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Scars of Mirrodin Set Review – Black

Black has a little value, but there is only one card I am really interested in. It is also fairly shallow for Limited, so an overall disappointing showing. Before you ask, no, Vampires still isn’t good.

As usual, the ratings scales are as follows:

Constructed

5.0: Multi-format All-Star. Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf.

4.0: Format staple. Vengevine. Mana Leak.

3.5: Good in multiple archetypes, but not a format staple. Raging Ravine. Lotus Cobra.

3.0: Archetype staple. Cultivate. Goblin Guide.

2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. Rampant Growth. Khalni Heart Expedition.

2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. Celestial Purge. (Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although explanation of why is obviously important)

1.0 It has seen play once. One with Nothing. (I believe it was tech vs Owling Mine, although fairly suspicious tech at that.)

Limited

5.0: I will always play this card. Period.

4.5: I will almost always play this card, regardless of what else I get.

4.0: I will strongly consider playing this as the only card of its color.

3.5: I feel a strong pull into this card’s color.

3.0: This card makes me want to play this color. (Given that I’m playing that color, I will play this card 100% of the time.)

2.5: Several cards of this power level start to pull me into this color. If playing that color, I essentially always play these. (Given that I’m playing that color, I will play this card 90% of the time.)

2.0: If I’m playing this color, I usually play these. (70%)

1.5: This card will make the cut into the main deck about half the times I play this color. (50%)

1.0: I feel bad when this card is in my main deck. (30%)

0.5: There are situations where I might sideboard this into my deck, but I’ll never start it. (10%)

0.0: I will never put this card into my deck (main deck or after sideboarding). (0%)

Blackcleave Goblin
Blackcleave Goblin

Constructed: 1.0

I’d just as well leave him on the sidelines; costing 4 and being a 2/1 is a black mark against any card.

Limited: 1.0-2.5

Much like I addressed metalcraft, now I get to talk about infect. Infect creatures don’t mesh incredibly well with non-infect creatures, but they still have merits in non-infect decks. Clearly you don’t want to be attacking them on multiple fronts, which seems pretty obvious to everyone. Infect guys do block pretty well, so they are reasonable to play for a mostly defensive role, Blight Mamba especially. Unfortunately for Blackcleave Goblin, a 2/1 haste isn’t particularly suited for defense, which is why it is unplayable outside of a pure infect deck. Even in the infect deck (which is clearly what the high end of the rating assumes), the Goblin is one of the weaker options, since it still just trades for a Myr. It can ambush them out of nowhere, but it isn’t a card I would take particularly high.

Bleak Coven Vampires
Bleak Coven Vampires

Constructed: 1.0

The future looks pretty bleak for these guys. A 4/3 for 5 isn’t impressive, and needing three artifacts for a solid ability doesn’t do enough to overcome that. I don’t see enough support among black cards to go for a metalcraft theme, Phylactery Lich notwithstanding.

Limited: 1.0-2.0

Even in the metalcraft deck, Bleak Coven Vampires aren’t particularly ridiculous. Add that to the fact that black still doesn’t support metalcraft very well, and you see why I rated this fairly low. Most of the heavy black decks focus on infect, which the Vampires clearly don’t interact well with, and five mana is not cheap in this format. This is a textbook case of the payoff not being worth the effort.

Blistergrub
Blistergrub

Constructed: 1.0

I really wish this was good enough for Constructed…then I could say that it would be the closest Ray Walkinshaw would get to playing in a top 8 instead of covering it =).

Limited: 1.0

Not strictly a sideboard card, but one I would definitely prefer to start on the bench. It getting them for two on the way out is a significant upgrade to Bog Raiders, since it effectively shortens the clock by a turn when they are trying to kill it instead of race it. Non-artifact cards have a tougher time making it in, but a non-metalcraft deck could start this without too much embarrassment.

Carnifex Demon
Carnifex Demon

Constructed: 1.0

I’m just not seeing the potential here. Paying six for a 4/4 flier and then hoping to untap with it in order to grow it a little and shrink their team is just not Constructed viable. Every contagion might have a host, but every host certainly doesn’t have a deck.

Limited: 4.0

This would probably merit a 3.0 if it was a vanilla 4/4 flier for six, and it does waaaay more than that. There seem to be a lot of Wrath-type effects in the set, even if there is no actual Wrath. Six mana is a tad high in this set, but the payoff here is definitely worth it. If you have proliferate shenanigans this is even more absurd, not that it is really necessary.

Contagious Nim
Contagious Nim

Constructed: 1.0

The secret of the Nim is that they are all terrible, and Contagious Nim is no exception.

Limited: 1.5-3.0

Even in infect, Contagious Nim isn’t the most exciting, though it is a three drop, which infect decks often lack. As a wither defender, it is still somewhat playable, especially with something like Accorder’s Shield (one of the more underrated cards in the set).

Corrupted Harvester
Corrupted Harvester

Constructed: 1.0

This won’t be harvesting any wins in Constructed, now or ever.

Limited: 1.0

Paying six mana for a three-toughness guy that needs additional black mana and creatures in order to be safe is not my idea of a good time. Six-drops need to have immediate impact and stand on their own, and this does neither.

Dross Hopper
Dross Hopper

Constructed: 1.0

Dross is a good description of this, and in fact says everything that needs to be said.

Limited: 1.0

For this to be playable, a few things need to be true. The first is that your deck is completely un-themed, since Dross Hopper doesn’t help with infect or metalcraft whatsoever. The second is that you must have a bunch of awesome equipment or a complete lack of low drops. Lastly, you need to be ready to do some losing, since an un-themed deck with no low drops isn’t exactly a recipe for success. If I ever activate this guy, which hopefully I won’t, I am definitely going to tell him to “hop to it” while I bash for two.

Exsanguinate
Exsanguinate

Constructed: 1.0

This shares its casting cost with Profane Command; a useful thing if you are playing mental Magic, but as irrelevant as this card when talking about real Constructed.

Limited: 1.5

If you are playing an aggressive black deck that isn’t infect, Exsanguinate is excellent. Combining [card]Lava Axe[/card] with lifegain is nice, since the lifegain buys you time in a race, and makes up for the fact that you just spend six or seven mana and didn’t affect the board. Lifegain is worse in this set than in any set in history due to infect, but infect is usually going to be two decks at the table max. Note that this really bleeds them dry in Two-Headed Giant, not that I intend to ever play that format again.

