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Strixhaven Draft Guide – Black | Magic: The Gathering

Hey, hey! Welcome back to my Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven draft guide – in this article, I go over all the Black cards from the set.

Before I get into my rating for each card, here’s a brief overview of my Strixhaven draft guide rating system.

  • 1 – Bad card or only useful in the sideboard
  • 2 – Passable, but not something I would pick early or often
  • 3 – A solid card I’m happy to pick most of the time
  • 4 – Powerful cards that provide a lot of value on their own
  • 5 – Cards that will almost always win the game if your opponents can’t deal with them

Now that we know how I’ll be rating each card, let’s get straight into the ratings.

Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven Remastered draft guide – Black

Arrogant Poet
Arrogant Poet – 2.5 //3

I’m a big fan of Arrogant Poet, and it’s exactly what you expect a Black card to do. This card is best in an aggressive deck of course, but it’s a fine inclusion for any deck that needs a 2-drop.

Baleful Mastery
Baleful Mastery – 3.5

Premium, flexible removal. It’s more than fine to pay 2 mana to cast this card if you’re strapped for mana.

Brackish Trudge
Brackish Trudge – 3

Lifegain looks like a well-supported keyword in Strixhaven due to pest tokens, so I suspect that returning Brackish Trudge is going to be fairly easy. It sucks that this beast is going to enter tapped every time, but 4 power trades very well into most creatures, so I’m not concerned.

Callous Bloodmage
Callous Bloodmage – 3.5

Callous Bloodmage is a great value two-drop. Out of the three options, I’d choose the second option most of the time, followed by the first and third respectively.

Confront the Past
Confront the Past – 0.5

Useless, even if you have a planeswalker.

Crushing Disappointment
Crushing Disappointment – 2

I love it when sets focus on black giving up their life to move forward in the game. That said, Crushing Disappointment is… a disappointment. It’s too expensive for what it does, and makes you more susceptible to aggro decks. Overall, it’s a fine spell in the 4-mana group, but don’t ever prioritize it.

Essence Infusion
Essence Infusion – 1.5

Unless I’m in a dedicated counters deck, I’m not too excited to include Essence Infusion. It’s missing instant speed, and I wish it gave a lifeline counter rather than just giving lifelink for the turn.

Eyetwitch – 2.5

A solid uncommon creature for any black deck. It’s an early attacker that you can put counters on, has value when it dies, and requires little setup. Always a big fan of these types of cards.

Flunk – 4

An awesome black removal spell. I was going to give this a 3.5 rating, but the longer I looked at it, the better this spell gets. It becomes stronger and more mana-efficient as the game goes on, and does exactly what you need it to do at instead speed.

Go Blank
Go Blank – 2

Meh. In my opinion, discard effects like this are only good if they have an alternative effect, similar to Kaldheim’s Skull Raid. That said, Go Blank is a great card against White/Red decks looking to get cards to leave the graveyard.

Hunt for Specimens
Hunt for Specimens – 2.5

A solid playable when you have lessons to search for.

Lash of Malice
Lash of Malice – 3.5

The flexibility of killing your opponent’s creatures or boosting your creature’s stats is great. Remember, Disfigure was a similar card to Lash of Malice, and was a great removal spell.

Leech Fanatic
Leech Fanatic – 2.5

A 2/2 with lifelink as an upside. Always happy to play this one.

Mage Hunter
Mage Hunter – 4

Now this is premium uncommon that every black deck will want. Strixhaven is a spell-heavy format, so I have confidence Mage Hunter will find lots of value. Plus, a 3/4 is a solid stat line for 4 mana.

Mage Hunters' Onslaught
Mage Hunters’ Onslaught – 3.5

Premium black removal spell that you’re actually happy to play on your main phase.

Strixhaven draft guide
Necrotic Fumes – 3

By far, one of the best lessons you can grab from the sideboard. That said, you should only have it in your sideboard, as you can find better removal spells for your main deck.

Strixhaven draft guide
Novice Dissector – 2.5

A fine playable. Shines best in a Witherbloom pests deck.

Strixhaven draft guide
Oriq Loremage – 2.5

At first, I thought “Cool! I get to remove useless lands or my worst spells so I can make this guy stronger.” But thinking about it again, doing this once a turn isn’t going to be a game-changer by any stretch. Sure, there’s a cute combo with Brackish Trudge, but overall, this card is just an average creature.

Strixhaven draft guide
Plumb the Forbidden – 1 

I just don’t think there’s enough sacrifice/recursion synergy to make this card work.

Strixhaven draft guide
Poet’s Quill – 4

A great, high-value Equipment, as lifegain is a well-supported archetype.

Strixhaven draft guide
Professor Onyx – 5+++

You win the game. That’s it. Whether you choose to drain your opponents to death or overwhelm them in card advantage, Professor Onyx is going to get that win.

Strixhaven draft guide
Professor’s Warning – 2.5

A cute and flexible combat trick.

Strixhaven draft guide
Promising Duskmage – 2

A fine filler when you need it, but nothing to get excited about.

Strixhaven draft guide
Sedgemoor Witch – 4

You’re getting a lot here for 3 mana, and there’s very little you need to do to gain value from this card. If left unchecked, Sedgemoor Witch will just take over the game through Pest tokens.

Strixhaven draft guide
Specter of the Fens – 3

A little overpriced for 4 mana, but having a game-ending mana sink attached to Specter of the Fens is a very nice upside. There’s so much drain in Silverquill it’s kind of crazy.

Strixhaven draft guide
Tenured Inkcaster – 3.5 // 4

I’m a little worried that Tenured Inkcaster is a little too fragile as a 5-drop, but the flexible +1/+1 counter ETB is worth it. Overall, a great top-end payoff for being in +1/+1 counters.

Strixhaven draft guide
Umbral Juke – 3

A flexible instant spell that gives you great options to react to any deck your opponent is playing. Dang, Black is a flexible strong color in this set!

Strixhaven draft guide
Unwilling Ingredient – 1.5

A playble card that can create cute synergy combos, but I guarantee you won’t be sad to cut it.

Best Strixhaven Black Commons

  1. Lash of Malice
  2. Mage Hunter’s Onslaught
  3. Specter of the Fens
  4. Arrogant’s Pest
Anyways, that’s it for the MTG Strixhaven Black draft guide! For more Magic: The Gathering content and detailed guides, you can check out my personal MTG blog!
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Paul Dudsdeemaytha

Paul Dudsdeemaytha is a Vancouver, BC-based writer and content creator at SQUAD. Paul specializes in creating guides for Magic: The Gathering and Legends of Runeterra. When he's not writing, you can probably find him throwing frisbees nearby.
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