Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Oath of the Gatewatch Top Picks: Black

Oath of the Gatewatch prereleases officially begin on Friday on Magic Online, and I know many players are eager to get their hands on the new cards. I have just about completed the second part of my Standard Pauper review of the set, which should go up tomorrow at PureMTGO.

I've already written about the new colorless mana from the set as well as a first look at the new Lands at Common. This week, I'll finish up my evaluation of my top two picks at Common from each of the five colors for Oath of the Gatewatch. So far I've looked at White and Blue; today, I'll look at Black.

Best Black Common: Oblivion Strike
Long gone are the days of Doom Blade, where Black could expect to deal with most creatures at Instant speed for a mere two mana. But Oblivion Strike is one of the better unconditional removal spells we've seen at Black in some time, and it's only slightly weakened by the fact that you can only cast it at Sorcery speed. Even better, it exiles rather than simply destroying, permanently dealing with the creature or potentially allowing you to activate any Processor effects. Glad to see it costs almost half as much as Scour from Existence!

Black Runner Up: Vampire Envoy
Kalastria Nightwatch has proved to quite strong, and Vampire Envoy gives us the perfect card to accompany it. As a 1/4 Flying creature for 2B, it will be able to attack in a variety of board states, and might even incentivize you to build around the Cohort ability, which gives you a repeatable way to gain life every turn. In the past, such decks have been pretty good, and in combination with the Nightwatch and other Allies, there just might be another such deck here. On the other hand, outside of such a deck, this card is fine but nothing special.

So those are my picks for Black. What do you think?

Also, in order to cover all five colors prior to this weekend, I will feature a bonus post tomorrow to cover Red before finished up Thursday with Green. See you again tomorrow!

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