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Crimson Vow Standard Set Review: Black and Multicolor

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Welcome back everyone! Yesterday we went over the Blue cards in Crimson Vow and today we will be going over the Black and Multicolored cards; but, before we start, let's go over how I will be rating the cards real quick.

I will not be going over cards that I believe will not see play in Standard and I will not be going over the Commander cards that will not see Standard play. For example, cards like Nebelgast Beguiler and Unholy Officiant will be omitted since they are just Limited cards and saying, "This is just a Limited card" repeatedly gets old rather fast. Do not worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the actual Innistrad: Crimson Vow set. So, if you like a certain rare or mythic, it will be mentioned in the review.

Keep in mind I'm rating all these cards for Standard playability. I will mention Modern applications if I believe the card has some.

Each card will be listed by color, then alphabetically by name.

Each card will be given a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, its rating is left off the list.

Rating | Explanation | Standard Examples

0 - Will never see play in this format (0 ratings are not listed).

1 - Unlikely to see play. (Divine Gambit)

2 - Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Disdainful Stroke, Annul, Candletrap)

3 - Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Righteous Valkyrie, Behold the Multiverse, Wash Away)

4 - Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Werewolf Pack Leader, Elite Spellbinder, Ranger Class)

5 - Format warping. If you are in these colors, you play that card or keep that card in mind when building decks. (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Alrund's Epiphany, Hullbreaker Horror)

Now that we have that out of the way, let's begin!

Black

Archghoul of Thraben
Archghoul of Thraben - 3 - Great insurance in your zombie deck to draw cards and keep your hand full. Also works exactly with decayed zombies.
Bloodvial Purveyor
Bloodvial Purveyor - 3.5 - This vampire is massive and will kill the opponent extremely quickly if not deal with. Love that it easily blocks Goldspan Dragon and comes down before Goldspan Dragon.
Cemetery Desecrator
Cemetery Desecrator - 1.5 - 6 mana for maybe a conditional Hero's Downfall? No thanks!
Concealing Curtains // Revealing Eye
Concealing Curtains // Revealing Eye - 3 - This card is inconspicuous but is decent against the aggressive decks to block early and solid against midrange and control decks by nabbing a card and then applying menace pressure.
Demonic Bargain
Demonic Bargain - 2 - Grim Tutor meets Demonic Consultation. Not great in a combo deck since this can literally just exile your combo but could be okay in a midrange deck that already plays four of cards and you do not mind exiling some cards to tutor one you need.
Dread Fugue
Dread Fugue - 3 - Solid turn one or two play getting those small creatures and spells while late game getting the crucial ones. I am a fan!
Dreadfeast Demon
Dreadfeast Demon - 2 - Seems insane in Limited but not so much in Constructed. Takes too long to really get going and you need things in play for your 7-drop to do what it needs to do. Compare this to a 7-drop like Koma, Cosmos Serpent. Hard pass for me.
Falkenrath Forebear
Falkenrath Forebear - 3 - Not exciting, but if you are making a lot of blood tokens Forebear works great with them as a card to pitch to Blood tokens and return with Blood tokens. If you are making enough tokens, I would definitely play some number of Forebears.
Fell Stinger
Fell Stinger - 4 - Sign in Blood on a deathtouch creature is amazing. This card will easily be a staple in Black midrange and control decks a like. Excellent with Shambling Ghast, Eyetwitch, and decayed zombies.
Gift of Fangs
Gift of Fangs - 3 - Disfigure or a pump spell for your vampires! I love spells like these as you can play them main deck and not get punished when you go up against a deck that does not play creatures.
Graf Reaver
Graf Reaver - 3 - Nothing crazy, but a solid two-mana 3/3 that can destroy planeswalkers. At the very least it is a solid Sideboard card.
Headless Rider
Headless Rider - 3.5 - Love this card since you do not need to do anything else if your zombies are dying. You don't need to draw cards since you will be spitting out 2/2 zombies instead. This card is also insane if you get multiple going.
Henrika Domnathi // Henrika, Infernal Seer
Henrika Domnathi // Henrika, Infernal Seer - 3 - You definitely do not want this to die to a three-damage burn spell so make sure you play it carefully. Henrika is slow if you want to milk all her abilities but if you do not have time to do so, that is okay and can make her a 3/4 lifelinker right away. I approve of this grown Vampire Nighthawk!
Hero's Downfall
Hero's Downfall - 3.5 - Format staple reprinted as an uncommon. Planeswalkers thankfully have been reduced in power as of late so Downfall is not as good, but it is still a very solid catch all card.
Parasitic Grasp
Parasitic Grasp - 2.5 - Essence Extraction saw sideboard play and this will too, especially since I expect Mono-White aggro to be one of if not the best deck going forward in Standard.
Path of Peril
Path of Peril - 2 - Wish the Cleave here was 5 mana instead of six. It seems all right but not as good as other Black battlefield wipes like Shadows' Verdict, The Meathook Massacre, or Crippling Fear.
Sorin the Mirthless
Sorin the Mirthless - 3.5 - Excellent! Not broken but still playable in Vampire, midrange, and even control decks alike. Sorin will not snowball super crazy like planeswalkers of old and I love that. Hope they stick with this design for planeswalkers
Toxrill, the Corrosive
Toxrill, the Corrosive - 2.5 - In all seriousness, Toxrill is a solid answer to Mono-White and other hyper aggro decks if you can play it much earlier than turn seven. So maybe reanimate it or ramp into it, but Koma still has a choke hold as the 7-drop king in Standard.