Flesh Allergy
Flesh Allergy

Constructed: 1.0

I wouldn’t suggest playing this unless you are somehow allergic to winning. I could flesh out this comment more, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

Limited: 2.0

Tom Raney got me real good with this by sacrificing a Blistergrub, and even if you don’t have delicious grubs to throw at them, it is still a great card in a race. In the infect deck it loses a fair bit of luster, but removal is removal, and trading a Myr for their best creature is still desirable. I wouldn’t always play the Allergy but it’ll make the cut more often than not, especially if you plan on winning via damage.

Fume Spitter
Fume Spitter

Constructed: 1.0

Plagued Rusalka saw a fair bit of play, but damage doesn’t stack and you no longer have various haunt tricks to work with. In a world where Hornet Sting is a viable sideboard card, I guess I can’t be too sure, but I think black decks will do just fine without trying to run on fumes.

Limited: 2.0

This might not look incredibly attractive, at least until you realize how much of the format is based on Myrs. Myrs are like the baseline of any draft deck, and “how many Myrs” is going to be a commonly-asked question. So, if you are playing against people who know what’s up, Fume Spitter is an effective card, and if you aren’t, well, you get to play against people who don’t know how to draft. Congrats!

Geth, Lord of the Vault
Geth, Lord of the Vault

Constructed: 1.0

Another six-drop that requires untapping in order to get business done, eh? If there is to be a From the Vault: Unplayables, Geth is definitely the lord.

Limited: 4.0

I find it a little sad that Geth probably just kills them before his ability becomes too relevant, though I suppose that’s a kind of dumb complaint. Bashing for five and possessing an almost unbeatable ability is kinda what you want when you pay six mana for something.

Grasp of Darkness
Grasp of Darkness

Constructed: 2.0

I may be grasping at straws, but this could supplement or supplant Doom Blade, depending on what the rest of the metagame looks like. It is doubtful, since Doom Blade is…the blade, but you gotta kill Malakir Bloodwitch or Vampire Nighthawk somehow.

Limited: 4.0

Instant speed removal for two mana that kills nearly everything? It will be a dark day indeed when that doesn’t rate at least a 4 in Limited.

Hand of the Praetors
Hand of the Praetors

Constructed: 1.0

Well, here you have it. If I’m giving this a “1” in Constructed, it seems unlikely that poison is going to return to the realm of 60-card decks (discounting odd Berserk-fueled Legacy nonsense). Four mana is at least one too many for this to approach playability, and unless the second set gives poison a hand (at least a better hand, that is), I have trouble seeing it be viable.

Limited: 3.5

If you want a reason to draft infect, here it is. If this stays on the board for any length of time, your opponent is probably dead, and if they aren’t, they at least lose all their creatures. The combination of boosting your guys by 1 and putting an additional three power poison guy into play increases the pressure significantly, and even if the board stalls, you threaten to ping them to death just by playing guys. Recurring Hounds anyone?

Ichor Rats
Ichor Rats

Constructed: 1.0

In order to make Limited good, all the poison guys cost one mana too much for Constructed, which I am definitely thankful for. I will gladly trade a marginal Constructed archetype for a good Limited experience, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Of course, the preceding sentences probably clued you in to the fact that the Rats aren’t playable, and if you figured it out, then all I can say is:

Limited: 3.0

Ichor Rats is one of the better poisoners out there, both because he is cheaper than four mana and because pinging them for a poison counter is one of the few ways to poison them outside of combat. With only a few proliferate cards in the set, it is difficult to do much non-combat poisoning, so Rats can easily throw off your opponent’s calculations. Corpse Cur also rewards you for having infect guys with EtB abilities, since you can just chump with Rats and recur them in a tight race. Ichor Rats are an important part of most successful infect decks, and should be picked highly as a consequence.

Instill Infection
Instill Infection

Constructed: 1.0

Let’s go ahead and assume that the best case scenario occurs: you take down a four-drop with Instill Infection, achieving mana equity and card advantage in one fell swoop! Alright, so what costs four and has one toughness? Hmm, pretty much drawing a blank. Three? Cunning Sparkmage, uh, and that’s it. At two we get a few bites, but once we hit two mana we are losing out pretty badly on the exchange. Perhaps this was a waste of time, though I wanted to instill confidence that I am taking every card seriously, despite most of them being clearly unfit for Constructed.

Limited: 3.0

According to Tom Raney, this is “Terminate + draw a card,” to which is absurd. Why would you call it Terminate + draw a card when you could call it Annihilate?

In all seriousness, I have been happy with Instill Infection every time I’ve played it, and I don’t think I would ever cut it, though I might sideboard it out. Killing a Myr or an evasion guy isn’t difficult, and it can even get proliferate started. I wish more cards said “draw a card” on them, since that one little phrase does wonders for playability.

Memoricide
Memoricide

Constructed: 2.0

I really want to just give this a “1” and be done with it. My hatred for cards of this ilk is well-documented, and Memoricide is just another copy of the same thing (Cranial Extraction, Extirpate, Pithing Needle, Thought Hemorrhage). If everyone just assumed these sort of things were unplayable it would probably be safest, since more harm is done by people playing these than good. The reason I hate such cards is that they are just fundamentally flawed in most of the situations people use them. You are siding in cards that are built-in card disadvantage, and only in the most narrow cases is that good. Yes, if you play against a deck with literally one win condition, you can win some games by Cranialing them, but most people seem to think that naming a “good” card is some kind of value. Siding in Thought Hemorrhage against UW in Standard was a common example, and exactly what I am railing against. You are just trying to name one of their many good cards, and unless they have one in hand, you just spent four mana and a card to weaken their draw steps slightly.

All that being said, I can’t give this an unplayable rating, since if there is a narrow combo deck, Memoricide is one way to fight it. I swear though, if you side this in to try and “get” their Vengevines, I’m going to do you a favor and personally confiscate your Memoricides so you can’t use them anymore.

Limited: 0.0

Must I repeat myself? I’ll admit, I sided in Cranial Extraction against Umezawa’s Jitte once, but Jitte was a special case, and is my vote for the ABSOLUTE BEST CARD IN LIMITED EVER (and I’ll be glad to debate the point in the comments if people are interested), and there is nothing approaching Jitte in this set. You will win more games by just hoping they don’t draw Contagion Engine than by siding in Memoricide to get it, and I was still probably wrong to side in Extraction against Jitte.

Moriok Reaver

Moriok Reaver 

Constructed: 1.0

One day, there is going to be a critical mass of [card]Warpath Ghoul[/card]s and someone is going to…0-2 drop a tournament with it.

