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Core Set 2021 Limited Set Review: Black and Multicolor

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Day three of the Core Set 2021 Limited set review is here and we will be looking at the Black and Multicolored cards. Keep in mind this new set hits Arena on June 25th for the Prerelease, and it will be officially released on July 3rd. Let's go ahead and jump right into the next article!

This article is the third of five, and in it I will be evaluating every Black and Multicolored card by scoring it on a scale of 1-5. These ratings are purely based on Limited formats and have no bearing on Constructed play. I would also like to note these ratings are based on how I believe the card will perform in an AVERAGE Sealed or Draft deck. Often this means a lower score for cards with great potential in a highly synergistic deck. Below you will find the scoring system.

Rating - Explanation

1- Ideally not making the cut in any of my Limited decks.

2- Not good, but a necessity for curve filling and smoothing out draws.

3- Value cards I am happy to fill my deck with.

4- Cards to get excited about and Premium Removal.

5- Reserved for cards that will win the game if left unanswered.

Black Cards

Alchemist's Gift
Alchemist's Gift - 1.5 - These effects are often a loss of value because they are not adding anything to the board. If you are using deathtouch it typically means you are losing two cards to their one. A neat trick to look for is the combo with Goblin Arsonist. This will allow you to take down two much larger creatures for only 2 mana.

Archfiend's Vessel
Archfiend's Vassel - 1 - The small amount of graveyard interaction in the set makes this card very unrealistic. This will probably not see much play.

Bad Deal
Bad Deal - 2 - The card will not make the cut for most decks. It is a bit slow and will not always catch opponents with cards in hand. This is far more likely to come in from the sideboard once you know an opponent's deck is slow and has large bombs.

Blood Glutton
Blood Glutton - 2 - On its own this is not something I would want to play with the amount of 3/1s in the format, but if you have any of the life gain payoff cards I would be happy to add this to my deck.

Caged Zombie
Caged Zombie - 2.5 - The activation cost is cheap, but you will not always be able to activate it. Be diligent and ensure you do not miss the triggers.

Carrion Grub
Carrion Grub - 2.5 - On average this card will be a 3/5 for 4-mana - reasonable stats. It will also have the ability to get better the longer it is on the board and more creatures end up in your graveyard.

Crypt Lurker
Crypt Lurker - 2.5 - The base stats are fine. Using care like Deathbloom Thallid to create a token to sacrifice can generate a lot of value.

Deathbloom Thallid - 3 - Every time I have played this card in the past I always feel like I have gotten great value from it. I don't see quite as many synergies that want saprolings or cheap sacrifice targets, but this should still be a great addition to a deck.

Demonic Embrace
Demonic Embrace - 4 - This is extremely strong for a creature aura spell. Typically, I try to avoid them in Limited because getting 2-for-1'd can be very hard to recover from, but in this case I am excited to run it. This turns any 2-drop into a bomb that can end the game very quickly.

Duress - 1 - Duress is never a card I want to run in my decks. Hand control cards that include creatures are a lot better, but this one will miss more than it will hit. As for drawing it late in the game... it's a totally dead card. Pick one up late for the sideboard.

Eliminate
Eliminate - 3.5 - Killing creatures with three 3-mana costs or less is a bit situational, but it is always a valuable card to have. This card type is stronger in this format than normal because there are a lot of strong uncommon or even rare creatures at 2 and 3 mana.

Fetid Imp
Fetid Imp - 3 - This small Imp is an evasive creature that can get in some chip damage before using deathtouch to trade up in value when needed. I am happy to run one or two of these in most Black decks.

Finishing Blow
Finishing Blow - 3.5 - 5 mana seems a bit high for a Black removal spell. I would expect it to exile for the price, but instead they added planeswalkers - so I guess that's fair. Always happy to kill stuff at instant speed.

Gloom Sower
Gloom Sower - 1.5 - This card is a bit expensive, but in a pinch it can be added as a top end card if you lack any better options. Sometimes a deck just needs a big dumb idiot.

Goremand
Goremand - 3.5 - This is a strong flier that will be hard to beat once it hits the battle field. My biggest concern is that you might not be able to cast him if you have no other creatures, or you will end up in a situation where you trade a 4/4 for a 1/2. When this card hits, it's great. Just make sure to set things up to avoid those awkward situations.

Grasp of Darkness - 4 - This reprint was strong in the last set it was in and this one will be no different. This cheap removal kills a lot of creatures in this low to the ground set.

Grim Tutor
Grim Tutor - 1.5 - Tutor cards can be nice if you have a lot of high value cards, but the average deck won't want to spend the extra mana to cast this card. Two bombs and a few premium removal cards and I might consider this for the flexibility - but I doubt it.

