Whatever happened to the Fifth Color?

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Cateran Emperor, Mar 8, 2001.


What happened to Black in 7th?

R.I.P. Black 0 vote(s) 0.0%
It's not THAT bad just yet, but it's getting worse. 12 vote(s) 44.4%
Stop whining, Black got Nightmare. Obviously, THIS is the fatty that represents Black 8 vote(s) 29.6%
WotC: "We can't have another Black Summer. Let's just replace the good stuff in 6th with blatantly 7 vote(s) 25.9%
  1. Cateran Emperor Passed On

    This is an appeal by Black Magi, for Black Magi.

    Regardless, if you are not a Black Mage, I still welcome any support for our color of Magic.

    We have seen the future of Magic.

    We have seen Serra return to the White Magi's delight.
    We have seen Red Magi cheer over the return of their old reptilian friend.
    We have seen Green Magi with their thorned elementals.
    We have seen Blue Magi get their first victory condi-Djinn return.

    Yet what does 7th bring to cheer up the Black Mage?

    We have Duress. And we have...
    ... three more Duresses in the same deck.

    Old school Black Magi have not gotten their Sengir back.
    Hatred Black Magi have no Dauthi, nor one mana Zombies.
    Black Horde Magi have not a single effective Knight to their name.
    Controlling Black Magi have no Plaguelord to carry the day.
    Suicidal Black Magi have no Skirge, nor their Negator.
    Combo Black Magi have nothing to their name at all.
    Mercenary Black Magi gain nothing, nor do they lose anything.
    Black Theme Magi have their Lord at last, but they do not have their low casting cost Zombies, nor many solid black Zombies.
    Multi-Player Black Magi have no Gravepact, nor do they have a great deal of any mass effect for that matter.

    What does this leave?

    Nothing. A void where the Fifth color of Magic used to be.

    It is often said that Green was the weakest color in Magic. That was said up until the days of Urza's Saga, and the effective Green creatures found therein.

    Are Black Magi now to suffer the same fate? Are we to suffer from a problem that was never to occur again? We are left to the most bare of all devices with which to build decks. Few of our spells are synergistic with each other. Many more have a negative effect on the other cards.

    This is not only a problem for Type II tournament players. Let's look at Extended, past and future.

    Way back last year, Black was in heaven.

    If he wanted speed he had Knights, Dauthi, Rituals, and Hatred.
    if he wanted to play more slowly he had Necropotence, Drains, Edicts, Plaguelords, and even Disturbed Burials or Corpse Dances.

    Suddenly, blue entered the scene. It offered an opportunity to some black mages. All they had to do was support the blue decks with their card drawing engine, and blue promised it victory. And so it was, at first.

    Then, the DCI came. And it was bad.

    Our Ritual, the core of a solid black deck, was taken away. Seemingly forever. The DCI had fired at an escaping convict and had hit an innocent bystander. Many, many innocent bystaders in fact.

    Still, we could improvise.
    Hateful Mages could still Consult for their cards, and use Lakes to power it.
    Necro Mages could pay some life for some cards, and draw into their Plaguelords and Edicts. All was not well, but we were surviving.

    Still, blue had its grasp in the Black mages who forgot that Magic was about fun. And so the demonic spawn that would cripple black continued its rampage.

    The DCI returned, determined to finish the job. And so it fired. And it was bad. Again.

    The DCI hit more innocent bystanders this time. The Hateful mages were robbed of their right arm, their Consults. The Black Horde mages were robbed of their left arm, their Necropotence.

    These shots finally brought the beast down. Or so it seemed. It seems that the Black mages it had corrupted had shielded it from the shots. And so the Blue Mages abandoned the Black Mages, determined to never look back.

    The DCI chased after the Blue mages, but forget to send help to poor black. Now, black slowly bleeds to death on the sidelines, alone and forgottend.

    And so 7th edition comes along, and black runs towards it with open arms, hoping for some relief. Instead, 7th rams right into black and tramples it, straight on ahead toward the other waiting four colors. It bore shiny gifts, gifts that were too good for black to hold.

    And so I sit here today, with piles of Dauthi Warlords and Slayers, of Delraichs and Rampart Crawlers, Black Knights and Knights of Stromgald, Skirges and Negators.