Limited: 1.5

If this were an artifact, it would easily be a 2.5, but it isn’t, and therefore suffers the fate of all non-artifact durdle creatures in the set. Not helping with infect or metalcraft is a serious disadvantage, and it isn’t like a 3/2 for three was ever something to write home about.

Necrogen Scudder
Necrogen Scudder

Constructed: 1.0

If you are in the market for three-mana black fliers, why don’t I show you our nice selection of Vampire Nighthawks? A little harder to cast, but he makes up for it by gaining you life instead of losing it, and is capable of taking down just about anything. Plus, being a Vampire never hurts, and makes you eligible for all sorts of discounts and special offers!

Limited: 2.5

A 3/3 flier is a 3/3 flier, and the drawback is even negated when you are playing against the infect deck. I found this out firsthand, when I got bashed by t3 Scudder t4 Scudder while staring at a bunch of Corpse Curs and whatnot. Clearly the infect deck isn’t going to play a defender that costs it three life, but the non-infect decks will rarely cut this.

Necrotic Ooze
Necrotic Ooze

Constructed: 2.5

The combo possibilities are endless, and this just oozes with potential! From copying Mogg Fanatic and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in Legacy to the convoluted mess that is Mul-Daya Channelers (with a land on top) and Soliton in Standard, Necrotic Ooze is bound to be tried in a multitude of decks. Whether that will end up being good enough is soon to be seen.

Limited: 3.0

There are a ton of interesting activated abilities in this set, and in most games you will have at least a few options to choose from. Add that to the reasonable stats presented in the first place and you have a winner!

Painful Quandary
Painful Quandary

Constructed: 1.0

What’s really painful is having to review cards like this, but if I skip them I can’t call it a full set review, which is quite the quandary.

Limited: 0.0

This format is way too fast for this to be relevant, and giving them the option between two somewhat mediocre punishments has never been the hallmark of a good card.

Painsmith
Painsmith

Constructed: 2.0

Turn two Painsmith, turn three Trinket Mage into Memnite certainly does bring the pain. Add in some Phylactery Liches and there is definitely the possibility of a deck. Probably not a good deck, but a deck nonetheless.

Limited: 3.0

There aren’t many reasons to mix metalcraft and infect, but Painsmith is one of them. You don’t even need very many artifacts to make him reasonable; all you need is to be aggressive, whether you are poisoning or not. From what I’ve seen, almost every deck is aggressive, so that shouldn’t really be a problem either.

Plague Stinger
Plague Stinger

Constructed: 1.0

Avoid him like the plague, unless you want to feel the cruel sting of defeat.

Limited: 1.0-3.0

Would you cut Stormfront Pegasus from your WW deck? I thought not, and the Stinger is really not much different. Throw in a Darksteel Axe and the game is going to end on turn 5 or 6 without much trouble. Stinger might be the most important infect guy of them all, since evasion really is that good.

Psychic Miasma
Psychic Miasma

Constructed: 1.0

If this returned every time no matter what, it would be a decent sideboard card in some matchups. In reality, you are going to cast this and they are going to pitch a Vengevine…and you can imagine where it goes from there.

Limited: 0.0

So, best case scenario you trade this for a real card? They can even pitch a land and make you waste time recasting it if they are beating you down. You don’t have to be psychic to realize this is terrible.

Relic Putrescence
Relic Putrescence

Constructed: 1.0

Even if there hypothetically was a poison deck, it wouldn’t play this putrid thing.

Limited: 0.5

You have to have a pretty specific reason to play this; being the poison deck isn’t enough. If they have a number of good repeatable effects (Trigons, Contagion Clasp), you might consider siding it, but past that you really should avoid it.

Skinrender
Skinrender

Constructed: 3.0

Much like Flametongue Kavu before him, this is going to render a number of otherwise playable creatures useless. I may have talked about Vampire Nighthawk before, but why would you cast one if there are a ton of Skinrenders running around? Basically, any guy that costs 3+ mana and dies to Skinrender has to provide significant value to be worth playing. Even then, Skinrender is one of the better things to spend four mana on in this format, especially in black decks.

Limited: 4.5

Speaking of Flametongues…you really shouldn’t be passing this, and even if you aren’t black, consider switching. Yes, he is that good.

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

Constructed: 2.5

If someone is going to be poisoned in Constructed, it will be by Skithiryx’s hands, er, claws, whatever. Killing in three turns (potentially “two” if you have the mana to haste him) and protecting himself by regenerating is a pretty big game. He needs no outside assistance, and seems like a pretty solid choice as a finisher for a control deck. His worst quality is probably his name, since I anticipate many, many, misspellings, and I will undoubtedly miss some while editing articles.

Limited: 4.5

Regardless of whether you plan on poisoning them or not, don’t pass regenerating hasty dragons, especially ones that kill them in three hits. Even a bigger flier (not that any exist without equipment) won’t stop Skittles, and only Arrest and Grasp of Darkness kill him when you have regen mana up (though Volition Reins might be ok).

Tainted Strike
Tainted Strike

Constructed: 1.0

There are enough strikes against this that I wouldn’t ever consider playing it in a Constructed deck.

Limited: 1.0

The problem with Tainted Strike is that you need to play non-infect guys in an infect deck, since you certainly aren’t playing the Strike in a non-infect deck. That can be an upside though, since if you attack with a 3/3 against someone at 20 life and 6 poison counters, they often won’t block, and you can just kill them. I think Strikes get better in multiples, since once I have two Strikes I’ll be much happier playing a couple random non-poison guys. Make sure you don’t play any more than that, since otherwise you are out.

Top 5 Black Cards for Constructed

5. Painsmith
4. Grasp of Darkness
3. Necrotic Ooze
2. Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
1. Skinrender

The pickings are pretty slim here, and Skinrender is the only card I’m really excited about. Skittles is going to make some opponents taste the rainbow (assuming the rainbow is made of poison), but control decks rarely lack for finishers. Ooze is still pretty speculative, and I doubt Grasp or Painsmith ever make the big show. All in all, not impressive.

Top 5 Commons for Limited

5. Fume Spitter
4. Contagious Nim
3. Instill Infection
2. Plague Stinger
1. Grasp of Darkness

Wow, that’s a pretty pathetic list. Grasp of Darkness is the only common I would be happy first-picking, and if you aren’t in poison, the rest of the list is almost blank. Luckily for black, artifacts are a pretty big game, but keep in mind how shallow black is when drafting. If you aren’t drafting infect, you really have no reason to be drafting black at all.

