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Card of the Week – Darkness

Fog - LEA - Banner

Darkness is a black fog, that was originally printed all the way back in Legends. A fog is a spell that prevents all combat damage this turn. It gets it’s name from the card Fog which has been a part of the game since Alpha. Just like Withering Boon it is a card that is completely unexpected. This is because it is not something that black can traditionally do.

Darkness - Legends printing
It even has a quote from Shakespeare

Darkness has been received an errata it now reads “Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn”. The oracle text can be found here.

Why should you run it?

Just like the original Fog, Darkness only costs a single mana but this time it is Black. If you have ever played magic against someone like me, you know just how devastating the combat step can be. Furthermore combat is an important step for most Boros and Gruul decks, and essential for infect decks. When you are building a Commander deck you want to make sure that you have interaction or answers. Additionally you want to make sure that you can answer a range of different problems, including combat.

Darkness can buy you a turn if your opponent has an overwhelming board state. Or it can cause a massive blowout to your opponent if they have used pumpspells or other combat tricks. It can also be used as a political tool, you can save an opponent in exchange for a later favour.

Suggested Commanders

The downsides to running Darkness are minimal, and you only need to leave a single mana open to cast it. This means that it can go in just about any deck that is running black. For example: K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth; Yawgmoth, Thran Physician or Kaalia of the Vast. It is also good in Thantis, the Warweaver decks as you can get the +1/+1 counters and avoid the combat damage.

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Card of the Week – Nighthaze

Nighthaze-ROE-Cropped

Nighthaze is cantrip for a single black mana, and comes recommended by my fellow Librarian Coatsy. A cantrip is a spell that has the line of text “Draw a card” after another effect. Cantrips are highly flexible cards and this one is no exception making it the Card of the Week.

Nighthaze - ROE printing
At worst you draw a card

The potential upside you can get from the single black mana this sorcery costs, can be game ending. Swampwalk is a keyword ability that makes the creature unblockable, as long as the defending player controls a Swamp. Additional information on Landwalk can be found here. This means that casting it on one of your Creatures will allow you to swing for certain damage. You can use this if you are playing Infect or just have a big creature, Nighthaze will allow it to attack for lethal. It has further utility when dealing with Planeswalkers, because Landwalk works on them as well.

The obvious downside is that your opponent needs to control a Swamp for this to be at its most effective. However, this is mitigated by Black’s popularity as a colour. Out of the current 20 top commanders 16 of them contain Black. The real downside is that it has to target a creature to resolve. Although it does not need to be a creature you control. If you just want to cast it as a cantrip and ignore the Swampwalk aspect, cast it on an opponents Creature there is very little downside. So at worst you spent 1 mana to draw a card.

Nighthaze would be a good addition to any deck running black that is looking to deal combat damage. Whether you are looking to punch through with a swole Rat from Marrow-Gnawer or just looking to let Skithiryx smash face.