I have to admit that I always thought it was
strange that protection didn't apply to global
effects that don't deal damage, such as
Languish's. (It did in the first release of
Magic, but the rule was changed later on.) It's
hard to explain why one way a color can kill
everything is affected but another isn't. For
that matter, I'm not sure how toughness-reducing
effects came to be concepted as something
different enough from damage to kill
indestructible creatures. Still, Languish is
perhaps the most powerful black mass destruction
spell since Damnation, and that's saying a lot.
While it doesn't answer the largest creatures,
it is no less effective at dealing with swarms
while still not allowing regeneration, allow you
to make the effect asymmetrical with
high-toughness creatures (more so than Black
Sun's Zenith) and is right at that magical four
mana cost where we've barely seen a universal
mass destruction spell in the last few blocks.
This will be a go-to card in control decks for
Standard, and will also be adopted in certain
decks beyond there.
Today's card of the day is Languish which is a
four mana Black sorcery that gives all creatures
-4/-4 until end of turn. This is a board
clearer that could potentially be designed
around to protect some of your creatures, though
the options are a bit cumbersome to make that
work effectively. Overall it is a weaker
Damnation for Standard that has the slight
advantage of getting around Indestructible, so
it may see play outside of the current format.
In Limited this can reset the board when in a
losing position, though there are seventeen
creatures in the set with a base toughness of
five or more that can survive it on their own.
An easy first pick in Booster that should not be
passed to an opponent barring very extreme
circumstances and strong enough to boost even a
mediocre Black pool in Sealed.