Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Magic 2015 Set Review: Black

Accursed Spirit
Eric's Review - A four mana 3/2 with Intimidate is strong, but not something powerful enough for Standard, but a decent card for Limited.
Black Cat
Eric's Review - A two mana 1/1 is not very good, but when it dies an opponent discards a card. This plays well with Waste Not and could see play in Standard.
Blood Host
Eric's Review - An expensive card that plays well with graveyard effects in dredge decks and possibly with Scavenging Ooze. Definitely more of an EDH deck, especially with Sek'Kuar. 
Carrion Crow
Eric's Review - While not a great card, Black isn't really an aggro color. Either way, a flying 2/2 is great, but coming in tapped isn't great. A great card for Limited, not so great anywhere else.
Caustic Tar
Eric's Review - A very powerful enchantment, it has an expensive mana cost but a powerful ability. An amazing card for Limited, but unplayable in Standard. Likely a decent card for EDH though.
Child of Night
Eric's Review - The return of everyone's favorite common vampire! Always great in Limited, but I've never tried playing it in Standard, but I did miss out on the big vampire tribal times with Zendikar and Innistrad.
Covenant of Blood
Eric's Review - A card with vampiric flavor, it is very costly without using Convoke. Perhaps there will be a vampire subtheme in Khans of Tarkir, but I doubt that. Either way, this could be a pretty useful spell.
Crippling Blight
Eric's Review - A strong card for black, being able to cripple an opponent's creature and preventing it from blocking is powerful, especially for one mana.
Cruel Sadist
Eric's Review - Cruel Sadist allows converting life into +1/+1 counters and also convert +1/+1 counters into damage to creatures. Definitely a powerful card, however adding counters through paying mana, tapping Cruel Sadist, and paying life together make this not very good in Constructed formats as it's pretty slow.
Endless Obedience
Eric's Review - Endless Obedience, our second Black card with Convoke is great for a dredge deck especially when you can use mana dorks and other small creatures to make up the difference and cast this spell.
Eternal Thirst
Eric's Review - An awesome black enchantment. Sure it's not as great as Gift of Orzhova, but it provides lifelink and boosts the enchanted creature whenever an opponent's creature dies. Definitely a great card, will definitely be showing up in my Zur EDH deck and possibly a Junk Enchantments deck for Standard.
Feast on the Fallen
Eric's Review - Combined with everything that opponents can have to pay life or lose life (the Pain Lands, Mana Confluence, etc.), this could be a decent card as long as there are creatures on the battlefield.
Festergloom
Eric's Review - Festergloom is perfect as long as token decks are found in Standard. It's way too expensive for its effect in Standard, especially with cards like Zealous Persecution, but this could easily counteract decks using Elspeth for tokens.
Flesh to Dust
Eric's Review - Common removal that is not as good as Hero's Downfall however it does prevent regeneration, which could be important in later sets. Definitely good for Limited.
Gravedigger
Eric's Review - Last printed in M12, Gravedigger has jumped from common to uncommon inn the M15 printing. Quite possibly an important creature to have one or two of in a dredge deck and useful for Limited.
In Garruk’s Wake
Eric's Review - So far, we have seen rare board wipes in White and Blue in M15, and now we have the one for Black. For nine mana (which is a lot, by the way...), you can destroy all creatures and planeswalkers not controlled by you. This is by far an EDH card if I've seen one, but in any control deck, it could definitely get played especially in Esper Control builds I've seen.
Indulgent Tormentor
Eric's Review - This is a great card to be thrown into a U/B card draw deck with Chasm Skulker so that you can draw extra cards. Most people at FNM where I live don't care about card draw, so I could easily get away with this card, and it definitely works well in an EDH deck.
Leeching Sliver
Eric's Review - Our third sliver of the set, Leeching Sliver is a good addition to any Sliver deck, especially when the goal is to put as many Slivers out as possible and attack with them. Having Slivers be able to suck the life from your opponent just by attacking. Definitely belongs in my Sliver EDH deck.
