EDH Essentials - Black Effects

EDH Essentials - Black Effects

Today we are diving deep into gruesome territory, where terror and greed reign supreme and death is ever present. You guessed it - we’re looking at the top five black effects for EDH. By the way, these are simply our suggested effects to run - you can decide for yourself if these effects fit your particular deck and playstyle!

1. Sacrifice

Black magic is all about making sacrifices to gain even more power, so you will see this theme reappearing in the other four themes and it is certainly one you will see in any given black EDH deck.

If you want to draw cards, you can pay with your life and show how much Greed you possess. To destroy creatures, simply sacrifice one of your own using Attrition.

These are just suggestions and there are many other effects require a sacrifice of some sort, so keep an eye out for them and be prepared to pay the cost, because they are worth it.


2. Removal

Death is the one thing black is really well known for and your opponents creatures should prepare to die should you enter the battlefield with a black EDH deck.

Creatures and planeswalkers alike will succumb to a Hero’s Downfall, making it a great catchall answer to any deck.

Sweep up smaller creatures with Toxic Deluge for just a few points of life.

Don’t worry too much about the big creatures as Dictate of Erebos will pick them up, while you sacrifice your own creatures for value.


3. Reanimation

Now that we talked so much about death, let’s talk about life… or more specifically - unlife. Gravediggers, necromancers and zombies are known to hang out in swamps and can return from the graveyard when you need them.

Sheoldred, Whispering One both grows your board presence while decimating your opponents’.

If you play cards that get creatures in your graveyard (through sacrifice or discard), consider playing Living Death. While the effect also reanimates all opponents’ creatures, you should be able to get most out of it with a well-prepared graveyard and some foresight.

When your opponents have bigger critters in their graveyards, steal them with Sepulchral Primordial. It even gets even better with more opponents!


4. Tutors

To get all those powerful aforementioned cards together, black has access to cards that search for other cards in the deck - tutors which are named after the original Demonic Tutor.

They are perfect for every situation because they give you flexibility on what to get and when to get it.

Sidisi, Undead Vizier will get you any card as long as you are willing to sacrifice a creature. She even has great combat stats.

During later turns when mana isn’t a problem, play Increasing Ambition to get three cards to assemble game ending combos (if you wish).


5. Discard

Lastly, what’s better than having a grip full of cards? Seeing your opponents cardless and without options!

Painful Quandary requires opponents to either discard a card or lose five life to cast a spell - this is a deathly tax that can add up very fast.

In a deck that produces tokens, Sadistic Hypnotist can easily empty all opponents’ hands in one swoop and can do it all over again when needed.

Lastly, Chain of Smog can be very fun and powerful if your playgroup just works with you for a bit to ultimately realize that everyone discarded all their cards!


That’s it for this week. We hope you enjoyed our small look into the gruesome machinations of black. What are your favorite themes for black EDH deck?

We will return next week with the top five effects for my personal favorite color: red.

Written by Malte Smits

Grimoires & Codexes

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