• Magic: The Gathering
  • Magic: The Gathering Online

Which game do you want to buy from?

How to Buy at a Glance

  • 1. Search for items
  • 2. Purchase via PayPal or CC
  • 3. Receive items in the mail
    (usually in less than a week!)
Want Magic prices from CardShark.com on your Mobile device? - Try the Decked Builder app

Drafting M10 - Black - Luke Collins (9/22/2009)

Coming to the last color in my series of articles, Black is, I feel, the ´´best´´ color in terms of raw card power. However, I feel that it is actually quite weak as a color. This is because White suffers the same paradox of powerful cards that necessitate strong color commitment as White, only to a much higher degree. 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.
and Tendrils of Corruption
Tendrils of Corruption
Tendrils of CorruptionSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
136
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Tendrils of Corruption deals X damage to target creature and you gain X life, where X is the number of Swamps you control.
demand high commitment to Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
s to be good, and the vast majority of Black's strong Common and Uncommon cards demand commitment to the color and synergy with ´´undead´´ creatures like Vampires, Zombies and Skeletons.

Black is further hobbled by the fact that its best common (Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
) is highly splashable and that most of its common-level creatures are inferior to similarly priced creatures in other colors. It makes up for this by having very strong uncommons and rares, but again these generally require a very stiff color commitment. As such, Black tends to be very schizophrenic about how it goes into a deck. Often it's a minor support color, providing one or two splashed creatures and spells. When it is the primary (or even solitary) color for a deck, though, it really shines, and the strength of its strong cards make up for the mediocrity of its bad cards. It's further helped by the fact that it has very few genuinely unplayable cards, and it also has access to both card draw AND removal, something no other color has access to.

For those of you who've been keeping track, recall that I use a very harsh grading system with A for bombs and other first picks, B for very solid cards, C for ´´mass´´ cards, D for cards that are barely playable, F for unplayable cards, and S for cards which are built for the sideboard or may be very situational.

Acolyte of Xathrid
Acolyte of Xathrid
Acolyte of XathridSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
83
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
{1}{B}, {T}: Target player loses 1 life.
- Black has received a lot of unexceptional one-drops since Wizards decided that White should have the best small creatures and Red should be a strong second. The Acolyte follows a long line of unexceptional small men that Black runs out of necessity. With no attack power and an ability that ties up two mana, it can't effectively do damage until the mid and late game, which defies the point of costing B. The fact that Onyx Goblet
Onyx Goblet
Onyx GobletSet: Shards Of Alara
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
81
Artist:
rk post
Text:
T Target player loses 1 life.
was barely playable when it cost 2B and didn't require mana to activate doesn't speak well for the Acolyte. As it is, she's a 23rd card at best, largely included to teach new players about the ´´black makes players lose life´´ mechanic. - D

Assassinate
Assassinate
AssassinateSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
95
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Destroy target tapped creature.
- The second best removal spell in black and a strong contender for the second best kill spell in the set, Assassinate
Assassinate
AssassinateSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
95
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Destroy target tapped creature.
is extremely strong in a format where the vast majority of the creatures attack or tap every turn. While its nature as a sorcery lowers its power a little by preventing you from killing a creature the moment it attacks, it's still extremely strong. The fact that it can target Black creatures as well is very useful in the mirror match as well. - A

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
- Due to a lack of good two drops and a strong tendency for black to go it alone, I think that 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
is slightly more powerful than White Knight
White Knight
White KnightSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from black, first strike
, if only because it is the sort of creature Black is otherwise severely lacking in M10. The fact that it is immune to most of the good removal in the set (it's black and can't be targeted by Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
and it's pro-white so it can't be targeted by Pacifism
Pacifism
PacifismSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Robert Bliss
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
) is also key. That doesn't make it a bomb or even a near bomb, but if you've decided to run heavy black it's a very strong early drop. - B

Bog Wraith
Bog Wraith
Bog WraithSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wraith
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Swampwalk
- In years past, the Wraith was actually a reasonably high-value card, because the ´´measuring stick´´ for the format was Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
, and the Wraith was a Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
with possible evasion. Now she's gone down considerably in value, but she's still very playable as a mid-level maindeck card that can block and trade and, in the mirror match, really mop up. She's not good enough to get excited about, but I'd pick her over other generic creatures. - C

