Has it really been a year already? Wow, how time flies. I guess we had better dive into the new set then. I mean after all this is going to be the current draft format set between August and October so we better get an idea of what decks we should be drafting. Also this is going to be one of the five sets that make up the first five months of Standard post rotation. So now that my editor knows that these articles are going to be relevant to us players for the next year let's get started.
Accursed Spirit (4) Creature — Spirit (3/2) Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.) Just a 3/2 beater for Limited.
Black Cat (2) Creature — Zombie Cat (1/1) When Black Cat dies, target opponent discards a card at random. This was cool in Innistrad Limited. I'm thinking we might be able to rebuild a mono-black discard deck to play on a budget until rotation.
Blood Host (5) Creature — Vampire (3/3) , Sacrifice another creature: Put a +1/+1 counter on Blood Host and you gain 2 life. Just the pump vampire/sacrifice outlet for limited that is also some good life gain.
Carrion Crow (3) Creature — Zombie Bird (2/2) Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.) Carrion Crow enters the battlefield tapped. Just a black flier for Limited that needs to have a draw back because black isn't the color to get good fliers at common rarity.
Caustic Tar (6) Enchantment — Aura - Enchant land. Enchanted land has ": Target player loses 3 life." Yup, Limited jank. Still having this to end long games will be good in Limited. I wouldn't draft this early but I wouldn't mind it tabling and I'd run this in Sealed.
Child of Night (2) Creature — Vampire (2/1) Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.) Two-drop beater in Limited.
Covenant of Blood (7) Sorcery - Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for or one mana of that creature's color.) Covenant of Blood deals 4 damage to target creature or player and you gain 4 life. I don't see the convoke on this being used much in Limited, unless you are BW tokens, but it might be a card to brew an inspired deck around for budget Standard players. In Limited this might be a good late game spell.
Crippling Blight (1) Enchantment — Aura - Enchant creature. Enchanted creature gets -1/-1 and can't block. Kill's X/1's all day and is a sudo-combat trick. I'll so play this in Limited.
Cruel Sadist (1) Creature — Human Assassin (1/1) , , Pay 1 life: Put a +1/+1 counter on Cruel Sadist. , , Remove X +1/+1 counters from Cruel Sadist: Cruel Sadist deals X damage to target creature. I just have a feeling that this is going to find a home in an odd Standard brew using Bioshift in a UB Heroic deck, or with Ordeal of Erebos in mono-black discard.
Endless Obedience (6) Sorcery - Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for or one mana of that creature's color.) Put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. I really think once Jarad and Shadowborn Demon rotate that GB Dredge will turn to this as a reanimate spell. With Jace and Necromancer's Assistant in the Limited format you might be able to draft a reanimator deck which will be very cool. AS a graveyard/dredge player I'll be looking to play this.
Eternal Thirst (2) Enchantment — Aura - Enchant creature. Enchanted creature has lifelink and "Whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature." (Damage dealt by a creature with lifelink also causes its controller to gain that much life.) This is going to be cool in Limited as it allows you to grow your best dude while gaining life as it eats blockers. So all in all a fun card for Limited.
Feast on the Fallen (3) Enchantment - At the beginning of each upkeep, if an opponent lost life last turn, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control. This might just be a game breaker verses mono-black devotion in Standard. I can see this going into the sideboard of mono-black aggro. Also it will be nuts in Limited.
Festergloom (3) Sorcery - Nonblack creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn. With all of the X/1 tokens in the set you'll want this in your Limited decks.
Flesh to Dust (5) Instant - Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated. Just a good removal spell for Limited.
Gravedigger (4) Creature — Zombie (2/2) When Gravedigger enters the battlefield, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Just a good dude that helps you respawn dead dudes. This gets better in a dredge style draft deck to redraw milled dudes.
In Garruk's Wake (9) Sorcery - Destroy all creatures you don't control and all planeswalkers you don't control. Totally broken in Limited and Commander. Then again what more could you ask for when you spend 9 mana.
Indulgent Tormentor (5) Creature — Demon (5/3) Flying. At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card unless target opponent sacrifices a creature or pays 3 life. I want to play this in mono-black devotion post rotation, or I might just have to cut two copies of Gary (Gray Merchant of Asphodel) just to try this out along side Desecration Demon. This is going to be a bomb in Limited. Might also replace Shadowborn Demon in GB post rotation.
Leeching Sliver (2) Creature — Sliver (1/1) Whenever a Sliver you control attacks, defending player loses 1 life. The more slivers that get spoiled the more I want to play Slivers for fun. I also think we will see a Modern Sliver deck. The card pool just isn't deep enough with Sliver for a draft deck, but this has a good effect to casting cost that it will be a good aggro card in Limited.
Liliana Vess (5) Planeswalker — Liliana (5) +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 from all graveyards onto the battlefield under your control. Yup, a bomb for Limited. Also going to put two copies in mono-black discard.
Mind Rot (3) Sorcery - Target player discards two cards. Awesome Limited card in my book. I really like drafting two or three copies just to take away options from my opponent's hands. Also a play set of these is key in mono-black discard.
Necrobite (3) Instant - Target creature gains deathtouch until end of turn. Regenerate it. (The next time that creature would be destroyed this turn, it isn't. Instead tap it, remove all damage from it, and remove it from combat. Any amount of damage a creature with deathtouch deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.) Just a good combat trick in Limited.
Necrogen Scudder (3) Creature — Horror (3/3) Flying. When Necrogen Scudder enters the battlefield, you lose 3 life. Just a flying beater for Limited.
