Welcome back to day two of our week long Origins review here on TCGplayer.com! All week we are bringing you each and every card from Magic Origins and then rounding out the week with a look at what I feel are its Top 8 cards for Constructed. Yesterday we took a look at what blue cards were in the set and arrived at some nice staples and a few exciting cards that we will just have to wait and see about. Today we are moving on to the black cards from Magic Origins as well as the ten uncommon multicolor cards representing each color pair.

We will take a look at each card and evaluate it for its Constructed quality, as well as its Draft and Sealed quality. To help us out along the way, you may reference the following two scales which help put things into context!

 

Constructed

 

5: Fives are ever-present cards that heavily warp a format or see heavy play across multiple formats. Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Deathrite Shaman, and Tarmogoyf are good examples of fives.

4: These cards tend to have support roles across multiple formats or be tier one cards in at least one. Spell Pierce is an example of the former while Thragtusk is an example of the latter. I expect to rate a lot of things as fours that are actually fives and vice versa, but in both cases these are going to be highly desired cards.

3: These are the bread and butter cards of a set, usually doing all of the essential things needed for a format, but doing them at a good rate. Cards like Oblivion Ring, Izzet Charm, or Diregraf Ghoul would be found here.

2: These cards are generally much more restrictive in use and application than a three, but they serve a similar purpose. You will see more sideboard or niche cards like Skullcrack, Heartless Summoning, or Gladecover Scout.

1: These are not going to see much play, but they have an outside chance. These tend to be weak or narrow sideboard options or extremely narrow main deck cards. Most ones will not ever make it into a winning list, but they have potential to do so.

0: These are unplayable in Constructed regardless of context. These tend to be the cards designed to balance Limited, like Grizzly Bears or Siege Mastodon or are narrow with a poor output, like Artificer's Hex.

*Any card that gets an X.5 rating just means I can see it falling to either side of the equation given the right metagame or environment.

 

Limited

 

The Limited scale used language such as "I draft this over..." but it applies to Sealed in a very similar manner. Essentially, for Sealed you would read it as "I play this over..." instead. So for a five in Sealed, you would play that card in your deck 100% of the time.

5: I will take and play this card over everything. Always. Examples: Umezawa's Jitte, Library of Alexandria.

4.: I will take and play this over everything in its same colors and will heavily consider splashing it or switching colors as a result of drafting this or having it in my pool. Incredibly powerful cards that are more difficult to cast will generally get a four or 4.5. Examples: Fireball, Gideon Jura.

3: I will first pick this and take it over most commons/uncommons in its color. These are generally the baseline best commons in a set for each color, like removal, looters, and efficient creatures. Examples: Lightning Strike, Merfolk Looter.

2: I will draft and play these but do not value them highly. These are the typical fifth through eighth picks that generally are the backbone of decks but do not do anything fancy. Inefficient removal and combat tricks tend to hover in the 2.5 area as well. Examples: Hill Giant, Divine Verdict.

1: I generally do not want to pick these highly or play them in my maindeck. These cards are either bad or very niche and only go in specific strategies. In either case there is a good chance these cards wheel when seen anywhere near the front end of a pack and very little value should be placed on these cards early. Reasonable sideboard cards can be found here, so you should not discount these entirely Examples: Demolish, Merfolk Spy.

0: These are cards that have no value and should not be played in 99.9% of situations. If you take one of these, you had better know what you are getting yourself into. Examples: Progenitus, Sway of the Stars.

 

Black

 

Blightcaster

Constructed: 1

I actually think that given the right environment, this has a potent enough output to be a real card. We have a much better enchantment core right now than the last time this was printed, and this combos with Doomwake Giant nicely, so perhaps this picks up play.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2

Obviously there is a threshold of enchantments you want for this to be worth an early pick, but even if you just trigger this twice in a match, it more than paid for itself. A 2/3 is not amazing in combat, but it adds a little something at least.

Catacomb Slug

Constructed: 0

You can probably assume that there are better things to spend five mana on other than a slug. Well, except Molder Slug, that guy was awesome.

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1

A rather weak creature to maindeck as it provides so little on offense. It provides a big butt to hold off green creatures, so boarding this is fine, but in general I would not waste any significant picks on this guy.

Consecrated by Blood

Constructed: 0

Auras need to do a lot to make it into Constructed and this one just does not measure up. See cards like Shiv's Embrace for comparison.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

Some environments are more hostile to auras than others, but with some enchantment synergies in this set, I think this will be relatively good. The Regeneration clause only comes up in extreme cases, but +2/+2 and flying is something that most decks want access to.