Join me tomorrow as I tackle red in all its fiery glory!

LSV

106 thoughts on “Scars of Mirrodin Set Review – Black”

  1. I’m really disappointed in this set. On a side note, I found this quote hilarious

    “Skittles is going to make some opponents taste the rainbow (assuming the rainbow is made of poison)”

  2. Fume spitter seems better than 3 to me, since taking out various smiths or other x/1s (with mana advantage) seems pretty good. Also, note that he can be sacced at any time, so if he is outclassed, you can attack, then make blocking hard by threatening the counter. Similarly, I think tainted strike might be somewhat ok on creatures with first strike, as they will wither the opposing creature before they deal damage.

    Last, it is unclear to me how good flesh allergy might be. A first main cast (Bone splinters + shock) seems overpriced at 4 mana, but the other possibility is casting this second main after alpha striking and trading a few creatures to lava axe them out. However, given that black is so heavily infected makes the latter seem much less frequent.

    Rats off to ya!

  3. Really?
    I liked Memoricide, i can see what your getting at but getting rid of there vendgevines/other things are good, it may not 100% win you the game but i see this hurting them alot.

  4. Spells-10
    3x duress
    2x Inquisition of Kozilek
    4x Doom Blade
    1x Dark Tutelage

    Artifacts-11
    2x Basilisk Collar
    3x Mox Opal
    4x Ratchet Bomb
    2x Crystal Ball

    Creatures-15
    4x Nantuko Shade
    2x Hexmage
    4x Gatekeeper
    2x Lich
    3x Masticore

    lands
    4x tec edge
    20x black sources

    rough list just brewed up after my last comment. thought i would share so everyone could tell me how horrible i am.

  5. @homieK: Naming vengevine wont do much in most decks that play it because they will just kill you with other spells and the card advantage they just gained if none of the named cards were in hand. That said, the information gain from searching your opponent’s library is actually pretty significant (though still not worth 4 mana).

    The only deck in the current meta that even cares about memoricide is pyromancer’s ascension since it pretty much can’t win without ascending.

  6. I take offense to Pithing Needle being grouped with that other jank, since it pretty much reads “1: O-Ring target Planeswalker”

  7. Great set review.
    I’m very excited about Skinrender (might even be better than FTK) since it’s counters and can shrink bombs (Baneslayer, etc)
    Like it has been said, Mono black might be back.
    Duress/Sign in Blood/ Nantuko Shade/ Gate Keeper/ Skinrender/ Grave Titan/ Doom Blade/ Lich/ Black Spell Bomb/ Persecutor/ Bloodwitch/ Mindsludge/ Hexmage/ + blue splash for Trinket Mage (get the axe for lich ) Jace Mana leak and Creeping Tar Pit …. Looks pretty good to me…

  8. Norin: that kind of thinking is what I’m talking about. If you needle Jace after they have used it, you are still down a card, and they can still o-ring it or whatever.

    If you needle before they play jace, they might not draw jace, and if they do draw jace, its still a 1 for 1.

  9. Necrotic Ooze doesn’t combo with Mul Daya Channelers; Channelers doesn’t have any activated abilities. It does have a static ability which, in certain situations, grants it an activated ability, but Ooze won’t be copying that. In that respect it’s sort of like copying a Brimstone Mage — your copy won’t be able to ping (unless you somehow get level counters on it).

  10. mono black will not be back until skeletal scrying makes a comeback, then the deck will be on track and until that day yall are wack.

    I think the best thing about skinrender is that he kills vengevine twice, Unfortunetely, I still dont see much of a point in playng black in this t2 format.

  11. I’m glad LSV knows how to cube. Any deck in cube with a creature that isn’t a titan or eternal witness is severely lacking.

    @LSV: Do you think that Skinrender is better than FTK in constructed?

  12. “Skittles is going to make some opponents taste the rainbow (assuming the rainbow is made of poison)” actually made me laugh out loud. I love your articles LSV, and I’m glad you signed my playmat at GP Portland 🙂

  13. Jitte over Ancestral Recall in Cube?

    If it’s a weak format, or a Limited format with no removal/spells, somehow, then sure, because Jitte will be better than any three cards you can draw. But a Cube, which is usually full of cool/powerful cards? I’m not sure.

  14. Quick question: How is Necrotic Ooze able to copy Mul Daya Channelers’ ability? Most activated abilities (which the Ooze copies) are in the format “Cost: Effect”, and this would only be ‘sometimes on’. You’d need a way to reveal the top card of your library and show it’s a land, and even so, I’m not sure MDC’s ability qualifies. I’ve been told via #mtgrules on EFnet (IRC channel) that “It has a static ability which sometimes grants an activated ability” and thus doesn’t qualify.

  15. this sunday I got a 5th pick skinrender. granted, it was the third pack, but finding out that at least half the table were not drafting any black at all, and they were to my right, was sweet. yeah, I won that draft. that same draft I also got passed a Nim deathmantle, with a common missing. what the hell would you take over that card? it’s a bomb!

  16. I get why mixing infect and non-infect creatures is not so good. How hard is it to actually grab 12+ infect creatures in a draft?

  17. Fume Spitter is quite good, honestly probably a 2.5 according to that scale. I cant really see cutting one unless i have 3 or 4, Im pretty sure Id always play 2. Also, while it may end up being that Tainted Strike really is a 1.0 for draft, Im pretty sure thats not the case with sealed. Even with 6 packs youre realistically not going to be able to build ‘the infect deck’, at least not with all infect creatures. Youre going to need a decent number of solid ‘other’ creatures to fill in the spots.

  18. Had to point this out: the tagline is weird: “As usual, LSV delivers a complete set review of Scars of Mirrodin” doesn’t make any sense when you think about it.

  19. Shouldn’t bein black unless your infect?

    False.

    If you get Skinrender, Grasp of Darkness, and Necrogen Scudder, you can make a very good support color to red, which is very deep.

    Throw in some Flesh Allergy which isn’t that bad, along with some of the more bomby rares, and black is fine without infect.

  20. I’ve also seen Tainted Strike used as a terrible fog (they attack you with a 5/5 and you give it infect and live).

  21. Re: Jitte in cube

    Cube isn’t “limited” per se, and I would say that most decent cube decks can probably compete with standard decks reasonably well.

    Jitte vs Karakas in me3

    Karakas was pretty absurd, don’t get me wrong, but it was somewhat beatable at least. The deck I ended up drafting often (G/x jungle lion/scryb sprite) didn’t care about karakas in the least, and it was possible of getting draws in normal decks that could beat karakas. Jitte on the other hand was basically impossible to beat; if they had jitte + 2 guys, you could never win.