Cemetery Reaper
Cemetery Reaper
Cemetery ReaperSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
R
Number:
87
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Other Zombie creatures you control get +1/+1. {2}{B}, {T}: Exile target creature card from a graveyard. Put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield.
- Hands down the best Lord in draft, because he creates his own minions, and they're all battle-sized 3/3s. Yes, he needs guys to be dead in order to work, but in Draft you pretty much do nothing but trade early on and the fact that this guy can target your opponent's graveyard is very useful, allowing you to get rid of their best recursion targets. While not Black's best card in Limited he is very strong since a new 3/3 every turn can get out of hand very quickly. - A

Child of Night
Child of Night
Child of NightSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Ash Wood
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
- While definitely not Black's best common, Child of Night
Child of Night
Child of NightSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Ash Wood
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
is by far Black's best common creature. Two power for two mana is hard to come by in Black, but where she really shines is with Lifelink
Lifelink
LifelinkSet: Magic 2010
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Enchant creatureEnchanted creature has lifelink. (Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life.)
. The early game is dominated by two-mana, two-power creatures in M10 draft, and Child of Night
Child of Night
Child of NightSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Ash Wood
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
allows you to get a quick damage advantage while gaining ´´free´´ life. She will come in and do a little fighting and then trade, but I find she generally ticks me up 4-6 points before dying. Two mana for a 2/1 and four life is a great deal. - A

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.
- 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.
is, like a lot of Black's cards, very situational and very dependent on you having a heavy commitment to the color. If you see one early, then draft good black and see it late, then it's probably a sign you should shift into heavy (or even mono) black, since it is of course very powerful both as creature removal and a black Fireball
Fireball
FireballSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Fireball does X damage total, divided evenly (round down) among any number of targets. Pay 1 extra mana for each target beyond the first.
. The problem is that unless you are very heavily committed to swamps it will only do 2-3 damage and thus not be worth it. - S

Deathmark
Deathmark
DeathmarkSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
54
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Destroy target green or white creature.
- The most efficient (mana-wise) kill spell in M10, it of course is limited to being a color hoser. But don't sell this short! Black lacks large creatures and often has trouble fighting White's early game, and Deathmark
Deathmark
DeathmarkSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
54
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Destroy target green or white creature.
is so cheap that it allows you to kill a creature without severely disrupting your tempo, since you can usually kill a guy and cast a guy on the same turn. Pick this highly if you know you will go with Black, it's one of your better sideboard cards. - S

Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic TutorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Rick Farrell
Text:
Search your library for a card, and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
- In past core sets, Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic TutorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Rick Farrell
Text:
Search your library for a card, and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
was alternately a very good card or a very bad card depending on what you could tutor for. The games were very slow so you usually ended up drawing what you needed in a long stalemate and the Tutor often proved to simply accelerate the inevitable. My experience in M10, though, shows that it's a lot faster and so the Tutor can be very important, especially if you have a bomb you know will win you the game. It can also make up for bad draws, and I've even used it to fetch a land after missing a few drops. It's not black's best card, but it can help you get as much. - B

Disentomb
Disentomb
DisentombSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
- It's Raise Dead
Raise Dead
Raise DeadSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Bring one creature from your graveyard to your hand.
with a new name. In the old core set, Raise Dead
Raise Dead
Raise DeadSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Bring one creature from your graveyard to your hand.
was an important late-game card since it allowed you to resurrect a dead bomb or some mid-game guys in the late game so that you could continue the creature stalemate. Now what with big splashy creatures and lots of spot removal, I see Disentomb
Disentomb
DisentombSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
as a bit of a downer since it's rare that you'll be able to pull something up that's still game relevant. It's not that it's a bad card, it's just that the vast majority of the time, your targets will be from earlier parts of the game's development and thus too small to be relevant. Still worthwhile, though. - C

Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
- Black's best common. Good luck getting these, as people will go out of their way to splash for them. Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
kills about 75% of the creatures in M10 (it can't kill black creatures or creatures with Protection or Shroud) for a mere two mana. Hands down the best common in Limited, it's the reason that Black fields the most power even if a lot of its cards are still mediocre. - A

