Limited Concepts – M19 Set Review: Black

I am really liking the way black looks here and has some serious synergy going on.

My rating scale goes from A+ to F
A: True bombs that can win you the game or extremely good removal
B: Very solid playables, good removal
C: Filler, easily replaced
D: Cards I’d rather not have in my deck
F: Unplayable

Abnormal Endurance

C
This is just a strictly worse Supernatural Stamina but I think this will be a decent effect in this format full of 3 mana 2/2s. Not to mention the fact that if the creature dies it returns to the battlefield and will trigger it’s ETB effect a second time. I am not picking this highly but I believe it to be playable and something that may end up being better than expected. Use this on Salvager of Secrets and you got yourself a loop.

Blood Divination

B
There are a few different ways to make tokens with thopters, goblins, zombies, and more and with the flat power of the creatures in this set sacrificing a 2/2 that are got some value somewhere will be a big gain when you draw three. Not to mention various graveyard synergies that might like some extra cards in the yard I am all about this card.

Bogstomper

D+
Black gets just a straight up worse creature than Colossal Dreadmaw at the same CMC. While this can often be the biggest thing in the game it can be easily dealt with and doesn’t have trample or any other relevant text.

Child of Night

C
While there is a decent amount of X/1 hate in the format I do believe Child of Night will be a decent two drop that can really punish a stumbling opponent or just block and gain you some life. With life gain pay offs in the format as well this can be a recurring source of life gain for decks that care about that.

Diregraf Ghoul

C+
This is another card that can really punish your opponent when they stumble and you are on the play. In a zombie deck this fits the best but any sort of sacrifice deck as well since it can get in some early damage and then be sacrificed when it’s no longer relevant.

Doomed Dissenter

C+
Here we have another card that goes great into any sacrifice deck or decks with sacrifice as part of the cost to cast spells and can soak up a bunch of damage otherwise. The token is vulnerable but becoming a 2/2 zombie is a decent body in this format.

Duress

D
Not really a card I am looking to main deck in limited and that hasn’t changed here. Worthy sideboard card and you will bring it in every once in a while.

Epicure of Blood

C+
A 5 mana 4/4 seems pretty big in this format and with a bunch of incidental life gain in black and white this is just a pure upside ability in a creature I am already interested in playing. Throw flying on this thing and I really get excited.

Fell Specter

B
If only this was a spirit and not a specter! Alright so as far as rate you pay 3 mana for a 2/2 flyer, or 3 mana for a 1/3 flyer. This is one more mana for a pretty good upside that gets better in multiples getting extra drains out of your opponent although this is an uncommon so I don’t expect to get a ton of these. The format is full of small bodies and so this can block a decent amount of the creatures and with flying is even better. Being 4 mana also gives you the chance to play this card correctly more often than not because you are more likely to nab a good card from your opponent than on turn 2 or 3.

Gravedigger

B+
A classic card that is generally great and can get back your best creature. This enables many different synergies and cool plays you can pull off and then leaves behind a blocker for you and 2/2 is a decent stat linne in this format. Not to mention any zombie synergies.

Hired Blade

C+
I thoroughly enjoy this card and while it’s not incredibly special it will be very solid. I expect a card like this to have deathtouch but instead just is given three power which will trade with a lot in the format and can be much more a damage threat than a 1/1 deathtouch. Flash this is to block and trade or win a combat or flash it in for some unexpected damage at the end of your opponent’s turn.

Infectious Horror

C-
I feel like there are decks that might want this card but on the whole the power level is pretty low. You always get through 2 points of damage with it after attacking but 4 mana is a lot for a 2/2 and this is the kind of card that can punish an opponent for stumbling but if you can’t cast it till turn 4 it won’t really be able to do that. Any deck with unblockable effects and this get interesting and can present a real clock. If your opponent is playing a large number of 1/3s then maybe this gets more interesting as well.

Infernal Scarring

C-
Thjs is a decent aura only costing 2 mana and can replace itself after the creature dies. Problems being it only pumps power so usually the creature will die and tries to act like a pseudo removal spell. Though if you stick this on a flying threat you can be dealing some serious damage. No evasion bonus is also a knock on this card so while I think it’s okay might not be that great.

