Thursday, September 26, 2013

Theros EDH Set Review, Part 3: Black

And... we're back with part 3 of this here EDH-focused review of the new set, Theros. Today's color is Black, another of my favorite colors. Let's see what we've got to work with this time around.

Probably the worst of the Ordeal cycle, and the best of this cycle isn't exactly playable.
Really weird card. Great art. Not sure what to make of this since there aren't a lot of mass-Haste enablers in Mono-Black, but this seems to conditional to be all that great. I'd give it a pass.
Seems very playable in right decks. It can get very big in Multiplayer games, works well with cards like Greater Good, and can easily enable one-shot General Damage kills. Like most Lhurgoyf-style cards, though, this is pretty mediocre if all you are planning to do is play it as an aggressively-costed beatstick. Your best bet is to sacrifice it for value or give it evasion - Trample,  Swampwalk, or whatever.
One of the most delightful designs in this set has to be Rescue from the Underworld. It perfectly captures the Greek mythology trope it's trying to emulate, and it happens to be a pretty powerful-looking card to boot. Yeah, it is a 5-mana Instant, and it does exile itself upon resolution. These are marks against it, but it's such a cool card, I highly doubt that will stop it from getting played.

I've mentioned a few times how much I don't think Heroic is well-suited to EDH, but this guy has an ability that might, might just be worth putting forth some effort. The effect is obviously very powerful, but it all just depends on if you can find ways to trigger it that don't suck.
This is a bit of an odd effect, and I am not sure what the best use might be. I'm definitely skeptical of the playability of this card, but it might have some niche use I'm not seeing. 
Very much a Limited card.
Wow that's a lot of mana. I feel that way about most of the Monstrosity cards, but this one really feels way out of reach. I mean, yes, EDH games tend to get to the point where you COULD Monsterize this thing, but would you? There are just better things to do at 7 mana.
I don't like any of the cards in this cycle - they are way too narrow.
Decent effect, but way to expensive for such a marginal one-shot effect.
Actually seems really good in Mono-Black. Less likely than Exsanguinate to just straight up end a game in "Oops, I win" fashion, which is a positive thing. Also, doesn't become degenerate when fueled by Cabal Coffers, so there's that.
I am looking forward to playing this in Savra. Sac outlet that also provides its own fodder. Seems perfect for that deck. It's probably not terrible elsewhere, but there are, overall, more compelling Demons to play.
Yay for $30 cards that are terrible in EDH! My advice: Open lots of these.
Trade them for shit tons of EDH staples.
Not really any more playable than the  baby gorgon above, but she's Legendary so that makes her cooler, right? Well, at least this Monstrosity ability feels like it might be worth close to the 8-mana asking price.
I must confess, I am quite the fan of this God. I mean, he draws cards, so of course I'm going to love him. Lifegain hosing is relevant in my metagame, though not always. Still, I have decks that will happily play him just for the decent draw ability, and if he does more, it's gravy. I'm really liking him for Kaervek and Vish Kal especially. 
Dreadbore 2.0 is a huge improvement. Nevermind that it costs one more mana - it's also and Instant, and Black-only, so it can go into way more decks, and kill that much faster. Very playable. 
Hell yeah dawg lets trick this whip.

Okay, okay. I'm a bit iffy on this. I mean, it's certainly good and I think it will see a fair amount of play. My hang up is that pesky Exile clause that is very hard to get around. If I'm going to be re-using my creatures, I want to be able to do it over and over and over. Phyrexian Arena is just straight up better than this, in the majority of cases.

However, the lifelink part is probably better than most would give it credit for. I'm not going to be playing this a ton, but I definitely see it getting sporadic use here and there.

And, as is now the new customer, our Top 5 picks for Black:

5. Abhorrent Overlord
4. Thoughtseize (trade it for loads of EDH goodies!)
3. Rescue from the Underworld
2. Hero's Downfall
1. Erebos, God of the Dead

Overall, I'm not super-pumped for the Black cards in this set, but there are still quite a few that are likely to get used. A few of them are near-perfect fits for decks looking to plug some holes.

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