Dread Warlock
Dread Warlock
Dread WarlockSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
94
Artist:
Daarken
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Dread Warlock can't be blocked except by black creatures.
- Seeing as there are so few artifact creatures in M10 I don't know why he couldn't have just had Fear
Fear
FearSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target creature cannot be blocked by any creatures except black creatures and artifact creatures.
, but this new and slightly more powerful (albeit less creature type relevant) Severed Legion
Severed Legion
Severed LegionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
166
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)
is still quite powerful and quite relevant. In most games he'll be a Black Phantom Warrior
Phantom Warrior
Phantom WarriorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion
Rarity:
U
Number:
85
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Phantom Warrior is unblockable.
, hitting your opponent for two a turn no matter what they do. While certainly not a bomb, he's one of Black's stronger creatures, definitely almost as strong as Child of Night
Child of Night
Child of NightSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Ash Wood
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
and even slightly better in truly aggressive black decks. - A

Drudge Skeletons
Drudge Skeletons
Drudge SkeletonsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Skeletons
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Regenerates.
- This guy really reads ´´B: target creature is blocked this turn.´´ Drudge Skeletons
Drudge Skeletons
Drudge SkeletonsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Skeletons
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Regenerates.
has been around for years and it's always one of the more important cards for Black's aggressive strategy. It's honestly not that great of a card, but Black's creatures are almost always very offensive in nature, and the cheap, regenerate-able Skeletons ensures that there's always someone at home to stand in the way of that Cudgel Troll
Cudgel Troll
Cudgel TrollSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Troll
Rarity:
U
Number:
174
Artist:
Jesper Ejsing
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
{G}: Regenerate Cudgel Troll. (The next time this creature would be destroyed this turn, it isn't. Instead tap it, remove all damage from it, and remove it from combat.)
again and again and again. Also, who doesn't love the new art for these guys? I haven't seen art this good for 'em since the 5th edition illustration of them overwhelming some poor Samurai-looking dude. - B

Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
- Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
is surprisingly uninteresting in Limited since the vast majority of the bombs are creatures. However, Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
is still important because it is very cheap and can be used to pro-actively prevent removal spells from being played. A lot of people like to play it maindeck, but I tend to leave it in the sideboard and bring it in against decks with a lot of White, Red or Blue. Those three colors have lots of tricks and removal, and the fact that I can Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
them out on the first turn is very useful. I'm not saying you should run it sideboard, but I find that unless I'm looking for a slot to fill, I'd usually rather have a creature. It's still exceedingly strong, though, and the ´´look at their hand´´ part can be a game-breaker if you know you will be making tough decisions. - B

Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
- Disentomb
Disentomb
DisentombSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
was all right, but Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
is just awesome. Alone, he can bring back a man without costing a card so you get a little card advantage, and in multiples he can set up an infinite recusion loop that allows you to throw him into the fray over and over again. While he usually costs too much for you to play what you returned, the fact that he generates card advantage makes him much better than Disentomb
Disentomb
DisentombSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
. - A

Haunting Echoes
Haunting Echoes
Haunting EchoesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Remove all cards in target player's graveyard other than basic land cards from the game. Search that player's library for all cards with the same name as cards removed this way, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
- In Limited, you will generally only have one or two copies of each card in your deck, and your graveyard will generally only end up with ten or twelve cards by the end of the game (if that). So Haunting Echoes
Haunting Echoes
Haunting EchoesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Remove all cards in target player's graveyard other than basic land cards from the game. Search that player's library for all cards with the same name as cards removed this way, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
is never worth it, since it does nothing to affect the Battlefield and it rarely mills your opponent's deck at all. Don't be tempted to run it if you're also running Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
, even then you'll really just empty your opponent's graveyard, making it a very expensive Ashnod
Ashnod
AshnodSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
1
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
+1
Toughness:
-8
Text:
Whenever a creature successfully damages you, destroy it.
's Tomb. This is a Constructed card, designed to punish graveyard recursion decks and assist milling decks. - F

