Innistrad: Crimson Vow EDH Set Review - Blue

Dana Roach • November 15, 2021

Necroduality by Billy Christian

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Crimson Vow EDH Set Review: Blue

Hello everyone, welcome to the Commander's Herald Crimson Vow EDH set review! We're continuing things with the blue cards in this, the bloodiest of sets, so let the blood flow blue and the review begin!


New Commanders

Donal, Herald of Wings

Donal, Herald of Wings feels like it might have a couple of interesting build paths. You can go wide and run efficient to cast fliers and spread them out over multiple turns using things like Leyline of Anticipation and Vedlken Orrery, or you can lean into double up good abilities on things like Consecrated Sphinx. The go-wide deck is going to probably look a lot like Talrand, Sky Summoner, without the threat of being played with 30 counterspells by a guy who uses a crystal for deodorant and keeps wanting to talk about crypto, and the ETB will probably look a little like mono-u Brago, King Eternal. After all, it's about time something made Mulldrifter and Cloud of Faeries playable.


Geralf, Visionary Stitcher

Poor Geralf. You just need to compare his solo cards, including Geralf, Visionary Stitcher to the two for his sister Gisa to see who is the better twin. Giving  your zombros flying is nice, don't get me wrong, but if you want to build a zombie list, mono-u seems like the worst way to do it, and being a non-zombie can make Geralf a bit of a liability in the 99.


Jacob Hauken, Inspector

Jacob Hauken, Inspector at your service. Do I make clues? Why no, I don't, because that would make sense. I do kinda draw you a card though, and I do that in the least blue way possible. After doing that a few times, I turn myself into an enchantment. That may seem silly, but all the great private dicks do that. Perry Mason? Turned into an enchantment. Magnum PI? Turned into an enchantment in a Hawaiian shirt. I turn into an enchantment that lets you cast Nexus of Fate for free, because that's something everyone wanted.

I'm sure someone out there wanted an overly complicated Future Sight in the command zone. If so, congrats! Have fun. All that said, it's at least an interesting, odd design we haven't seen before, and that's worth something. There's always something to be said for cheating casting costs, too, so that will be attractive to some folks.


Timin, Youthful Geist

Timin, Youthful Geist partners with Rhoda, Geist Avenger as some kind of Azorius ghostbusting crew. Here we're going to focus on Timin solo though, and Timin solo probably isn't that useful outside a deck where you really want to tap stuff. I guess it's a good enabler for Verity Circle if nothing else, and there aren't a lot of good spirts as well.

Realistically though, you're probably going to be running Timin with Rhoda, or you're not running Timin at all.



Crimson Vow Mythics

Cemetery Illuminator

Cemetery Illuminator is a solid, aggressively costed card. Would it have been too much if it let you play cards vs cast? Maybe. especially in other formats. Here though it hurts a little. Still, a evasive body that can snipe yards and net you cards Future Sight style is nothing to sneer at, especially in a tribe that's often hurting for haymakers.


Necroduality wants to hang out with Rooftop Storm, maybe get a few beers and tear up the town. If they're feeling saucy they'll cast Gary for nothing and double up the trigger. Just good, clean zombie fun.

Is Necroduality going to be as in demand as Storm? Probably not. Paying nothing for zombies is never not useful, where as if you don't have a ton of ETB triggers then Necroduality might be less of an auto-run. Still, in those decks it's a better Reflections of Littjara, though if your deck is good enough for Reflections as-is then its probably good enough to run both. Also notable here is it triggers on ETB vs cast, and we all know zombies love to ETB from graveyards, either on their own, or with help from cards like Patriarch's Bidding. It's a good card that will see a decent bit of play.


Crimson Vow Rares


Breath of the Sleepless

Breath of the Sleepless probably isn't going into any deck but spirit tribal. Even if your commander is a spirit there's better ways to get flash for one card. If you are playing spirits though it's quite excellent. Not much else to say; it's all or nothing.

Consuming Tide

Consuming Tide is going to be a blowout in the right deck, and pretty boring elsewhere. That right deck is one running minimal permanents that instead focuses on one and done spells. That means it hurts you the least, and almost always winds up drawing you three after destroying you opponent's board. Just an absolute beating.

I'm not really sure I have that deck, and I'm not sure what exactly it looks like. Maybe a Baral, Chief of Compliance control shell or something? Very narrow but really good in the decks that want it.


Dreamshackle Geist

I want to see all the copies of Dreamshackle Geist in my limited pool, and I'm simultaneously sure I never want to see it in any of my EDH decks. Okay, yeah, spirit tribal maybe just due to a dearth of productive bodies, but outside that it doesn't bring enough heat. Maybe in some dedicated lockdown deck? Even then I'm not sure what that looks like, nor if this makes the cut.


Ethereal Investigator

Ethereal Investigator is a little more like it. An evasive 2/3 for 4 is amazing, but it's not terrible. Most importantly though it generates value on ETB dropping multiple Clue tokens, and then generating value off drawing your second card each turn, something those clues enable. Good in spirits, good in clue decks, and just generally good.


Haunting Imitation

Haunting Imitation is strange. It's excellent to better than excellent in a deck that can abuse it by running top-of-the-deck tutors, and it's probably pretty terrible in anything else. Let's say you have the deck that is able to cheat things to the top with consistency. Do you need this? I guess it's a backup plan in something like Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign, but I'm not sure even that deck cares about a one-and-done backup plan. The line type should be 'sorcery - trap' because that's what it feels like; a trap.