Cruel Revival

Constructed: 0.5

If zombie decks are ever a thing or, more importantly, some marquee zombie cards see Constructed play, this might pick up some play. This amounts to removal that generates some card advantage, so when you boil it down to that, doesn't seem so strange.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

One of the better removal spells you can have as this creates such a big swing and it even comes at instant speed. Of course you want to have some zombies to maximize this, but let's not kid ourselves and act like you won't run it without zombies.

Dark Dabbling

Constructed: 1

Regenerating your entire team and drawing a card in the process is certainly an effect that many black aggro decks would love against the various sweepers running around. This will never be a mainstream card, but it serves a vital role for decks that need some insurance currently.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

Spell mastery is much harder to trigger in Limited, but if you ever get there, this thing can go beast mode pretty easily for a common. Again, the cantrip portion of it makes it much easier to include in your maindeck even if you are not going to hit spell mastery too often.

Dark Petition

Constructed: 1.5

I am not sure if this is another tutor dud or the next Infernal Tutor, which looked like a dud for a while but ended up being really strong in older formats. If you are getting spell mastery here, the end result is a Demonic Tutor that required more input, but that is quite strong. I don't think this will be big in Standard where you can have a 4/6 deathtouch instead of BBB, but in older formats, this could be a real player.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

This is as good as your best few cards. If there is a card you are willing to take a turn off for to tutor up, then this is strong. Make sure there is something else worth grabbing as well just in case you happen to draw that first card.

Deadbridge Shaman

Constructed: 0.5

This is an elf, which could be an important creature type in the upcoming sets if Origins is hinting at anything. Other than that though, this is a fine rate with a natural defense against removal and would not surprise me if it saw a little play.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

An all-around solid creature to play in the midgame. You do need to be a little worried about the opponent emptying their hand before this dies, but even then, an instant speed sacrifice effect and you can turn it on again during the opponent's draw step.

Demonic Pact

Constructed: 3

One of my favorite Magic designs I have seen in quite a while. It is rare that a flavor homerun is this exciting for Constructed too. Without a work around, this is probably good enough in some decks just because the value you gain over those first three turns is so big. With a way to reset this or bounce it though, Demonic Pact becomes filthy. I expect this to be one of the more experimented with cards of Origins.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

You gain a very big advantage over the first three turns this is out, so I think that if you are patient with it and set it up correctly, this can easily just snowball you into a win. That said, having some ways to protect yourself, like Naturalize, makes me much more confident running this.

Despoiler of Souls

Constructed: 2

If this saw Modern play, I would not be too surprised, but I am going to focus on Standard here. For the next three months, graveyard based decks, such as GB Dredge, look to be a force and cards like Despoiler are the reason why. Here we have a fine creature with a reasonable way to come back from the grave and at instant speed. That sounds like a nightmare for control to have to deal with.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This is a pretty nice aggressive creature that continues to provide value into the late game. Not being able to block means that it can only have such an impact, but with any pump or sacrifice synergies, this can be a real nuisance as it comes back for the third or fourth time in a game.

Erebos's Titan

Constructed: 2.5

This starts off on the right foot by being undercosted for its size. You do need a significant commitment to black, but so be it. The indestructible clause makes this quite strong against control specifically, although Foul-Tongue Invocation does help in that regard. As for the return clause, that is an interesting one in that, how much do you actually work for it? Do you run Tormod's Crypt? Probably not, but maybe you do run Agent of Erebos? Or Mardu Woe-Reaper. The possibilities for this are pretty big, so I am excited to see what comes of it.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

Difficult to cast, but a big body for the cost with a couple of abilities that aren't likely to come up, but will be nice when they do.

Eyeblight Assassin

Constructed: 0.5

Might be worth looking at due to its creature type, but more than likely there are going to be better alternatives to this.

Draft: 2-2.5
Sealed: 2-2.5

Another one of those meat and potato creatures that fills out your deck and does most of the heavy lifting. This will fluctuate in effectiveness depending on your opponent's deck, but you can always use it to finish off a damaged creature too.

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Eyeblight Massacre

Constructed: 1.5

Seeing as how Languish is in this set, this card will see less play than it would otherwise. Basically, you need to be an elf deck to want this, although it is pretty sweet there. Most other decks are going to choose the better sweeper in the same color.

