Conspiracy Set Review Black
This set is really just a budget Cube. Honestly as we go through the black cards you are going to see that this part of the set is just staple removal cards and budget reanimation cards with some very evil trick cards splashed in to the list. So let's dive into the cards...
Altar's Reap – 1B – As an additional cost to cast Altar's Reap, sacrifice a creature. Draw two cards. Now with the Morbid ability back in this set you end up being down a creature and up two cards plus another effect when you cast this. This is just good in Limited. Heck, with this being an Instant you can just sac a creature that was going to be thrown under a fatty to chump block away ways.
Assassinate – 2B – Sorcery – C – Destroy target tapped creature. Yup, good removal in Limited. Chances are you'll find a target for this when it's your turn at some point.
Bite of the Black Rose – 3B – Sorcery – U – Will of the Council – Starting with you, each player votes for sickness or psychosis. If sickness gets more votes, creatures your opponents control get -2/-2 until end of turn. If psychosis gets more votes or the vote is tied, each opponent discards two cards. Yup, another WotC that will find a home in Commander and be a great card in this draft format. Either you can kill a bunch of X/2's or you just disrupt the opponents hands.
Drakestown Forgotten – 4B – Creature – Zombie – R – Drakestown Forgotten entes the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the number of creatures cards in all graveyards. 2B, remove a +1/+1 counter from Drakestown Forgotten: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. 0/0. Yeah, I'm not a fan of this. Without enough self mill (dredge) style cards in this limited pool this cycle of creatures just don't do it for me. Still, might find home as another dork in a Dredge style Commander deck.
Grudge Keeper – 1B – Creature – Zombie Wizard – C – Whenever players finish voting, each opponent who voted for a choice you didn't vote for loses 2 life. 2/1. Yes, this card so had to be made to make for a competitive voting deck. Having two or three of these in play when you are forcing votes just means that things should always go your way.
Ill-Gotten Gains – 2BB – Sorcery – R – Exile Ill-Gotten Gains. Each player discards his or her hand, then returns up to three cards from his or her graveyard to his or her hand. Yeah, the fact that Ill-Gotten Gains is in the set shocked me. This card was a Legacy staple in Storm decks for years, but fell off the radar when when we got Past into Flames. Still it's a great cards when you just need to recast those three key cards to win the game in Limited.
Infectious Horror – 3B – Creature – Zombie Horror – C – Whenever Infectious Horror attacks, each opponent loses 2 life. 2/2. I like how black gets to be the screw each opponent over color in this set. Allows the black mages to spread the hurt around and kind of keep the multiplayer tables kind of fair for a time. Which is odd that black gets to be the fun police.
Liliana's Specter – 1BB – Creature – Specter – C – Flying. When Liliana's Specter enters the battlefield, each opponent discards a card. 2/1. Not a bad creature for multiplayer Limited games.
Magus of the Mirror – 4BB – Creature – Human Wizard – R – Tap, sacrifice Magus of the Mirror: Exchange life totals with target opponent. Activate this ability only during your upkeep. 4/2. I like having this in the set not only because it's the best bail-out card other than Mirror Universe and Lich's Mirror, but because it works so good with Dethrone. If you have the highest life total just trade with the second highest and attack to trigger all those +1/+1 counters. Also this screws over massive life gain decks.
Morkrut Banshee – 3BB – Creature – Spirit – U – Morbid – When Morkut Banshee enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn. She was great in Innistrad limited and she will be the same in this format. I mean just getting to kill something when you cast her is going to be nice.
Necromantic Thirst – 2BB – EnchantmC – Enchant creature. Whenever enchanted creature deals combat damage to a player, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. It's not bad in that you put it on a dork with evasion and can keep bringing back dudes to cast. This might be able to stall the game long enough for the enchanted creature to win, but one removal and you plan is over. So I'm going to call this jank and move on.
Phage the Untouchable – 3BBBB – Legendary Creature – Avatar Minion – M – When Phage the Untouchable enters the battlefield, if you didn't cast it from your hand, you lose the game. Whenever Phage the Untouchable deals combat damage to a creature, destroy that creature. It can't be regenerated. Whenever Phage deals combat damage to a player, that player loses the game. 4/4. I love that they put Phage in this set. She is just so awesome in Limited and with Stifle in the set you might just be able to cheat her into play without losing the game.
Plagued Rusalka – B – Creature – Spirit – U – B, sacrifice a creature: target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. 1/1. Works with the morbid mechanic in the set and gets better with all of white's Spirit token makers.
