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CardShark Content - Marcus Anderson (6/18/2002)

Welcome back to an investigation into the dark arts… Yep, it is time for my favorite color – BLACK. This whole article will set up “all things peasant” in the world of the swamp. So I don’t confuse anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, let’s set up the rules first…

1 – This is NOT an article about type 2 or ANY sanctioned format. Consider it a cheap-ass Type 1 (kinda…)

2 – This is for the casual gamer. Do you like originality? Do you like saving money? Do you like older cards? Do you want to play a tournament where rogue decks rule? Peasant Magic may be your calling!

3 – The deck and sideboard should be ALL commons except for 5 uncommon cards.

4 – The card must have been on the common sheet once to be considered common (for example: Fountain of Youth
Fountain of Youth
Fountain of YouthSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
2, T: Gain 1 life.
was printed on a common sheet in Chronicles).

5 – The card must have been on the uncommon sheet once to be considered uncommon (example: Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
was printed on an Uncommon sheet in Antiquities).

6 – You do not talk about Fight Club (are you reading this?)

7 – The official card rarity and errata list is at the Crystal Keep (www.crystalkeep.com).

As we start down the unpaved Peasant alley, we should get to know Chris. Chris Morling and I spar off against each other in Magic, Dance Dance Revolution, and Ultimate Frisbee. Luckily, I can usually win the latter two events. Unfortunately for me, he has handed me my ass in many a Magic game. He is also the brain behind a lot of the Peasant decks that I create. So why am I boring you with this? He said something to me that made perfect sense:

“Black has the most broken cards in Peasant format.”

Oh how true are those words? At the middle of this article, I have my vote for the MOST BROKEN CARD IN PEASANT MAGIC. Yep, you heard it here first. Well, maybe not – those Pojo people and Yahoo-group guys (props to Jason Chapman) probably said it a long time ago. Well, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, why not copy someone else?

All kidding aside, I will focus on some of the heavy hitters that make up the “BLACK BLOCK” that will be the cornerstone of any deck. Chris thought of the cluster of black Peasant cards and land when I asked him, “Gee, Chris, what’s broken?”

Now don’t get your email fingers flaming when I don’t pick your favorite card in black. Your card may great, but it may too situational. In other words, there are some amazing cards that have synergy in particular decks, but not in all decks. A prime example of a situational card (in black) is 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.
.

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.

Uncommon in many sets
Summon Specter
Casting Cost: 1BB
Text: Flying. Whenever ~this~ deals damage to an opponent, that player discards a card at random from his or her hand. [Oracle
Oracle
OracleSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
+1
Toughness:
+9
Text:
You may untap any attacking creatures you control and remove them from combat.
1999/09/03]
Power: 2, Toughness: 2

Now you may be saying, “WOAH! The Hippy is a great critter. With dark ritual, you can get it out first turn, and it kills the player AND their hand. How is this card unplayable?” I thought the same thing when I had four in my deck. Unfortunately, the hardcore Peasant field consists of goblin decks and anti-goblin decks. The goblin decks flame your small creatures away and the anti-goblin decks have “protection” creatures and Sword to Plowshares. If your opponent can kill a goblin, he can kill your specter! As I found out, the 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.
does not last that long. I think I am bitter since I didn’t get that far with this guy last year at GenCon. During that day, I was re-considering my uncommon slots after the hippy flew (consistently) straight into the graveyard.

Your uncommon cards in your Peasant deck should be “bombs” that break your opponent. This creature is great support, but most times, it does not spell doom for your foe. Besides, if the other mage cannot get rid of a 2/2 flyer, you could have used ANY flier to kill him! The Specter belongs in some decks, but it just isn’t good in EVERY black deck.

Now that I have that rant out of my system, I am moving on to the “Black Block”. I will describe the block in detail, and I will then give you several permutations of the black build with support.

THE BLACK BLOCK

4 Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.

4 Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.

4 Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to TourachSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Susan Van Camp
Text:
Target player discards two cards at random from his or her hand. If target player does not have enough cards, his or her entire hand is discarded.

4 Sinkhole
Sinkhole
SinkholeSet: Alpha
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Destroys any one land.


with…

4 Strip Mine
Strip Mine
Strip MineSet: Fourth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
T: Add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Sacrifice Strip Mine to destroy target land.

