Black is not my favorite color in Rise of the Eldrazi. For some reason I feel that it’s much better as a support color in this set. That being said, it does have a few cards that I’d consider evaluating for my cube.
Consume the Meek
Very good against weenie aggro decks. The art definitely is reminiscent of Wrath of God and Damnation. Same cost as Culling Sun, though slightly better. Black is so good at killing creatures that Consume the Meek may not actually be efficient enough. I’ll likely try it out, but I am hesitant to say whether it would stay in my cube in the long term.
For four mana, kill two of your opponents creatures and gain life equal to the cumulative toughness of those two creatures. Not bad, not bad. This is especially good against fatty decks, but much less so against token decks. I think it’s a maybe for me.
Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
Drana seems like she could simply take over a game. I’ve not gotten the opportunity to play with her yet, but I’m pretty sure that I’d love to have her on my side of the board.
Guul Draz Assassin
This is the strongest leveler in black, and it can easily control a board if left unchecked. I’m definitely adding this, as the strong levelers are pretty awesome in limited play. The fact that he is reminiscent of Phyrexian Plaguelord, yet doesn’t require creature sacrifice to get the effect, is awesome.
Hellcarver Demon is a very, very swingy card. If it connects with your opponent, you could get permanents and spells that will win you the game outright. If you hit mostly land you will have to hope your opponent doesn’t have removal for your Hellcarver Demon. I really want to put this in because I still have an inner Timmy that loves huge swingy creatures and effects. I’m not sure it will get a place in my cube.
Induce Despair intrigued me at first. But after I realized you’d either need to be playing a deck with a high mana curve or have some kind of deck stacking ability to really capitalize on it, it just doesn’t seem powerful enough to put in the cube. Would be a strong candidate for a Pauper cube, however.
Inquisition of Kozilek
I think Inquisition of Kozilek would compete for a slot in my cube. Its converted mana cost restriction limits it quite a bit. This is baby Thoughtseize though, and that card is awesome. I can see this card getting picked by black control players. It’s better than Duress in that it can help you deal with a lot of the amazing early game creatures. There are so many creatures these days sitting at three converted mana cost or less that make this card good to have. I’m going to add it to my cube.
While the Mana Flare effect is great, there’s no evasion to make this shade really dangerous. Could be great in mono black decks looking to generate enormous amounts of mana, but not sure it is strong enough to be put in the cube.
Sarkhan the Mad
I’m covering Sarkhan the Mad here as he’s the only multi-color card in the set and needed a home. He shares some similarities to “Bob”, Dark Confidant, so it seemed fitting to review him with black. I currently think he’s underrated as Gideon has taken a lot of the initial planeswalker love and fan mail. Mike Flores has recently spent some time building around Sarkhan the Mad, and it appears that his stock is on the rise. This guy can give you card advantage and dragons. Both are things that will win games, especially in a limited environment. The planeswalkers are pretty much auto-includes in my cube (except for Nissa Revane) and this guy is definitely deserving of a slot.
In a Pauper cube I would be saying yes, and since it’s a reprint you should likely already have it if you have a Pauper cube. It’s definitely a card I passed up before for my personal cube. It’s a black analogue to Swords to Plowshares, except black is good at losing life. I’m more likely to try Consuming Vapors before I run Vendetta.