Magic: The Gathering’s latest expansion, Streets of New Capenna has some pretty fantastic cards hiding in the collection. This list focuses on the powerful black cards that arrived in the game with this recent update. From potential new iterations of classic cards, graveyard and mill shenanigans, and amazing ways to search through decks for cards, there is a lot to love about black in Magic: The Gathering right now.
Magic: The Gathering’s black spells offer powerful graveyard and life total mechanics
While Magic: The Gathering’s latest expansion is heavily focused on three-colored factions, the mono-colored cards certainly shine on their own. Black, in Streets of New Capenna, offers a great deal of graveyard control.
Since black can bring creatures back from the grave, having a nice and full graveyard is often a benefit to these kinds of decks. In this expansion, the Self-Mill and Aristocrat archetypes are both given significant updates.
Self-Mill decks remove cards from their own decks and put them into the graveyard. This is done to either create a unique win condition or get cards from the graveyard and put them into play. Aristocrat decks are decks that are built around sacrificing cards that are in play to gain a benefit.
5 best black cards in Streets of New Capenna
- Cemetery Tampering (Rare Enchantment)
- Shakedown Heavy (Rare Creature)
- Shadow of Mortality (Rare Creature)
- Body Launderer (Rare Creature)
- Angel of Suffering (Mythic Rare Creature)
An honorable mention has to go to the Vampire Scrivener. An uncommon Vampire with 1 attack and 1 toughness, whenever you gain life on your turn, it gains a +1/+1 counter. Whenever you lose life during your turn, it also gains a +1/+1 counter.
It also has flying, so in a lengthy game, it could become a terrifying damage dealer, but the 5 mana cost makes it undesirable unless the player is running solid mana ramping options.
5) Cemetery Tampering (Rare Enchantment)
Cemetery Tampering is a really interesting enchantment, which also has Hideaway 5. This means that when you put this card into play, look at the top 5 cards on your deck, and put one of them face down in exile. The rest go to the bottom of the deck.
This Magic: The Gathering card is a self-mill card because, during your upkeep, you have the option to mill the top 3 cards. At that point, if you have 20 cards in your graveyard, you can play that exiled card without paying its mana cost. The more expensive card you exile, the more value you get from it.
It is a low-cost enchantment to play (3 mana), functions as a self-mill engine, and can cheat a humongous card out without paying its mana cost. Although it is not the best self-mill card, but it is a solid option.
4) Shadow of Mortality (Mythic Rare Creature)
Shadow of Mortality costs 15 mana - 13 colorless and 2 black mana. That is an insane amount for a creature with 7 attack and 7 toughness. It is in the same vein as some classic cards in black, because it costs less depending on how much life you have lost.
If your life total is less than your starting life total, it costs X less, where X is that difference. It can cost 13 mana less, making it only require 2 black mana. If found in Cemetery Tampering, it can be a fantastic card. There are cards that can make this come out for free or use it to deal damage for free.
It will likely be popular on Modern decks, such as Calibrated Blast decks. This deck uses Calibrated Blast, and you reveal cards until you reveal a nonland card. After that, deal that card’s mana value in damage; 15 damage for 3 mana! It has the potential in some formats as a monster card.
3) Shakedown Heavy (Rare Creature)
A monster with 3 mana cost (1 black), 6 attack, and 4 toughness, it is going to be a lot of fun to use for black decks in Magic: The Gathering. It has Menace, so it can only be blocked by 2 or more creatures. What makes this card interesting is what happens once it declares an attack.
Whenever you attack with this creature, the opponent can choose to make you draw a card. If they do, untap Shakedown Heavy and remove it from combat. It does no damage this way, but it is a free card draw.
Other players have to decide which of these is worse: card draw or damage. There is no good choice for the other player in this situation; take 6 damage or give you a free card that you did not work to gain. It is going to come in handy in future Magic: The Gathering decks. Dimir Tempo, in particular, is going to adore it.
2) Body Launderer (Rare Creature)
3 attack and 3 toughness Ogre with Deathtouch for 4 mana? That’s not a bad combination at all. Deathtouch is an ability that destroys any creature that is damaged by this creature. However, that is far from the best part about the Body Launderer.
Whenever another nontoken creature you control dies, Body Launderer connives. Connive has you draw a card, discard a card, and then give this creature a +1/+1 counter, if a nonland card was discarded.
It will just keep getting bigger. When Body Launderer dies, you can return another target non-Rogue creature card with equal or lesser power from your graveyard to the battlefield.
For example, if it dies as a 7 power creature, the player can drop Shadow of Mortality into play while paying no mana for it. This is what makes this card so great. You can cheat powerful creatures into play with a bit of smart work and planning.
1) Angel of Suffering (Mythic Rare Creature)
Angel of Suffering is, without a doubt, the best Magic: The Gathering card in Streets of New Capenna for black. It is a must-include for any self-mill deck in the game. It has 5 attack and 3 toughness Angel with flying, which, on its own, makes it a decent card for 5 mana.
Whenever you take damage, you need to prevent that damage, and mill twice as many cards. Players cannot harm you, and you would mill cards instead at an incredibly fast pace. You can play nice and aggressive without having to worry too much about taking damage. In fact, any player that attacks you will wind up helping you instead of harming you.
Black may not be the most powerful color in Magic: The Gathering’s latest expansion, but it still has some incredibly useful cards. Many of the cards are very good, even though they are very focused on a particular style of gameplay. It is a wonderful time for Magic: The Gathering players because each color has outstanding options.