4 Mishra
Mishra
MishraSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
3
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
+0
Toughness:
-3
Text:
Double all damage dealt by creatures you control.
’s Factory
20 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.


There it is! The Black Block is a cornerstone of any mono-black deck that plans to decimate the opponent. You can see from the previous article why I chose Strip Mine
Strip Mine
Strip MineSet: Fourth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
T: Add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Sacrifice Strip Mine to destroy target land.
s and Mishra
Mishra
MishraSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
3
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
+0
Toughness:
-3
Text:
Double all damage dealt by creatures you control.
’s Factories. These black cards should be just as obvious.

Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.

Common in many sets
Mana Source
Casting Cost: B
Text: Add BBB to your mana pool.

When do you not need extra mana? Why do you think the Black Lotus
Black Lotus
Black LotusSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Adds 3 mana of any single color of your choice to your mana pool, then is discarded. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.
is so expensive to buy? This card is NOT a Black Lotus
Black Lotus
Black LotusSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Mono Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Adds 3 mana of any single color of your choice to your mana pool, then is discarded. Tapping this artifact can be played as an interrupt.
for black, but it is the next best thing. This will enable you to play a threat (or two) on turn one. First turn creature? First turn Tutor for 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.
? First turn 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.
and Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to TourachSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Susan Van Camp
Text:
Target player discards two cards at random from his or her hand. If target player does not have enough cards, his or her entire hand is discarded.
? It is well worth the card to get superior tempo out of your deck.

Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.

Uncommon in many sets
Sorcery
Casting Cost: 1B
Text: Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library. [Oracle
Oracle
OracleSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
+1
Toughness:
+9
Text:
You may untap any attacking creatures you control and remove them from combat.
1999/09/03]

DEMONIC TUTOR IS THE MOST BROKEN CARD IN PEASANT MAGIC! I am sure some of you may see the Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
Library of AlexandriaSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Tap to add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool or draw a card from your library; you may use the card-drawing ability only if you have exactly seven cards in your hand.
as “more broken”. However, this card stands out for one reason: price! Anyone with $20 can get four of these babies. I consider this card to be on the edge of “too abusive for the format.” But I will play with four of them because they are SO good.

Your opponent plays a solitary Blastoderm
Blastoderm
BlastodermSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Fading 3 (This creature comes into play with three fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you can't, sacrifice it.) Blastoderm can't be the target of spells or abilities.
, you go tutor for a Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.
.
Your opponent plays a Library of Alexandira, you go tutor for a Strip Mine
Strip Mine
Strip MineSet: Fourth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
T: Add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Sacrifice Strip Mine to destroy target land.
.
Your opponent plays a Circle of Protection, you go tutor for a Mishra
Mishra
MishraSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
3
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
+0
Toughness:
-3
Text:
Double all damage dealt by creatures you control.
’s Factory.

You have an answer to everything the opponent throws down in front of you. You become an ANSWERING MACHINE! Wait… That didn’t sound right. At the tone, please leave your life total at zero… Thank you! BEEP!

Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to TourachSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Susan Van Camp
Text:
Target player discards two cards at random from his or her hand. If target player does not have enough cards, his or her entire hand is discarded.

Common in Fallen Empires
Sorcery
Casting Cost: BB
Text: Target player discards two cards at random from his or her hand.

This is a one-for-two card that is devastating in the early game. Normally, having your opponent lose one card is bad enough, but they are losing two for your one. Presto – card advantage! The most horrible thing (for your victim) is the word “random”. What happens if you pull the only two land from their hand? It is almost an instant win! The Hymn isn’t that good in late game, but if your opponent’s hand is empty in the late game, you are probably doing very well.

Sinkhole
Sinkhole
SinkholeSet: Alpha
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Destroys any one land.

Common in Alpha, Beta, Unlimited
Sorcery
Casting Cost: BB
Text: Destroy target land. [Oracle
Oracle
OracleSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
+1
Toughness:
+9
Text:
You may untap any attacking creatures you control and remove them from combat.
1999/09/03]

This seems like a situational card, but it really isn’t. Many decks will be crippled by Sinkhole
Sinkhole
SinkholeSet: Alpha
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Destroys any one land.
and Strip Mine
Strip Mine
Strip MineSet: Fourth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
T: Add 1 colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Sacrifice Strip Mine to destroy target land.
. This is a killer combination in all black decks. If you need any tempo advantage, look no further to the most efficient land destruction combo in history.

