached to it.

Emissary of Despair
Emissary of Despair
Emissary of DespairSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
42
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Emissary of Despair deals combat damage to a player that player loses 1 life for each artifact he or she controls.

Screams from Within
Screams from Within
Screams from WithinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
52
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1. When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard return Screams from Within from your graveyard to play.

Nim Abomination
Nim Abomination
Nim AbominationSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
49
Artist:
Jim Murray
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the end of your turn if Nim Abomination is untapped you lose 3 life.

Scrounge
Scrounge
ScroungeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
53
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Target opponent chooses an artifact card in his or her graveyard. Put that card into play under your control.


The black uncommons are, for the most part, decent. Murderous Spoils
Murderous Spoils
Murderous SpoilsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Destroy target non-black creature. It can't be regenerated. You gain control of all equipment attached to it.
is an excellent card, one of the best uncommons in the set (save Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
). I think it is better than Betrayal of Flesh
Betrayal of Flesh
Betrayal of FleshSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
58
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Choose one - Destroy target creature; or return target creature card from your graveyard to play. Entwine—Sacrifice three lands. (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
in many ways. It costs the same, but instead of paying 3 lands to get one of your creatures back you get to steal their equipment for free. Emissary of Despair
Emissary of Despair
Emissary of DespairSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
42
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Emissary of Despair deals combat damage to a player that player loses 1 life for each artifact he or she controls.
is best when played on turn 3 (or turn 2 with a Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
, but no one plays Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
in draft, I hope). Evasion is one of the major keys to a successful draft deck, and add to that the possibility of dealing more damage every time it hits. If this guy can break through late game, then it is usually game over. The amount of artifacts in this format makes this guy deal between 5 and 7 damage, if it hits. Screams from Within
Screams from Within
Screams from WithinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
52
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1. When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard return Screams from Within from your graveyard to play.
is a situational removal card, but removal nonetheless. It stops the random myr from chump-blocking, it stops most of the Mirrodin nims, and many other creatures as well. This card can many times X for 1 your opponent, taking out 2 or 3 of their creatures, but use it wisely, don’t waste it right away on a mana myr unless you absolutely have to. Nim Abomination
Nim Abomination
Nim AbominationSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
49
Artist:
Jim Murray
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the end of your turn if Nim Abomination is untapped you lose 3 life.
is an interesting card. It can be an excellent card early on, similar to the Mirrodin sliths, but late game it isn’t that appealing. If this was Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
block, this card would be excellent. As a 3/4 for 3 would totally dominate the useless 2/2’s, but times have changed and a 3/4 for 3 isn’t all that great, but if I was looking for one more card to play, I would probably throw it in. Scrounge
Scrounge
ScroungeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
53
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Target opponent chooses an artifact card in his or her graveyard. Put that card into play under your control.
is way too situational of a card to be effective. It can get one of your opponent’s bombs if you have already dealt with it and they have to have no other artifacts in the graveyard. Not worth it.

Black Rares:
Mephitic Ooze
Mephitic Ooze
Mephitic OozeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ooze
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
Mephitic Ooze gets +1/+0 for each artifact you control. When Mephitic Ooze deals damage to a creature destroy that creature. It cant be regenerated.

Greater Harvester
Greater Harvester
Greater HarvesterSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep sacrifice a permanent. Whenever Greater Harvester deals combat damage to a player that player sacrifices two permanents.

Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.

Pulse of the Dross
Pulse of the Dross
Pulse of the DrossSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
50
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Target player reveals three cards from his or her hand and you choose one of them. That player discards that card. Then if that player has more cards in hand than you return Pulse of the Dross to its owner's hand.

Shriveling Rot
Shriveling Rot
Shriveling RotSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Choose one: Until end of turn whenever a creature is dealt damage destroy it; or until end of turn whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play that creature's controller loses life equal to it's toughness. Entwine 2B (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost)

Aether Snap
Snap
SnapSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand. Untap up to two lands.


All of the black rares are very hard to make work. They are either too situational or are too mana intensive. If you have a very deep black deck than by all means snatch up the Greater Harvester
Greater Harvester
Greater HarvesterSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep sacrifice a permanent. Whenever Greater Harvester deals combat damage to a player that player sacrifices two permanents.
, as it is a big fat creature with a Braids-like effect. Mephitic Ooze
Mephitic Ooze
Mephitic OozeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ooze
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
Mephitic Ooze gets +1/+0 for each artifact you control. When Mephitic Ooze deals damage to a creature destroy that creature. It cant be regenerated.
is the only black rare that is splashable, and isn’t that bad of a card if you have lots of artifacts. It is quite similar to the nims of Mirrodin. Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
, with the possibility of generating amazing card advantage, is really a hit or miss card. It has BBB in the upper right corner which means there is a very good possibility of it sitting dead in your hand. I wouldn’t first pick it unless you are heavy black and there is nothing else worthwhile in the pack. If it circulates the table and are playing black, then it would be worthwhile to pick it up. The Pulse of the Dross
Pulse of the Dross
Pulse of the DrossSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
50
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Target player reveals three cards from his or her hand and you choose one of them. That player discards that card. Then if that player has more cards in hand than you return Pulse of the Dross to its owner's hand.
has the ability to be good. It is kind of like coercion, but without as many options. In limited it is too hard to judge if you will have more cards in hand than your opponent. It might be an interesting sideboard card if you can pick it up late. The Shriveling Rot
Shriveling Rot
Shriveling RotSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Choose one: Until end of turn whenever a creature is dealt damage destroy it; or until end of turn whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play that creature's controller loses life equal to it's toughness. Entwine 2B (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost)
and Aether Snap
Snap
SnapSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand. Untap up to two lands.
aren’t very good. They are too situational and not really worth it. They make good 13th-15th picks though.

Of all the black cards I want to see when I open a pack of Darksteel, I think it would have to be a Murderous Spoils
Murderous Spoils
Murderous SpoilsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Destroy target non-black creature. It can't be regenerated. You gain control of all equipment attached to it.
. It is efficient, splashable, and does an excellent job. I will continue with the other articles soon, so look for them on CardShark.com


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