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BLACK - Definitive Color Philosophy

“Don’t think about making life better for other people who don’t even deserve you, rather, focus on making your life the best, for yourself and those who love you.” – C. JoyBell C.

Black Vampire MTG art

Black is the ego. It is the view of oneself as the center of all that goes on around it. It is the philosophy of honest self-reflection, one that does not deny that humanity is inherently selfish. A side that must not be ignored, for to deny that truth is to deny a fundamental truth of ourselves. Black states that the truth of humanity is that we wish to not just survive, but to thrive within our limited time on this earth and it is because of this that Humanity has flourished. Black is the color of resourceful ambition, and of amoral realism.

It does not ask what others may do for it; it only asks what I can do for myself. It is a unique perspective that goes against the teachings of our society, teachings that tell us to be humble, to not covet, to be happy with what we have and our lot in this life. Black denies this whole heartedly and is adamant that it is meant to be more, to have more and that this life is to be experienced on its own terms, not the terms of those to blind to see the true nature of existence. This is not to say that Black cannot love or that it cannot be kind, it is just that it will not spend a moment on those that show themselves to be a drain on its existence.

In my experience with this channel, I have found that Black is the most divisive color in magic, I’m sure that there are already sides forming based on what I have said so far. On one side people might say that Black is the color that represents all that is retched in this world. While others might state that it’s instead the philosophy of realism, or that it simply is misunderstood? The answer to this question though is not so simple and like all of the other colors, Black is a spectrum of extremes.

That’s the interesting yet divisive thing about Black though, a lot of us have a singular image of it but it can be so much more, and I urge you wait till the end to form your opinion. To me there is the obvious side of Black, the side that can be the villain, a member of society so hell bent on its own success that it walks all over others, or it can be a person who simply takes pride in themselves, someone who understands the harsh realities of the world, that if you don’t put yourself first no one else will. We will talk about all of the faces of Black and how each member of the color pie influences this dichotomy, and where exactly Blacks stands when all is said and done. So, lets first be clear with what Black is and what is the true core of its philosophy. To do this let me paint a picture of a person who abides by this way of life.

Let’s take a moment to imagine a person comprised of Black mana, it doesn’t really matter what they look like or what their gender is, as they could be anyone. This person perhaps had a childhood where they lacked a lot of the comforts or advantages that other children had. This life was difficult, and they felt as if they did not deserve what was handed to them at birth, a sick joke from the randomness of the universe. Because of this they are resolute in their desire to gain more for themselves, and to pull themselves out of their situation.

What’s more is perhaps this person had dealt with some severe trauma in their childhood, early enough in their life to shape their understanding of the world around them. These aspects combine into an understanding that the world is cold, and no one is there to save you. As this person gets older, they take to school as a practice run for their adult life. They make sure their grades are high, whether through studying or cheating. They make friends easily and desire many of them, either through their guile and mysterious charm, or through their ability to show each person the face, they wish to see. They come off as charming, attractive, and mysterious, all tools to further their ends.

Lilliana MTG art kid

Out of high school this person leaves home as soon as the diploma is in their hand, resolute in taking everything they learned growing up into the real world. They find success rather quickly, as they are crafty, bold, and resourceful. This person climbs the ladder of their chosen career with ease, as they know what to say and do to place themselves into higher levels of power.

It doesn’t take long for them to become the vision of themselves they had as a kid, someone successful, independent, and beautiful.

When they reflect back on where they had come from and where they are now, they are filled with a well-deserved sense of pride. This pride echoes out into how they present themselves. Their appearance is no longer that of the tattered and malnourished child but is instead replaced with that of a fit and exquisite figure, one they maintain religiously. They only wear the best clothes, drive the nicest cars wherever they go, they eat at the best restaurants and live in the nicest homes. As each year passes the child who suffered from poverty and abuse is merely a distant memory, they are now outwardly the person they knew they were on the inside all along.

We can see here that Black is the color of someone who is resolved to make their life the best that it can be for themselves. Whether it is spurred on by a rough and poor childhood or not, it doesn’t matter, what matters to Black is the notion that they deserve to be happy and to prosper. Now to get to this place Black understands that rules, obligations, and arbitrary morality will only get in their way.

These things are constructs placed upon us by others, and to one who understands this, there is no reason to restrict oneself arbitrarily. Now this does not directly relate to total moral depravity but instead a way of thinking that refuses to place arbitrary walls in front of itself on its road to personal success. What’s more is that we see Black is driven by two very strong emotions, pride, and ambition. These two aspects permeate within everything it does, it reaches for more and celebrates that achievement at every step. These things can be seen as a reflection of moral corruption by some, chiefly White and Green, but to Black it is a purpose unlike any other.