THE DECKS:

Chris and I thought of several deck sketches that incorporate the Black Block. Minor substitutions might be needed to work with the deck’s theme. Mostly, the black block remains intact.

Deck #1
Skirge Beatdown:

4 Skittering Skirge
Skittering Skirge
Skittering SkirgeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Imp
Rarity:
C
Number:
158
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying When you successfully cast a creature spell, sacrifice Skittering Skirge.

4 Lurking Skige
3 Unearth
Unearth
UnearthSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Choose target creature card in your graveyard with total casting cost 3 or less and put that creature into play.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)

1 Chainer’s Edict
4 Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.


The Skirges are great for pure smash potential. You will be destroying their hand, land, and applying pressure all of the way. The Unearth
Unearth
UnearthSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
72
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Choose target creature card in your graveyard with total casting cost 3 or less and put that creature into play.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
s your creatures into play or allow you to play more Skirge at once. The 3/2 Skittering Skirge
Skittering Skirge
Skittering SkirgeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Imp
Rarity:
C
Number:
158
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying When you successfully cast a creature spell, sacrifice Skittering Skirge.
tends to win more victories, but a first-turn 4/3 Lurking Skirge
Lurking Skirge
Lurking SkirgeSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
55
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
When a creature is put into one of your opponents' graveyards, if Lurking Skirge is an enchantment, Lurking Skirge becomes a 3/2 creature with flying that counts as an Imp.
has Negator-like potential.

The rest of the deck (the edicts) clears the path for the Skirges. The edicts are guaranteed to kill off creatures if they don’t have bounce. Use these cards quick and often. Some may prefer to reduce the number of Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.
s for a higher count of the Chainer’s Edict. Your phobia of creatures will tell you what do play.

Deck #2:
Pestilence
Pestilence
PestilenceSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
B: Do 1 damage to each creature and to both players.If there are no creatures in play at the end of any turn, Pestilence must be discarded.
combo

4 Pestilence
Pestilence
PestilenceSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
B: Do 1 damage to each creature and to both players.If there are no creatures in play at the end of any turn, Pestilence must be discarded.

4 Cemetery Gate
Cemetery Gate
Cemetery GateSet: Homelands
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
Protection from black

4 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.

3 Drain Life
Drain Life
Drain LifeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Drain Life does 1 damage to a single target for each B spent in addition to the casting cost. Caster gains 1 life for each damage inflicted. If you drain life from a creature, you cannot gain more life than the creature's current toughness.

1 Necrologica

This deck LOVES the Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.
. With fast mana, tutors, land destruction, and hand destruction, you can easily set up your 0/5 pro-black wall and cast Pestilence
Pestilence
PestilenceSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
B: Do 1 damage to each creature and to both players.If there are no creatures in play at the end of any turn, Pestilence must be discarded.
. The Drain Life
Drain Life
Drain LifeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Drain Life does 1 damage to a single target for each B spent in addition to the casting cost. Caster gains 1 life for each damage inflicted. If you drain life from a creature, you cannot gain more life than the creature's current toughness.
spells are for you to protect yourself against the combo itself while the Factories aid in killing your opponent. You have to be pretty smart to play this deck well. You never want to let the board get out of control and take too much damage before your combo is set up.

Deck #3:
Discard
4 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.

4 Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.

4 The Rack
The Rack
The RackSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
If opponent has fewer than three cards in hand during his or her upkeep, the Rack does 1 damage to opponent for each card fewer than three.
(take out 3 Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.
s)
4 Mind Burst
Mind Burst
Mind BurstSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
148
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Text:
Target player discards X cards from his or her hand, where X is one plus the number of Mind Burst cards in all graveyards.

3 Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric FiendSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
69
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Mesmeric Fiend comes into play, target opponent reveals his or her hand and you choose a nonland card from it. Remove that card from the game. When Mesmeric Fiend leaves play, return the removed card to its owner's hand.
s

This would be the deck for the 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.
, but The Rack
The Rack
The RackSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
If opponent has fewer than three cards in hand during his or her upkeep, the Rack does 1 damage to opponent for each card fewer than three.
is a better choice. The hand destruction has amazing synergy. The creatures disrupt the player while The Rack
The Rack
The RackSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
If opponent has fewer than three cards in hand during his or her upkeep, the Rack does 1 damage to opponent for each card fewer than three.
slowly chips away at the life total. I love it when my opponent is backed into a corner and thinks, “If I play this card, I will have to take rack damage. Maybe I should hold onto it!” Ah, you just fell into my trap! Best of all, The Rack
The Rack
The RackSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
If opponent has fewer than three cards in hand during his or her upkeep, the Rack does 1 damage to opponent for each card fewer than three.
is colorless damage. Take that Copper! (Copper = Circle of Protection player)

Deck #4
Land Destruction

IT’S A BIG FAT SECRET.

