Top 50 Greatest Black cards of all time?

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i saw articles on wizards about the top 50 white cards, top 50 artifacts, and i think top 25 non-basic lands...but i couldnt find anything about the other colors.

i've compiled a list of what I think are the top 50 greatest black cards...however, they are not in any order right now.

1. Demonic Tutor
2. Mind Twist
3. Royal Assassin
4. Animate Dead
5. Hypnotic Specter
6. Dark Ritual
7. Terror
8. Juzam Djinn
9. Chains of Mephistopheles
10. Nether Void
11. Underworld Dreams
12. Hymn to Tourach
13. Black Knight
14. Necropotence
15. Dark Banishing
16. Stupor
17. Spirit of the Night
18. Vampiric Tutor
19. Nekrataal
20. Living Death
21. Diabolic Edict
22. Grave Pact
23. Drain Life
24. Hatred
25. Recurring Nightmare
26. Phyrexian Negator
27. Yawgmoth's Bargain
28. Eradicate
29. Pestilence
30. Persecute
31. Yawgmoth's Will
32. Duress
33. Vendetta
34. Massacre
35. Avatar of Woe
36. Haunting Echoes
37. Entomb
38. Nantuko Shade
39. Phage the Untouchable
40. Cranial Extraction
41. Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
42. Dark Confidant
43. Damnation
44. Extirpate
45. Korlash, Heir to Blackblade
46. Thoughtseize
47. Shriekmaw
48. Bitterblossom
49. Coercion
50. Sinkhole




am i missing any? would you pull some off and place something else?
Needs more tutors.

Vampiric Tutor etc. are better than Royal Assassin.
vampiric tutor is their

maybe Diabolic Tutor included?
Looks ok for the most part. No Exhume or Reanimate? What about Kokusho, The Evening Star?
No. Grim Tutor and Imperial Seal though.

Carrion Feeder as a combo piece. Phyrexian Arena

Leyline of the Void, obviously. Patriarch's Bidding too. Disciple of the Vault is another obvious inclusion. I'd estimate that you have 25-30 correct on your list.
Vampiric is indeed there. Imperial Seal, however, is not.
Yawgmoth's Will is the best card ever, so it definitely belongs on the top of this list. The top 5 should be like this:

1. Yawgmoth's Will
2. Yawgmoth's Bargain
3. Demonic Tutor
4. Necropotence
5. Vampiric Tutor
Yawgmoth's Will is the best card ever, so it definitely belongs on the top of this list. The top 5 should be like this:

1. Yawgmoth's Will
2. Yawgmoth's Bargain
3. Demonic Tutor
4. Necropotence
5. Vampiric Tutor

His list is not sorted.
The only way you can really do this is if you go through every black card ever printed card by card and do sort of a:

Yawgmoth's Bargain
Mana Cost: 1 It costs 6.
Originality/Is it the only card that can do this: 4 Stolen from Necropotence, but Necro doesn't allow you to put them directly to hand.
Ability: 5
P/T: N/A
Over all: 3.33
lel♯ jenk♯ ∞


I'm the world's leading astrophysicist. You can trust me, because I said I was.
92827575 wrote:
57092228 wrote:
What's wrong with my formating?
you make paragraphs shorter than the page width
58280978 wrote:
Names that sam said were "the evil ones":
iamajellydonut glwiley kreewlin and every WizO
Yawgmoth's Will is the best card ever, so it definitely belongs on the top of this list. The top 5 should be like this:

1. Yawgmoth's Will
2. Yawgmoth's Bargain
3. Demonic Tutor
4. Necropotence
5. Vampiric Tutor

hm...i think Dark Ritual HAS to be in any top 5...black wouldnt be ANYTHING if it wasnt for the ritual
His list is not sorted.

Oh, didn't see that.

Still, Royal Assassin is garbage.
Uh... no Contract?
hm...i think Dark Ritual HAS to be in any top 5...black wouldnt be ANYTHING if it wasnt for the ritual

Those are all better than Dark Ritual.
hm...i think Dark Ritual HAS to be in any top 5...black wouldnt be ANYTHING if it wasnt for the ritual

Wrong.

Bargain beats out Ritual by a long way. As do most of the 1- and 2-cost tutors.

