A Fresh Coat of Paint – Fixing “Black” Cards in Planar Chaos

So far, I’ve got a positive response to the Color Pie Identity Project. No one has come out and lambasted me saying I”m full of it. That’s a nice feeling that you guys agree with me. But someone asked “What about the Planar Chaos?” Good question. What about that wacky fun-loving color bending set that twisted and confused us players making us we believe in a wacky upside down world where humans are slave to monkeys? Damn them all! Damn them to hell!

So, instead of looking at all of the Black cards, I just too a look at the timeshifted/colorshifed cards that became Black. Why? Because Wizards could have picked any cards to remake in Black, and the played and tested these. Are they really Black, or do they just pretend to be?

Bog SerpentSea Serpent

I remembered playing with Sea Serpent and using Phantasmal Terrain to turn an opponent’s land into an Island so I can attack. How much I’ve grown since revised. Now I use Urborg to turn lands into swamps. Sigh. But this doesn’t make sense as a Black card. Sure, there’s a drawback, but a 5/5 for 6 mana? It’s not very aggressive, so it doesn’t make that much sense.
Verdict – No

DamnationWrath of God

This is the one that I know I’ll get the most flack for. Yes, Black is the color fo creature kill, but not mass creature kill for the most part. Remember how I said that usually there are restrictions for killing in Black? There is no drawback for this sorcery that costs 2BB. While some might say that that it’s bad enough in White (another day), but in Black, it’s insane. Yes, Damnation can be Black, but it needs to cost more.
Verdict – Kinda, .5 here

Dunerider OutlawWhirling Dervish

A great timeshift. What this card does is take life from an opponent and makes itself stronger. This echoes (not the mechanic) the Vampires that are common found in Black in the first place. The Protection from green is just groovy.
Verdict – Yes!

Kor DirgeKor Chant

Redirecting damage has never been a Black ability, so this one hasn’t made any sense. Originally in White, this could also seem to be a Green ability as well, but not in Black. If the spell was redirecting from yourself to a creature (a la Pariah) then sacrificing your creatures to keep you alive is Black, but that’s not the case here.
Verdict – Almost, but wrong function


This is a great example of Black because of the upkeep ability. You get to do something that is not completely in Black, but it is removal in a sense. Instead of destroying the creature, you can pacify it any pay an upkeep. Classic Black: able to do almost anything if you’re willing to pay a cost.
Verdict – Good enough

Null ProfusionRecycle

Black is like, “Every time I play a card, I can draw a card? And the only drawback is I can only have two cards in my hand at the end of the turn? Where do I sign up?” Every color would like this power, and the original color this came in is the one that shouldn’t get it. It’s this dark magic that Black has the power to have.
Verdict – Muy Bueno

Rathi TrapperMaster Decoy

Another demonstration of “sacrificing” a creature to “take out” another creature. This time, White and Blue’s ability get shifted to Black, but in a logical way. While not the traditional scrafice, it does use itself to stop another creature. This shouldn’t be an everyday Black ability, but it’s fine every few years, maybe.
Verdict – Every once in a While

Shrouded LoreForgotten Lore

While it deals with the graveyard, some people might think it’s a Black ability. Black is very good at getting creatures out from the graveyard, not alot else (besides one of the most powerful spells ever). Sure, you can pay alot to get the right card you want; wait, isn’t that Black? Yeah, I think it is.
Verdict – Ja (That’s Yes in German. For my new German Friends)

Vampiric LinkSpirit Link

Yeah. It has been a Black ability, and should stay one. It’s draining life from something and giving it to you. Remember, it’s not Lifelink.
Verdict – Yes, please

Several good moves by Wizards here, but over all, not everything was done perfectly. As we always see, there are other colorshifted cards in sets, but not always with the fancy body frame and the white text.

Join me Sunday as I take a look at another color. I like this Thursday/Friday column, and it may keep swinging it back and forth. On Sunday, you’ll get your new color.

2 thoughts on “A Fresh Coat of Paint – Fixing “Black” Cards in Planar Chaos”

  1. As with the Bog serpent, I think its fine in black. The color always had some sort of big guy with a drawback ( I consider Swamphome a drawback), like Prowling Pangolin, which I really liked. It also has a strong swampwalk-theme, with probably the most walkers.

  2. “Swamphome” is a draw back, if the casting cost of the creature is smaller. You’ve got a big creature with a big casting cost and a big drawback (ie, a “Wall” without an opponent having a swamp). One might make the argument that Lord of the Pit is in the same situation as well, but LotP has Flying and Trample (two forms of evasion), something Bog Serpent doesn’t have as it can still be blocked.

    As for Prowling Pangolin, that can bee also seen as: 3BB – Target player sacrifices two creatures. I like the card as well for the options and an “opponent’s choice mechanic is something I’ll talk about later. The “Drawback” can been seen as a positive from time to time.

    In all, I’m not saying it’s wrong, per say, in Black, it’s just not naturally a Black card. Clearly, since it was Timeshifted.

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