Hello! Welcome to my set review of Wilds of Eldraine, where I will pick cards of each colour and discuss my five favourite cards from them. Yes, there will be and artifact and lands review as well as a multicoloured review.
Given that the set also comes out with a set of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. The set booster and Jumpstart exclusive cards from this set will be in their respective colour reviews.
Without further ado, here are my favourite Black cards!
I love reanimation spells. I think graveyard decks are what I’ve gravitated towards for 90% of my time playing Magic. Reanimation speaks to me. That’s why I think this five mana sorcery is the bee’s knees.
In the current meta, there are tons of ways to generate tokens – Clue, Food, Treasure, Blood, Gold, Roles, not to mention all the creature tokens that at this point get created whenever you sneeze! Paying five mana to reanimate a bunch of cards from your graveyard for the low cost of sacrificing disposable tokens or enchantments/artifacts you’re done with any way is great.
Command the Dreadhorde is the closest this comes without requiring damage but hits all graveyards and Living Death is for everybody. This is clean. Run it in your token decks. Zombies make a lot of tokens. I run Will the Wise and Mike, the Dungeon Master together and this is going right in without much thought.
I’m gonna keep it real with you guys and say that a big reason I like this card is because Sweettooth is a great name to see altogether. EE TT and OO, double letters one after another – that’s just good fun.
But the utility on this card is what makes it a real solid pick. There are many ways to generate Food tokens. Even in decks that primarily key off of Academy Manufactor for extra value might not need the life gain from food.
But now, they can use Sweettooth Witch to start taking opponents down. I know it seems like a really lowkey ability and that it’s just a common, but I think this effect is better than we’re giving it credit in the right Food decks.
I’m an aristocrats player and my favourite permanent type is enchantment. Imagine my delight to finally see enchantment “death” matters on cards in this set in my favourite colour in all of Magic.
Ashiok’s Reaper is a black Femeref Enchantress for enchantments your control for two more mana but it hits harder and is in the perfect colour. Anikthea, Hand of Erebos and the best sister (spoiler) Eriette of the Charmed Apple (who I am brewing already) have to include the Reaper, it’s just too good!
Having payoffs for enchantments hitting your graveyard is everything you need to enable a strategy in a colour that needs the boost. Everybody get your Infernal Tributes now, but don’t worry, we’re sure to see more Faith Healer type “sacrifice an enchantment” abilities down the line.
Debtor’s Knell is in monoblack now. Even Sheoldred, Whispering One limits herself to your own graveyard. But Virtue of Persistence? No, no, no. Any graveyard is yours to plunder. The sorcery adventure is kind of a write-off. You can kill a creature and then not worry about Virtue getting picked off from your hand if you’re up against or playing a discard deck. That’s pretty sweet upside. But getting this enchantment out and having it stick is right up my alley. Let me have reanimation from wherever!
There’s not much else to say! Virtue of Persistence is two cards that say Standard play smashed into one and if that isn’t power creep, I don’t know what is.
This card is on here because lines including it have already broken Vintage, Legacy, potentially Modern. Beseech the Mirror must be bargained to be good – otherwise it’s just Diabolic Tutor with an extra black pip.
The important part of this card is getting to essentially cast any four drop from your deck. Period. The One Ring and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse are only two among many very powerful cards that can basically be cast from your library. I cannot stress enough how strong this is.
In EDH, this is likely to be in cEDH decks or “secret commander” decks exclusively if I had to guess. It’s just important to mention it. It’s very strong, pick up your copies when they’re low and honestly, if it gets banned in the older formats, don’t be too surprised.
If I’m being honest, I missed this because Scryfall moved things around and I forgot the Court cycle for White and nearly forever it for Black. So here’s a quick review of both.
Court of Ardenvale is great especially in Aragorn, King of Gondor. Keep that monarch and you’ll have plenty of value from your yard, but either way, this is ramp! If you don’t have the monarch, you can still grab a fetch land and play it!
Court of Locthwain is one of my favourites. It belongs in Prosper, Tome-Bound of course, but anybody who plays Gonti, Lord of Luxury knows the power of taking away something from your opponent and then using it against them. It adds some variety to some games. Plus if you’re the monarch, you get it for free!
- Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator – I don’t understand this one yet, but I have a feeling it’s gonna play pretty nutty. I know we shouldn’t judge based on an ultimate ability but when it’s that devastating, I think it’s pretty tempting. Play this with Necropotence before the -7 and that’s one way to kill a player.
- Back for Seconds – A double Raise Dead that returns a four drop or less to play for 2B and bargain? This is going to get tested in a few of my decks. I also love the art.
