Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Drafting M15: Black Commons

In this series I will try to review all the cards of M15, starting with the commons.

The Green commons:

Now its time for the Black commons.

Here they are, in order of perceived power for Draft.

Flesh to Dust: This is what the world has come to. Five mana! I guess Murder was overpowered. Now we have both the double black casting cost and then three more mana on top of that. Still, you will need those. The big question is how many you can play in a deck and still be competetive? Four perhaps? Unconditional removal rules the world and this is, by far, the best black common. Being able to kill Ancient Silverback is very relevant.

Accursed Spirit: This is often the way you win. This card and Krenko's Enforcer are the reason why Bronze Sable is a perfectly maindeckable card. Most decks don't have an answer. Sit back, Flesh to Dust their threats and enjoy winning with the Spirit. This format is faster than M14 but Accursed Spirit is still a workhorse.

Sign in Blood: Against some of the ultrafast decks, this can feel bad, but it is often a huge advantage to resolve Sign in Blood. This card is a reason to play Urborg and a reason never to maindeck colorless lands with minor effects.

Covenant of Blood:  This removal spell is surprisingly useful. More playable if you combine black with white for the token making. Still, I always want to see one or two Covenant of Blood at the top of my curve.

Typhoid Rats: If you are playing an aggressive build (such as Rakdos) you should rate this lower. But if you are defensive, trying to win with your Accursed Spirits or blue flyers, this will protect the ground very efficiently.

Carrion Crow: The drawback has been suprisingly relevant in my games. This may deserve a higher rating as it is still a 2/2 flyer for three mana.

Rotfeaster Maggot: This is a card for the Green-Black Dredge deck, where it will work extremely well. Will be very decisive against aggressive decks. If you have a Gravedigger, this can get really out of hand, not to mention a Roaring Primadox.

Child of Night: Very efficient at stopping the early beatings. Would be better if there wasn't so much hate against 1-toughness creatures in the format.

Shadowcloak Vampire: This is often a necessary evil and the evasion can prove decisive. Still, there are plenty of good five-drops in this format and I often put the second Shadowcloak Vampire in the sideboard.

Witch's Familiar: Being a 2/3 means that you can block a lot of things and live in this format. This is a cornerstone of the defensive Black deck.

Crippling Blight: Another card that makes Child of Night worse. I often start this in the sideboard and bring it in against many of the decks in the format.

Zof Shade: Good late game card that often never gets online but just gets to block a Runeclaw Bear so that you can survive.

Necromancer's Assistant: I play these only for curve reasons or in the Green-Black deck. They constantly underperform but can block Juggernauts. Much better in a defensive deck but once you get Forge Devilled, you will regret maindecking this card.

Festergloom: Maindecking one Festergloom is said to be OK. Varies a lot with your secondary color and how many 1-toughness creatures you bring to the table. It deals with Triplicate Spirits, which helps it a lot.

Necrobite: Significantly worse than in Vultron-laden Theros block. I don't play these at all but I might be underrating the card. Its often my 27th card.

Unmake the Graves: I find this card very weak. I know decks can be built to profit from it and it is probably good against the control decks.

Mind Rot: Sideboard card. Bring in Mind Rot against the control decks and the bomb-laden decks you can not otherwise deal with.

Black Cat: Violently overrated by drafters. Better against bad players that refuse to lose their cards. Do not play these in 8-4 drafts.

Eternal Thirst: Auras are not good in draft. Auras that do not boost power and toughness are the worst. Stay away. Unless you have a very clear plan for this card and why it fits into your deck, do not play it.

Black is a deep color with many playable cards. The upside is not exciting, but you will often find more than enough playables so you can cut your Necrobites and be happy about it.

Here is an interesting vote about card ratings in M15 that I found useful:

Next time: Red!

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