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Top 10 Self-Reviving Black Creatures in Magic: The Gathering

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

"Defile" artwork mtg

"Defile" artwork mtg

Graveyard Creatures in Magic

Of Magic's five colors, black most benefits from a full graveyard, bearing several tricks that play off a large discard pile. In fact, some of its creatures can return themselves from the graveyard directly to the field, giving plenty of sacrifice fodder and aggro potential.

Many of them can't block and require certain conditions before resurrecting, but they're still great ways to maintain board presence—which reign supreme? These are the ten best auto-reviving creatures in Magic: The Gathering!

Despoiler of Souls mtg

Despoiler of Souls mtg

10. Despoiler of Souls

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 2

Like many of today's cards, Despoiler can't block, so he's best used to attack, especially considering his 3/1 stats. He's also got easy resurrection criteria, letting you instantly spend two black and exile two other creatures from your graveyard.

Use black's self-milling tactics to consistently stock your graveyard, and note that unlike many, Despoiler doesn't enter tapped (admittedly less useful since he can't block).

Evershrike mtg

Evershrike mtg

9. Evershrike

CMC: 5

Though he needs several mana, Evershrike accepts both black and white colors, and while he starts weak at 2/2, he gets +2/+2 for each aura on him. He's also got an intersting recovery, spending two plus X mana to return him from graveyard to field and attach an aura with cost X or less from your hand to him.

That's an awesome benefit for aura-based decks, just remember you have to attach an aura to him when doing so or he'll banish himself.

Rot Farm Skeleton mtg

Rot Farm Skeleton mtg

8. Rot Farm Skeleton

CMC: 4

Rot Farm's stats are a mixed bag at 4/1, he needs two colors, and can't block. However, he's got a great revival, letting you spend four mana and mill four cards during your main phase to revive himself. Not only does this get him back to the field, it stocks your graveyard with fodder for other effects, potent in the graveyard-based golgari colors.

Prized Amalgam mtg

Prized Amalgam mtg

7. Prized Amalgam

CMC: 3

Unlike many of today's cards, Amalgam can block, his toughness matches his power at 3/3, and he's got the useful zombie subtype. His revival also doesn't need mana, automatically replaying himself when another creature enters your field from your graveyard. Use other self-returning cards or spells like "Call of the Death-Dweller" to trigger the effect.

Dread Wanderer mtg

Dread Wanderer mtg

6. Dread Wanderer

CMC: 1

Both 2/1 stats and the zombie subtype compensate for Wanderer entering tapped. You can also recover him by spending three mana during your main phase if you have zero or one cards in hand. It's as simple as that, giving you an easy outlet to get Wanderer back, especially in the late-game when hands tend to dwindle.

Nether Spirit mtg

Nether Spirit mtg

5. Nether Spirit

CMC: 3

Spirit is weak at 2/2, but he automatically fields himself during your upkeep if he's the only creature in your graveyard. So use him in non-creature decks, or ones with cards like "Scrabbling Claws" that can exile the odd other creature when needed.

Silversmote Ghoul mtg

Silversmote Ghoul mtg

4. Silversmote Ghoul

CMC: 3

Though he requires more mana than some cards and has unbalanced 3/1 stats, Ghoul is both a zombie and vampire, fitting in two popular tribes. He can also spend two mana and sacrifice himself to draw a card, setting himself up for a recovery, as he returns to the field tapped at your end step if you gained at least three life that turn.

Useful in a wide variety of decks, from tribal to lifegain, Ghoul is also one of today's cheapest cards, costing less than one dollar!

Nether Traitor mtg

Nether Traitor mtg

3. Nether Traitor

CMC: 2

Traitor is a puny 1/1, but he has haste and shadow, letting him act immediately and only block/be blocked by other creatures with shadow. Plus, whenever another creature enters your graveyard from the field, you can resurrect Traitor by paying one black mana.

This means whenever you sacrifice a creature for an effect, if you have an extra mana, you can gain another creature for more tribute fodder.

Bloodsoaked Champion mtg

Bloodsoaked Champion mtg

2. Bloodsoaked Champion

CMC: 1

Champion can't block, but he has solid 2/1 stats, a cheap cost, and can return himself to the field for two mana if you attacked that turn. That's an easy price to meet, and while he lacks zombie synergy, his warrior subtype is gradually gaining support.

Bloodghast mtg

Bloodghast mtg

1. Bloodghast

CMC: 2

Another creature that can't block, Bloodghast nonetheless has useful vampire/spirit subtypes, haste, and an auto-return whenever you play a land. This requires no mana or only conditions, making it incredibly easy to continuously field Bloodghast.

Since he can't block, use him for sacrificial effect on cards like "Ashnod's Altar" to get him back in graveyard, ready to be recovered.

Graveyard Hate in Magic

Today we've seen several competitive spells that can revive themselves, but watch out for graveyard-exilers that can permanently remove them from the game. Cards like "Bojuka Bog" and "Relic of Progenitus" can ruin your strategy if you're not careful, but for now, vote for your favorite reusable creature and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2021 Jeremy Gill

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