Innistrad: Crimson Vow EDH Set Review - Black
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The gravehate mythic cycle is a such a nice surprise from this set. Targeted gravehate is undervalued in our format. I like that this triggers on ETB and dying. Being able to remove counters from ANY target permanent means that As Foretold can get bent! This can snipe a problematic creature and valuable recursion target in one swoop and do it again when it goes out with a bang. I dig it!
Henrika Domnathi // Henrika, Infernal Seer
A legendary Vampire Nighthawk on the backside is pretty cool, especially with that activated ability. I appreciate the keywords mattering rather than tribal types. It's versatile on the front side and forces a bit of a reset because you can only use each ability once before needing to somehow make Henrika "new" to the field again. Blink or reanimation, but frankly, with that backside, I wonder why would you focus on that?
Sorin the Mirthless
Look at how hot Sorin is. Oh, he is fiiiiiine.
Just fine. The card's fine. Aminatou, the Fateshifter might make use of Sorin by unticking and putting a land on top of the library before Sorin upticks to avoid life loss and come out with an extra card. But I mean, it's Bob (Dark Confidant) with token production. Sure, you can drain a target for 13 as an ultimate, but I think that card draw is the real winner. Maybe Thalisse, Reverent Medium could make use of this.
I'm not too high on this. If my permanent is making Blood tokens, I want them for myself. I think they're going to be pretty powerful. If opponents are casting enough stuff to have a bunch of Blood tokens, maybe they will be out of resources to use them enough to stave off the hit from a flying trampler with a buff for each Blood. But if they're playing so many things...maybe they can do something about it. Or maybe they can cycle stuff away using the Blood tokens. Either way, this benefits opponents a bunch for a while before probably getting hit with a Path to Exile. Am I missing something?
Concealing Curtains // Revealing Eye
Hey, a new black one-drop wall! Let's take a look at - AHHHHHHH OH MY GOD SO SCARY! I don't know what to think about its applications in other formats, but for Commander, I think this won't see much play beyond Eye tribal stuff.
Introduced to us as a "riff on Demonic Consultation", this card is another tutor for you Combo Freaks™ out there. At most, you exile 13 cards whereas Consultation sometimes gets rid of half your library. I don't play with tutors, really. It's a high risk tutor with an interesting drawback. Maybe there's an exile matters deck out there or a Hive Mind group hug build somewhere that loves this.
Wow. Set booster exclusive card and it's a BANGER. Soulbond resets whenever the creatures are unpaired. That means if you play this and then Phyrexian Dreadnought without sacking to it's ability, you just draw 12 cards. Then you can play another creature or better yet maybe you Persist that Phyrexian bad boy back out and let it die for another 11 cards when it enters again. If a board wipe hits or the bonded creatures die in combat, you get an extra card out of the deal. Look, I'm impressed with it already and need to see its applications in game. I am excited.
Oh boy, this is an interesting card. I've got Thalisse, Reverent Medium and Araumi of the Dead Tide decks. Get a load of this, Encore Dreadfeast Demon with Araumi of the Dead Tide, end step before sacrificing the demons, sacrifice other creatures you've got lying around, get three token copies of the demon that stick around. Next thing you know, you've got more creatures in your graveyard to fuel Araumi's cost and target. Plus, you get to sacrifice the encored tokens to the three demons and get three more! 6/6 flyers beating face! Thalisse just likes that you can sack a bunch of Spirits and make them 6/6 token machines. Oh, YEAH. I am way higher on this card than I thought I would be.
Dying to Serve
In my Anje Falkenrath discard deck, I have cut Zombie Infestation every time I've considered it. Dying to Serve makes zombie tokens incidentally, which is the exact change I needed. Triggering only once a turns going to maybe play into my sequencing, but I am excited to try this out. Incidental value from Blood tokens, rummaging, looting, madness, cycling, jumpstarting, any activated ability requiring a discard also comes with a useful token. I like this one a lot.
Whenever a new Vampire comes around, Edgar Markov's ears perk up. I think at three mana value, this one might not make competitive lists, but if the Forebear connects twice, you've got a way to bring it back to play. Excellent card where Blood tokens are supported. Anje, Maid of Dishonor and Voldaren Bloodcaster will synergize with this nicely.
A two-mana 3/3 with relevant creature types will find its way into some decks. If your meta is planeswalker heavy, this will find a spot. I feel like this isn't meant for Commander, but hey, cool card!
Well, if it isn't just another staple for Zombie decks. Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver decks didn't have ENOUGH going on?! Solid role-player.
Voldaren Bloodcaster // Bloodbat Summoner
Oh, I wish this didn't friggin flip! A two-mana Vampire that creates a Blood token whenever a vampire you control dies? Sign me up! If you want to keep this Blood token-generating sucker from being flipped, you gotta keep your Blood to less than 5. Do that Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder dance.
Notable Uncommons and Commons
Archghoul of Thraben
This thing doesn't say "nontoken". Isn't that nuts? You got a horde of zombies? Yeah, well, when they die, for each one, you get to either draw a zombie from your library or surveil one.
Catapult Fodder // Catapult Captain
The Catapult Captain side of this card is worth noting because for a long time, black's only Fling has been Rite of Consumption (Essence Harvest doesn't require sacrificing!) and that changes today! The Captain is also repeatable! I like this as something to keep in mind in case it's relevant someday.
Hey, it's black Mulldrifter. This friggin' rules. It's not a direct comparison since blinking Fell Stinger still requires you to sack a creature and you lose some life. It's also another way to live out the Sign in Blood dream of killing somebody with draw two, lose two.
This is my Morbid Opportunist of the set. Get this and Archghoul of Thraben now and thank yourself later because you were a smartiepants.
Innocent Traveler // Malicious Invader
Not particularly interesting for our format, but like...why isn't the front side also a Vampire?
I'm a sucker for these skeletons. Clattering Augur, Reassembling Skeleton, Sanitarium Skeleton, Gutterbones, stuff like that. They each have their applications and I love seeing them when they work. It's always worth a second look.
Another Fleshbag Marauder/Merciless Executioner/Plaguecrafter/Demon's Disciple type of deal. Edicts and Grave Pact style effects for all you Tergrid, God of Fright pilots out there.
Remember Stitcher Supplier? This isn't that powerful, but that card costs 5 bucks in Canada and this one won't likely make it to that. Being able to recur a creature to hand instead of further mill is a nice twist too.
A nice callback to Undying Evil and the Undying mechanic in general. We can take a page out of Modern's playbook and cast this bad boy on a Solitude or something like it to get really splashy for one black mana.
That's enough, Mikey.
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