Complete Guide To Black In MTG

There are five colors in it Magic: The Gathering, each with their own philosophy that describes their style of play. White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green, while some of the colors share some mechanics, there are major gameplay mechanics that separate them, making each color unique in its own style.



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Black is a color defined by using all the resources available in the game, including your life. Although spending a valuable resource like Life grants powerful effects, black is a color with many cards that allow you to destroy your opponent’s creature. Black is the color of power in any way that offers a fun playstyle to explore.

Black’s philosophy

Phyrexian Arena illustrated by Vincent Proce

Black is the color of power, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Black can be defined by ambition power by any means and at any cost.

This philosophy can be found in many cards that they force you to pay life or sacrifice your permanents. Black doesn’t care about rules or ethics; on many cards you will find effects that disrupt the rules of the game. Black he is selfish and desires power in order to gain the freedom to decide his own destiny.

Black is seen as the color of evil, which is only half true. The color craves power and tends to break taboos and ethics such as necromancy to achieve its goals. Because of this, the color carries a connotation of evil, but no color in Magic is purely good or evil. For example, a black warrior may still fight for good causes if it brings him fame, fortune, or simply a way to achieve a personal goal.

In terms of gameplay, Black can play different roles, but black specializes in disrupting the opponent’s game plan by removing permanent persons from the board of directors and by raising their own resources regardless of the cost.

When your opponent plays a powerful monster on the field, you can play a lot of black cards that allow you to destroy the creature. even better, the suit forces the opponent to discard the cards.

Primary mechanics

Harvester of Souls illustrated by Avacyn Restored

Each color has unique mechanics that define its playstyle. Black has the focus on Destruction, Forced Discard, Search and Sacrifice. The other colors share some mechanics with black, allowing you to create exciting combinations when combining colors.

A mechanic


Throw away

Black has many options to force his opponent to discard a card from his hand to his graveyard in several ways.


Black with a lot of cards that deal with death and necromancy, you can expect cards that bring a creature back from the graveyard like Reanimate


A mechanic shared with red that forces your opponent to bring more than one creature to block your creature’s attack.


While lifelink, with the effect of gaining life when you deal damage, belongs mainly to white, black is home to many vampire creature cards with the keyword.


When playing black, he is expected to pay a power cost. Usually your life or another creature, but these are cards that force your opponent to sacrifice.

-1/-1 Counters

Black has the ability to weaken the opponent’s creatures. This mechanic contrasts with White’s ability to give +1/+1 counters to their creatures.


Deathtouch is a powerful ability that spreads between black and green. If a creature fights a creature with deathtouch, it is destroyed and sent to the graveyard, regardless of toughness.

Key creature types

Mindwrack Demon MtG Art from Shadows over Innistrad by Daarken

Colors in Magic have iconic creature types that demonstrate the mechanics and philosophy of the color. Demons they embody Black’s philosophy of gaining power at any cost for one’s own sake high cost of playing. Additionally, Black’s lack of ethics means he has no problem summoning the horde Zombies defeat your opponents.


Hellcarver Demon illustrated by Greg Staples

Demons are iconic creatures for Black. Demons tend to be powerful cards that have higher mana costs. The high mana cost is because Demons usually have strong effects on the boardhowever, demons usually cost a life or other permanent.

Demons are a great species that can work best as a heavy hitter to end the game. Demons generally don’t come with effects that support other demons, so they can be placed in many types of decks.


Ghoulraiser illustrated by Steve Prescott

Zombies are another group that is Black’s core, as its signature battle type. Zombies, like demons, have a long history in Magic: The Gathering. Zombies are specific to black, but can also be found in other colors; this allows you to build unique zombie type decks.

Zombies play exactly as you would expect them to, overwhelm your opponents with as many zombies as possible. This goal can be achieved by creating decks that allow you to create more zombies with tokens and bring zombies back from the graveyard.


Cruel Revival illustrated by Miles Johnston

Black’s main strength is destroying creatures that disrupt the opponent’s game plan, while also easier to gather resources than other colors. The strategy is to achieve victory at all costs, which includes using creatures from your graveyard. So, in general, Black has aggressive and varied ways to deal damage to his opponent.

Creature destruction

Murderous Cut illustrated by Yohann Schepacz

Black is the king of removing creatures from the board. Black has a lot of spells that allow you to destroy one or more creatures. Like all things black, this power comes at a price; when making a deck, part of the strategy is deciding the costs you are willing to pay.

Forced rejection

Dreamstealer illustrated by Yongjae Choi

Black’s strength is the ability to disrupt the opponent in ways that other colors can rarely achieve, with the ability to force the opponent to discard cards in their hand. Some cards even allow you to look at your opponent’s hand and choose a card to discard. This mechanic will allow you to deal with threats before they even appear on the field.


Reanimate Johann Bodin's MtG

Black specializes in finding cards to add to your hand or play on the table. The philosophy of wanting power means that black has a lot of cards that allow you to draw cards from your library, sometimes at a cost.

Black also has the unique ability to manipulate the graveyard by adding and removing cards from it. So with the right cards in hand, you can send a creature card to the graveyard and play a spell to summon that creature to the battlefield, which is key strategy in many decks that have black mana cards.


Biting Palm Ninja illustrated by Andreas Zafiratos

Black is a deadly and unique color, but this is also the source of its weakness. The color philosophy of power at a price means you have to pay the price, and it could be your life, your hand, or even your perennials. Additionally, black is great at killing creatures, but struggles with other card types.


Erebos, Bleak-Hearted MtG Art from Theros Beyond Death by Chase Stone

Black’s major weakness is that you can defeat yourself or at least make it easier for the opponent to do so, making sacrifice a double-edged sword. Black has a number of powerful effects, all of which come at a cost of life or one of your creatures. Knowing when and how to sacrifice your life and creatures is crucial when playing black, so not giving your opponent an advantage is critical to success.

Uneven creature strength and toughness

Rat colony print illustrated by Suzanne Helmigh

In some way, bScarcity can be considered a “jack of all trades” when it comes to creatures. Black can bring powerful big creatures onto the field like green, but it doesn’t have green’s mana ramp. Black is also home to many smaller, low-toughness creatures that are better sacrificed than defended.

In short, while black is one of the best colors at getting creatures out of lane, own creatures are often very average in terms of stats.

Enchantments and Artifacts

Giclee painting Mira and Misery illustrated by Anna Podedworna

Enchantments and artifacts are a problem that Black has a hard time dealing with. While it’s a little easier to deal with artifacts, it struggles to remove anything that isn’t a creature or planeswalker, and has a particularly hard time dealing with enchantments.

The problem is exacerbated when you’re up against opponents with a deck that focuses on using enchantments or artifacts, and you’ll need more than the small number of cards available to Black, such as Feed the Swarm and Ghastly Death Tyrant.

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