Draft: 3.5-4
Sealed: 3.5

The more elves you have, the better this is going to be, making it stand out in Draft where you can go all-in behind it. Even without elves though, this is still an uncommon sweeper that should make slower decks a possibility.

Fetid Imp

Constructed: 0

Without the activation cost, I wonder if this would be playable, but I doubt it actually would. Creatures as your removal are just a little too unreliable in a world where everyone has actual removal at the ready.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

A nice flier to peck at the opponent's life total early and then play defense when something worthy of it comes out. Having value both early and late makes this a fine mid pack pickup that you will almost always play.

Fleshbag Marauder

Constructed: 1

One of these already exists in Standard and sees little play, but this is a zombie, which means it might be worth something to someone. Fringe playable, but when it makes an appearance, it tends to be for a good reason.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This is basically a sorcery speed edict most of the time, which is pretty good but not amazing. Being able to upgrade a smaller 1/1 into a 3/1 or something is a nice bonus though.

Gilt-Leaf Winnower

Constructed: 1.5

This is an interesting card to me. I keep trying to think back to Shriekmaw and how different the world would have been if you could not evoke it. I think that Shriekmaw would have still been playable, but would have obviously been worse. That is roughly where I have this but tribal synergies might give this an extra boost. Should be an occasional roleplayer.

Draft: 4.5
Sealed: 4.5

This is pretty much a slam dunk first pick as it incorporates good removal with a relatively big body and evasion. Those are the cornerstones of Limited, making this good from just about every angle.

Gnarlroot Trapper

Constructed: 1-2

Pretty obviously this will go the way that the elves go. You really can't justify this outside of elves, but in it, it is quite the versatile card. I would not be surprised if we saw a ton of this or if elves just didn't quite make it to high tiered Constructed.

Draft: 2.5 in Elves
Sealed: 2.5 in Elves

This is quite the card if you have eight or more elves in your deck, but when you don't have many, the value this provides drops to basically zero. I would only take this when you know you are that specific archetype and ignore otherwise.

Graveblade Marauder

Constructed: 2

I am a big fan of this card, although it is pretty niche in application. In theory, control could use this to win control wars, but with all of the delving decks do these days, that wouldn't even be the most consistent thing. Where this can shine, however, are in the self-mill or dredge decks. This offers up a potential one-shot kill after only a few turns and otherwise acts like an Abyss that swings right past Caryatid and Courser. Really neat card.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

A 1/4 deathtouch is already quite the card in Limited where that holds off entire boards. On offense, this will peck at the opponent for three or four damage in the early game which is fine, but in the late game this becomes a must-deal with threat. Comboing this with combat tricks and equipment will go a long way.

Infernal Scarring

Constructed: 0

While this can replace itself, it requires your creature dying first, which is not the most desired thing in Constructed. In general, I think you would rather have your card upfront, making this worse than the cantrip auras from Theros.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1

This is pretty good in really aggressive decks or decks with a bunch of evasion. The cantrip clause is more of a Safeguard than anything and should not be something you are actively trying to trigger.

Infinite Obliteration

Constructed: 1.5

Generally when you are Cranial Extracting someone, you are ridding them of some scary spell and not a creature as most decks rely on removal for that. That said, sometimes a creature is the thing being hunted and in that world, this is perfectly playable as a sideboard option. This kind of effect is generally thought to be better than it is though, so just make sure you know what you are using this for before including it in your deck.

Draft: 0.5
Sealed: 0.5

In those rare cases where you opponent has five of some incredible card, feel free to bring this in. The other scenario would be when they have some bomb and you have absolutely no way to deal with it once it hits play. Outside of these extreme cases, this should basically never get shuffled up.

Kothophed, Soul Hoarder

Constructed: 2

This seems like it could do something big eventually. Its ability can have haste which means playing this and drawing three cards immediately could be a thing. This sort of reminds me of Consecrated Sphinx, although much harder to get immediate value out of. Should be an interesting to watch get developed over time.

Draft: 4.5
Sealed: 4.5

Don't let yourself die to these triggers, but assuming you are playing safe and avoiding that, this is a total beating. It should be the biggest thing in play and flying over everything else just because it wants to. Drawing a few cards off of this immediate can usually happen if combat is set to go that way anyway.