Lich’s Caress

B-
5 mana is a lot but this is unconditional removal and gaining 3 life can completely change the landscape of a game. Being a sorcery is also a huge knock against it. If the format proves to be pretty aggressive you will need this life gain to play some slower decks to make it to the late game. I prefer cards like Contract Killing at this price because at least there it gave you the ability to double spell. You will still want this to make sure you can remove your opponent’s bombs.

Macabre Waltz

B
This effect being only two mana is great. We have seen Soul Salvage and Recover most recently at the three mana slot but this being 2 mana is even better and often the discard can be upside in these black decks or can just discard a land when you are at the point where you are returning two creatures from the yard.

Mind Rot

C
This effect can be very powerful in limited but in a topdeck battle wont accomplish much. This is just a straight 2 for 1 but not always and is best in developing stages of the game.

Murder

B+
Some of the best removal that ever was and you will want as many as you can get I imagine. Instant, unconditional, and less than 4 mana.

Nightmare’s Thirst

B-
There are a few X/1s in the set that can be killed by this but in life gain decks then this becomes a straight removal spell. Where I see this being best is as a 1 mana combat trick and while it’s no Skullduggery it can do a decent impression.

Plague Mare

B
There are some interesting play patterns presented by this card which makes it very versatile in the way you can kill your opponent’s creatures. Casting the horse before or after combat can accomplish different things for you and can’t be blocked by white creatures seems pretty good since I like the way white is looking in this set.

Ravenous Harpy

B
This is a very solid card that has a lot of synergies with different cards in the set. Generally you want you sac outlets to be free but one mana isn’t terrible and just being able to do this in response to your opponent using removal on another creature and just sac it instead. That means your opponent’s may want to remove this first which means this just soaks up some removal which is good too. There are a lot of graveyard synergies in this set not to mention Act of Treason so I’m excited to play with the harpy.

Reassembling Skeleton

C-
In certain decks this guy will be a centerpiece and depending on how slow the format is this may get better but on its face this card is not the strongest. There are definitely synergies with this card but I’m not sure you need this card. If the format ends up being really grindy then this gets better but a 1/1 body just does nothing otherwise.

Rise from the Grave

B-
This can get your best creature back and immediately put it into play so this with mill effects and sacrifice effects is a nice home and not to mention just when your opponents kill your creatures. Coming back as a zombie can be a nice bonus too if you have a Death Baron.

Skeleton Archer

B
4 mana 3/3 seems pretty on rate here and with upside that can finish a creature off after combat, kill an X/1, or just go face. Solid card.

Skymarch Bloodletter

B
Another solid threat that is on rate and can trigger life gain for any decks that care about it and otherwise just flys over for damage.

Sovereign’s Bite

C-
In decks that want this effect this card will be great to deal some damage gain you some life and trigger your life gain matters stuff. 2 mana for a 6 point life swing is quite a lot but I can Imagine many situations where this is the last card you cast before you die. I think this card has potential to swing games but I will have to play with it a bit first.

Sticher’s Supplier

D+
This card is going to be really good in graveyard decks but otherwise wont do a whole lot.

Strangling Spores

B
Dealing -3/-3 will kill a lot of creatures in this format and being at instant speed makes me much more happy to play this card. Only problem is that it does not necessarily kill everything in the format. I will want the first Lich’s Caress over this but will take this over the second Caress.

Two-Headed Zombie

B
This can set you up to deliver some serious blowouts if your opponent double blocks which might make them want to use a removal spell on this which just means they don’t have it for a real bomb. Being a zombie is also great upside. Bluffing with this card will be pretty easy against a somewhat competent player.

Vampire Neonate

B-
If the ability to durdle in this format is possible this will be a key part. Coming down on turn 1 and blocking almost all game ensures you keep a higher life total as you bridge the gap to the late game. Also any decks that care about life gain even a little will want this card as a repeatable source of life gain. Once you have amassed a decent number of lands you can be activating this at the end of your opponent’s turn while still casting spells on your’s.

Vampire Sovereign

B
Here is another card with a huge life swing attached to it and on a 3/4 flyer. This is the black Cloudreader Sphinx that gains and drains instead of scrys and while I prefer to scry gaining life has it’s advantages here, There also seems to be a lot of incidental draining so you may be able to kill opponents fairly quickly.

Walking Corpse

C-
Playable filler if you have nothing better and does benefit from zombie synergies.

 

White

Blue

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