Top 5 Black Cards

  1. Fell Stinger
  2. Headless Rider
  3. Bloodvial Purveyor
  4. Henrika Domnathi // Henrika, Infernal Seer
  5. Archghoul of Thraben

We know that White got a meta warping card in Thalia and we saw it in Hulllbreaker Horror for Blue. While Black did not get a five-star card, Black so far looks the most promising for making a new archetype in Vampires and even Zombies. I love this instead of just giving the best decks in format better cards. Excited to play with the new Black cards!

Next up, the multicolored cards!

Anje, Maid of Dishonor
Anje, Maid of Dishonor - 3 - Anje is completely reasonable in your vampire deck. She seems to grind a little more than other 4-drop vampires, like Bloodvial Surveyor, thus I do not think you should mix the two. If you play one Bloodvial Surveyor you should probably just play all four to get the opponent dead as quickly as possible.
Bloodtithe Harvester
Bloodtithe Harvester - 3.5 - Extremely solid vampire that fits the curve, this one should be a four off in all your vampire decks.
Edgar, Charmed Groom // Edgar Markov's Coffin
Edgar, Charmed Groom // Edgar Markov's Coffin - 3.5 - Edgar is surprisingly extremely amazing in a Black/White control deck with things like Fell Stinger and Deadly Dispute. This allows you to get card advantage while also making bodies with Edgar. Edgar is also very hard to remove in the control matchup outside of Hullbreaker Horror. Very solid card!
Eruth, Tormented Prophet
Eruth, Tormented Prophet -2.5 - I Want to try Eruth, Tormented Prophet in Niv-Mizzet Reborn for Historic. In Standard she seems to shine in a low mana curve deck so you can really abuse all those extra cards
Grolnok, the Omnivore
Grolnok, the Omnivore - 1 - This frog boy is bad. This one seems like it was designed for Commander because it is not playable in Standard.
Halana and Alena, Partners
Halana and Alena, Partners - 2 - Like Grolnok, Halana and Alena also seems to be a Commander card. In Standard this creature left unchecked will end the game quickly by giving other your other creatures haste. I just prefer more consistent threats.
Kaya, Geist Hunter
Kaya, Geist Hunter - 3 - Like I said before, I love these new planeswalker designs. You don't just jam them into your deck, you must think a little and build a deck with them in mind. Kaya is an amazing planeswalker for token decks!
Odric, Blood-Cursed
Odric, Blood-Cursed - 1 - Most disappointing card lore-wise. Had such high hopes for the human that died to Hero's Downfall (He's in the art.) Would say he's for Commander, but he also does not seem like a fun Commander to build.
Old Rutstein
Old Rutstein - 2 - Solid as a Commander, but this one could see fringe play in Golgari Midrange deck that can also use its graveyard.
Olivia, Crimson Bride
Olivia, Crimson Bride - 2 - This is another card I want to play as a singleton in Niv-Mizzet Reborn. Seems like a great way to reanimate Niv or even Territorial Kavu late game!
Runo Stromkirk // Krothuss, Lord of the Deep
Runo Stromkirk // Krothuss, Lord of the Deep - 1.5 - Runo is going to be an awesome Commander to build around. I love cards that you really must think about if you want to play them, this is partly why Commander is popular. I hope they transition this to Standard as well instead of just making a ton of cards that you easily jam into your deck, like Esika's Chariot or Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.
Wandering Mind
Wandering Mind - 3 - Finally, a good cantrip creature. Sea Gate Oracle has been touched by Emrakul and is now this blob of a horror. Izzet already has a ton of options for cards, but Wandering Mind is one to consider. I would play four Fading Hopes in the deck I play Wandering Mind in to buy time or to recur Wandering Mind.

Top 5 Multicolored Cards

  1. Edgar, Charmed Groom // Edgar Markov's Coffin
  2. Bloodtithe Harvester
  3. Anje, Maid of Dishonor
  4. Wandering Mind
  5. Kaya, Geist Hunter

Like the Black cards the top multicolored cards look to spawn new archetypes and I love it! I would love to try a Grixis Wandering Mind deck where I can sacrifice Wandering Mind to Fell Stinger or Deadly Dispute. Card I am most excited for is Kaya, Geist Hunter. I want to build around her in Standard and Historic while keeping an eye on her as new sets come out!

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Ali Aintrazi

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