Quag Vampires – B – Creature – Vampire Rogue – C – Multikicker 1B. Swampwalk. Quag Vampires enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked. 1/1. A great creature to break open the black on black matches. I use to draft this all the time in Zendikar limited just because it had swampwalk and black was one of the higher played colors, which is going to be the same with this set.
Reckless Spite – 1BB – Instant – U – Destroy two target nonblack creatures. You lose 5 life. Good removal for Limited to hate on nonblack creatures. That's about it.
Reign of the Pit – 4BB – Sorcery – R – Each player sacrifices a creature. Put an X/X black Demon creature token with flying onto the battlefield, where X is the total power of the creatures sacrificed this way. It's a nice way to make everyone have to sac a dude and in the end you end up with a flier. I have to say it's a cool multiplayer card that I will want to put in my Commander decks.
Skeletal Scrying – XB – Instant – U – As an additional cost to cast Skeletal Scrying, exile X cards from your graveyard. You draw X cards and lose X life. Not that bad of a draw effect in Limited, but with this being multiplayer this means getting greedy can lead to getting killed.
Smallpox – BB – Sorcery – U – Each player loses 1 life , discards a card, sacrifices a creature, the sacrifices a land. Yup, more of Black getting to be the multiplayer fun police. Hmm, thinking I might just be thinking of going UB in future drafts.
Stronghold Discipline – 2BB – Sorcery – C – Each player loses 1 life for each creature he or she controls. Fun Police says no to amassing armies.
Syphon Soul – 2B – Sorcery – C – Syphon soul deals 2 damage to each other player. You gain life equal to the damage dealt this way. In Conspiracy draft this means gain 6 to 8 life for 3 mana. Again just another good fun police card.
Tragic Slip – B – Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Morbid – That creature gets -13/-13 until end of turn instead if a creature died this turn. Honestly this is the best removal ever printed at common for Limited. Straight up kills dudes all day.
Twisted Abomination 5B – Creature – Zombie Mutant – C – B: Regenerate Twisted Abomination. Swampcycling 2. 5/3. Just another in the land cycling creatures that are just as good as fatties in the late game.
Typhoid Rats – B – Creature – Rat – C – Deathtouch. 1/1. Hey, sometimes you just need a 1/1 with deathtouch to gum up the board on turn one. This does that.
Tyrant's Choice – 1B – Sorcery- C – Will of the Council – Starting with you, each player votes for death or torture. If death gets more votes, each opponent sacrifices a creature. IF torture gets more votes or the vote is tied, each opponent loses 4 life. Not only is it a fun police card but it is also good enough that it has found a home in R/b Burn in Legacy already. Two mana for four damage is very nice when playing one on one.
Unhallowed Pact – 2B – Enchantment – Aura – C – Enchant creature. When enchanted creature dies, return that card to the battlefield under your control. I've been a fan of this in Limited since it came out in Avacyn Restored. Just being able to drop this on your opponents dude then killing it to get it to be yours is just cool. Plus in this format where you can get 14/14 Lurking Automations that will force removal this is just a good card to have. Either you get back your own 14/14 or you get your opponents once you blow it up.
Vampire Hexmage – BB – Creature – Vampire Shaman – U – First strike. Sacrifice Vampire Hexmage: Removal all counters from target permanent. 2/1. VH has always been a Cube stable since she got printed to kill planeswalkers, but she gets more fame when making turn two 20/20 indestructable fliers with Dark Depths in combo decks. Still she's a great answer to any of the creatures that die once you remove all those +1/+1 counters and make them into 0/0s in Draft.
Victimize – 2B – Sorcery – U – Choose two target creatures cards in your graveyard. Sacrifice a creature. If you do, return the chose cards to the battlefield tapped. Yeah, this is the only great reainmate card in the set for Limited. Granted you still need to have two graveyard targets to cast it.
Wakedancer – 2B – Creature – Human Shaman – C – Morbid – When Wakedancer enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield. 2/2. Just another good morbid creature for Limited. If you cast it after removal or a chump block you just get value for it.
Zombie Goliath – 4B – Creature – Zombie Giant – C – 4/3. Just a big beater creature for Limited.
Okay, so maybe black isn't nuts with bomb cards and huge $ value, but in the end it a solid pick for a player looking to win games in Conspiracy Drafts. I'm sure that once you add black to one of the other colors that color becomes that much stronger. Still, if you are looking at the color as a competitive constructed player then yeah, it's kind of blah. Well, time to get moving into red.
This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
KDPfenthing on MTGO
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