Howling Banshee
Howling Banshee
Howling BansheeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
99
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
FlyingWhen Howling Banshee enters the battlefield, each player loses 3 life.
- Black ends up being third-best in Flying (White is best with Blue being second) but Howling Banshee
Howling Banshee
Howling BansheeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
99
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
FlyingWhen Howling Banshee enters the battlefield, each player loses 3 life.
is at least worth what you pay for. Yes it's annoying that you get hit too, but Black demands aggression and Howling Banshee
Howling Banshee
Howling BansheeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
99
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
FlyingWhen Howling Banshee enters the battlefield, each player loses 3 life.
gives that in spades. She hits your opponent for three out of the gate and she can kill or trade with most of the other Flyers, going down only to Angels, Dragons, Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
s, Air Elemental
Air Elemental
Air ElementalSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying
and Snapping Drake
Snapping Drake
Snapping DrakeSet: Starter 1999
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
without help. - B

Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic SpecterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying An opponent damaged by Specter must discard a card at random from his or her hand. Ignore this effect if opponent has no cards left in hand.
- As shown above with the Warlock, three mana for two evasive power is really strong in limited. The fact that the Specter eats away at your opponent's hand at random makes it incredibly powerful, since often it can kill bombs before they are ever cast. While certainly not invincible and too large to survive combat with any other worthwhile flyer, removing even one opposing card at random before he trades out is often worth it. Once I had him attack into my opponent and rip out a Kalonian Behemoth
Kalonian Behemoth
Kalonian BehemothSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
188
Artist:
Daarken
Power:
9
Toughness:
9
Text:
Shroud (This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities.)
(recall that it's a 9/9 with Shroud) before later trading with a Pegasus
Pegasus
PegasusSet: Anthologies
Color:
White
Type:
Token
Rarity:
U
Number:
89
Artist:
Mark Zug
. The Specter is just great in Limited. - A

Kelinore Bat
Kelinore Bat
Kelinore BatSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Dave Kendall
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
- More expensive than Stormfront Pegasus
Stormfront Pegasus
Stormfront PegasusSet: Magic 2010
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Pegasus
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
and less tough than Wind Drake
Wind Drake
Wind DrakeSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
106
Artist:
Zina Saunders
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
, the Bats are out there to remind everyone that Black gets shafted when it comes to fliers. It's not a bad card, of course, and you'll want to run them as you can, but they come out later than the other good fliers and they die to anything else in the air. - C

Liliana Vess
Liliana Vess
Liliana VessSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Liliana
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+1: Target player discards a card. -2: Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. -8: Put all creature cards in all graveyards into play under your control.
- I honestly think that Vess is the least powerful of the Planeswalkers in Limited, since by the time she comes out (turn 5) your opponent has probably already cast their bomb, and even if not they usually have enough of a hand left to plow ahead otherwise. She's still very strong, especially if you have good bombs she can tutor for, but she's just very dependent on the rest of your deck being very strong. Her Super Ability usually only brings in a bunch of small and now irrelevant guys as well, though when she lets you steal your opponent's deceased Angel or Dragon it ends up being all worth it. - A

Looming Shade
Looming Shade
Looming ShadeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shade
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Vincent Evans
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Looming Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
- Yet again, another card that demands you go heavy black. Black lacks big men, and so this inflatable monster ends up being very relevant in the late game since he can often grow to be the biggest man on the field and either deal lots of damage or trade with much of the opponent's team. He's very mana intensive, though, and in general he just ends up being an un-aimed 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.
, where you sink mana into him in order to have him trade with one or two opposing creatures. - C

Megrim
Megrim
MegrimSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Whenever any opponent discards a card, Megrim deals 2 damage to him or her.
- It comes out during your already very clogged three-drop and it only does damage if you've got good discard. The only repeatable discard in the deck is Liliana Vess
Liliana Vess
Liliana VessSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Liliana
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+1: Target player discards a card. -2: Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. -8: Put all creature cards in all graveyards into play under your control.
, and seeing as your opponent can just play the card during their turn instead of discarding it, Megrim
Megrim
MegrimSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Whenever any opponent discards a card, Megrim deals 2 damage to him or her.
quickly becomes irrelevant. It'll do two or four damage a game if you're lucky. Generally it does none. - F

