Fan Favorite Friday #23 – Joe’s Top 5 Favorite Black Cards

Oh, hey there stranger! How are you doing on this fine day of consumeristic frenzy? I hope you didn’t get trampled, and that the traffic was okay. I also hope you’re ready for the latest installment of Fan Favorite Friday! WOOHOO! No vote again this week, because of Thanksgiving (speaking of which, I hope you had a good one!) and fervent Black Friday preparations here at the shop.

So instead of a vote, you’re just going to be subjected to some of my favorite cards again! This time though, it’s on theme. Since it’s Black Friday, we’re going to take a look at my Top 5 favorite black cards! Yay! Speaking of Black Friday, we’ve got quite the sale going on this weekend! You can get 25% off singles with all cash, credit card, and crypto transactions through Cyber Monday!

Before we get to that though, I’m sure you’re wondering who the winners from last week were. If you recall, we had both the Swords to Plowshares AND Flickerwisp packages to give away. So, I turned to my dear friend Google to pick random numbers for me and the winners were:

Clint Bounds, you get the Swords to Plowshares! Yay! Our first second time winner!

Zak Biggs, you get the Flickerwisps! Yippee!

Now, what are you going to get the chance to win next week?

Why, it’s one copy of each of my Top 5 favorite Black Cards!

Spoiler Alert

Here’s how you win:

  • Like the ABU Games Facebook Page
  • Like the post announcing the giveaway
  • Comment on said post and tell me what your top 5 favorite black cards are!

Okay, let’s do it! For the record, these are just my top 5 favorite black cards. There are many more powerful ones out there, and plenty of other really cool ones. For instance, if you asked my friend Ben what his top 5 favorite black cards would be he’d immediately reply “Ad Naseum, Surgical Extraction, Entomb, Dark Ritual, and Yawgmoth’s Will.” Bradley, on the other hand, would say “Demonic Tutor, Plague Rats, Bitterblossom, Imperial Seal, and… Hellfire.” All of which are amazing cards!

Here are mine:

Honorable Mention: Swamp (291) from Lorwyn.

That’s a Swamp I’d hang out in!

You gotta be able to cast your sweet black cards right? Why not do it with gorgeous style. I found one of these Swamps in draft lands at the first LGS I played at and it has been one of my all time favorites ever since. So pretty!

5. Dark Ritual

Very spooky too!

So like my friend Ben, this isn’t a card I could leave off my list! Now, this isn’t a card I ever really got to play with until recently. My first experience with it was playing against Bradley with his battle box of Old School decks and I thought it was pretty dang cool. Paying one black mana to get three? That’s just good value, and I figured it could lead to pretty nutty early turns.

Um…yeah. I got to play against Reanimator in Legacy for the first time a few months later and realized that indeed, Dark Ritual leads to some pretty insane shenanigans. ONE TICKET TO VALUE TOWN PLEASE!

4. Pack Rat

We both like shiny things and garbage.

I’ve already talked in depth about how awesome I think Pack Rat is. If you don’t feel like going back and reading the full article, my absurd love for this rat boils down to nostalgia for drafting Return to Ravnica, the awesome ability to just keep pumping out more rats, and I used to have pet rats because rats are neat.

3. Earwig Squad


SQUAD GOALS BABY, YEAH! First of all, I think all of the Morningtide goblin art is some Grade A, primo stuff. There’s just so much personality in those little green men! Second, it’s a goblin, and goblins are my favorite tribe (as you know by now, loyal FFF reader.) I played this card in a red-black version of my favorite Legacy deck for a long time, and it was pretty awesome to cast! You can turn on the prowl cost pretty easily in most matchups, and getting to strip some choice cards out of your opponent’s deck feels AWESOME! It always felt pretty awesome to take someone’s one Progenitus and some Emrakuls. I’ve also won the game by cheating him in off of a Lackey or some such and just beating face. A 5/3 aint half bad!

Also, during my research for this article, I found an awesome “Behind the Card” on Wizards’ website all about our favorite Squad.  It’s super cool and definitely worth a read!

2. Thoughtseize

Something is wrong with this man’s hand.

Yeah, yeah, I know – almost everybody loves them some Thoughtseize. This black card, specifically the Theros printing, has a dear place in my heart. When Theros came out, my own collection was pretty much just random standard cards. I had been branching out into Modern because of my good friend Adam being gracious enough to lend me just about anything I ever needed for the format, but I didn’t have much of an eternal collection myself. Thoughtseize was my first real playset of a cool, eternal format relevant card that I owned myself – and I was super stinkin’ proud of them. I traded like a madman!

Anyone who has played a Thoughtseize or had one played against them understands it’s power. Being able to strip any nonland card out of your opponent’s hand for only one black mana and two life is a super powerful ability, and it always feels super awesome to strip your opponent’s win conditions away!

For the record, I actually like the Lorwyn art a lot more. It’s just that the Theros one gets me right in the nostalgia feels.

1. Phyrexian Crusader

Bolt this, sucka!

I can hear some of you now: “What? Phyrexian Crusader is your number one favorite black card? Sheesh, what a scrub!”

But, yeah, it’s probably my favorite. I just love this card! You may have heard about my torrid love affair with Infect, and that’s definitely where my love for this nasty zombie knight came from. Back when I started running BUG Infect, Modern was a slower beast and there was more room for this sucker in the deck’s main board. He dodged Lightning Bolt! He laughed at Path to Exile! He made Soul Sisters players cry even harder than they already were when you dropped your turn one Glistener Elf! There have been some BG Infect lists floating around to some success that run him still, but for the most part, I feel like my favorite knight has faded into obscurity. I still fondly remember when Nick Baker (a well-known face in our local scene – Hi Nick!) traded me my first two out of his binder.

Plus, the art is amazing! Deschamps might have a silly signature, but that dude really knows how to make some amazing card art! Phyrexian Crusader looks super gnarly and I’m here for it.

I’ll play you again one day my friend… one day.

So that’s it for today! I hope you all have a safe, crazy weekend! What cards should face off for my article next week? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Instagram. Take care!

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Joe Davidson is the Content Production Manager at ABU Games. When he's not playing Modern, Legacy, or following around Team ABU with a camera he's pursuing a BFA in Fiction at Boise State University. He loves Goblins, casting burn spells, and writing about Magic. You can find him on Twitter @MTGJoeD.