The past twenty years of Magic have seen some gradual but inexorable changes and some wild fluctuations in the environment of the game. Different strategies have come and gone, but the stories of broken cards of the past remain. Each color has always had its overpowered cards, but the identities of those cards have changed from era to era of Magic design and gameplay. In celebration of the upcoming twentieth anniversary of Magic, I'll be going through each color's strongest cards in chronological order, following up the early blue cards with the black cards of the same time period.
It's hard to overstate how brutally nihilistic and destructive black once was. It certainly has always had aspects of mutual destruction, life payment for advantage, and other similar elements in its design principles and continues to do so today. But in the first days of Magic it truly behaved as a tyrannical dark lord.