Mind Rot
Mind Rot
Mind RotSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Your opponent chooses and discards two cards from his or her hand. (If your opponent has only one card, he or she discards it.)
- I used to feel very ambivalent about Mind Rot
Mind Rot
Mind RotSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Your opponent chooses and discards two cards from his or her hand. (If your opponent has only one card, he or she discards it.)
in the core set because the games were slow and usually the Rot didn't get anything relevant. However, the curve is tighter now and the set is much smaller, and so the Rot usually does a lot of damage, especially when cast on turn four or five when they are holding on to a bomb and waiting to get it out. It's not good enough to include in multiples since it turns into a dead card rather rapidly, but it's not terrible and you should run one or two for the midgame. - C

Mind Shatter
Mind Shatter
Mind ShatterSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player discards X cards at random.
- I find this usually to just be an expensive Rot, coming out on turn four or five to clear out what's left of their hand. Sometimes it can be devastating (especially since they can't choose what they discard) but usually it just clears out whatever combat tricks or late game bombs they've been holding on to. It's also a dead card in the late game. I think it's about on the same level as Mind Rot
Mind Rot
Mind RotSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Your opponent chooses and discards two cards from his or her hand. (If your opponent has only one card, he or she discards it.)
, since in order for it to be better it must also cost much more, and thus come out later. - C

Nightmare
Nightmare
NightmareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying Nightmare's power and toughness both equal the number of swamps its controller has in play.
- When playing mono-black this guy comes out as a 6/6 Flying creature making it the 2nd biggest thing in the sky. Its high cost really demands that you be playing almost nothing but swamps to get the most out of it, but at 4/4 or higher it can fight very well and at 6 or higher it can kill a Baneslayer Angel
Baneslayer Angel
Baneslayer AngelSet: Magic 2010
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
M
Number:
4
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying, first strike, lifelink, protection from Demons and from Dragons
and live to talk about it. Very huge and very hard to deal with, Nightmare
Nightmare
NightmareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying Nightmare's power and toughness both equal the number of swamps its controller has in play.
is one of Black's best creatures in Limited. - A

Relentless Rats
Relentless Rats
Relentless RatsSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
U
Number:
58
Artist:
Thomas M Baxa
Text:
Relentless Rats gets +1/+1 for each other creature named Relentless Rats in play. A deck can have any number of cards named Relentless Rats.
- Why oh why can't this be a Common? I mean seriously Wizards, you take the ONE card in the WHOLE game that you can have more than four of, and you put it at Uncommon, ensuring that no matter how many times you reprint it, it will still cost about a dollar a copy, thus any worthwhile deck with it will start out costing $30-$40. Are they afraid that new players will be too attracted to it and start running Relentless Rats
Relentless Rats
Relentless RatsSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
U
Number:
58
Artist:
Thomas M Baxa
Text:
Relentless Rats gets +1/+1 for each other creature named Relentless Rats in play. A deck can have any number of cards named Relentless Rats.
decks? These guys are only a ´´bargain´´ once there are three or more of them in play, and one Maelstrom Pulse
Maelstrom Pulse
Maelstrom PulseSet: Alara Reborn
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
92
Text:
Destroy target nonland permanent and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent.
can wipe out a whole deck of 'em. Oh and he sucks in limited since he's a 2/2 for 3, obviously. - D

Rise From The Grave - Zombify
Zombify
ZombifySet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
was definitely better in Constructed, but this guy is probably better in Limited. Most Limited games end up hinging on one or two bombs, and the ability to ´´steal´´ a bomb from your opponent's graveyard (as well as resurrect your own) is very powerful. The high casting cost isn't that big of a deal since most of the time you won't have anything worth bringing back until turn six or so. While situational, it's certainly a good card and it can go in lots of decks. - B

Royal Assassin
Royal Assassin
Royal AssassinSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Assassin
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Destroy any tapped creature.
- Quite possibly Black's best card in Limited. It can only effectively be stopped by Entangling Vines
Entangling Vines
Entangling VinesSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
181
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Enchant tapped creatureEnchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step.
, Ice Prison or red burn, and its ability allows you to kill enemy creatures when they attack but before blocking is assigned. It takes out 75% of the cards in the set on sight and it doesn't care if they fly or are unblockable or what. Yes, it's small and fragile, but until it's dealt with your opponent can't attack or even use tap-men like Blinding Mage
Blinding Mage
Blinding MageSet: Magic 2010
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
5
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
{W}, {T}: Tap target creature.
without losing them. - A