Languish

Constructed: 3.5

While this is not quite Damnation, it is pretty close and should see just as much play in Standard. In older formats, Damnation sort of makes this unnecessary, but that's fine. In Standard, this takes care of most things, but does leave behind the Tasigurs and Rhinos that you want to be casting yourself. Especially worth noting is that this takes care of monstrous Fleecemane Lions.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

This has another layer to let you set it up which is to get out five toughness creatures. Because of that, it's actually easy to cause a blowout with this than with a traditional Wrath effect. Worthy of your first pick regardless.

Liliana, Heretical Healer / Liliana, Defiant Necromancer

Constructed: 2-2.5

I am not as excited by Liliana as some people in the community, although I do acknowledge that the card can be very powerful when flipped on curve. My issue with it is how weak Liliana is in walker form. You can't usually activate her middle ability for a full turn lest you risk her dying and getting to her ultimate takes four turns while she doesn't protect herself. A 2/3 lifelink that replaces itself with a 2/2 is actually quite reasonable but what are we getting out of our trouble? Not to mention that playing another Liliana after the first has flipped is a risk due to the must-transform clause.

I am sure this card will see play and it will have a home or two in Standard (maybe Monoblack Devotion?), but I don't see it picking up widespread play.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

Both the body and the walker are reasonably powerful in Limited where just getting back one guy from the yard might be enough to swing the tides. This is not a walker that just runs away with a game for you, but it has some strong value for the first few turns it's out and then Threatens the win as the game drags on.

Macabre Waltz

Constructed: 1

This is one of my favorite cards from original Ravnica and I do think it has some Constructed potential. If you compare this to Tormenting Voice, for example, the cards play out very similarly. You get to cash in an extra land for a pair of Raise Dead which is kind of neat. Strongest in Limited though.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

Getting back your bombs or 187 creatures for value with this always feels so good. Again, you usually are ditching an extra land to this, but you can also use it as a discard outlet to get something specific into your yard, which comes in handy on occasion.

Malakir Cullblade

Constructed: 0

This existed as a white card in the past and while it can be quite the nuisance in Limited, it is annoying to have to rely on your opponents in order for this to grow in size. What if you are against control or a creature light midrange deck?

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

Meanwhile, everyone is running creatures in Limited and this makes a lot more sense as you can often play it, then enter combat and immediately see this end up as a 3/3 or 4/4 that is only going to get bigger with time.

Nantuko Husk

Constructed: 0.5

As someone who has played a very similar card in a Pro Tour, I cannot really dismiss Husk completely as sometimes you just need a sacrifice effect. That said, there are usually better options at higher rarities. This just needs too many other cards to actually be threatening.

Draft: 2-3
Sealed: 2-3

An all-around solid creature to have in your deck normally, this can actually double in power level if you can successfully draft around with Act of Treason and other synergies. In most decks, this will make combat confusing for your opponent as its size is only Limited by what you refuse to feed it.

Necromantic Summons

Constructed: 1

While this is not the best rate, Rise from the Grave was playable and this is mostly strictly better. A couple of +1/+1 counters is a nice touch, but realistically, this card only sees play if the infrastructure to support a reanimator deck exists.

Draft: 2.5-3
Sealed: 2.5-3

This is a pretty powerful card to have access to as the game grinds on. Not only do you get the best creature to have died yet, but there is a decent chance that you hit spell mastery just because of how late this tends to get played. If you are looking to loot some big creature and Reanimate it on turn five, you might miss out on the bonus, but you got paid in a different way.

Nightsnare

Constructed: 0

This is a really neat design, even if it isn't great for Constructed. Unfortunately, four mana for a Thoughtseize, even with the flexibility that this brings, is just too much to be reasonable.

Draft: 1-1.5
Sealed: 1.5-2

I like this card quite a bit in Sealed where you get to pluck bombs out of the opponent's hand or just net some information and card advantage should they not have any. In Draft, I like this less, but having a single copy of it is still fine. I do like having at least one of these in my sideboard though as it is a great stopgap against many powerful cards.

Priest of the Blood Rite

Constructed: 1

I only think this card is valuable in a world where you are blinking or replaying this multiple times. On the surface, paying five mana for a 5/5 flier is not great and the 2/2 body with a drawback is not helping the equation. But with a Birthing Pod effect or something similar, this can actually be desired. If it sees any play, I suspect that will be the context.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

And of course, when we move over to Limited we see a land where 5/5 fliers dominate, making this card much better. The loss of life is much more relevant here as well, but if your opponent tries to advance on that, you can always chump block to rid yourself of the annoying priest. Hopefully your demon ends things before your priest does though.

