Enemy color

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Enemy colors are two opposed colors of the color pie: {W}{B}, {B}{G}, {G}{U}, {U}{R}, {R}{W}. A deck may be built around enemy colors (e.g., Phyrexian Poison). A multicolored card may require mana from enemy colors in order to play it (e.g. Angel of Despair).

Enemy colors naturally repel each other, and are often hosers.

Several sets have centered around enemy-colored cards. These include Apocalypse, Eventide, and five of the Guilds of Ravnica.

White / Black[edit | edit source]

Life drain[edit | edit source]

Target player loses life and you gain life.

Since white is the color of gaining life and black is the color of losing life, life drain is a common mechanic of white-black, particularly among cards of the Orzhov Syndicate. Example cards include Debt to the Deathless and Agent of Masks. This manifests itself in the mechanics lifelink (Divinity of Pride) and extort (Kingpin's Pet), as well as a number of white-black effects that hinge on a player's life total.

Exiling[edit | edit source]

White and black combine to be the colors most capable of exiling permanents of any kind. Examples of this include Unmake, Castigate, and Identity Crisis. A number of these spells, such as Merciless Eviction, also serve as board wipes.

Enchantments[edit | edit source]

White and Black tend to interact with enchantments regularly, often getting some rather complementary effects and enchantments-matter cards between the two of them.

Multicolored examples[edit | edit source]

  • Death Grasp - combines black X dealing damage spell with white's gain life onto a very efficient sorcery.
  • Mortify - combines white's disenchantment ability with black's creature destruction onto one card with no drawback (i.e. cannot target black creatures).

Black / Green[edit | edit source]

Reclamation[edit | edit source]

Black-green cards have strong interaction with the graveyard, with many effects allowing cards to be returned from the graveyard to your hand (Desecrator Hag) or to the battlefield (Bloodbond March). This is supported by mechanics such as dredge that combine reclamation with "self-mill" effects.

Exiling from the graveyard[edit | edit source]

A recurring theme among black-green is exiling creature cards from graveyards. These can be either from your own graveyard or from an opponent's. This effect is often accompanied by some positive effect, such as creature tokens (Necrogenesis) or +1/+1 counters (scavenge).

Regeneration[edit | edit source]

Fitting in with the theme of death and revival is regeneration. Examples in black-green include Odious Trow and Lotleth Troll.

Permanent destruction[edit | edit source]

Since black is good at destroying creatures and lands, and green at destroying enchantments and artifacts, permanent destruction is a minor theme of black-green. Examples include Putrefy, Maelstrom Pulse, and (as a board wipe) Gaze of Granite. One way that black-green is particularly good at destroying creatures is with the mechanic deathtouch.

Multicolored examples[edit | edit source]

  • Consume Strength - combines green's "pump" effect with black's "weakness" effect onto a very efficient instant
  • Putrefy - combines green's dislike of artifacts with black's creature destruction onto one card with no drawback (i.e. cannot target black creatures)

Green / Blue[edit | edit source]

+1/+1 counters[edit | edit source]

Green's penchant for creatures combines with blue's "mad scientist" tendencies to create large creatures (often mutants) that have lots of +1/+1 counters. In Ravnica, this is achieved with both the graft and evolve effects. Examples include Nimbus Swimmer, Lorescale Coatl and Fathom Mage.

Card drawing[edit | edit source]

Blue and green are the two strongest colors in terms of card drawing, and blue-green has both powerful draw spells (Biomantic Mastery) and creatures with repeatable card drawing effects (Cold-Eyed Selkie, Fathom Mage).

Multicolored examples[edit | edit source]

Blue / Red[edit | edit source]

Instants and sorceries[edit | edit source]

Blue-red has strong interaction with instant and sorcery spells. A number of effects (Cloven Casting, replicate) allow the color combo to copy instant or sorcery spells. Other blue-red cards (Blistercoil Weird) have effects that trigger upon casting of instant or sorcery spells. Blue-red also has a number of cards (Nucklavee) that allow reclamation of instant or sorcery cards.

Looting[edit | edit source]

Red-blue has a number of cards that allow the drawing of cards at the price of discarding cards.

Artifacts[edit | edit source]

Blue and Red are the two colors most likely to interact with Artifacts of all kinds, with Blue Tutoring, duplicating and otherwise tinkering with them, while Red rakes a more direct, damage-oriented approach, often sacrificing or tapping them to gain an effect.

Multicolored examples[edit | edit source]

  • Magefire Wings - combines red's power enhancing effect with blue's flying onto one enchantment efficiently
  • Schismotivate - combines red's power enhancing effect with blue's power reducing effect onto a very efficient instant

Red / White[edit | edit source]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Red-white finds most of the their synergy through combat abilities, especially in the Boros guild of Ravnica. Many red-white creatures have first or double strike (Boros Recruit, Boros Swiftblade). Red-white creatures receive bonuses when attacking together, such as through the Battalion mechanic. Other cards (Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran, Akroan Hoplite, Duergar Assailant) pump attacking creatures, and still other cards allow the player running red-white to make determinations about whether his opponents' creatures can attack or block.

"Weenies"[edit | edit source]

More than any other two-color combination, red-white is the combo for small but powerful creatures.

Multicolored examples[edit | edit source]

Apocalypse[edit | edit source]

The Enemy color theme was especially strong in the Apocalypse set. It featured:

External references[edit | edit source]