Hullbreaker Horror

Hullbreaker Horror is really decent in any deck that cares about kraken or horrors, and just generally deckent all around. There's so much text on this weird crabby boi that it could be a green mythic. A big body, flash, and protection from counterspells are just the start. It lingers around like that last dude at your New Year's Eve party, refusing to take the hint, but instead of eating spinach dip with his finger it instead bounces non-land permanents or spells whenever you cast a spell. It's just gross and will show up in all kinds of places as a value generator.


Imperious Mindbreaker

Were people calling for a return of Soulbond? Imperious Mindbreaker doesn't care if they were or not; it's bringing it back regardless of logic or reason, just like whatever creep decided mustaches were okay again. For real, all they do is make you look like you're not allowed within 500 yards of an elementary school. Mustaches I mean, not Soulbond. This card will show up in mill decks, and anyone not playing mill will forget it exists three seconds after reading this review.


Inspired Idea

Inspired Idea is going to really annoy me when I see it in my rare slot. There's just so many better ways to draw 3 for three that don't require you to put a limiter on your hand for the rest of the game, starting with the heavily underplayed Secrets of the Golden City that is currently in just over 1,400 decks on EDHREC. Just run Secrets and pretend this card didn't get printed.


Mirrorhall Mimic

Mirrorhall Mimic provides a lot of value. 3U is typical-ish for a clone, but they almost always have more value stapled on than actual Clone, and Mirrorhall Mimic is no exception. It's also a spirit in decks that care about that sort of thing, but much more importantly you can cast it from your graveyard after it gets killed, milled, pitched etc. and have it enter as an aura that makes token copies of the enchanted creaure. That creature doesn't need to be yours, either. So throw it on that Acidic Slime that green ramp player slammed down, or the Mulldrifter the other blue player cast three turns ago. Your risk of getting 2-for-1'ed is way lower when the creature being enchanted and copied isn't yours.


Occult Epiphany

Occult Epiphany gets helped a ton by the flexibility. Being able to keep the bomb or two you want while pitching what you don't and making bodies to boot is gas. Rielle the Everwise probably adores this, but there's plenty of zombie decks or lists built around things like Madness that would be interested too.


Overcharged Amalgam

The worst case with Overcharged Amalgam is a slightly overcosted Disallow that gets around things like Negate while generating both a cast trigger and a death trigger. Really often it's a going to be sacrificing something way worse, or something you want dead to recur it, and it'll leave you a 3/3 flyer in a relevant tribe behind. Great in zombies, maybe decent in control or some kind of Grave Pact-esque list. It's a very good card and I expect I'll see it frequently.


Patchwork Crawler

Patchwork Crawler looks good, but it maybe looks better than it actually is. 1U seems really efficient, and you're only spending 2U to exile a card and gain access to that creature's ability, but that's already five mana before we get to any cost on the ability you stole. I'm sure there's infinite combos here, but there's probably better and/or easier ways to access then than to find this, get a card in the yard, exile it, then use this to use the abilities for whatever combo you have planned.



New Crimson Vow Uncommons and Commons

Geistlight Snare

Geistlight Snare

can be a Mana Leak for U. Is that good enough for Commander? Probably not. What's the perfect situation here, say a Brago, King Eternal control list running a lot of enchantments that makes it cost a single blue a good bit of the time? Well, that deck has access to things like Fierce Guardianship, Flusterstorm, ForbidForce of Negation, and Force of Will. And those are just the ones that start with the letter 'F'. It's a good card, but it's probably not a good enough card.


Lantern Bearer

Lantern Bearer is an upgrade over almost any type of Flying Men that might show up in your Flying Men-style deck. So Edric, Spymaster of Trest and maybe the new Jacob Hauken, Inspectoe.


Thirst For Discovery

Thirst For Discovery is the newest addition in the Thirst cycle of draw/discard spells at 2U in blue, and it may be the best, or at least the best outside decks that care about putting specific things in yard as spare lands are almost always the most expendable. Thirst for Meaning is in just over 2,500 decks, and Thirst for Knowlege is in over 8,000. Discovery will show up in thousands of lists here soon enough as well.


Wash Away

Wash Away is took me a minute to really internalize. The power isn't really apparent unless you look closely at it thanks to both wording. It's functionally a modular spell with two modes depending on what you pay:

  • U: Counter target Commander or spell cast with Flashback, Foretell, Jumpstart, Rebound, Cascade, etc.
  • 1UU: Cancel

If it just had the U mode it's almost playable as-is, depending on meta. Worst case it's Cancel, and Cancel is showing up in over 9,000 decks. It's a really good card, and I have a hunch maybe better than that at the more competitive tip of the spectrum.


Whispering Wizard

It's not a coincidence that Whispering Wizard shares an alliterative similarity to Murmuring Mystic in terms of name; both are very similar. The Wizard is capped at 1 trigger a turn, but also triggers off enchantments, artifacts, and planeswalkers. I'm not sure one is better than the other, but if you are running the Mystic you probably want the Wizard. I know the deck I have that runs Mystic wants to add Wizard. We're currently seeing Murmuring Mystic appearing in over 12,000 decks on EDHREC, and Whispering Wizard could reach those numbers.


Blue is the Warmest Color


That's gonna wrap up coverage of the new to EDH blues from Crimson Vow. Hopefully at least a few of these make the cut in your lists. If you'd like to share your thoughts on any of these newest additions to our EDH card pool, sound off in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

Dana is one of the hosts of the EDHRECast and the CMDR Central podcasts. He lives in Eau Claire, WI with his wife and son where he has been playing Magic so long he once traded away an Underground Sea for a Nightmare, and was so pleased with the deal he declined a trade-back the following week. He also smells like cotton candy and sunsets.