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Grasp of Darkness

Sometimes cards have really odd names that, for me, seem disconnected from the effect or colors it has. For example, Tunnel Ignus. For some reason the first connection isn’t to a small red critter that punishes land drops. It feel like it should be a black Imp of some sort, one that permits access – for a price.

Double entendres aside, it tickles me when cards do exactly what their name suggests.  Like Grasp of Darkness:

Grasp of Darkness, Common from Scars of Mirrodin

Black removal often feels the bite of its own hand in the form of a “nonblack” clause. This dates back to the progenitor of almost all black removal: Terror. This set the precedent for future cards to follow.

Fortunately, modern Magic has brought us newer options in the form of giving creatures -X/-X. Our visit to the plane of Ravnica gave us Last Gasp, and the more recent venture in Zendikar showed us Disfigure. Grasp of Darkness is in the same vein. While losing the nonblack clause is useful the drawback is that reducing toughness isn’t always a surefire kill.

But in a pauper cube there aren’t as many creatures with extraordinary toughness. And there isn’t an abundance of pump effects. These toughness shredding spells generally work as advertised: kill it dead with blackness.

And there’s nothing wrong with making Giant Growth look a little more appealing either. Just saying.

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