Black and Green: Making Sacrifices pt. 1

When it comes to playing Commander, we all have to make sacrifices from time to time. Sometimes you simply have to counter that spell for the health of the game, sometimes you have to waste that kill spell you were saving for their general, and sometimes you have to sacrifice a creature to further your cause. However, sacrifices aren’t always a drawback. As a matter of fact, if you’re like me, you actually enjoy strategies that require you to sacrifice creatures, artifacts, enchantments, or even lands! Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, but sometimes you WANT to make sacrifices. Whether you’re facilitating a reanimation strategy, producing mana, or drawing cards, sacrificing permanents has a variety of effects and may just save your skin from time to time.

Sacrifice effects are found primarily in black, but can be found in every color. The effects vary tremendously in strength, especially as you get into colors that oppose the idea of sacrificing their resources like White and Blue. At the very least, some of the best utility sacrifice outlets are colorless. Some of the best sacrifice outlets are artifacts, and can be used in any deck for that extra bit of flare. But what are some of the best sacrifice outlets in the game? What cards should be used in which decks and why?

BIG BLACK SAC:

  • Attrition

 

If you play black in Magic: The Gathering, you know that often your games turn into a war of attrition, and how fitting it is that a card named just that, Attrition, makes the list. Black has a multitude of easily recurrable creatures like Gravecrawler, Bloodghast, or even Reassembling Skeleton. Why not use your creatures as a renewable resource, sacrificing them to pick off your opponent’s threats one by one. After all, that’s the very meaning of Attrition, right?

 

  • Sadistic Hypnotist

If you like discard then this card is for you. One of the most powerful sacrifice outlets in Black is also one of the most powerful discard effects. Most often run in mono-black discard strategies or as a combo with [Nath of the Gilt-Leaf], Sadistic Hypnotist is more than capable of tearing apart your opponent’s hand, leaving them with no responses to your threats all while filling both your graveyard and theirs for your Reanimate or better yet Rise of the Dark Realms.

 

  • Infernal Tribute

Card advantage is always a big part of EDH. Y can’t win the game if you don’t have the cards. Being able to turn your small creatures into extra card draw is a big deal. Whether you’re attempting to draw into a win condition, trying to draw a response, or simply keep your hand full to bluff your opponents, Infernal Tribute is a solid sacrifice outlet and a draw engine well worth playing.

 

  • Viscera Seer

Quite possibly one of the most ridiculously powerful sacrifice outlets in the game comes in the form of a one-drop, common, vampire wizard: Viscera Seer. Most commonly seen in the Modern Meta-game in Melira Pod lists, Viscera Seer has been shown to be a power player. While he can’t draw you cards, he can control what you draw, and that is a potent ability in its own right. Deck manipulation in the way form of scrying is a great way to keep yourself in the game, avoiding those dead draws in key situations. Viscera Seer’s repeatable ability is a great way to abuse scrying in the right deck. Worth well more than the quarter he’s normally priced at and easily acquired without spending a dime, it’s almost crazy not to save a spot in your black list for this little guy.

 

MEAN & GREEN:

 

  • Birthing Pod

While technically Birthing Pod doesn’t require green mana to play or utilize, it is not only green in color identity, it is also definitively green in function, not destroying , but instead converting one creature into another. Effectively, Birthing Pod is a sac outlet, and while you can only use it once per turn at sorcery speed, it’s power is undeniable. A properly built Birthing Pod chain can dominate a game and allows a deck to function as a virtual toolbox, housing answers for multiple situations all in one-hundred cards. Best paired with creatures with Persist or Undying, Birthing Pod often pulls a player well ahead of their opponents. Birthing Pod is not only one of the most powerful cards in green, it is also a great card in the format overall.

 

  • Greater Good

Greater Good was given a very fitting name and is quite possibly the single most easily abused green sacrifice outlet in the game. Its uses go well past the idea of simply drawing cards. Not only can it help you keep your hand clear of those pesky late game dead draws, it can also be used to fill your graveyard. Nothing feels better than sacrificing a big creature, drawing a few cards and pitching that Genesis you just drew.

 

  • Perilous Forays

If you’re playing green, you’re playing ramp, and if you want to play ramp, then Perilous Forays is the card for you. This thing is sweet. For only five mana, Perilous Forays can hit the table early, and with any amount of token generation or your typical black, recurrable creatures, this card can make a deck explode early on in the game. Being able to fetch three or four lands a turn, all the while thinning out your deck and color-fixing is undoubtedly powerful.

Author: Evan Erickson

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