    And I wait for the Apocalypse, praying over the grave of my dear friend, Black.
  2. FoundationOfRancor The Gunslinger

    May I remind you that we basically have no factual Knowledge about seventh edition black cards.
  3. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Come on - it`s no worse than 6th.
  4. DÛke Memento Mori


    Ok, Cateran Emperor...just because Black didn't get any fat, doesn't mean it didn't get good cards!

    Maggot Carrier comes to mind...coincidentally, it happens to be more than just a 2/2, but possibly a 4/4, and even a 6/6...

    ...Crypt Rats...not only do they feed on anything, but they are glad to tell you that they're more than happy to feed on Blastoderm, those Elves, and all those tasty Birds of Paradise...

    ...Duress...yes, not that great, I know...but bad? It will have it's uses...

    Nightmare is amazing in a mono-Black deck actually, now that I’ve imaginatively tested it.

    With a little thought, still wouldn't be the best, but could handle itself, by itself...

    Sure, I could tell the obvious conspiracy against Black by Wizards…but I can’t tell how Black can’t handle itself...
  5. superguy Helpful CPA Member MAGICBOY

    I don't know... I actually think that with 7th edition Black weenie can have a chance. But besides that, Black did get some very good cards. We got Abyssal Specter, Befoul, Corrupt, Crypt Rats, Dark Banishing, Duress, Engineered Plague, Fallen Angel, Infernal Contract, Megrim, Necroclogia, Nightmare, Ostracize, Persecute, Reprocess and Unholy Strength.

    It's not much, but I guess we'll have to live with it.

    And here's the deck that possibly has a chance in type 2:

    16 Swamps
    4 Rishadan Ports
    4 Dark Rituals

    Duress x4
    Blood Pet/Maggot Carrier x4

    Foul Imp/Spineless Thug x4
    Sinister Strength x4

    Tangle Wire x4
    Hidden Horror x4

    Phyrexian Scuta x4
    Snuff Out x4
    Persecute x2

    Fallen Angel x1
    Ascendant Evincar x1
    (These I'm trying out, they may be too slow. Then again the whole deck may be too slow)

    Chimeric Idol x4
    Ostracize x4
    Addle x3
    Tsabo's Decree x3
    Persecute x1
  6. Whimsical Adorable Sliver

    <laughs> I like the requiem for black, Emperor Cat.

    I do have to agree that mono-black is not a very feasible deck archetype nowadays. <sighs> Lessee ... Green still has Stompy and all it's endless variants. Blue has Water, Skies, and various permutations thereof. White has ... can you guess? :D Hint. It starts with an "R". Red (sadly enough) has Stupid Red Burn ... while no Deadguy, is still a semi-viable alternative.

    Black has ... black has ... black has ... wait a minute.

    Green. Stompy. Huge beefy creatures, rapid mana via creatures, best bang for the buck critters. Last seen pirating Blue for library-manipulation and card-drawing.

    White. Unparalled defense, nasty enchantments which hose the holey-moley out of the opponent, itty-bitty creatures and their corresponding enhancers to gang-tackle anything. Last seen gloating over the demise of it's nemesis.

    Blue. Counter-magick up the wazoo, flying critters left and right, bounce capability like a Mexican jumping bean on speed, hideous card drawing capability. Last seen doing commercials, "Just say NO!". ;)

    Red. Semi-somewhat-sorta efficient creatures. Blah artifact and land removal capability. Burn. Sorta. Gives a sick smile whenever an enchantment or a creature with toughness of 3+ lands on the table. Last seen trying to wheedle R&D for a new theme, any theme.

    Black. Reanimation ... not. Discard ... a smattering. Gigantic critters with devastating drawbacks ... here and there. Life for cards ... only the Skull's idiot cousins present and soon to be made useless by the lack of ... Dark Ritual. Vanishes forevermore when Mercadian Block rotates out.

    Is it just moi or did Black sorta-somewhat-ah-what-the-heck-who-am-kidding lose most of their themes? The way WoTC wants black nowadays is swarm ... which never works because the other colors are just plain better at the tactic ... even blue sadly enough.