    Jitte vs Masticore (urza’s destiny)

    There were a couple answers to masticore (befoul, eradicate, confiscate), and it took a lot more mana to completely dominate a game. Don’t get me wrong, masticore is probably one of the top 3 cards or so, but I still vote for jitte.

    There was exactly one maindeckable removal spell for jitte (hearth kami), and only a couple ones you could sideboard (terashi’s grasp, rending vines). Once they equip once, even if that creature trades, the next guy gets +4+4, and will almost assuredly survive, at which point you cant race it and cant beat it in combat. Combine that with the plentiful soulshift and zuberas, and it becomes pretty easy to see why jitte was just absurd.

    One of the main factors for jitte being the best is that there was almost nothing that could kill it. Masticore being a creature made it more vulnerable, and jitte didnt share that weakness. If jitte was printed in mirrodin, it wouldnt even be on the table, since there were so many ways to kill artifacts in the set.

  22. I disagree about tainted strike being unplayable in non-infect decks in limited, as +1/+0 and wither is still a fine deal for 1 mana, letting any creature you have make a profitable block. Other than that, I like the idea that you review every card, even the ones that clearly weren’t made for constructed or limited.

  23. @ harrison

    Profitable =! trading strike and a creature for a creature. I do realize tainted strike does let you take something down, but trading 2 for 1 certainly doesn’t sound profitable to me.

    @ jitte vs opposition

    opposition is sick, but it still requires you to have 1 creature for every creature they have, so it really just lets you trade up. Jitte lets you kill all their guys at the cost of 1, maybe 2 at worst of your own.

    @ amarsir

    I saw it when I was a kid, not sure how old it was at that point, though I do vividly remember it.

  24. @LSV, I’m not anywhere saying I am near as good as you, but on forums, and multiple events I traveled to, along with the hundreds of local 16k tournaments and large 32k whenever I played Jund, I played 2+ Thought Hemorrhage, and no less.

    Sometimes I sided them against control, yes, mainly if I was on the play. Tapping out for Putrid Leech, then a blightning, looking at what they discarded if the Thought Hemorrhage resolved their hand was decimated. You can make a good amount of educated guesses, and estimate what is in their hand. Having duress sided in helps out a ton as well to remove the counter magic first, then using TH of killing multiple copies of a planeswalker.

    These are just situations that have occurred, but the real power in Cranial effects is when used in multiples to completely cripple a deck. Not every deck (especially control) has a wide variety of threats, and those threats they do carry and sometimes irrelevant when you are piloting Jund. With mana leak in the format now, of course it has less impact. Yet I am always going to give a warm welcome to these lobotomy style cards, it’s a safe “out” for wizards if combo gets out of control.

  25. You know, even if I disagree with your assessment of Poison’s overall potential in Standard, I have to say – I think you OVER-valued Tainted Strike for Constructed.

  26. Fume Spitter really messes up your opponent’s combat math, no matter if you play it precombat to let your 3/3 attack profitably into equal sized creatures or just play it after combat to kill something that just barely survived the block.
    It is also a cheap answer against infect creatures that jumps one and kills another dude, saving you 3-4 poison counters in the process.

  27. @JamesC

    If you look at the scale more carefully, you will see that minimum constructed rating is 1.0 so he definitely did not overvalue it.

  28. broker of spawn city

    @ ol’ good LSV: on a scale from 0 to 5, how do you rate the Relic Putrescence-Vedalken Certarch.dec in draft?

  29. @LSV

    When you say this is a fast Limited environment, are you talking about Sealed as well, or only Draft? Where I played the prerelease, Sealed was very slow.

  30. Is Skinrender really that good? I was really excited about him when he was spoiled, but in the current limited and construct context he does not seem worth it.

    In limited he is obviously great, but the fact most black decks are infect based makes the 3/3 body a lot less relevant. The general weakness of black is a big strike against committing to the cc.

    In constructed he certainly has potential, but while the format is dominated by Zendikar block decks he does not seem to do much either. Against U/W and Turboland he just seems underwhelming. Obviously if more aggressive creature based decks show up that will change.

    So to be clear I am not saying it is a bad card by any means it is clearly very good, but his effectiveness is hampered by the current formats.

  31. Can’t believe I’m posting this… but anyways…

    On painful Quandary. I went 4-1 and 2 sealed prerelease events. one was a 3rd place finish with an infect deck that included a masticore 🙂 (and my 1 loss was to tainted strike on precurser golem, knowing he was playing it I fell to a bluff that he wasn’t holding it… yes I’m bad, since the guy is someone you ought never believe. 😛 ) The second sealed, painfully, I could not play infect. So i peiced together a removal packed WB deck. I wasn’t playing Quandry, because i rated it as you did, but I questioned if in limited it might pack a punch if the format was slower, and thus might SB it in in long matches. Well, in round 3 I sideboarded it in after a looooong game 1, and it absolutely crushed. I played it round 4 and 5 to the same end. Maybe it was a fluke each time. But it more then surpassed my expectations. 1 game it dealt 15 damage and destroyed my opponents hand, and every game at least forced them to draw 2 cards before playing one. 5 life is 1/4 of their total, that’s a little better then 2 poison counters (and since most infest guys cost 4 anyways, it actually was not as distressing playing this card when i hit 5 then i thought it might be, although it might be because of the sick amount of removal i had to fuel my way to it, including 3 grasp in darkness.) All that simply to say perhaps the card is being underated and has potential in a limited control style non-infect deck?

  32. LSV, I gotta disagree with you in regards using Memoricide to hit Vengevives. That’s like saying “Dont use Naturalize on an Jayamedae Tome, At best you’re only going 1 for 1” or something silly like that. I’d like to try and calculate the number of virtual cards someone picks up in a given game with Vengevine. A rough guess would be on average 3-5, if not more. Using a single card just to deny them that card advantage(Possibly even picking one from there hand, especially if you time it right) feels more like canceling a mind spring. Which I consider a good call in almost every game. Yes, a dredgevine player will have other threats, yes you may, and I mean may, be down 1 card(You have good odds of going 1 for 1) however, winning that game becomes so much more attainible. Hell even just stopping the Alpha strike with 3 vines you know they just set up sounds like a sound preventative tactic.

    Against U/W, I think the only card I’d be willing to hit off Memoricide is Sun Titan. Again, the amount of cards they can net just by casting it uncountered, even if you doom blade it the second it drops, warrants taking preventative measures. And since Sunny is a late drop, you also have good odds catching them with it in hand.