And saying Rit is better than Will is like saying Island is better than Gush because Gush would be pathetic without Islands.
but think about what made some of the great black cards so great in their heyday....necro needed ritual, juzam needed ritual, the list goes on

basically, there ISNT a black deck without ritual (except obviously todays standard)
basically, there ISNT a black deck without ritual (except obviously todays standard)

And there isn't a blue-based deck without Islands. Your point?
basically, there ISNT a black deck without ritual (except obviously todays standard)

And Extended...
lel♯ jenk♯ ∞


I'm the world's leading astrophysicist. You can trust me, because I said I was.
92827575 wrote:
57092228 wrote:
What's wrong with my formating?
you make paragraphs shorter than the page width
58280978 wrote:
Names that sam said were "the evil ones":
iamajellydonut glwiley kreewlin and every WizO
And there isn't a blue-based deck without Islands. Your point?

and im sure if i did a top 5 list of basic lands, Islands would certainly rank in it.

Your point?
and im sure if i did a top 5 list of basic lands, Islands would certainly rank in it.

Your point?

If you don't see the point, perhaps you're not qualified to put together a list of "most powerful" cards?

That just because a card is used a lot, does not mean it is the most powerful card.
Dark Ritual is not restricted in Vintage, and it is only played in one deck.

That is all.
I agree that Ritual is very good. I'd probably put it above Vampiric Tutor.


And saying Rit is better than Will is like saying Island is better than Gush because Gush would be pathetic without Islands.

Yeah, that's how I think of it. It's kind of like, "which is better, the star quarterback or his terrific team of blockers?". They both make you win. Of course, Dark Ritual is not restricted, while all of those others are. Also, if NOTHING was restricted, Vampiric Tutor would arguably be weakened. It's hard to judge two cards with different functions.

Of course, since this is an unranked list the discussion is moot. I think everyone would agree that the 5 listed cards along with Dark Ritual would all make the top 50.
Is Contract from Below on that list? Because it should be. I'm pretty sure it should be #1, actually.
Is Contract from Below on that list? Because it should be. I'm pretty sure it should be #1, actually.

I believe this argument has been had.
I believe this argument has been had.

Not in this thread, it hasn't.
Not in this thread, it hasn't.

Fine, you can start.
i didnt say 'most powerful' because by that measure, restrictions, bannings, etc wouldnt factor into the decision

greatest not only encompasses power, but versatility, how often it's used, how it interacts with other cards, etc.
Look, if your going to put up Juzam Djinn in spot 7, then Plague Sliver deserves top ten. Same thing, pretty much, and shuts down any sliver deck.
i didnt say 'most powerful' because by that measure, restrictions, bannings, etc wouldnt factor into the decision

greatest not only encompasses power, but versatility, how often it's used, how it interacts with other cards, etc.

And I still fail to see how Ritual beats out any of the 5 on my list.
If you put the list in order, Dark Confidant has to be the highest creature.
Look, if your going to put up Juzam Djinn in spot 7, then Plague Sliver deserves top ten. Same thing, pretty much, and shuts down any sliver deck.

if you were able to read the list, how did you miss the sentence above the list that said they are in NO order

and juzam in his day was certainly greatest that plague sliver in its day
i didnt say 'most powerful' because by that measure, restrictions, bannings, etc wouldnt factor into the decision

greatest not only encompasses power, but versatility, how often it's used, how it interacts with other cards, etc.

Yeah, but that much sheer power is enough to qualify anything as great. Try to imagine Contract from Below as a tournament legal card. Let's say the restriction wasn't ante, but like.... anything else. if it reduced your life total to 1, it would still be played in every deck that runs black, and a few that don't.

It would probably be banned regardless of the restriction.
The only way you can really do this is if you go through every black card ever printed card by card and do sort of a:

Yawgmoth's Bargain
Mana Cost: 1 It costs 6.
Originality/Is it the only card that can do this: 4 Stolen from Necropotence, but Necro doesn't allow you to put them directly to hand.
Ability: 5
P/T: N/A
Over all: 3.33

Is 3.33 an average score for a card? Slightly above-average?