Sanguine Bond
Sanguine Bond
Sanguine BondSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
111
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
Whenever you gain life, target opponent loses that much life.
- Even the most aggressive life-gain that's worth playing in Limited won't get you much, and without a lot of Lifelink
Lifelink
LifelinkSet: Magic 2010
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Enchant creatureEnchanted creature has lifelink. (Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life.)
or 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.
s or whatever this card really isn't playable. I really wanted to give it higher than an F rank in Limited due to its potentially game-winning interaction with 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.
, Tendrils of Corruption
Tendrils of Corruption
Tendrils of CorruptionSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
136
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Tendrils of Corruption deals X damage to target creature and you gain X life, where X is the number of Swamps you control.
and Child of Night
Child of Night
Child of NightSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Ash Wood
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
, but the five-mana casting cost it comes out too late to affect the board in most games. - F

Sign in Blood
Sign in Blood
Sign in BloodSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
112
Artist:
Howard Lyon
Text:
Target player draws two cards and loses 2 life.
- Black really racked up in the Common slot, didn't it? Sign in Blood
Sign in Blood
Sign in BloodSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
112
Artist:
Howard Lyon
Text:
Target player draws two cards and loses 2 life.
is another black-committed card, but the fact that it's so cheap yet nets two cards makes it extremely powerful. It's easy to cast early to make up for aggressive mulliganing, and its low cost means that in the late game you can play what you draw easily. The two life lost is a pain, but getting a Divination
Divination
DivinationSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
49
Artist:
Howard Lyon
Text:
Draw two cards.
in Black for one less mana is totally worth it. - A

Soul Bleed
Soul Bleed
Soul BleedSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
113
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
Enchant creatureAt the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 1 life.
- Unless you throw this on a Wall, odds are they will simply keep attacking with the creature or otherwise using it as normal until you are forced to kill it. Soul Bleed
Soul Bleed
Soul BleedSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
113
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
Enchant creatureAt the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 1 life.
ends up dealing only a few damage before the creature it's on leaves play, and very often your opponent can force you to kill the creature before Soul Bleed
Soul Bleed
Soul BleedSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
113
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
Enchant creatureAt the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 1 life.
becomes an issue. - F

Tendrils of Corruption
Tendrils of Corruption
Tendrils of CorruptionSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
136
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Tendrils of Corruption deals X damage to target creature and you gain X life, where X is the number of Swamps you control.
- While at home in a mono-black deck, Tendrils is good even if you only have two or three swamps in play when you cast it. It can handle most small and mid-range creatures easily, and you get ´´free´´ life in the deal as well. Seismic Strike
Seismic Strike
Seismic StrikeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
154
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Seismic Strike deals damage to target creature equal to the number of Mountains you control.
is rather mediocre-but-playable because Red tends to be a splash and you get no life, yet Tendrils is very strong because Black wants to play alone and you end up getting life. Odd how that works out. - A

Underworld Dreams
Underworld Dreams
Underworld DreamsSet: Legends
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Text:
Underworld Dreams does one damage to opponent for each card he or she draws.
- The thing about Dreams is that you need to cast it as early as possible. An unpreventable one damage per turn, Dreams usually deals 5-7 damage over the course of the game, and it also forces your opponent to act if the game begins to stall. The problem is that it demands to be played in a mono-black deck, and often there's something a lot better to drop on Turn 3, since even two free swings from a Warpath Ghoul
Warpath Ghoul
Warpath GhoulSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
can do more damage than the Dreams is likely to. Still, a good ´´mass card´´ that rewards Black's aggressive strategy. - C

Unholy Strength
Unholy Strength
Unholy StrengthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Target creature gains +2/+1.
- I've been rather hard on creature enchantments in M10, and I feel justified because spot removal is so prevalent and M10's creatures are largely good enough on their own. I kind of want to be for Unholy Strength
Unholy Strength
Unholy StrengthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Target creature gains +2/+1.
, though. For essentially the cost of a card, you double the size of your two-drop while leaving plenty of room for another one. I still don't think it's great since it begs for a two-for-one, but it's small and cheap and turns anything into a threat, making it a good mass card. - C

Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire AristocratSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Austin Hsu
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Vampire Aristocrat gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
- The Vampire creature type is suddenly very relevant these days (Thanks, Twilight, your marketing powers have no bounds) and so replacing the old Husk with a Vampire is not only flavorful but potentially quite useful. The Aristocrat of course becomes more valuable the more guys you can feed him, but the ´´threat´´ of feeding him and thus turning a good trade into a bad one makes him very powerful. Often he will go unblocked or ward off attacks simply because he can double or triple in size, and his ability partners very well with Act of Treason
Act of Treason
Act of TreasonSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
124
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn. (It can attack and {T} this turn.)
. He can also allow you to destroy your own guys before they get hit by Mind Control
Mind Control
Mind ControlSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Enchant creatureYou control enchanted creature.
or anything else that would benefit your opponent. Not a bomb, but you want these guys around. - B

Vampire Nocturnus
Vampire Nocturnus
Vampire NocturnusSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
M
Number:
118
Artist:
Raymond Swanland
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Play with the top card of your library revealed.As long as the top card of your library is black, Vampire Nocturnus and other Vampire creatures you control get +2/+1 and have flying.
- So Black gets TWO Lords then? I suppose it makes sense, what with all the creature types. Vampire Nocturnus
Vampire Nocturnus
Vampire NocturnusSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
M
Number:
118
Artist:
Raymond Swanland
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Play with the top card of your library revealed.As long as the top card of your library is black, Vampire Nocturnus and other Vampire creatures you control get +2/+1 and have flying.
, like so many other cards in Black, demands that you go mono-black so that he's actually worth it. A four-mana 3/3 is very unimpressive in limited, but a four-mana 5/4 Flying which also makes your Child of Night
Child of Night
Child of NightSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Ash Wood
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
and Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire AristocratSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Austin Hsu
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Vampire Aristocrat gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
fly is exceedingly useful. Even if your deck is mono-black, though, 50% of it will be lands, and so 50% of the time the Nocturnus and his friends will be just as they are. So he's not BAD, and he gets better the more Vampires and Black cards your deck has, but he's not great either. - C

Wall of Bone
Wall of Bone
Wall of BoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
B: Regenerates.
- Oh look, it's a Drudge Skeletons
Drudge Skeletons
Drudge SkeletonsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Skeletons
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Regenerates.
that can't attack, costs one more, and occasionally doesn't need to be regenerated. You can pick up one or two of these late if you're desperate for defense, but since it can't deal with fliers and generally its regeneration ability is moot, you'd be much better off with the cheaper and more dependable Drudge Skeletons
Drudge Skeletons
Drudge SkeletonsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Skeletons
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Regenerates.
. - D

Warpath Ghoul
Warpath Ghoul
Warpath GhoulSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
- Infinitely better than Scathe Zombies
Scathe Zombies
Scathe ZombiesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombies
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
, I'm glad to see this guy come along so that M10 has a solid playable Zombie. What with the lack of big guys in the set I'd have been a lot happier with Mass of Ghouls
Mass of Ghouls
Mass of GhoulsSet: Future Sight
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Lucio Parrillo
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
, but this one Ghoul will do fine as a mass card. - C

Weakness
Weakness
WeaknessSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Target creature loses -2/-1.
- In Limited, sometimes you have to go with the worst removal possible. This is sorcery speed removal that only targets one-toughness creatures, nothing else. Yes, it can make a big creature smaller, but in general if you need to use it as pseudo-removal like that, you're already in trouble. The only real use for Weakness
Weakness
WeaknessSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Target creature loses -2/-1.
is to allow mono-black decks a cheap and easy answer for early-game threats, turning things like Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar ElvesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
into dust and neutralizing the occasional 2/2. It's not unplayable because it's removal, but I hate having to use it. - C