    All in all, I firmly believe when using it to hit cards that decks are built around that provide massive CA, cards they intend to play every game, not only messes with thier game plan, but makes back the card you might be down simply because of the flood of cards you’ve almost certainly denied them.

    Siding in 4 against U/W and trying to hit Mana Leak, Baneslayer, Wurmcoil Engine and Cancel? Now thats just stupid.

  33. Everything in Scars is so tiny, Skinrender is almost a guaranteed kill, plus he’s a 3/3 which makes him able to stand up to many of the set’s creatures in combat. If you’re able to bounce him or get him into a Mimic Vat (something which was unfortunately done against me at the prerelease)…fuhgeddaboudit.

  34. When he speaks of limited being fast, he HAS to be talking about drafting. My very successful prerelease weekend included two straight 4-0 sealed pools playing straight up control (the first winning on the back of grindclock/contagion engine, the second winning on the back of creature bombs Wurmcoil Engine/Steel Hellkite with 5 blinding mage effects). These were VERY slow decks that were almost unstoppable.

    That said, I drafted once and ended up with a mono-red deck that I referred to as a pile of steaming crap after the unbelievably awesome sealed pools. And I went 2-0-1, splitting in the finals with my buddy who had an equally blitzing fast white metalcraft deck.

    In my experience, while sealed is always slower, I’ve never seen a bigger disparity between slow sealed and fast draft.

  35. On a side note: Tainted strike is not that miserable. I would definitely not like to maindeck it, but if u play infect and have that equip with if creature becomes target of a spell deals 2 damage than it might be worth playing in the main.

    And don’t forget u can always play it on your opponent’s creature, if u r in a tight race and they have some big dudes and go for Alpha u can use it as prevent damage from a creature source of your choice. 🙂

  36. On another note, I want to be quoted here as being the first to say that I think you will end up being dead wrong on Geth. I was among the many haters of that guy when he was first spoiled. Since then, I have been testing him in a heavy black deck on MWS (yes, I know MWS results cannot be trusted, but they are a start) and I would put him as a better finisher than even the almighty Grave Titan. The argument that a 6-drop needing to untap to be good makes it unplayable… I don’t get that argument. I would counter-argue that Grave Titan is exactly the same way. If he doesn’t untap, all you have left are two nearly useless 2/2s. And you adored Grave Titan.

    Anyway, you are truly one of the game’s best, and perhaps more importantly to me, you are BY FAR the BEST article writer. So, in general, I trust your opinions. But, I’m just making the bold call ahead of time. Geth will be good. Really good.

    He is basically 5/5 “unblockable” (I realize Wurmcoil Engine changes this some but just bear with me). If you don’t untap with him, fine. Same can be said of Baneslayer, Skittles, and most other finishers. But if you do… holy crap. His ability is incredible. The value you get by untapping with at least 7 mana is unreal. Even if you are just taking Wall of Omens out of their GY it’s sick.

    And my last point is this: how are you going to not untap with Geth? In today’s standard, he dies to what? Journey to Nowhere. Day of Judgment. … Various blue spells can bounce him I suppose. He just doesn’t die to hardly anything. A black 5/5 makes him immune to red removal (at least one at a time), black removal, and even condemn (the new Path).

    I am humble enough to admit I may be dead wrong about this, but I wanted to come on record as saying I don’t think I am. =)

  37. I also quick wanna Add Primeval to the list. Again, just letting him com into play, fetching “4” mana for an Emrukal, or what I’m far more afraid of, 2 Valakuts, offers the Ramp player so much virtual card advantage it’s disgusting. I dont even want to try and count it.

    My biggest concern here, On the draw, Primeval will almost certainly hit the board before you can even cast memoricide, making it lose a ton of Value. Late game, you basically need to just pay close attention to what’s where, read your opponent skillfully, and possibly even through means like Duress/Inquizition, you’ll know thier hand and can memoricide as a 4 mana discard spell. Expensive? Yes. However that Lategame drawback is, to me, well worth the early play blow to the opponents deck as a whole. It’s better then a completely dead draw. It can also make some pretty awkward situations for your oppo as well when you play it naming what you know they plan on using to shut you down or blow you out.

  38. @Andy: Holy crap, you had a Wurmcoil Engine in that tap-tastic deck too? I just saw the Hellkite and Demon…

  39. Oh right, the Demon too! 3 Tumble Magnets, 2 of the Blue tappers, Wurmcoil, Hellkite, and Demon! Now, which of my opponents is this? Lol.

  40. Luis, I have been noticing a trend in your set reviews that most of the set’s themes are not good (at least with only one set in the block) for “constructed”, meaning mostly type 2.
    But the whole set can’t be bad for block, for obvious reasons.
    I know block isn’t reeeeeeally a “constructed” format except for one pro tour a year, but it does get played on magic online, so it would be nice if either you made some comments on block for some cards, or perhaps have some writer that likes playing block on modo make a “set review”, even if not card by card for block

    Anyway, nice article!

  41. Yes, run memoricide in your deck with duress and inquizition (one of the least playable standard cards that people still talk about for some reason) in an effort to “get” primeval titan. Then, since your deck clearly does nothing, die in several turns to them playing mountains.

    And to the guy about Geth; are you kidding me?

    Geth, go.

    Jace, bounce Geth, go.

    Geth, go.

    This ends slightly better for the guy playing Grave Titans.

  42. I am pretty sure the best single limited card in any format I have ever played (which is pretty much every limited format) was Opposition in 7e. It was muuuuuch more degenerate in 7e than in Urza block, as enchantment removal was basically unplayable in 7e (the only reasonable maindeck enchantment removal was cloudchaser eagle, and the white deck often didn’t really like him because their own pacifisms were the the only maindeckable enchantments), and creatures in 7e were generally so vanilla/bad that even if you were behind, your worst two guys tapping their best two was usually enough to give you 10 turns to win. It didn’t hurt that blue was the best color by a mile already, and vigilant drake at common was very synergistic with Opposition.

    777 was very much a grind them out with card advantage format (you probably loved it, lsv), and Opposition was simply absurd virtual card disadvantage, making your vanilla guys blank all their real threat creatures, while their low end creatures blanked themselves due to being outclassed.

    jvs

  43. @Josh

    We not referring to how much the existence of a card warped a limited format, but how much it impacted single matches, so rarity is not relevant. If we were talking about best commons in a format however, rolling thunder was barely better than Fireslinger (in the same set!) and certainly not remotely as format defining as Pestilence at common in Saga.

    jvs

  44. “If this returned every time no matter what, it would be a decent sideboard card in some matchups. In reality, you are going to cast this and they are going to pitch a Vengevine…and you can imagine where it goes from there.”

