Awesome 1-Mana Creatures, part 5: Black

In Magic: the Gathering, Black is not necessarily known for its creatures, and usually what creatures it gets are not cheap to play. But there are some little 1-mana gems hiding away in Black! Check out the list below! (And don’t forget to check out the other colors I’ve profiled so far: White, Blue, Green, and Red.)

All of the card images came from; if you know of a 1-mana black creature that ought to be on this list and isn’t, let me know (nicely) in the comments!

Play it first turn and activate it second turn for an early-game life-drain jumpstart.
Good way to both fill up your graveyard and put your opponent at a disadvantage–even first turn!
Great for multi-color decks to balance out your mana.
When you just REALLY NEED that 1 extra mana. Or you need a cheap blocker.
Keep an opponent’s creature down for a turn with this one.
Messing with graveyards is traditional Black territory–and for a 1-mana investment up-front, not bad! (For a newer reprint, see Rag Dealer.)
For 1 mana you have a creature whose power and toughness can snowball over several turns. Who cares that it can’t block?
Great for re-balancing life totals, or for gaining an advantage.
If your deck already deals with a lot of “Sack this creature” effects, this would be a great little addition.
Though it’s hybrid, there’s still plenty to interest a mono-Black deck here. Getting rid of lands, instants, and sorceries from the graveyard? NICE. (And if you happen to run a little Green in your Black deck, all the better)
A quick and cheap way to make your opponent ditch a card.
Exalted is rare enough to find in Black, let alone Exalted and Regenerate. Great for boosting up another creature and sticking around!
Though its tap ability are pretty expensive, making an opponent ditch two cards is pretty fun. And late-game, you can Channel this little guy to make them ditch four instead!
Equal-opportunity disadvantage–great for a group game, and just fine for a one-on-one game.
Level this guy up, and you get a pretty powerful creature removal tool!
GREAT way to get Black mana early-game, especially if all you have are colorless or non-black mana sources. (For a newer, Black/Red option, see Manaforge Cinder.)
Like Drainpipe Vermin, but this says “ditch at random”–a small but possibly more dangerous change for your opponent!
Exiling cards when tapped, and being able to untap when a black spell is played…how is this guy just 1 mana again?
1/1 flying, which Black usually needs!
Because Black can always use a touch of Lifelink, given all the “pay X life to do something awesome” types of spells.
1/1 swampwalk is great for its cost, since Black has plenty of ways to make an opponent get a Swamp. (See Zodiac Rat for another example)
1/1 fear is pretty strong for Black–great for getting through hordes of creatures (unless they’re artifact or black).
This is better than it sounds–drain a life from EVERY opponent, AND potentially do some combat damage, too? Woot!
Give it flying for a few turns and you should have threshold for extra fun!
It’s as good as Plague Beetle if you don’t multi-kick it, and if you do multi-kick it, it’s a HUGE upgrade. Yay for options!
A Black creature giving first strike (traditionally a White ability)? WOW! And the +1/+0 is nice, too πŸ™‚
Ah, yes, this little lady is lethal when combined with enchantments that keep her from attacking and blocking for your opponent. (My boyfriend uses Sleeper Agent to great effect with Pillory of the Sleepless…argh! LOL)
You can either pump up this Shade and use it as a killing blocker, or you can ditch all the cards out of your hand and start swinging with it. Either way, it’s GOOD.
This is like a walking Throne of Bone, but for life loss instead of gain. Neat!
Mess with your opponent’s upcoming cards…good ability on a 1-mana creature!
The Extort is a nice touch, and the tap ability can either bring something of yours into play quicker, or keep your opponent’s counter-centric combos from going off too soon.
Play this guy, and then start targeting him with any kind of spells…FUNNY for a group game especially.
1/1 unblockable for 1! WOW!
1/1 deathtouch…small but mighty. πŸ™‚
0/1 flying that can become a 2/1 with some mana investment. (See also: Pit Imp, Phyrexian Battleflies)
Being able to scry is usually a Blue ability, so it’s nice to see it pop up in Black.
0/1 flying that can regenerate! A classic.

13 thoughts on “Awesome 1-Mana Creatures, part 5: Black”

  1. Yep, that one’s a great 1-drop for Black–I couldn’t leave that one out! It’s on the second to last row in the post. πŸ™‚

  2. Festering Goblin, a 1/1 that can kill 2 1/1 or a 2/2, great early game stall. Clears or stalls all sorts of pesky little creatures!

  3. I’ve also found that Pharika’s Chosen, which is the exact same as typhoid rats, is fun because of the limit of only 4 of the same card.

  4. Carnophage (and possibly Sarcomancy?)

    Both 2/2 for 1 black. Take a point during upkeep. Easy to win that race.

  5. I have quite a few suggestions here:

    Vicious Conquistador is a better version of Pulse Tracker, which probably warrants an inclusion. I personally like Skittering Heartstopper, which is kind of a tougher Typhoid Rats. Blight Keeper is alright, much better when you get that mana for the ability. Finally, Bloodsoaked Champion, Gravecrawler, Dread Wanderer, Viscera Seer, Ruthless Ripper, and Night Market Lookout are some other good ones. Disregard Ghoul can be a nice P/T creature, once untapped, Kederekt Parasite is good in a R/B deck, and Cryptbreaker is good with zombie tribal. Mardu Shadowspear can also be nice, and Gnarled Scarhide and Rakdos Cackler can be good. Last thing: Fume Spitter and Festering Mummy are somewhat like Festering Goblin, with Mummy being almost strictly better than the goblin because of the counter instead of the EoT -1/-1.

    Hope all of those suggestions help, and I apologize if some of those are already in the list which I missed.

  6. Sorry, Diregraf instead of disregard in the 7th line. Also, Death’s Shadow is a pretty great black one drop, although it is probably better used later game when you have less life.

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