Xathrid Demon
Xathrid Demon
Xathrid DemonSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
M
Number:
122
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying, trampleAt the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a creature other than Xathrid Demon, then each opponent loses life equal to the sacrificed creature's power. If you can't sacrifice a creature, tap Xathrid Demon and you lose 7 life.
- Despite its noticeably painful drawback, the Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
is a bomb. He's the biggest guy in the air in the game, he can fly and trample, and he only costs six mana. Only Baneslayer Angel
Baneslayer Angel
Baneslayer AngelSet: Magic 2010
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
M
Number:
4
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying, first strike, lifelink, protection from Demons and from Dragons
can fight him and live, and even she can't stop that last two damage. Yes, his drawback may cause you to lose the game, but only if you've got nothing else in play. He takes creatures that have been idly sitting on the board since the early game and makes them relevant again, as they hit your opponent hard in the face. And don't forget that often you can use his ability to bring a swift end to the game. In one of my Drafts I was playing a near-mono black deck and I sacrificed two creatures to my Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire AristocratSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Austin Hsu
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Vampire Aristocrat gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
then the Aristocrat to the Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
, hitting my opponent for 6 right then and there and allowing the Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
to easily finish him off. Yes he's temperamental and from time to time you will get bitten, but he's too strong to pass up in a strongly Black deck. - A

Zombie Goliath
Zombie Goliath
Zombie GoliathSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Giant
Rarity:
C
Number:
123
Artist:
E. M. Gist
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
- Black is really hurting in the late game as it has so few large creatures to fight with. In 10th edition this was somewhat mitigated by Mass of Ghouls
Mass of Ghouls
Mass of GhoulsSet: Future Sight
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Lucio Parrillo
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
, which (while fragile) could swing for five a turn and demanded that it be dealt with immediately. Zombie Goliath
Zombie Goliath
Zombie GoliathSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Giant
Rarity:
C
Number:
123
Artist:
E. M. Gist
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
, however, is a big dumb guy that says ´´I couldn't splash Green to get a better late-game creature.´´ He's the sort of guy you will grudgingly run 23rd because your deck is mono-black and it needs some large creatures to come out late. - D

Black walks away with a number of the game's best Commons, and while it does have a few mediocre and unplayable cards most of them are at the Rare level and so don't come up. Black thus ends up being the ´´strongest´´ color, but because its best cards demand a heavy commitment to Black I find it to actually be rather weak in most cases. While it certainly has depth, cards like Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
will not be passed and if more than one person is going mono-black at a table odds are both of them will walk away with only so-so decks unless one of them opens some very strong bombs.

The consistency and raw power of mono-black is very rewarding, though, and I feel that the mono-black deck is the most powerful deck in this set. While difficult to draft due to its best cards being splashable, Tendrils of Corruption
Tendrils of Corruption
Tendrils of CorruptionSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
136
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Tendrils of Corruption deals X damage to target creature and you gain X life, where X is the number of Swamps you control.
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.
do tend to go late and their presence can often make up for a lack of really solid cards, allowing a mono-black deck to get by on cards like Zombie Goliath
Zombie Goliath
Zombie GoliathSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Giant
Rarity:
C
Number:
123
Artist:
E. M. Gist
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
or Warpath Ghoul
Warpath Ghoul
Warpath GhoulSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
.

Splashing black or even going deep into black for cards like Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
and Child of Night
Child of Night
Child of NightSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
88
Artist:
Ash Wood
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
seems rather common, though. Black partners reasonably well with any one of the other colors when sticking to such cards, and Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire AristocratSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Austin Hsu
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Vampire Aristocrat gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
is every bit as strong when he's eating black Zombies as when he's eating green Insect tokens (indeed, with an Ant Queen
Ant Queen
Ant QueenSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
166
Artist:
Trevor Claxton
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
{1}{G}: Put a 1/1 green Insect creature token onto the battlefield.
in play he can get ridiculous). As such, I find that Black's strength and depth is actually an inherent weakness. It wants to go it alone, but because its best commons are generally splashable, it's very hard to build a mono-black deck. Still, if you get lucky, you can, and even if you end up making it half-black, half-blue you may be able to get the most out of your strong early picks.


Rate Article



Discuss Article

Click here to discuss this article in forum or leave comments for the author.

RSS feed RSS Feed


This article is provided to you by CardShark.com - A Better Way to Buy and Sell Collectable Games Online. Please check out the rest of our site - you won't be disappointed.

View More ArticlesView More Articles