Rabid Bloodsucker

Constructed: 0

Another take on the classic 3/3 flier for five mana. This one comes in a slightly different package, but none of these abilities or stats have me excited for Constructed.

Draft: 2-2.5
Sealed: 2.5

Giving up a point of toughness for a decent triggered ability is not the worst, although this has a much tougher time standing up to other fliers, such as Scrapskin Drake. Still a fine card to pick up with your fifth to eighth pick.

Read the Bones

Constructed: 2

This has proven itself to be a pretty strong card. Sign in Blood always has been, but with a prohibitive mana cost of BB only a select few decks can run it. Read the Bones solves that and even rewards you with some scry beforehand. Should remain a staple in black midrange and control decks.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

I am a huge fan of one or two copies of Read the Bones in Limited. Finding your best card is just such a huge advantage as is making your land drops and Read the Bones does both for you at only a small cost of three mana and two life.

Reave Soul

Constructed: 1

I don't think this will see much play as it is a sorcery in a world of instants, but it does kill Courser of Kruphix and can help against an aggro rush. If we have no Doom Blade or Ultimate Price variant in the next set, this will see more play almost by default.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

Solid removal that compliments other removal nicely. You don't want to spend your five mana unconditional removal spell on the random 2/2 utility creature, but Reave Soul gives you a mid to late pack pick up that does that much more efficiently.

Returned Centaur

Constructed: 0

As someone who has gone deep in the tank for graveyard decks in Standard, I will admit to having tried this card multiple times and it constantly failed to impress, as one might expect. The rate and output just are not up to the quality that Standard demands.

Draft: 2-2.5
Sealed: 2

A decent creature in combat with an ability that can be quite crucial to some decks and quite useless to others. Being able to hit either player's deck is pretty nice though and does increase the decks where you might actually play this.

Revenant

Constructed: 0.5

This thing scales to incredible sizes and does naturally have evasion, so I don't want to completely write it off. That said, Nighthowler is generally a much better version of this and has seen diminished play over the last year. I suspect this will ultimately be a bit too expensive for Constructed purposes.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

Over in the forty card decks though, this thing can take over a game pretty easily. It does not make for the best play on turn five as it is likely to be a 2/2 or so about then, but as the game drags on, this just gets stronger and stronger. Comparing this to Sengir Vampire doesn't seem too inappropriate in terms of power level.

Shadows of the Past

Constructed: 0.5-1

An interesting card. I can see this being used as a reusable scry effect, even if its second ability is a little expensive for Standard. I am not sure if a brand new deck is worth making to showcase this, but some will probably try. This is a card that I want to try out regardless of what its initial power level appears to be.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This card is a confusing one as it can range from doing very little, to winning a game almost by itself. In any game with a board stall or where both players have just killed everything the opponent put out, this card can completely take over. I like that this offers value throughout the game as scrying a bunch is good and drawing this late just means it will probably be active.

Shambling Ghoul

Constructed: 1

This feels like a reasonable card for a zombie deck to use. I remember playing Vampires back in the day and Highborn Ghoul was a card I used just because there was a lack of two-drops. I feel like an extra couple of toughness is a bigger deal than intimidate most of the time and the drawback on this isn't too big of one in Constructed.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

A strong play on turn two that gets much worse after that due to its lack of immediate impact and relatively small body. Still another fine filler card that does beat up on most other two-drops in the format.

Tainted Remedy

Constructed: 1.5

This card has a couple of things going for it. It stops opposing life gain from decks, especially those using lifelink creatures. This could be used by aggro out of the sideboard for that purpose. Additionally, you can build around this using things like Grove of the Burnwillows and Invigorate to kill your opponent. A fun card that is useful enough to see some sideboard play.

Draft: 0.5
Sealed: 0.5

This is an alright way to stop annoying lifelinkers, so sideboard it in if you spot a few too many for your tastes. Starting this in your maindeck is just a bad idea, however.

Thornbow Archer

Constructed: 2

In most situations, this is functionally a 2/2 for one mana with upside, as it deals damage through something like Sylvan Caryatid. Obviously the elf clause can matter if this card becomes popular, but even then you have a 1/2 for one mana. Most aggro decks playing black are going to at least consider this.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

In terms of one-drops, this is one of the better ones you can have, but at the end of the day it is still a one-drop. The issue there is that they provide value for such a short window of time that they often are not worth the card investment. If you cast this on turn one, it can easily deal four or six damage and be insane, but every turn thereafter it becomes weaker and weaker to cast until the point where it is almost useless. If you have a very aggressive deck, this is awesome, and should not be played most other places.