- Ego Drain – This is a pretty good Thoughtseize-esque effect especially in Faerie decks, but more importantly that art is just sublime. I hope they make this uncommon into a playmat or something.
- The End – Got an annoying player in your playgroup who swears their Shadowborn Apostles deck or Relentless Rats deck isn’t annoyingly powerful? For four mana, get rid of all of them but the ones in play. But also get rid of one.
- Experimental Confectioner – Another good payoff for Food decks. Sacrifice a Food, make a little Rat token! Nice!
- Faerie Dreamthief – One drop Faerie with ETB surveil 1 is good. Added utility from the graveyard is nice. Have fun Faerie decks!
- Gumdrop Poisoner – Outside of Witherbloom or Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose decks, I don’t really see this getting much play. Food decks maybe? But honestly, it’s just fine? Gets rid of one creature. Cool design, just not amazing.
- Hopeless Nightmare – Anikthea decks rise up! This is the enchantment to make copies of baby!
- Lord Skitter, Sewer King – I hate having my graveyard eaten up and this guy’s going in the 99 of plenty of Rat decks and I’ll hate him in that too.
- Lord Skitter’s Blessing – Double constellation trigger is nice. The Phyrexian Arena if you control an enchanted creature is niche though.
- Lord Skitter’s Butcher – Love me a modal ETB on a fine creature with a relevant type. An extra body, a sacrifice with selective card draw, or evasion for your board – this ticks all the boxes.
- Malevolent Witchkite – God-Eternal Bontu is better than this by a lot unless you need this to be a Dragon.
- Mintstrosity – Hate this name, love the art, but also kinda hate the art. Dying into a Food token is great for the right decks, this trades up. Great for limited. Commander? Eh.
- Not Dead After All – This reminds me of that meme of the old basketball coach dancing his way back into the locker room.
- Old Flitterfang – A Rat and a Faerie? Morbid trigger at the end of each end step nets you a Food token with a sacrifice outlet for creatures and artifacts that don’t require a tap? That’s pretty solid. Just a shame the cost on the ability is so high. I don’t know that I’ll play this anywhere, but getting a Food each turn with Academy Manufactor out… oh boy.
- Rankle’s Prank – Shoulda called it Rankle’s Prankle. This is a beat down if you’re picking discard and sacrifice. It’s just strong and worth having in your decks based around spells. Make sure you have stuff to sacrifice to it though.
- Rowan’s Grim Search – This reminds me of Dark Bargain but it’s four cards instead of three if you bargain it. Otherwise it’s Sign in Blood? It’s alright!
- Scream Puff – The names in this set make me want to scream. Huge beater that gets in for a reward or chews up whatever’s in its way.
- Shatter the Oath – Feed the Swarm for five mana without the life loss plus the potential of an Aura token. That’s a lot for a card, but five is a little too much unless you’re in mono black and want to avoid Feed the Swarm. I’d say play FTS over this but if you really need it, it’s here.
- Specter of Mortality – This is a modal boardwipe on ETB. But it requires you to exile specifically creature cards from your graveyard for it. No thanks. I’m good. Massacre Wurm is one more mana and is one of my all timers.
- Spiteful Hexmage – I don’t know what to do with this, but it makes enchantment tokens. I guess if you somehow are playing a deck full of 0/0 tokens that “get +1/+1” for different stuff this could be a boost and it’s a constellation trigger for one mana. I just don’t see it beyond standard monoblack aggro.
- Tangled Colony – Why’d they call this card Tangled Colony when we have a literal word for what this is? A rat king. Anyway, Blasphemous Act makes 13 1/1 Rats when that happens. It can’t block so you can’t deter big attackers and so you’re basically asking your opponents to trade a 2/2 for this. Great in Rat decks is all I can really muster here.
- Twisted Sewer-Witch – This is fantastic in Rat decks with and enchantment subtheme. Imagine having like seven rats and a Doomwake Giant out – play this and get eight triggers from the Giant alone and when those auras hit the graveyard, they’re hitting each of your opponents for one life. That last part is just good enough without the enchantment subtheme! I dare you to board wipe.
- Warehouse Tabby – Just like Ashiok’s Reaper, I am thrilled to see support for enchantment “death” triggers.
- Wicked Visitor – Just like Ashiok’s Reaper, I am thrilled to see support for enchantment “death” triggers. This is the Zulaport Cutthroat of the archetype right now.
- The Witch’s Vanity – Not very powerful, but does a lot of stuff while being a Saga – enchantment, sacrifice, Tom Bombadil, Narci, Fable Singer. The art’s just really nice.
That does it for black, check back in soon for red!