    He fixes the cable?

  45. wow man. looks like this set is going no where from a constructed point of view. are you saying we’ll have to face valakut/ramp mirrors all season?

  46. I have to agree that Prime Titan decks actually make Cranial somewhat worthwhile. The Valakut and Eldrazi decks just aren’t going to win if you turn 4 their Titan.

  47. @LSV – You forgot another out to Jitte – one of your own. Of course the odds of 2 in one draft are pretty bad, but I thought I’d include it for completeness’s sake.

    Also, I wonder where you would include Glare of Subdual. I remember triple Rav drafts quite fondly, but that card just wrecked every draft it was opened in.

  48. my guess is yes abdallah.

    Valakut, Eldrazi ramp is so far ahead of every other deck right now. Wait for Besieged, I’m sure tezzeret2 will have shenanigans for you to abuse scars with. (or god forbid they release locusts and people go off, ok maybe not)

  49. @Jim, That’s pretty much plain incorrect. Titan is absolutely an important card, but 3 ramp spells and an inplay valakut and they’ll still be far ahead.

    Not to mention that valakut isn’t their only way to win, raging ravine, avenger of zen and even rampaging baloth are gameenders.

    While I’m still a believer in the hoser cards I certainly think the example you gave was pretty lousy. I would have gone with ascension or even vengevine in a dredge, because those are 400x more important than titan in valakut/eldraziramp.

  50. “to the convoluted mess that is Mul-Daya Channelers (with a land on top) and Soliton in Standard”

    This combo still doesn’t work even if you have an oracle or Channeler in play revealing a land.

  51. Oops, for some reason when i loaded the page only the first 5 comments showed up, i see the Ooze thing has been covered, please ignore my above post.

  52. I beat turn 3 jitte in the money round of a ptq, with out any of those cards the gaming going for well over 10 turns. The person also casting whatever that 6 mana wog was also. Blinding powder ftw.

  53. I fear that the premium cards from this set will be VERY EXPENSIVE.

    Sure people will draft it but considered how much crap there are in this set, not only Rares but Commons and Uncommons too I doubt many people will buy packs to crack.

    So we get a set that will sell bad with fewer copies of the good cards available to people resulting in higher prices on the secondary market.
    Now higher prices could potentially push people to start buying packs and try to get lucky but I wouldn´t be surprised if this set become the worst selling set in many years.

  54. I just noticed something about skin render. his come into play ablility doesn’t say may on it. So wouldn’t he backfire sometimes? I mean obivsouly you wait but I just noticed that.

  55. Best limited card? Phyrexian Processor. At the 300 person pre release the final 8 had 5 between them. One guy had 2. We were not ready for a world in which token generators did not suck.

    There were 4 cards in the whole set that could deal with it. Meltdown, Annul, Disenchant, and Serra’s Liturgy. Only one of those cards was actually good. (Stern Proctor might have been good, but this was before we had any understanding of tempo)

    And they had to deal with it the turn it came out. One turn was probably too late. Two turns? You were probably looking at 10 to 20 points of damage after tapping out for meltdown.

  56. Just because you dont like playing against a card like memoricide doesn’t make it bad… Also, you will learn to hate poison because of how good it is… Green black ramp 3rd turn Skittles with haste good luck

  57. I once opened back-to-back Jitte in my nationals draft portion. Those were the best days of my life. Everyone saying that Jitte isn’t the best card doesn’t truly understand happiness.

  58. Love the article so far, keep up the good job.
    Also, I thought I’d just make a mention of the non-interaction between Necrotic Ooze and both Mul-Daya Channellers and levelers. Activated abilities granted by the “When the top card of your library is a land this creature has ‘T:add 2 of any color to your mana pool'” is a static ability, likewise abilities granted by being of a certain level essentially read the same, in the format “As long as this creature has atleast N1 level counters on it, but no more than N2 level counters on it, it’s [P/T] and has [abilities].”
    You can however add level counters to a necrotic ooze, with a levelers in the graveyard, they just simply have no effect,

  59. I think you’re severely undervaluing Geth in constructed. I mean, by the time you’ve played him in… Let’s say UB Control… The likelihood of him dying is quite low, and from the testing I’ve done so far, beating up on UW with their Baneslayers is quite fun.

  60. At a PTQ this summer, I played Jace TMS and brainstormed into 3 more Jaces. My opponent then Pithing Needled Jace TMS.

    =(

  61. Regarding the distaste for cards such as Cranial Extraction, Memoricide, etc… are you including Haunting Echoes in this as well? While it certainly doesn’t affect the board in anyway, it does seem like one of the better ways to fight dredgevine decks.

  62. To provide a comment on cranial extraction since it seems that siding it is an absolute mistake:
    I once played a Kamigawa draft final where my opponent managed to draft 5 glacial ray!
    I keep thinking that siding my cranial extraction against him was a very good move 😉

  63. i hate to say it but you are wrong about tainted strike…it just randomly wins games… when you play skinrender it instantly gets better…people will block the infect guys and not him them boom they just took 4 counters..that an untamed might are the best combat tricks for BG just because they just randomly win

  64. Yeah, Tainted Strike was a key part of my deck where I actually won a match this weekend at the Sealed pre-releases. I’d throw all my Infect guys at them until their guys all get sick and/or die, then play my non-Infect fattie. Attack, no blocks, Taint, I win.

  65. Memoricide is good side for Vengevine…if we are not died yet XD

    I know he is mostly right card by card independently .
    However, I would not believe that review because he did not realize for new environment and combination of cards always, such as grave titan, primeval titan and ancient strings.

    well, what I want to say?
    his advise is totally good, you know.
    but we have to realize which is specifically need for win with environment and combination.

    remind his advice, but it is not for all.
    we have to think by my self, too, I believe.

  66. I don’t see how you can rate memoricide so poorly, I mean if you are playing ANY deck with green in it, it runs Primeval Titan, 1 memoricide = 4 Primeval titans, and they are now gimped. Or against u/w name Jace the Mind Sculptor (assuming you’re on the play) and now they lose that little OP annoyance, I mean I just don’t get how you can dislike it. But still a good article.

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  68. Jacob (Violent World on MTGO)

    I posted this in Brad’s article but I thought I would repost because we are talking about Infect.
    Here is my idea.