Tormented Thoughts

Constructed: 1

I have tried to jam this into decks enough times to know that it is playable, even if it takes a little work to get there. Master of the Feast was my combo partner of choice for a while, but in theory, any undercosted creature works well with this. You want to get three or four cards out of your play to make it worth your while, but if you can do that by turn four, that is a game-ending sequence. Maybe Despoiler of Souls is a good enough curve to make this work.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 2

This can be just as swingy of a card in Limited where it will often be dead, or near that, in the late game, but will also offer you a chance to win the game on turn four or five as you strip that many cards from your opponent. The variance here makes it hard to nail down an exact rating for the card, so I just went with something in the middle.

Touch of Moonglove

Constructed: 0.5

While I don't see any obvious homes for this (Heroic?), it has enough going on that I could imagine some deck really appreciating all of these abilities at once. For example, imagine playing this on an Izzet Staticaster and then nuking down a hoard of tokens.

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1.5

This is a weird combat trick to use because you really want to find a situation where your creature is bouncing off of theirs because losing card advantage to trade with something big is not the greatest. This rewards you a little with the loss of life which does help.

Undead Servant

Constructed: 1

This is a pretty interesting card. Once you have a single copy in the yard, you are getting plenty of rate for your next four mana spent on this. With two copies you are playing something that nearly amounts to Hero of Bladehold. Graveyard decks might take a shot at making this work.

Draft: 1.5+.5 per additional copy
Sealed: 1.5+.5 per additional copy

Basically, taking the first one of these should either happen because it was late and free, or because you are making a conscious effort to take more. Once you get your third or fourth of these, they turn into a bomb common, so the quest has a good payoff. Running the first copy alone is not exciting, but will happen some amount of the time as it is a zombie.

Unholy Hunger

Constructed: 0

Well this is kind of a weird name for a card, but sure, we'll go with it. Too expensive without much upside for Constructed.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

More expensive than you typically want your removal to be, but this does come at instant speed and kills everything, which is nice. The bonus life gain helps to make up for the mana cost as it gets you back into the game a bit.

Weight of the Underworld

Constructed: 0

Another card we have had around for a while that has not seen play. Just too inconsistent and sorcery speed for what we need in Constructed.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 2

Not my favorite piece of removal as it is probably a mana more expensive than it needs to be, but this does take care of pesky fliers and utility creatures just fine. I'm usually ok with the first copy but really don't want more than that very often.

 

Multicolor

 

Blazing Hellhound

Constructed: 0.5

I think the rate is just a little under where it needs to be for this to be awesome, but it does enough that I wouldn't be completely surprised to see it make a cameo appearance somewhere.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

A 4/3 for four mana is already decent but this brings a lot to the table by being another combo piece with Act of Treason and taking out small creatures on the other side of the table. You probably won't activate this ability too many times in a game, but just having the option is nice.

Blood-Cursed Knight

Constructed: 1

This is actually big enough that if some kind of black/white enchantment deck were to exist, I feel like this at least makes the discussion. Attacking on turn four as a 4/3 with lifelink is a very big game. Underworld Coinsmith is also a card for a little while longer... Hmm, off to the brew lair!

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

A 3/2 for three mana is not going to impress many people, but it's perfectly playable. The more exciting world is where this is a 4/3 lifelink that completely takes over a game. You need to draft with this in mind of course, but assuming you have the right enchantment deck, this becomes a big priority over even some removal.

Bounding Krasis

Constructed: 1.5

The main application for this is the ability for it to work with Splinter Twin as another infinite combo. This only applies to the Temur version of the deck and even there the inability for this to tap a land EOT might push it out of being heavily played. On the other hand, this does beat down much better than other targets.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

Assuming you are playing blue and green, this will often Threaten a double Neck Snap scenario as a 3/3 can trade with plenty of real creatures plus whatever tapped creature you get to Ambush into a block alongside it. Even as a "Fog" on a 3/3 body this is pretty solid.