    Fare thee well, oh bringer of the shadow and the terror of the night. No more shall we strike fear into the hearts of our foes. Those days are long gone. Goodbye, the color which embraces us in sleep eternal. You shall be missed.

    And while I'm here anyway, let's add a brief prayer for the guttering flame of Red.

    The romance and the flame, color of passion and blood, has faded over time. But a former shadow of yourself, sleep now. The long struggle is coming to a close, the uncaring gods hear not our pleas. Rest now mah oldest friend and first love, rest. Wake up when the world knows and appreciates the inferno that you bring ... that glorious tumult called chaos. But for now ... sleep.

    <sighs> Magic is SOOOOO skewed nowadays... :(
  7. DÛke Memento Mori


    You want some good Black tactics...you go talk to Istanbul, or come to me, even. Are we the only ones that don't see what all this needless lamentations are for? No fat...is that the problem? Build Black-control! Without the fat! With "fat" weenies! Yes, control with the little guys...

    ...it's not unheard of...
  8. NeuroDeus Doctor Wundindlinyg

    I was never and probably will not be a black mage and my self I look at as a White Mage. White was my begining color as well black was the color of my rival and rivals. I supported that little white with red, the color I saw power in. Now I am a corrupted Ertai White Inside but Black and Blue outside. Yes I am a pure Blue Mage now, pure Blue but that Thrashing Wumpus and Ertai, The Corrupted and Dromar have made me learn to us black.

    No, black is not dead, it will not... It is unfortunately clinging still to the hands of Blue Mages who I think rule the day... Black is bleeding, Scuta provided some stitiches, Duress is running in with some others... but black will die! Oh Yes It Will, But like it's foul minions it will raise again... Not now but In The Years to Come... This was done on Green, the Green Mages got killed until Blastoderm blasted the day... and black will rejoice when its savior will come... The next 'dying' color will probably be Red... as already the tides are turning...
  9. Cateran Emperor Passed On

    FoR - Based on what we've all seen, I have quite a great deal of it.

    Gizmo - 6th was also around with Urza's Block, thereby being better simply because of the environment. I remember good old Plaguelord. Oh how I miss him...

    Superguy - Opponent Throws down Story Circle naming Black. D'oh, I lose by default now.

    DUke - Go ahead then. Show me a black deck that doesn't auto-lose to Story Circle or CoP and can still beat anything else. Odds are absurdly good I can find a reason they won't work.

    No, I'm afraid to say Whimsy hit the nail on the head. Black no longer has any power in its themes. Red can get around White's enchantments by some weird fluke, but not Black. Black just gets to sit back and get smacked around. Black's already lost if any of the following hit the board:

    Story Circle
    CoP: Black
    Nightwind Glider
    Lin Sivvi, Stupidly Anti-Black Hero
    Saproling Burst
    Kavu Chameleon

    Some can be answered by a fluke. For example, if someone taps out for a Chameleon, then you can kill it.

    But what about Black's own themes. Surely there's some power there, right? Well, let's take a handful of Old and New examples:

    Mass Recursion
    Old Black: Living Death, Yawgmoth's Will
    New Black Twilight's Call, Yawgmoth's Agenda

    I think we know who wins here.

    Targeted Removal
    Old Black: Spinning Darkness, Contagion, Expunge, Terror, and many variants
    New Black: Malice, Dark Banishing, Snuff Out, Vendetta, Annihilate, Death Bomb, Agonizing Demise

    This is a semi-draw, still leaning towards the free removal of Old Black

    Untargeted Removal
    Old Black: Diabolic Edict
    New Black: -

    You have a Blastoderm hmm? That's bad.

    Mass Removal
    Old Black: Living Death, Pestilence
    New Black: Forced March, Massacre, Thrashing Wumpus

    Hey, New black wins for once!

    Targeted Recursion
    Old Black: Recurring Nightmare, Corpse Dance, Disturbed Burial, Volrath's Stronghold, Raise Dead, Unearth
    New Black: Recover, Haunted Crossroads, Raise Dead

    Not even worth writing down.