Necromancer's Assistant (3) Creature — Zombie (3/1) When Necromancer's Assistant enters the battlefield, put the top three cards of your library into your graveyard. It's more tech for GB Dredge. With Endless Obedience this is so going to find a home in the deck post-rotation. Granted we do have a good removal spell in the Limited format that will eat this all day long. So don't take it if you are planing on playing aggro.
Necromancer's Stockpile (2) Enchantment - , Discard a creature card: Draw a card. If the discarded card was a Zombie card, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield tapped. Okay, now I see why we get a ton of zombie tribal in this Limited pool. Totally a Limited bomb in draft when you force mono-black.
Nightfire Giant (5) Creature — Zombie Giant (4/3) Nightfire Giant gets +1/+1 as long as you control a Mountain. : Nightfire Giant deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Just a dude that rewards you for going BR in Limited by giving you some burn backup.
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled (6) Legendary Creature — Demon (4/4) Flying, trample. Whenever an opponent searches his or her library, that player sacrifices a creature and loses 10 life. Whenever another creature dies, put a +1/+1 counter on Ob Nixilis, Unshackled. I think we might be looking at a card that will find a home in Modern and Legacy over Standard. Still with Evolving Wilds and other tutor effects in Limited this will be a bomb. I think we just found a new card for Solar Flare/ Reanimate decks.
Paragon of Open Graves (4) Creature — Skeleton Warrior (2/2) Other black creatures you control get +1/+1. , : Another target black creature you control gains deathtouch until end of turn. (Any amount of damage it deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.) The black color lord for Limited. I love how we have some rewards for drafting mono-colored decks, but if only this would have been a zombie just to push the tribe even more in Limited.
Rotfeaster Maggot (5) Creature — Insect (3/5) When Rotfeaster Maggot enters the battlefield, exile target creature card from a graveyard. You gain life equal to that card's toughness. This is a creature that both the mill and the dredge decks are going to want in Limited.
Shadowcloak Vampire (5) Creature — Vampire (4/3) Pay 2 life: Shadowcloak Vampire gains flying until end of turn. (It can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.) Another good beater for Limited.
Sign in Blood (2) Sorcery - Target player draws two cards and loses 2 life. Just the best black draw spell in Limited and Standard. Also can be the last two points of life lose you'll need to kill an opponent. I'm very happy this is back.
Soul of Innistrad (6) Creature — Avatar (6/6) Deathtouch. : Return up to three target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand. , Exile Soul of Innistrad from your graveyard: Return up to three target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand. Just a Limited beater that allows you to redraw dorks. Only better than the other Souls because it has death touch and is in the reanimate color.
Stab Wound (3) Enchantment — Aura - Enchant creature. Enchanted creature gets -2/-2. At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 2 life. Early game removal in Limited that is still good late game to bleed damage.
Stain the Mind (5) Sorcery - Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for or one mana of that creature's color.) Name a nonland card. Search target player's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with that name and exile them. Then that player shuffles his or her library. I think this will see play in mono-black aggro sideboards just to hate on control decks in Standard. Also another hate card for Relentless Rats in Commander.
Typhoid Rats (1) Creature — Rat (1/1) Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.) Just a good one-drop creature for Limited either to gum up the ground or to pump with auras. If Ravenous Rats had been reprinted we could have a rat tribal deck, but sadly we don't.
Ulcerate (1) Instant - Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn. You lose 3 life. As a player that has taken four life to cast Dismember countless times, I'm going to be willing to cast this all day. I have to say this is the best removal in the Limited format.
Unmake the Graves (5) Instant - Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for or one mana of that creature's color.) Return up to two target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand. Good spell for mono-black in draft as you can cast it during an opponent's end-of-turn to pull dudes back from the graveyard to your hand.
Wall of Limbs (3) Creature — Zombie Wall (0/3) Defender (This creature can't attack.) Whenever you gain life, put a +1/+1 counter on Wall of Limbs. , Sacrifice Wall of Limbs: Target player loses X life, where X is Wall of Limbs's power. Yeah, this is a Limtied bomb. With all the white and black life gain spells this should get huge before a removal spell kills it. Which is why I wouldn't sit on this too long once I get to seven mana.
Waste Not (2) Enchantment - Whenever an opponent discards a creature card, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield. Whenever an opponent discards a land card, add to your mana pool. Whenever an opponent discards a noncreature, nonland card, draw a card. This is the card that makes me want to play discard in Standard. The dream of chaining Mind Rots, Duress's, and Thoughsieze's on turn three to empty your opponents hand is going to be epic. I can't wait to get playing this deck.
Witch's Familiar (3) Creature — Frog (2/3) Just a 2/3 dude for 3 mana for your Sealed pool to pump with auras.
Xathrid Slyblade (3) Creature — Human Assassin (2/1) Hexproof (This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.) : Until end of turn, Xathrid Slyblade loses hexproof and gains first strike and deathtouch. (It deals combat damage before creatures without first strike. Any amount of damage it deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.) It's a great beater in Limited.
Zof Shade (4) Creature — Shade (2/2) : Zof Shade gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Just the resident shade for Limited.
Well, time to talk about the demo deck cards. Now Nightmare is just a janky over-printed rare that use to be good back in the old times but has become out classed by other cards over the years. Walking Corpse is also an over printed card that is only good in sealed deck to flush out a deck. Now Sengir Vampire should have been left in the set for Limited. Like Serra Angel it's a bomb and would have given black the air-power it needs in Limited.
So over all black is looking great in both Standard and Limited. As I've said with a number of cards mono-black discard is looking good for the next three months. Also we are going to have a few new toys for GB Dredge post-rotation. Yup, black is looking good.
This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
KDPfenthing on MTGO
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