More Crimson Vow Commander Reviews
Innistrad Crimson Vow EDH Set Review: White
My name's Michael Celani, and I cannot stop reviewing the white cards in each set. It's not that I'm addicted; I can quit whenever I want to. It's just that I don't want to, because if I go a few sets without it I start getting shaky and having seizures. My dealer says that's normal, though, so let's get going!
People have been calling the Cemetery Protector cycle a graveyard-hate cycle, but it's actually a bad-Imprint cycle, in that the only way to guarantee you exile what you want is to throw it out yourself.
If you've fetched out your Plains with a Terramorphic Expanse, cast this to build your very own Retreat to Emeria. Exile a creature from an enemy's graveyard? Well, you've got a costlier Oketra's Monument. This card's notable as one of the few ways to set up a Young Pyromancer effect in white, albeit only for instants or sorceries. My dream would be to play this into a Panharmonicon and exile an artifact land and enchantment creature to get the widest possible range of effects. The flexibility is nice, but in a more focused deck, you're better off just playing statically-typed cards.
Faithbound Judge is a behemoth of a blocker for three mana, but what deck is this guy for? On the spirit side, Arcades, the Strategist has much better options at three mana, and on the enchantment side, very few decks are going to feel comfortable waiting three additional turns to kill only one player. Make no mistake, Sinner's Judgment is worse than Approach of the Second Sun if you're just looking to end the game. You might be able to proliferate the counters in something like Atraxa, Praetors' Voice, but is that how you want to spend your time?
This is another effect for enchantress decks analogous to Archon of Sun's Grace or Sigil of the Empty Throne. I like this a little bit less in general decks because outside of the Pack Rats-style characteristic-determining ability the spirits themselves have no useful traits like flying or lifelink. This is definitely for the go-wide enchantress decks running tons of anthems as opposed to the heavily Aura-focused like Uril, the Miststalker or Gabriel Angelfire, and Daxos the Returned is salivating for this bad boy in particular; just make sure you don't mix up which spirits have which powers.
Savior of Ollenbock
Savior of Ollenbock is cheap, extremely versatile and maybe even better as a slayer instead of a savior. Attack into a willing enemy and you can exile any creature on the board without fear of retaliation, making him a very political Fiend Hunter. Double that up by leaving a powerful threat of your own waiting in the wings, and your opponents will be wary to remove him. It's not even a death trigger; being exiled or bounced does the trick too, and I'm sure there's some busted loop involving a Flickerwisp that even makes him useful for blink strategies.
By Invitation Only
This is one inviting board wipe that token decks will reach for when Hour of Reckoning would destroy too many engines for comfort. It works better when you're ahead, and it'll always feel good to throw away cheap dorks while your opponents struggle to choose between their favorite children. I really would like to see this in a deck that consistently animates all of their lands as a way to break parity, but maybe I'm shooting too high for that.
This is great in those decks that rack up the counters on creatures, but inevitably plateau once that number climbs too high. Decks focused on mentor, evolve, or even adapt are perfect homes for Hopeful Initiate, and with three opponents, there's always something to target. You already know if your deck wants this, and I'm terrified about how synergistic these +1/+1 counter decks are becoming.
Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr
There's no way Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr is a worthy commander when Daxos the Returned will do pretty much everything she wants to but better. She'd make a competent creature in the ninety-nine there and a competent aura in Voltron-style decks everywhere else, though. No joke: flying and lifelink are top-tier keywords, and the power and toughness boost are just gravy.
This is one of the few cleave cards that's almost certainly better uncleft, because there's no world in which you want to spend five mana for Lightning Helix. With the Helix in mind, you're going to want to run this only in Boros decks that can consistently field three or more creatures, and even then it's limited by its inability to hit an enemy directly. This is the type of removal that's going to get cut unless you're specifically building around this sort of effect.
Sigarda's Summons is mirror-universe Divine Visitation and I'm not sure how to feel about it. It's obviously great if your plan is to buff up a bunch of small creatures, but it's also anti-synergistic with the evolve-like strategies that care about power and toughness to add more counters and trigger abilities. The actual crack this puts your creatures on might make up for it, but make sure this is what you want in your deck before throwing it in.
Voice of the Blessed
Like Ajani's Pridemate? Well, here's a better one.
Can we take a second to talk about the art, here? That lady is cradling the invitation like it's her newborn baby, and my cousin-in-a-bad-Halloween-costume is acting the same. It's just an invitation, you certainly knew about this beforehand.
Just like real life, I like the announcement more than the festivities (unless there's an open bar). It makes you creatures if you need them and draws you cards if you don't, and that's easily worth three mana. Unfortunately, this flips into an incredibly boring anthem and there's nothing you can do to stop it, which is a bit of a bummer. Slot this in if you'd want to run Glorious Anthem, but also need early game card draw.
My god, it's a Mentor of the Meek that you don't have to pay for! It's a bit muted by the fact that it only triggers once per turn, but who cares. Phyrexian Arena only triggers once per turn, and everyone trips over themselves to run that.
It's telling that I got to the F's in the uncommons before I found anything remotely interesting, and Fleeting Spirit only makes the cut because it's a creature that can flicker itself for the low cost of discarding a card. You know the Selesnya players are going to combo this up with Guardian Project, Cathar's Crusade and Aura Shards to ruin everyone's day, and you can't even respond to it because they'll just discard another card in response.
If you want the backside of this effect, you're probably better off just playing Authority of the Consuls unless you happen to be in an Aura-focused enchantress deck. In that case, go wild with this and be sure to enchant the red player so they can't kill you with a wild haste turn.
This is the sort of spell where you'll use one mode when you think it's appropriate, and then immediately wish you'd saved it to use the other mode in about a turn. This is a good trait to have in a modal spell, and I think it's better to run this over something like Adamant Will.
It's so close, but that cleave cost is too high for this to run. Might I recommend Fateful Absence from Midnight Hunt instead?
Note that this just says "counters", not "+1/+1 counters," so if you're one of the 1,600 Kathril, Aspect Warper decks, this guy's the perfect target.
This is a strict upgrade to Soulmender, so make sure to buy packs of Crimson Vow at your nearest local game store so you can be on the cutting edge of Commander.
That's all for my white cards review of Crimson Vow. I'm starting to feel like reviewing this is losing its luster. It doesn't provide the same kick it used to when I started. Maybe next time I'll go for some stronger stuff, like blue...?