Yep, this is my deck. I think it will do amazingly well unless everyone prepares for it. People should be more afraid of (and testing against) Goblin decks anyway. If I cannot consistently beat mono-red by July, I will be playing it myself! However, I will still list the black land destruction cards not already mentioned by this article to give you a head start in building this deck.

Three Casting Cost, common Land Destruction Spells:

Choking Sands
Choking Sands
Choking SandsSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Destroy target nonswamp land. If that land is a nonbasic land, Choking Sands deals 2 damage to the land's controller.
(can’t kill swamps, but it does 2 damage to a non-basic land)
Rancid Earth
Rancid Earth
Rancid EarthSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Text:
Destroy target land. Threshold - Instead destroy that land and Rancid Earth deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.
(gives everything one point of damage with threshold too!)

Four Casting Cost, common Land Destruction Spells:

Befoul
Befoul
BefoulSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
116
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Destroy target land or nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated.
(it kills a land OR a non-black creature – very awesome)
Despoil
Despoil
DespoilSet: Prophecy
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Destroy target land. Its controller loses 2 life.
(does to damage when it kills)

Three Casting Cost, uncommon Land Destruction Spells

Rain of Tears
Rain of Tears
Rain of TearsSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
155
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Destroy target land.

Icequake
Icequake
IcequakeSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Destroy target land. If that land is a snow-covered land, Icequake deals 1 damage to the land's controller.


Note: Uncommon land destruction slots should not be used due to the need for your deck to use Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.
and the Black Vise
Black Vise
Black ViseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
If opponent has more than four cards in hand during his or her upkeep, Black Vise does 1 damage to opponent for each card in excess of four.
. Oh Black Vise
Black Vise
Black ViseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
If opponent has more than four cards in hand during his or her upkeep, Black Vise does 1 damage to opponent for each card in excess of four.
, how cool is that?

THE PROBLEM with BLACK DECKS:

If global enchantments hit the table, and stay there! If someone pulls out a white prevent-damage spell, you are pretty much stopped. Your creatures become blockers as you scramble to find an answer (which doesn’t exist). Mishra
Mishra
MishraSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
3
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
+0
Toughness:
-3
Text:
Double all damage dealt by creatures you control.
’s Factory, The Rack
The Rack
The RackSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
If opponent has fewer than three cards in hand during his or her upkeep, the Rack does 1 damage to opponent for each card fewer than three.
, and Black Vise
Black Vise
Black ViseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
If opponent has more than four cards in hand during his or her upkeep, Black Vise does 1 damage to opponent for each card in excess of four.
give you some options, but those are not black in the first place! The best thing to do is to try make your opponent lose life (which is different from taking damage). Losing life cannot be prevented. A life-kill spell needs to be reusable and take more than one point per use. A good uncommon card is Caustic Tar
Caustic Tar
Caustic TarSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Enchanted land has ``Tap: Target player loses 3 life.``
.

Caustic Tar
Caustic Tar
Caustic TarSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Enchanted land has ``Tap: Target player loses 3 life.``

Uncommon in Odyssey
Enchant Land
Casting Cost: 4BB
Text: Enchanted land has ´´{Tap}: Target player loses 3 life.´´

Since the uncommon slots are important to keep open, I suggest another way to kill some life.

Brush With Death
Common in Stronghold
Sorcery
Casting Cost: 2B
Casting Cost with Buyback: 4BBB
Text: Target opponent loses 2 life. You gain 2 life.

This card can swing the game in your favor if you can make it safely to seven mana and stabilize the board. This card is usually good long after the seventh turn, but it can get yourself out of a black vs. white stalemate.


In conclusion, I would like to wish all of the evil magic players good luck in the upcoming Peasant Magic tournaments. Your enemies are many – you will have tough games – but I hope you make it into the top 8 and help the swamp to be feared in Peasant play!


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