    Old Black: Hymn to Tourach, Mind Twist, Stupor, Persecute, Duress...
    New Black: Oh hell, it's not even worth writing down save for Unmask

    Specter Creatures
    Old: Hypnotic Specter, Abyssal Specter, Odyllic Wraith, Order of Yawgmoth
    New: Chilling Apparition, Abyssal Specter

    Much as I love Chilly, he's not match for Hippie.

    Self-Recurring Creatures
    Old: Nether Shadow, Krovikan Horror, Necrosavant
    New: Nether Spirit, Coffin Puppets

    Again, no contest even here.

    Face it, Black no longer has a true theme. Black has been reduced to the "support" color for Blue and Red, a sorry state of affairs indeed.
  10. DÛke Memento Mori


    You compare "old" Black to the "new" Black...that's all right, but you're comparing the WHOLE entire Magic options we have, versus the T2 options. Don't you think, no matter WHAT the environment is, according to your contrast, the "NEW" environment would look like it has nothing! You compare GOD knows how many sets, with the fragile 4-6 sets that we call T2. Unjust.

    Story Circle - Soul Feast, Highway Robber, Rhystic Syphon, Despoil. With any of these, Story Circle will not do anything. Add 4 Rain of Tears, and there you go...they can't even stop the Rhystic Syphon...since their lands are sitting…in their graveyard. Rath's Edge also appeals here, sure, costly, but...very workable. Barbed Wire is also very tempting, especially with Soul Feast and Highway Robber, since you'll be "feeding" on their so called innocent soul, while dealing damage with Barbed Wire.

    CoP: Black - See Story Circle.

    Nightwind Glider - I can't believe you included this. I've played Rath's Edge before, and yes, it destroys these easily. If you don't like Rath's Edge, use it to get rid of Nightwind Glider...that's it. Massacre also happens to be great against White, and could wipe out most feared weenies, including Nightwind Glider. Flowstone Armor could even be better than Rath's Edge, in that it could boost your creatures; however, Rath's Edge could dodge Story Circle.

    Lin Sivvi - We already discussed Lin Sivvi many times over MTGnews. Most arguments on BOTH sides are feeble. She may be a problem, but if destroyed properly, you could get rid of her.

    Blastoderm - Any regenerator. Picks coming to mind are Chilling Apparition and Urborg Skeleton. Either could hold the Blastoderm in check, while still surviving to molest the opponent later on. At least they last on their own.

    Saproling Burst - This is weak without Fires of Yavimaya. The speed gained is what makes it very powerful, other than that, you'll have a turn to cast a Forced March for only (BBB) and leave X at 0; you'll destroy all the token creatures, or just simply use Thrashing Wumpus to eat all tokens. How easy was that? With Fires of Yavimaya, however, a problem is clear, in that you'll have to stop many creatures or lose. The key is carefully, early game planning, playing enough creatures like Ravenous Rats and regenerators...you also could destroy a token if you really have to via Snuff-Out/Terror. I could see Burst becoming a problem, only accompanied by Fires though.

    Kavu Chameleon - One word: Terminate. Yes, everyone is talking about mono Black; however, splashing 4 Terminates and maybe some Voids will not hurt at all. Other than that Kave Chameleon could present a problem, but you still COULD simply block it with a regenerator, or even destroy it with a Pestilence or a Thrashing Wumpus. Not the biggest of all problems.

    Diabolic Edict wouldn't kill Blastoderm unless Blastoderm happens to be the ONLY creature on the other side; rare, don you think? It happens to be accompanied by mana elves and birds too...can you get rid of ALL that before a Blastoderm is unleashed? You tell me.

    Now, for a list of Black cards I think are very useful:

    Soul Feast: Dodges Worship, Pariah, Story Circle, COP: Black...you name it. If you've dealt a considerable amount of damage, Soul Feast is a great kill mechanic.

    Rhsytic Syphon: With Soul Feast, I don't think you need a "kill mechanic" at all...all you need is a away to survive until you could rain on your opponent's soul with those nasty cards. Rhystic Syphon has the slight disadvantage of being "fragile", but...that's when Despoil and Rain of Tears comes in. I also happen to know that land destruction happen to be great against Fires...not to mention, it empowers Rhystic Syphon, and [laughs at the thought] Rhystic Tutor (to fetch those draining cards).