As we can already see, White is the color that Black usually finds itself at odds with. It’s the color that pushes directly against it, and from that perspective we can see how an enemy color can shape members of the pie just as much as allies can. White consists of notions centered on ideals such as order, selflessness, and the burdens of moral judgement. Black defies these outlooks; it has seen firsthand the crushing weight of false morals; morals others use to their advantage. It has witnessed priests line their pockets with the gifts of the poor. It has seen politicians make laws that protect their property and not their people. Black knows that humanity is cruel, and that White lies to itself in order to validate it existence. To Black, White is the fool who punishes itself for following through on its nature, and of those that would abuse that willingness to follow. If these abusers are going to take such advantages, then they should at least be honest about it instead of hiding behind gods and laws.

Black MTG art

The other force that pushes at Blacks borders, frustrating it further while forming more of its ideals, is Green. This foolish color is so happy with whatever it is given. It preaches falsehoods like destiny and harmony. Black spits on such notions, is it my destiny to suffer? Should I be thankful that I was brought into this world kicking and screaming only to find out the world didn’t want me. No, Black rejects these ideas, my destiny is carved by my own hand and true harmony is a lie.

On the other hand, its neighbors pull it in on either side, bringing out other aspects of Black that are firmly based in those colors. To one side we see Blue, a color that is at least reasonable when it comes to its outlook. It understands the concept in which we must pursue a goal that is bigger than ourselves and it’s a Color unafraid to get its hands dirty while doing it. Black enjoys Blues company because Blue is a color that appreciates ambition and almost obsesses over it. A lot can be accomplished when these two get together, as they can feed off of each other’s strengths and shore up their weaknesses, though you best not stand in their way.

Finally, there is Red, a curious color, not much worried about anything really. It’s a color Black can appreciate because Black understands the value in having a good time and of being honest with your emotions and intentions. It’s also the color that pulls in some level of humanity to Black. As without this neighbors influence Black would succumb to its narcissism and lack any level of empathy, even if it sometimes uses that empathy for its own gains.

Now I hope you understand how these colors shape Black, in how it rejects it enemies’ ideals, in White and Green, and how it borrows from its neighbors in Blue and Red. Black is complex, it is a lot more than what we see in the cards. It’s why I always bring this up, that Black isn’t simply evil, even if every card in magic tries to convince us of this. Instead, it’s a realistic outlook on life, one that puts itself first. I will be the first to admit that this can lead to total narcissism and self-satisfaction but can also be a force that raises the person up instead of allowing them to be defeated by their circumstances. What’s more is that Black can love and does contain empathy stemming from Red’s influence.

Now of course a Black aligned person isn’t the type to loves unconditionally no, but it will be the person who instead has many acquaintances and a few people that it holds close.

Black can love but it has no love for those that would bring it down in any way.

While the many acquaintances are viewed as its many connections and not much more, those that Black do hold dear, are people they keep very close them.

To Black the people it does holds dear aren’t based on any expectations, such as being family members, it instead finds people whose values and personalities match with its own, and in turn it will cherish these people nearly as much as it does itself. Think of the people you consider the closest to you, and imagine the love that you project onto them, it’s an almost selfish love. A love that binds them to you and you to them. Black doesn’t love unconditionally but it does love.

The core of Blacks belief is a culmination of experiences that lead it to believe that the world is either uncaring of it place within it or is actively trying to stifle it. Black then decides that it must lash out at this world in equal measure. On one end of the spectrum, it could be a person who simply wants to thrive in a world that has left them without any tools to do so. While on the furthest end of the spectrum it could be someone who actively feels that life is a toxic and horrid existence and in turn reacts to it in a manner that reflects that outlook.

Like all Colors Black is a spectrum of values, on one end I think there is a realistic outlook that drives a person towards success, and on the opposite end of the spectrum we do see a true villain, where you choose to align yourself has a lot to do with your experiences that shaped your outlook.

To me Black is an honest mindset. It knows what it wants and what is important to it and in this way it sheds anything that does not align with this goal.

Yes, that can mean it even sheds its humanity, but it can also mean that it sheds every disadvantage that this cruel and random existence hands down to us.

Thank you for reading my article on Black, my definitive series. I intend on getting the rest of the colors on this website. If you enjoyed this article then consider becoming a site member, that way you will be notified when my next article goes live. Follow me down below for more content from me. With that, I'll catch you in he multiverse, bye!

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