Players of Magic: the Gathering have all kinds of ways to play this popular fantasy card game. Many dive right into Standard, which offers 60-card decks based on the last few sets. Or they can step into the ultra-competitive world of Modern or Legacy, or they can build a Cube to create their own draft environment. There's really no wrong way to play.
Meanwhile, Commander is one of the most popular formats of all, a multiplayer format of 100-card singleton decks with a legendary Commander. Each color has a lot to offer for Commander, and some decks run all five colors at once. Black is the color of ambition, death and madness, and quick power at any price. When you've got a strategy like that, your Commander creatures are going to be pretty scary. If you're packing black mana, which are the 10 best creatures to try out?
10 Bloodgift Demon
It's a flying Phyrexian Arena! This Innistrad rare is a huge evasive beater, and aggressively costed at just 3BB for a 5/4 flying body. Not the biggest guy around, but it's a good start. Best of all, on each of your upkeeps, someone's going to pay 1 life and draw a card, in true black mana style. Most often, that player is going to be you, especially with the high life totals typical of Commander games.
But this demon is also capable of diplomacy, and you can strike a deal with another player that involves them borrowing your demon's draw ability. After all, you don't have to target yourself with it.
9 Captivating Vampire
Some of the creatures on this list need the right deck so that they can shine. If you're running a Vampire deck, such as one based on Olivia Voldaren or Edgar Markov, throw in this vampire. It's not a very good attacker, but you're not going for the kill with this charming guy.
Rather, you pump the entire team with its first ability, and that second ability is incredible! Just tap five vampires, and you lure an opponent's creature to your army and transform it into a vampire, too! This may be even easier to do when you've got a few cards that generate Vampire creature tokens, such as Bloodline Keeper.
8 Carnifex Demon
It probably won't come as a surprise that several demons made this list, and now we've got a terrifying, infectious specimen from Scars of Mirrodin. Decks that love proliferate and counters may jump at the chance to play this demon, which can pass out a banquet of -1/-1 counters to all creatures on the battlefield.
In the right deck, such as an Atraxa deck, you can proliferate your opponents' creatures to death in no time. And you also get a sizeable 6/6 flying demon out of the deal. Not bad!
7 Viscera Seer
Many Commander decks are based on sacrifice, such as Meren of Clan Nel Toth or Slimefoot, the Stowaway. Viscera Seer is a tiny vampire that won't hold up in combat, but then again, it can sacrifice any of your creatures and let you scry as much as you like.
In a deck with infinite tokens, you're going to scry through your entire library until you find exactly what you want! It's a sort of tutor effect, and many cards in your deck will probably give you other bonuses for all those creature deaths, such as Blood Artist.
6 Crypt Ghast
Don't you wish you had all the black mana in the world? Second to green, black does a fine job at getting extra mana, and Crypt Ghast will kick your mana base into overdrive. Some Commander decks are based on generating huge amounts of black mana, such as for spells with X in their casting cost.
Liliana of the Dark Realms is a great planeswalker for such a deck. With this spirit around, your swamps are tapping for double black mana, and that can help you cast your Commander with ease. Don't forget to extort as a little bonus.
5 Sheoldred, Whispering One
This terrifying Praetor is legendary, so it can serve as your Commander. As one of the five notorious Praetors, Sheoldred will give you a bonus while making your opponents suffer in a related way. In this case, you can bring creatures back from your graveyard all the way to the battlefield, ready to fight.
And your opponents are sacrificing creatures on their upkeeps. Swampwalk is merely icing on the cake. But watch out: creatures like this are a huge target, so give Sheoldred a nice pair of Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots right away.
4 Erebos, God of the Dead
Sheoldred may be a powerful commander among the new Phyrexians, but Erebos is a straight-up god. Hailing from the Theros set, Erebos is an indestructible enchantment that can become a creature, should your devotion to black be 5 or higher (and that should prove easy in many cases).
Erebos can shut down the multitude of lifegain decks out there to keep players honest, and he's got the classic black mana effect: pay life, and draw cards! Your opponents can't gain life, but you certainly can, so attack with some lifelink creatures and turn that life into some cards!
3 Massacre Wurm
Do you like huge beaters? Probably. Do you like boardwipes? We bet you do. How about effects to make your opponents lose life? Hard to say no! Massacre Wurm, a deadly mythic rare from Mirrodin Besieged, does not one, but all three of those effects in one slick package.
Any opposing creature with 1 or 2 toughness is dead meat, and the survivors are going to be much smaller for the rest of the turn. Better yet, your opponents lose 2 life for each creature they lose, whether from the -2/-2 effect or for any other reason. No one escapes the Wurm!
2 Rune-Scarred Demon
Many of the creatures on this list are quintessential black creatures, and Rune-Scarred Demon is no different. Appearing in some core sets and Iconic Masters, this massive 6/6 flyer will teach you all kinds of forbidden secrets so you can get the edge on your opponent.
Resolve this demon, and you can tutor for absolutely anything and put it into your hand. Best of all, you don't even have to pay life or sacrifice creatures to do it! Rune-Scarred Demon is all upside, and that's tough to beat. Paying 5BB for all that is perfectly fair, so go ahead and indulge your dark side!
1 K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth
Here we are: the best black creature you could possibly ask for in a Commander deck. Like Sheoldred and Erebos, K'rrik is legendary, and can be your Commander. Younger players may not be familiar with the archvillain Yawgmoth, but they can make friends with his son and wreak havoc! This guy starts small and costs a lot, but he does brings Phyrexian mana to the table. Once K'rrik is in play, you can pay for black mana symbols with 2 life each, and that can really speed up your game (given you have life to spare!).
K'rrik synergizes with himself, having lifelink to make up for all that life being paid for spells. And if all that wasn't enough, K'rrik gets a +1/+1 counter every single time you cast a black spell! K'rrik is a pretty recent card, but already, he's turning some heads. At this rate, he'll definitely outshine his dear old dad and rule the format.