Hooded Blightfang
Hooded Blightfang - 3.5 - This card will be difficult to kill and it works really well with cards like Fetid Imp. Just make sure you activate deathtouch before attacking.

Infernal Scarring
Infernal Scarring - 1 - Overall low value and extremely susceptible to all of the bounce spells in the format. Playing this card leaves great risk of getting 2-for-1'd.
Kaervek, the Spiteful
Kaervek, the Spiteful - 3 - This card is a bit of a build around card. I think it will be really strong in a deck that avoids smaller creatures. White and Black seem to have a lot of 1/1s and 3/1s, and even the payoff cards are 1 power. This card will feel really bad without the right creatures.
Kitesail Freebooter - 3 - Easy to cast evasive creature that gives you information about an opponent's hand - what's not to like? At only 2-mana it is likely you will be able to remove a key spell, and if they want to get it back an opponent will need to use more removal on your 2-drop. Great value all around.
Liliana, Waker of the Dead
Liliana, Waker of the Dead - 4 - Not very strong compared to some of the Liliana cards we have seen in the past. Her -3 ability is powerful if you have creatures in the graveyard, but that is less likely to be the case on turn four. Ideally you are casting this late game when you are already ahead or on a stalled board.

Liliana's Devotee
Liliana's Devotee - 3.5 - This creature has reasonable base stats, but most of the power is in the ability. Every time a creature dies on your turn you get to make a 3/2 zombie, and it does not specify "non-token" so if one of your zombies dies in combat it can replace itself! A very snowbally card.
Liliana's Standard Bearer
Liliana's Standard Bearer - 3.5 - It won't be hard to get more than one free draw out of this card. Make sure you wait until you are getting reasonable trades to ensure maximum value. Being a flash creature might also surprise an opponent with lethal.
Liliana's Steward
Liliana's Steward - 1 - There are too many situations where this card simply won't bring anything to the table. Because the ability requires the creature to tap you can't even catch an opponent off guard and you are likely to hit nothing or often just land.
Malefic Scythe
Malefic Scythe - 3 - This is a reasonably cheap equipment that will increase in value the longer it stays on the board. I would consider this a lot more if I have 16+ creatures or a lot of token generators.
Masked Blackguard
Masked Blackguard - 2.5 - The mana ability does make it a better late game draw then a typical 2-mana card, however, the stats are not exciting for a 2-drop.
Massacre Wurm - 4.5 - This card as a whole is amazingly good. It does have a wide range of power based on the situation and boardstate. Its value can range anywhere from a 3 to a 6 out of 5.
Mind Rot - 2 - Always want this card in my sideboard but will normally cut it from the starting 40. I really like this against slower opponents. It is such a bad draw mid to late game when an opponent has played out their hand.
Necromentia
Necromentia - 1 - The overall value on this card is really bad. Zero chance of wanting this in the starting 40. Even post board it is not great because they are just as likely to draw the bomb before you draw this. Medium EV is the best case scenario.
Peer into the Abyss
Peer into the Abyss - 1 - I don't see this being at all playable in Limited.
Pestilent Haze
Pestilent Haze - 2.5 - These cards are always powerful sideboard cards. Often, I will add one to a deck with a lot of smaller creatures if I expect to need help trading up against larger creatures. Ideally I am not putting this in my main deck because it is so situational.
Rise Again
Rise Again - 1.5 - This is not worth playing unless you have at least two big game winning bombs in your deck. If the best case is bringing back a mediocre creature then it's not worth the downside of all the times you draw it too early.
Sanctum of Stone Fangs
Sanctum of Stone Fangs - 3 - This is probably one of the better Shrines. I would play this even without other Shrines to go with it, and I might consider playing weaker ones knowing it will give this one a boost.
Sanguine Indulgence
Sanguine Indulgence - 3 - With or without the life gain triggers, I like this card. Getting to bring back two creatures is a net positive in card value and it is often an insane draw late game when the boards are stalled out.
Silversmote Ghoul
Silversmote Ghoul - 2.5 - A bit expensive for the average deck, but it won't be hard to find triggers to get this card back out of the graveyard. It is important to remember to sacrifice him before gaining life, and remember that he's in the graveyard later in the game when you draw cards that will trigger his ability. These are often easy to forget.
Skeleton Archer
Skeleton Archer - 3 - This card is even better than it was last time! With so many 3/1s and even 2/1s in the format this card will be a 1 for 0 quite often. This should be a staple filler in any Black deck.
Tavern Swindler - 2.5 - This card has always been a "bear" and a fine filler card. However, in this set she is a bit more! Assuming you use the ability and she hits 50% of the time you will net even on life overall, but while doing this you will be able to activate all of your life gain triggers. Keep an eye out for this card when you are in the life gain archetype.
Thieves' Guild Enforcer
Thieves' Guild Enforcer - 2.5 - Cheap late game deathtoucher. Overall, I am not excited about playing this card and would take a lot of uncommon or even commons over it. I will say you should keep an eye out for scrying from your opponent when playing this card. It will be fun to mill away the cards they scryed to the top.
Village Rites
Village Rites - 3 - Casting this card at instant speed means you get to take a losing situation and end up with a card advantage. It is a flexible card that will easily earn back its value.
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose - 4 - This card is nuts! It's not winning the game on its own and that's why it does not have a 5 rating. You will need to develop a bit of a board to make this work, but once you do, no amount of blocking will save an opponent. With this card in your deck try to avoid making a lot of trades too early. A gummed up board could create a lethal swing later.
Walking Corpse - 1.5 - A worst case scenario filler card if you are worried about getting overrun. There is an uncommon Zombie lord in the format, so I can see a world where you end up with three of those and this card becomes a 3 out of 5.
Witch's Cauldron
Witch's Cauldron - 2.5 - I am typically happy to have sacrifice cards in my deck. Anytime an opponent plays a removal spell or combat trick you are stopping them from getting any value from it. This is a cheap investment for the long game.

