I talked a bit about core sets and expansions yesterday, and I wanted to revisit the subject, ’cause it’s on my mind. I’d originally set out just to write a report about the tournament, but I went on a different mental tack and talked about editions and expansions first. Part of the reason for that, was that I’d just been sorting some of my Magic cards by block. It had a bit to do with the prerelease tournament.

I noticed, maybe the last time I sorted through my blue cards, that some colors have changed more over the years than others. Blue and black have probably the strongest color identities and have changed the least from their inception to today, in terms of sorceries and such (creatures change all the time).

Most blue cards either cancel or bounce other spells as they’re being played, or once they’ve hit the field. Most black spells destroy a creature, either directly through damage or outright — or they bring a creature back from the graveyard. I figured this by looking at common cards from across more than fifteen years worth of instants and sorceries (core sets and expansions) that I’ve collected.

Red kind of does damage, and that’s it. Green kind of buffs creatures, and that’s it. White has creature removal, usually via Pacifism and related effects, but sometimes direct removal, a la Swords to Plowshares or the more extreme Wrath of God, which simply clears the board. I guess that isn’t fair, though, because green, red, and white also have enchantment and/or artifact hate. But that raises another issue…

I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed, but most common enchantments suck. With the advent of equipment, enchantments have become even more useless — consider that the majority of equipment is colorless, and thus can be run in any deck, they can be swapped between creatures, and they don’t die with the equipped creature.

Enchantments, by comparison, tend to have weaker effects, have the disadvantage of being nearly always color-specific (and thus restricted by the color pie), and disappear when the enchanted creature die. Oh, and many effects that destroy artifacts also destroy enchantments, so they don’t even have the advantage of less removal.

So, let’s review and revise a moment:
Blue “bounces” cards on the battlefield or cancels spells as they’re being cast
Black removes creatures, returns creatures, and does damage and gains life
Red removes artifacts and lands, and does damage…
Green removes artifacts and enchantments, buffs creatures, and gains life
White removes artifacts and enchantments, buffs creatures, and gains life…

I was thinking that to “save” enchantments as a card type, a universal creature keyword might be introduced:

Aurakiller (When this creatures blocks or is blocked by an enchanted creature, destroy all auras attached to that creature.)

Then Wizards of the Coast is free to make the most ridiculously broken enchantments possible, under the assumption that players will want to run Aruakiller creatures to try and remove such enchantments. If they don’t, it’s their own fault if they get screwed, the same way not putting enough land in a deck results in Manascrew.

Edit: I performed a Gatherer search and found fewer than fifty creatures that destroy enchantments. Many also destroy artifacts, and across the board it looks like it’s usually an activated ability or a “when this creature enters play” ability.