"Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath:Depletions and Resiliency"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.
We first met Ob Nixilis in Zendikar where he had already lost his planeswalker spark , We met him again in M15 as a badder version of himself. This time around as Commander 2014 rolls in we get to play him as the powerful planeswalker Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath before he became just a powerful demon.
Being the Planeswalker of the awesome mono black deck , Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath provides you great support. Costing at a mere 5 mana , he affects everyone right away when he enters the battlefield. His +2 ability is to sap 1 life point from each of your opponents and you gain this life. So normally there are 4 players in a game and with this ability you get to absorb 3 life points. Seems quite insignificant but these small insults pile up into really big life losses pretty easily. I did a quick glance of the Mono Black Deck and aside from Necromancy there were themes of Extort there as well. Creatures like Cryptghast and Basilica Screecher make leeching life out of your opponents quite easily in support of this ability. The Zendikar enchantment Blood Chief Ascension is also a great addition here since with all the life loss you could easily put enough counters on it to make sure that its triggered ability would always be online. Little life losses. Great life gains for you. Sapping of vitality little by little and an opponent doesn't even see that you have pushed him or her to the brink while your life totals remain intact and even increasing each passing turn.
The -2 ability of Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath gives you more fire power in the form of a 5/5 Black Flying Demon along with the loss of 2 life.The life loss is negligible since you could easily gain it back. Now a token planeswalker producer is great , Sorin, Elspeth and Garruk are great in this department but there are times that even though we know that they are in our EDH deck we could never get to them in time. And besides the biggest tokens produced in early + or - abilities of these planeswalkers are 3/3. As far as I can remember Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath gives you the biggest token in Non-Ultimate planeswalker abilities. And unlike the other token producers he would just wait for your summons from the command zone to give you more Demon tokens if you need it. With the way the Mono Black Deck has been made mana is not an issue and you could probably easily recast Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath multiple times.
Now about his -8 ultimate ability. You gain an emblem that lets you pay 2 mana , sacrifice a creature and you have two advantages, Gain X life and Draw X cards where X is the sacrificed creatures power! Guess what kind of creature you have in excess of during this point in the game where you are able hit this ultimate ability? Most probably 5/5 Demons. 5 life and 5 cards. Sounds like a great advantage in any stage of the game. This resiliency to always have life could be very annoying in games of attrition , games where you are able to control the board. When you keep on drawing cards and have a full grip of options you can be sure that victory will not be far behind. Depleting opponents to the point where he or she is weak while you tenaciously hold on to your life advantage also defeats them mentally and gives you a confidence boost because you are so far ahead in life points. Seems to me like you like your Black Oath don't you? Well I do.