Because, honestly, really bad things would happen if Yawgmoth's Bargain was ever reprinted. The card is utterly insane. I could see it being average in relation to cards like Dark Ritual (being the low-end of the stupidly good spectrum) and Yawgmoth's Will (being the stone cold nuts), but not in relation to every single black card ever printed.
Yeah, but that much sheer power is enough to qualify anything as great. Try to imagine Contract from Below as a tournament legal card. Let's say the restriction wasn't ante, but like.... anything else. if it reduced your life total to 1, it would still be played in every deck that runs black, and a few that don't.

It would probably be banned regardless of the restriction.

And Squire would be better if it was 13/13 haste creature. Of course Contract would be better if it didn't have ante, but it does.
I don't think I can do 50, but here's my top 10 (in order):

1. Yawgmoth's Will
2. Yawgmoth's Bargain
3. Necropotence
4. Demonic Tutor
5. Dark Ritual
6. Vampiric Tutor
7. Imperial Seal
8. Thoughtseize
9. Duress
10. Cabal Therapy

Uh... no Contract?

Not a real Magic Card.
And Squire would be better if it was 13/13 haste creature. Of course Contract would be better if it didn't have ante, but it does.

That's like saying "YawgWin would be better if it wasn't restricted". It's a completely useless statement for determining overall power level.
That's like saying "YawgWin would be better if it wasn't restricted". It's a completely useless statement for determining overall power level.

My point entirely.
Yeah, but that much sheer power is enough to qualify anything as great. Try to imagine Contract from Below as a tournament legal card. Let's say the restriction wasn't ante, but like.... anything else. if it reduced your life total to 1, it would still be played in every deck that runs black, and a few that don't.

It would probably be banned regardless of the restriction.

Agreed. Contract is probably the most retardedly broken card in the entire game.
And Squire would be better if it was 13/13 haste creature. Of course Contract would be better if it didn't have ante, but it does.

Not my point. Contract would be more powerful than the entire power 9 rolled together if it were tournament legal. Hell, it's more powerful than they are as it is. The only difference is that you can't use Contract in a tournament because of ante rules. Ruling Contract out as one of the greatest black cards of all time just because it can't be played in a tournament is really not fair.

I was just trying to give some context as to what it might look like if it WERE tournament legal, hence no ante.
no love for Odyssey block stuff (amongst other things)?

Cabal Therapy
Mutilate
Skeletal Scrying
Chainer's Edict
Engineered Plague


All great stuff.
Well, here's the Top 50 most expensive black cards, at least in some printing of it. See how they compare with your ideas.
1. Imperial Seal
2. Juzam Djinn
3. Grim Tutor
4. Mind Twist
5. Lich
6. Royal Assassin
7. Chains of Mephistopheles
8. Guardian Beast
9. Word of Command
10. Demonic Hordes
11. Nether Void
12. Demonic Tutor
13. Lord of The Pit
14. Nightmare
15. Contract from Below
16. The Abyss
17. Hypnotic Specter
18. All Hallow's Eve
19. Will-O'-The-Wisp
20. Bad Moon
21. Sinkhole
22. Bitterblossom
23. Cruel Bargain
24. Demonic Attorney
25. Zombie Master
26. Nether Shadow
27. Thoughtseize
28. Darkpact
29. Bounty Hunter
30. Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed
31. Damnation
32. Overwhelming Forces
33. Season of the Witch
34. Yawgmoth's Will
35. Kokusho, the Evening Star
36. Mercenary Knight
37. Sorceress Queen
38. Vampiric Tutor
39. Extirpate
40. Khabal Ghoul
41. Cao Cao, Lord of Wei
42. Dakmor Sorceress
43. Recurring Nightmare
44. Profane Command
45. Ebon Dragon
46. Wall of Bone
47. Sengir Vampire
48. The Wretched
49. Underworld Dreams
50. Dark Confidant
Of course, I just took this from a search from essentialmagic.com, so I'm sure parts of it are way off/has things missing, but you can fill in the gaps yourself.
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and juzam in his day was certainly greatest that plague sliver in its day

So? There was a time when ironclaw orcs saw serious tournament play. The fact that a card was good in the past is irrelevant. What matters is how well it's stood the test of time. Necropotence/Bargain/nether void? Very well. Juzam Djinn? Not so well.
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