Citadel Castellan

Constructed: 1

If this connects, it turns into a 4/5 vigilance for three mana which is certainly above rate for what we would expect. The issue of course, is that big "if" where beforehand, it is a 2/3 vigilance and not very exciting. Some deck might utilize this, but it won't be the next Loxodon Smiter.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 2.5-3

Another reasonable body with a fine keyword to start. The quest of getting this into the red zone unblocked is very solvable and leaves you with what should be the biggest creature in play. Later on in the game, this drops in effectiveness as it less likely to connect with the opponent, but even then you are getting a decent rate for your three-drop.

Iroas's Champion

Constructed: 1.5

Any double strike creature is something to take note of as they just pair so well with auras, pump spells, and anthems. All it takes is three to four viable double strikers and you can create a deck that otherwise couldn't exist. And this one comes at a rate that is respectable, although not mindblowing.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

You have to go a little bit more out of your way to find synergy for this in Limited, as pump spells need to move up your pick order and whatnot, but even without help, this is a formidable creature. Particularly on defense where first strike buddies work together extremely well.

Possessed Skaab

Constructed: 1

This amounts to a pretty versatile Anarchist-esque card that I could easily see picking up Constructed play if some deck wants this effect, ala Warp World back in the day. The exile clause is annoying, but shouldn't keep this from seeing play if an appropriate home is found.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

A very strong Gravedigger in its own right, this tacks on the ability to rebuy removal which is a huge upgrade. It being decent in combat is nice as well, but we are mostly focused on that recursion ability as it is the real star on the card.

Reclusive Artificer

Constructed: 1-2

This card could be a bit of a sleeper. In the right deck, this is Flametongue Kavu and it doesn't take too much to imagine what such a deck might look like. We have some decent artifact toys right now, but it will be interesting to see just where this thing might end up if solid artifacts get printed over the next year.

Draft: 2-3.5
Sealed: 2-3.5

Obviously very specific in application, but if you have eight or more artifacts in your deck, this should be removal pretty often. This is probably worth running in most blue/red decks, even those light on artifacts, but once you have this on your radar, you should probably make an effort to draft around it a bit as it is huge incentive.

Shaman of the Pack

Constructed: 2

This card could easily replace Craterhoof Behemoth in current elf decks looking to finish off the opponent. The upside being that this is much easier to cast, it's an elf to enable your mana early, and it can be run in multiples without clunking up your deck as much. The downside is that might not be as consistent, so playtesting will need to occur. In Standard, this could easily be enough incentive to try elves in some capacity.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

A fine creature on rate with an ability that scales and goes over the top to win games. You will play this in every green/black deck as it hits for one by default, but this is another pretty good incentive to move all-in on an elf archetype.

Thunderclap Wyvern

Constructed: 1

This has enough angles on it that I could see a flying deck being a thing in Standard. Usually some token makers that produce multiple fliers are needed, but blue featured a few of those yesterday already. Having flash allows for some occasional combat blowouts and dodging of removal, but mostly just lets you keep your mana up for protection spells.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

Another creature that really rewards you for seeing it early and drafting around it. You are likely to have a decent number of fliers in white/blue regardless, but this does give you some extra direction. Once in your deck, this is a fine flier on its own right, but also just allows your other fliers to win trades they otherwise might not and to end the game faster, cutting your opponent off of a few turns to find an answer. Easily worth your first pick and probably enough incentive to go on the Faerie Miscreant quest.

Zendikar Incarnate

Constructed: 0

While the front half of this does scale pretty well, a lack of evasion means that doesn't even get you what you want much of the time. Feral Animist could use the drinking buddy though.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This is a big body for its cost (minimum of a 4/4 for four mana most of the time), but without that toughness growing, it is likely to eventually trade in combat with something. I am still slamming this in green/red every time, but I don't think it's quite strong enough to have me consider splashing it or anything.

 

Wrap Up

 

Normally, blue tends to take a lot of the exciting Standard playable stuff for itself, but I was quite impressed with black this time around. There are some nice quality aggressive cards, control cards, and even plenty of cards with a very high ceiling but with niche applications. Despoiler of Souls, Demonic Pact, and even Liliana are all sweet cards, regardless of how good they end up being. And while the multicolor cycle is certainly geared toward Limited, there are plenty of solid nuggets in there to experiment with or to maybe receive some older archetypes that have been on the fringes.

Thus far Origins is really providing from a flavor perspective even more so than other recent core sets. We will see if this trend continues tomorrow as we move on to the red cards from Origins and we will also start off on the many artifacts from the set. Until then, thanks for reading!