a closer look at keywords: wither


to be honest with everyone, this is probably the first thing ive written about magic the gathering, but i figured i might as well start somewhere. in the game of magic the gathering there are countless different keywords, some being common, like trample, or rarely used or seen, like splice. what i wanted to do was take a closer look at some of the different keywords out there, and see just how they change the average game.

if you play black regularly, or even play against someone who plays black, you'll eventually find yourself playing against a deck based on wither. i myself play a fairly effective deck based around wither.

wither works with dealing damage, by causing all damage dealt by a creature or spell with wither to be dealt in the form of -1/-1 counters. at first, this seems like a little thing, but it quickly proves otherwise.

compared to normal damage, damage done by wither doesn't just affect the toughness of a creature, but also the power. as if that alone wasn't bad enough, the damage dealt is not removed at the end of the turn like regular damage. short of a card that removes counters, that damage stays on the creature.

while wither on its own can leave a player with lasting problems, the true problem is the cards and combos that go along with them, cards such as kulrath knight, a black/red 3/3 flyer with wither, and the ability to stop all opposing creatures with counters on them from attacking or blocking. normally bad enough, against a deck where all damage is dealt in the form of counters, this can be deadly.

most any deck that relies on big, durable creatures needs to be worried when facing a wither deck, else they will be slowly weakened and worn away by the constant flow of damaging counters.

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Well done! An auspicious start indeed. I don't own any cards with Wither, but now that I'm hooked on buying cards again it's only a matter of time...

And as someone who loves playing with big, durable creatures, let me say:

Bring it on.

This is one of those abilities that came along long after I stopped playing the first time. I only have one or two cards with it but i can see how tied with other effects it can be pretty useful.

You should love this thing Jav! It's one more insidious way that black can indirectly damage things.

Speaking of which, why have I never seen a black and blue deck? That seems like it'd be right up your alley.

I've never really "understood" black enough to try that. I don't really know how to make them work together. The only color that I have really figured out how to mix with blue is white.

I might try green. Since I like everything with Green.

I'd like to see that. To be honest, Blue seems to work best by itself, or with a little white mixed in but still predominantly blue. Green actually hates blue, there are lots of anti-blue color hosers in green.

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