    Creatures
    4 Ichorclaw Myr
    4 Plague Stinger
    4 Necropede
    4 Corpse Cur
    4 Ichor Rats

    Spells
    4 Giant Growth
    4 Virulent Swipe
    4 Prey’s Vengeance

    Artifacts
    4 Livewire Lash

    Lands
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Smoldering Spires
    10 Swamp
    6 Forest

    Sideboard
    4 Stabbing Pain
    4 Groundswell
    4 Demonic Appetite
    3 Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

    Basically you have 12 two drop creatures. 12 pump spells, 8 of which have rebound. Livewire Lash which is insane in Infect decks and with rebound. Against some decks like ramp and UW I think this has real potential because it has the potential to be so fast and they are usually don’t have many blockers or removal. The sideboard makes the deck even faster but takes away some of the late game the deck has. Also Stabbing Pain seems pretty good because for 1 mana because you tap their blocker, maybe even kill it. Smoldering Spires seems fine in the maindeck because you play 16 colorless spells and everything else only costs 1 colored mana except Ichor Rats. You can build this deck a variety of ways with a variety of different pump spells like Vampire’s Kiss, equipment like Adventuring Gear, or possibly auras like Boar Umbra. I mean everyone thinks Fauna Shaman is so great. Against a deck like this it is ridiculously slow. You can even play Vector Asp instead of Corpse Cur if you want to go all in uber aggro. If you land any 2 drop of your 12 on turn 2, some versions of this deck could play as many as 16 spells that will pump it by +3/+X or more with Groundswell. The 4 are Giant Growth, Groundswell as long as you play a land, Demonic Appetite, and Vampire’s Kiss. Just saying some decks as they currently are would be destroyed by this deck. It is just a rough build with no playtesting but this deck has potential. Other cards like Gigantiform and Canopy Cover are also sweet auras in green that would just crush some decks. You could also go bigger and take out the pump spells even though I think that is a mistake and play guys like Putrefax. Anyway, thanks for reading.

  69. To people liking Geth over Grave Titan: I just don’t see it. If they kill the card as soon as you play it, you’d rather have the titan. If they kill the card the next turn, you’d still rather have the titan, since four 2/2’s for no additional mana are almost certainly better than whatever you just spent a bunch of mana to get back. Maybe after three or four turns Geth is better, but at that point you should have been able to win on the back of Titan anyway.

  70. Jacob (Violent World on MTGO)

    You can also play Blight Mamba if you want. Up to 20 guys that are 2 drops or less.

    All In Uber Infect

    4 Ichorclaw Myr
    4 Plague Stinger
    4 Necropede
    4 Blight Mamba
    4 Vector Asp

    4 Groundswell
    4 Giant Growth
    4 Vampire’s Kiss
    4 Demonic Appetite

    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Teetering Peaks
    4 Smoldering Spires
    6 Swamp
    6 Forest

  71. 2 comments on limited ratings:
    Painful Quandary was very good in sealed. I lost none of the games in which I played it, and another guy won the prerelease and was very happy with its performance. That pertains to sealed, of course, draft may be another matter entirely. Still, a 0 rating is definitely uncalled for.
    Necrotic Ooze: I just don’t see too many nice acitvated abilites on common creatures. Maybe broken things can be done with crazy rares or strong uncommons, but that cannot be counted on in limited. And copying a myr’s manatapping doesn’t sound too exciting to me.

    Still, a fine piece of work as usual.

  72. Re: Skithiryx’s name,

    My group has been calling him Slick Ryx since he was spoiled for exactly this reason.

  73. Skithiryx… I dunno more I think about this guy the more I think he might be the best card in this whole set. And one the best control finishers of all time! Why is everyone “so-so” on this dude? Maybe I am missing something… But he seems pretty much on par with Baneslayer, especially in some sort of control deck where there’s only 4x of him as the only creature.

    theoretically an 8/4 flying, regenerating, haste dude, with wither for 5!… Amazing blocker, amazing finisher. Okay maybe hes just slightly bellow BSA against aggro RDW type decks, but Im sure theres a flipside. Not to mention infect+proliferate!

    I mean he ends the game in 3 turns instead of BSA 5! And can be boosted in all sorts of ways to be even quicker!

  74. cant believe i waited this long to read all of these reviews they are very good, things i didnt even think of as well.

    one thing i wanted to mention was do you think with “Tainted Strike” it would be more then a 1 if you thought you could use it on creatures that werent yours, like example, if you are at 5 and two 3/3s are attacking you, and they are not a poison deck, you can save 3 damage that way.

    idk just a thought, again very good review so far cant wait for next few colors to come out

  75. Creatures – 15
    4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
    4 Vampire Nighthawk
    4 Skinrender
    2 Malakir Bloodwitch
    1 Grave Titan

    Spells – 22
    4 Duress
    4 Sign in Blood
    2 Nihil Spellbomb
    4 Disfigure
    4 Doomblade
    4 Grasp of Darkness

    Land – 23
    2 Bojuka Bog
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Marsh Flats
    13 Swamp

    SB
    2 Vendetta
    2 Smother
    3 Consume the Meek
    1 Malakir Bloodwitch
    1 Bojuka Bog
    2 Mind Sludge
    1 Corrupt
    1 Grave Titan

    The idea is that there are going to be a lot of little bastards running around (and some not so little ones named Vengevine)
    You have early answers in Vendetta and Disfigure and Duress, and your creatures are 2 for 1 or really good (Nighthawk)
    Spellbomb and Bog are tech for Vengevine. Sign in Blood is straight up card advantage, and the Spellbomb can double up in its role.
    I feel like you could cut some stuff for Ratchet Bomb, and Abyssal Persecutor (since you have Grasp of Darkness and Gatekeeper for dealing with him)
    and Mindsludge and Corrupt can be devastating if they are tapped out. Consume the Meek is prolly really weak though.

  76. You should just enforce the nickname Skittles for the Blight Dragon and be done with it.

    Also, your puns aren’t what they used to be. What happened? Are you coming down with the dreaded pun-writer’s-block?

  77. Although I don’t think it deserves more than a 2, I really think your are severely underestimating tainted strike. Its obviously best used in an infect deck, but could make a nasty surprise when you chump one of your opponents bombs and drop this out. But, tainted strike helps infect decks by allowing you to stick in those green bombs and not just sit there blocking with them. I’ve killed my opponent turn 5 with a metalcrafted ezuri’s brigade with tainted strike after playing the rats turn 3. It was pretty hilarious.

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