Liliana Vess
Eric's Review - There was much debate over which Liliana is best for Standard, and I honestly have to agree with Wizards, Liliana Vess is the best option. Sure, Liliana of the Veil fits the storyline, but Mono Black is way too overpowered as it is. Throw in a three mana Liliana that can force sacrifice a creature is way too powerful. While Vess doesn't directly fit the storyline, her discard ability still combines with Waste Not and the -8 ability works well with dredge.
Mind Rot
Eric's Review - Mind rot plays into the black discard subtheme in the set and pairs with Waste Not.
Necrobite
Eric's Review - A quick spell to give a creature deathtouch and regenerate it makes me think "regenerate" will be a big thing soon.
Necrogen Scudder
Eric's Review - Maybe I'm missing something, but a 3 mana 3/3 with flying that makes you lose three life when it enters the battlefield is excessive, costly, and pointless. What will this card even do for anyone?
Necromancer’s Assistant
Eric's Review - Helping with the dredge deck building in my head, a three mana 3/1 that puts cards into your graveyard is a good boost to the graveyard and getting cards from the graveyard back to the battlefield. Could be useful.
Necromancer’s Stockpile
Eric's Review - Definitely a card to add to a dredge deck by selecting specific cards to put into the graveyard, however discarding zombies brings more zombies to the battlefield, so definitely a good card.
Nightfire Giant
Eric's Review - The third Kird Ape-esque card is effectively a 5/4 and for five mana can deal two damage to either creatures or players. Definitely not a powerful card, and very costly. Much better suited for Limited.
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
Eric's Review - The new Ob Nixilis is really powerful. Sure he is a 4/4 for six mana, sure he has flying and trample, and sure he gets +1/+1 counters when other creatures die, but the best thing is that when opponents search their libraries, they lose 10 life and sacrifice a creature. This is very powerful, and looks good for Commander, but I can't help feeling that it will be banned there.
Paragon of Open Graves
Eric's Review - The third Paragon just gives creatures deathtouch. Not too impressive, especially when deathtouch costs three mana from this card, but still a decent card.
Rotfeaster Maggot
Eric's Review - This guy isn't bad. It's a good 3/5 body and it gains you life by exiling a creature from any graveyard. It's really not that bad, but is more of a Limited card.
Shadowcloak Vampire
Eric's Review - Another vampire that for five mana is a 4/3 and can gain flying by paying life. Not too great, but still decent.
Sign in Blood
Eric's Review - Sign in Blood is a great card draw spell for black given that it doesn't have much, but it does cost two life. Still pretty good considering black does have lifelink.
Soul of Innistrad
Eric's Review - Our third Soul has deathtouch and returns creatures from your graveyard to your hand. Not too bad and one or two could fit in a dredge deck, but not many.
Stab Wound
Eric's Review - This is a great card for bleeding your opponent and crippling one of their creatures.
Stain the Mind
Eric's Review - A great removal card for specific threats you see in games, a good sideboard card for black for sure, possibly even mainboard.
Typhoid Rats
Eric's Review - This is a great card considering it can show up on turn one, is a 1/1, and also has deathtouch. Typhoid Rats also makes it so that there can be a total of 16 rat creatures in a deck which boosts Pack Rat.
Ulcerate
Eric's Review - A strong card in Limited and likely Standard, being able to take out a creature for one mana is great, the only downside is the loss of life.
Unmake the Graves
Eric's Review - The ability to bring creatures from your graveyard back to your hand is necessary for dredge decks and could come in handy especially with Convoke tacked on. Seems great to me.
Wall of Limbs
Eric's Review - Something like Archangel of Thune, you get counters for life gain, but the high cost to force an opponent to lose life is far too high for a Constructed deck.
Waste Not
Eric's Review - Ah, the card the community designed. Definitely strong with all the discard available. As long as an opponent discards on your turn, you can easily do a lot with this card. Check some of the above cards for good discard effect.
Witch’s Familiar
Eric's Review - Just a vanilla 2/3. Nothing to see here, please move along...
Xathrid Slyblade
Eric's Review - A hexproof 2/1 that can replace hexproof with first strike and deathtouch is not horrible, but it isn't too amazingly great either. Definitely opens it up for targets once hexproof is removed.
Zof Shade
Eric's Review - In most sets, there is a creature that can boost itself. This is the one for M15.

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