Grasp of Darkness


Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Frontier Legal
Vintage Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Noble Legal
Hero Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Block Constructed Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vanguard Legal
Leviathan Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Heirloom Legal
Modern Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Casual Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) Uncommon
Scars of Mirrodin (SOM) Common

Combos Browse all

Grasp of Darkness


Target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn.

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Grasp of Darkness Discussion

BigBoyBeau on Card Funeral

4 days ago

Thank you jgc10. I like the recommendation of Grasp of Darkness! I have taken to heart the concept of targeted removal for this deck and think that Grasp of Darkness is better than Geth's Verdict for this deck.

I actually love Raven's Crime in opening hands because of the Retrace ability. It helps you play lands as additional discard cards, which is vital because you need extra lands when playing smallpox, and together those cards allow you to cull out lands when you draw to many, that way you don't run out of lands either. I think the land management ability is a key reason why Raven's Crime is so common in professional 8-Rack decks.

I understand your concern about untargeted discard cards. In this particular budget deck I love the untargeted discard and intend to follow up by turn 2 or 3 with Blackmail or Mire's Toll to remove any specific card that is still a problem. I've found that I can't afford Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek. Also if all your opponent has in hand is a land card, every discard card in this deck will remove it from the opponents hand, increasing the reliability of The Rack and Shrieking Affliction.

This deck has taken a turn towards more low cmc discard and removal cards since I created it. Please let me know your thoughts on the deck now with the changes.

jgc10 on Card Funeral

5 days ago

Hey, great looking deck. These are my kinds of builds. I've played with a bunch of these cards, so here's what I'd suggest.

Raven's Crime is a great card, but getting one early is less than ideal since it's not targeted discard. The retrace feature is solid, but I wouldn't recommend running a playset of them. You only need one of them in the graveyard to get the real benefits. I'd say two max, and add a couple Duress or Harsh Scrutiny depending on the decks you play.

If your opponent is able to get any sort of creature down before you strip their hand, you have no response other than Funeral Charm and Smallpox which can hurt you as well. I'd suggest adding a couple targeted removals to the main board. This is one of black's strongest features so you have plenty of options to choose from. Best budget options are Grasp of Darkness and Victim of Night, but you need two swamps to run them, so I'd probably move to a one of each of those legendary lands.

I also like playing Vampire Hexmage in place of Hero's Downfall because it can hit more than just planeswalkers and it adds to your Arterial Flow flavor as a vamp for one less mana. But also needs two black mana to play, so not ideal if you're going to be running four colorless lands.

jzt0 on Grave

2 weeks ago

I have a number of concerns about this deck. Please read in full. I'm not stating anything I wouldn't follow myself. I really like your deck idea. In fact, I've loved land creature manipulation for a long time - Rude Awakening is one of my favorite cards.

1) As your creatures are weak by themselves, I don't see a win condition outside of Sylvan Awakening, other than Demon of Catastrophes. And if he's dealt with, you're in trouble. Some Mid-Range power creatures, like Josu Vess, Lich Knight could help a lot here. Josu can even end the game when kicked (and help get value out of Cabal Stronghold ). I like Liliana's Reaver, but it is not legal in Standard.

2) Sylvan Awakening gives you a field full of, well...2/2s. Even if you have 10 of them, not only do you have one turn to win the game, but certainly your opponent will either be able to block 2/2s no problem, or even counter the spell all together, leaving you in a bad spot. If they have a creature that can block multiple creatures, or has lifelink, that's even worse for you. You might benefit from a way to further pump each land up after becoming creatures. Echoing Courage is what I would advise, but if you're playing Standard, I don't know what to suggest here. Perhaps a global boost with trample.

3) Without a mono-black deck, I fear you won't get the full use out of Cabal Stronghold, and will end up with a colorless producing machine, instead of the extra black mana you're hoping for. Not only that, but the land is really only useful for high cost cards, like huge demons that are hard to cast otherwise, like Reiver Demon, or for cards with X in the cost, like Consume Spirit, or Torment of Hailfire.

4) Since you're depending on win conditions a bit later on, having defensive spells could be beneficial. A Standard equivalent of Doom Blade or Grasp of Darkness would be nice. Cast Down is one of my favorites.

Again, cool idea, but it's really hard to make work. I've been looking into mono black efficiency myself. Maybe something like Liliana's Reaver could help with mid-range power, or Glint-Sleeve Siphoner to help with card draw early on.

cole20112 on How to Piss Players Off WITHOUT Breaking the Bank

4 weeks ago

Would Bile Blight or Grasp of Darkness fit the slot of Agony Warp better? Or does the fact that it does two different things to two different creatures relevant.

CasualCucumber on Orzhov Vamps: +1 life for me, -1 life for you

1 month ago

Gifted Aetherborn would definetly fit right in as you suggested.

You could add Bloodline Keeper  Flip maybe its out of budget.

Some other cards to think about adding: Drana, Liberator of Malakir. Defiant Bloodlord a high cost so maybe not good for 1v1. Captivating Vampire another lord to consider.

Blood Baron of Vizkopa maybe a win more card, haven't played it myself.

I am thinking your deck maybe needs some more removal, maybe Murder andGrasp of Darkness or something like it.

Felidar Sovereign is a alternative win card but it is not fitting your vampire theme.

You're welcome to dismiss any of my suggestions :)

cdkime on Why doesn't dismember care about ...

2 months ago

To break it down as I did for Lightning Bolt:

Grasp of Darkness

  • The 3/4 Tarmogoyf gets hit with -4/-4. It is now a -1/0. But Grasp of Darkness has not finished resolving. Therefore, state-based actions are not checked, as no players can gain priority in the middle of the spell's resolving.
  • As the rules language says, Grasp of Darkness goes to the graveyard prior to any player gaining priority. Tarmogoyf recognizes Grasp of Darkness is in the graveyard. Now it would be a 4/5, but is reduced by -4/-4.
  • At the time a player gains priority and state-based actions are checked, Tarmogoyf is a 0/1, as Rhadamanthus. State-based actions do not care that the creature had negative toughness in the past--they look at the situation as it stands at the time state-based actions are checked.


  • The 3/4 Tarmogoyf gets hit with -5/-5. It is now a -2/-1. But Dismember state-based actions have not checked yet.
  • Dismember goes to the graveyard. Tarmogoyf is now a 4/5 being reduced by -5/-5.
  • At the time state-based actions check, it is a -1/0, and therefore dies due to having 0 toughness.

Note, both these spells and Lightning Bolt check at the same time. None "kill[] goyf before it goes to the graveyard".

Hope that helps clear things up some.

Rhadamanthus on Why doesn't dismember care about ...

2 months ago

If the card was actually Grasp of Darkness, then the Tarmogoyf in your example lives. After Grasp resolves it will be a 0/1.

Kjartan on Why doesn't dismember care about ...

2 months ago

I see, I accidently linked the wrong card, sorry. Let's say Grasp of Darkness instead. My bad.

I know it doesn't "Literally" lower the creature's toughness, I just felt comparing them that way was the easiest way to explain my question. Thanks, though.

But if both things do kill due to statebased actions, then I'm kinda back to questioning why one kills goyf before it goes to the graveyard, and the other does not...

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