    Highway Robber: A killer and a chump. This, ALSO, dodges all threats with its coming into play ability, then could serve you as a chump blocker, or even a “not so bad” attacker.

    Corrupt: Sure it may be dodge-able, but it could be used on creatures too. If the player happens not to have Story Circle FOR ONCE, then Corrupt would probably kill the player.

    Nakaya Shade: Let's face it, if all these colors are busy bursting with mana, and therefore playing all those threatening spells all in the early game, they wouldn't have enough mana to stop a Nakaya Shade properly. Here it comes…and larger than ever.

    Forced March: With enough early mana, all those non-hasty critters could be stopped with partial ease. Very useful.

    Deathgazer: Exactly, what Blastoderm are we talking about here? Probably the easiest, most useful way Black has to deal with Blastoderm. A 2/2 that kills almost whatever it becomes in contact with is very useful…in this environment anyway.

    Andradite Leech: YES, in a mono Black deck. Use it as an early attacker...then just block whatever with it. Heck, you could get rid of it by killing a Blastoderm or a Kavu Chameleon...what a divine way. Deal damage early, get rid of it later. I don't know if it works like that, but who knows...

    Rath's Edge: Anti-Gliders. Dodges Story Circle and the like.

    Flowstone Armor: Anti-Gliders. Boosts some of your creatures’ power.

    Barbed Wire: An easy way to kill an opponent after casting Soul Fests and Rhystic Syphons. Lie back, and relax...watch them suffer. Sorry, Story Circle can't help you. You better Disenchant THIS one.

    Chilling Apparition: Could maybe steal 1 or 2 cards from opponent's hand, but the real deal is in its long-life. This bad boy lasts, as oppose to certain “faders”.

    Urborg Skeleton: Maybe be better than Chilling Apparition if you're looking for block-based creatures. Not bad at all, considering that you could make it a 1/2 late game.

    Yawgmoth's Agenda: Here it comes, another Rhystic Syphon, another Despoil...history repeats itself faster than you think.

    I'm done for now...

    ...see what may wander in your mind now...
  11. superguy Helpful CPA Member MAGICBOY

    Cateran Emperor - you sideboard in Addles, Persecute and Chimeric Idol. Then again, you'll still probably loose if they topdeck it...
  12. Daggertooth The Rune Master

    Good for you, you made a nice list of a few specific cards that can handle the opposing deadly cards. Whoop ie do. No make a Mono black deck, splash in whatever if you like, that has a chance to consistantly beat other decks in type 2.

    Sure anyone can make a black deck for the sole purpose of beating fires. But that deck would die against rebels or blue skys.

    No, Black is weak. Even with dark ritual there isn't too many options for a solid deck. And when dark Ritual leaves Black goes with it. For the time being.

    I, for one, plan to sit in my lair waiting for black to rise. Maybe they wont Reprint Dark Ritual, but they are bound to "fix" it. something like:

    "Fixed" dark ritual.
    Pay x life.
    Add x Black to your mana pool, no more than 3 can be paid in this way.

    But whatever they print, a color will not stay weak for long. I eagerly await the day black rises in power.

    Till then.

  13. FoundationOfRancor The Gunslinger

    You may have alot of it, but what happens if something powerful like diabloic edict slipped through your rumor mill cracks? That would put black on par, wouldnt it? How about living death? Or Hatred? Or Dark Rit?

    The point is that this is all pre-mature.
  14. Apollo Bird Boy

    DUke: yeah, you can use all of that stuff, and stop those cards you named. But then you will lose to everything else. Make your fancy decks, and try them, and you will lose. The fact that you can even mention Barbed Wire and Deathgazer shows just how absolutely ridiculous this is. Those cards are horrible and you want to use them in a deck?
  15. TURD CUTTER!!! Mr. Happy

    The stuff u guys write is too long for me to bother reading.

    Just 1 question. What does WotC mean?
  16. ErinPuff Token Female

    They mean to destroy a color which I'm not a big fan of anyway. :)

    er.. it means Wizards of the Coast.
  17. DÛke Memento Mori

    ..."Horrible", Apollo? How do you define "horrible"? If it does something meaningful against the environment, I wouldn't think it's horrible. Deathgazer happens to be good against Rebels, and most creatures actually. Deathgazer is a good attacker.