Top 3 Black Commons

  1. Grasp of Darkness
  2. Finishing Blow
  3. Skeleton Archer

Multicolored cards

Alpine Houndmaster
Alpine Houndmaster - 3 - The dogs that pair with this card are not exceedingly powerful on their own, but if you get the chance to draw them for free using this card you will be getting bonus value to add to the board. Even without searching for a dog, Houndmaster is a reasonable body in an aggressive deck.
Conclave Mentor
Conclave Mentor - 3 - The rating is based on having only an average amount of +1/+1 counter synergies, but if you have 5+ spells or creatures with counters built in this card will raise the overall power level of the deck a fair amount. It will not be hard for this card to snowball into a win.
Dire Fleet Warmonger
Dire Fleet Warmonger - 2.5 - An extremely playable card if you are in these colors, but I do not think it is strong enough to go build around. This is my least favorite of the archetype champions.
Experimental Overload
Experimental Overload - 3.5 - Even in a deck with only a few spells, I think this would still be worth running. Even if you are only getting a small creature and your best spell back that is a good turn. The times you get a spell and a free 5/5 you are coming out way ahead. Happy to play or even splash this in the right deck.
Indulging Patrician
Indulging Patrician - 3/4 - This card is multipurpose. It is a payoff for the lifegain deck as well as a possible trigger for other payoffs. With flying it is likely to be able to attack, so look for cards that add counters to make it trigger its own text box.
Leafkin Avenger
Leafkin Avenger - 3 - Leafkin Avenger triggers itself and can become a good late game finisher. It is a reasonable size body that comes with ramp and a little endgame reach. What's not to like?
Lorescale Coatl - 4 - The 1st turn Lorescale Coatl can attack it is a 3/3 for 3-mana, and that is very playable stats. After that it will grow and can easily snowball a game if not dealt with.
Niambi, Esteemed Speaker
Niambi, Esteemed Speaker - 3 - This can be used as a flash blocker if needed, but most of the value happens when you stop a removal spell or Capture Sphere effect from killing one of your other creatures. Try not to cast it too early if you don't need it.
Obsessive Stitcher
Obsessive Stitcher - 3 - Over time, the looting ability will gain card advantage. Once you get something large enough in the graveyard you will be able to trade her in for something an opponent will likely be unable to deal with late in the game. High value over time.
Radha, Heart of Keld
Radha, Heart of Keld - 4 - Radha is a decently sized body with a late game mana sink, and that alone makes me happy to play this card. Getting to remove lands from the top of the deck will also gain card advantage by preventing late game land draws.

Sanctum of All
Sanctum of All - 1 - This is not going to be a playable deck.
Twinblade Assassins
Twinblade Assassins - 3.5 - Over time, this card will inevitably generate value. It is also a large enough body to close out games should the window be open. Try not to trade this card away too early.

Watcher of the Spheres
Watcher of the Spheres - 3 - 2-mana flier on turn two will make it hard for an opponent to interact with your board. You will be able to pressure their life total early and ramp into stronger creatures. The more flying creatures you have the more valuable this card gets.

These articles are used for the drafting data on Untapped.gg, and because of this we will be updating them periodically with new information and insight. Comments and discussions help me improve the articles to provide the best information for both other readers and Untapped.gg. So please feel free to comment below and give me your thoughts.

Tomorrow we look at Red and Colorless spells! Thanks for reading.

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