    You can't say something is horrible. The environment defines what is horrible. Not us. Deathgazer is playable right now, therefore, it is good.

    Barbed Wire is not that great, that I'll admit, not because I said so, but because the environment doesn't really care about 1 damage each turn. It's purely used against Story Circles.
  18. Thallid Ice Cream Man 21sT CeNTuRy sChIZoId MaN

    Black is probably dead. However, one interesting thing that I realized is that the picture for the black card in 7th that was said to be Darkest Hour could very well be Bad Moon. Think about it for a second. It could feasibly jump from 5th to 7th. That alone wouldn't save black, but it would certainly help, and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is confirmed yet.
  19. Cateran Emperor Passed On

    FoR: For your indulgence, a list of cards black would need to have in the spoiler that I somehow missed to make it good, even slightly so:

    Dark Ritual
    Diabolic Edict
    Phyrexian Plaguelord
    Skittering Skirge
    Living Death
    Drain Life
    Hypnotic Specter
    Bad Moon

    ... do you understand my point? How mad do you think WotC is? Sadly, these would be only enough to put black back on par with the other colors.

    Thank god that Light of Day is gone. "Oh look, you can now only win with artifact creatures, and I happen to be playing disenchant effects!" That was probably the most unfair hoser since Karma. (shudders at memory)

    DUke: So be it then, let's see what I disagree with on your list:

    *Diabolic Edict wouldn't kill Blastoderm unless Blastoderm happens to be the ONLY creature on the other side; rare, don you think? It happens to be accompanied by mana elves and birds too...can you get rid of ALL that before a Blastoderm is unleashed? You tell me.*

    Massacre/Dry Spell, Edict. Go.

    Now, for a list of Black cards I think are very useful:

    Soul Feast: White is commonly paired with blue recently because of Absorb. In esssence, Absorb forces you to have an additional Soul Feast just to break even.

    Rhsytic Syphon: Same problem as Soul Feast. U/W Rebels holds back counters specifically to stop these. Also, U'W Rebels holds mana open to recruit. If you do this early enough, you may buy one turn at most.

    Highway Robber: Honestly, Robbers aren't a huge advantage. Chump blocking implies you've got something you can cast next turn to back them up. Do share, what comes next?

    Corrupt: Blastoderm doesn't care if you're holding Corrupt. You need a lot of mana and a lot of swamps to kill a G/R deck's beasts. Casting this will take an entire turn, and if ther're multiple threats facing you down, things aren't going to be so hot even with Corrupt. Let's not forget that it's a Sorcery.

    Nakaya Shade: Shade ability is the first idea here I agree with, but you've got the wrong creature. Andradite Leech is the best shade right now (okay, I guess he'd have to be an honorary shade...)

    Forced March: Excellent card vs the old Grizzly bear Rebel deck. Unfortunately, if you try and Forced March them you forget many things including: Forced March has to hit one greater than the current highest cost searcher, or else a bigger one just replaces it, Sorcery speed, if it's not Rebels, this gets maniacally mana intensive.

    Deathgazer: This fellow is four mana for a 2/2 creature. That tends to be not so hot. What if they don't block? What about Sky Marshals and Two-Headers?

    Andradite Leech: See Nakaya Shade

    Rath's Edge: This can work, but if you're not dealing with gliders your deck had better be remarkably low in mana cost as you toss land after land. Also, beware of Tsabo's Web. You can't get rid of it.

    Flowstone Armor: Good against Gliders, but useless against almost anything else. If you're lucky, you'll get an elf here or there. If not, don't forget that you're providing targets for Dismantling Blows and Artifact Mutations.

    Barbed Wire: Erm. Right. So they're not attacking you while you spend two mana each turn to ping them once?

    Chilling Apparition: Well that's at least something else to use. He's sometimes better than Abby, but using him as a blocker that doesn't fade is a losing proposition.

    Urborg Skeleton: Wait, how are you going to cast him again later?

    Yawgmoth's Agenda: A good card, but an extremely limiting one. Against a control deck, this will hurt you almost as much as it will help.
  20. TURD CUTTER!!! Mr. Happy

    ErinPuff: Thanks

    I'm surprised that some of you actually read those long posts

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