Aclazotz, Deepest Betrayal – The Lost Caverns of Ixalan
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Since Aclazotz was such an ominous implied presence in the first Ixalan block, there was undoubtedly a lot of pressure to do something spectacular on his debut. And I think spectacular is probably apt here. He’s a rare Hypnotic Specter variant that works in multiplayer, and he offers two different possible bonuses for when opponents are affected by his trigger. The only downside to that is that you won’t always have complete control over which one you get at which time, but if you’ve been reading my reviews, you’ll know that I don’t consider that much of a downside at all. You’re still getting a bonus, after all!
They are probably now running out of ways to make double-faced cards change sides, though in this case, it helps enhance the ominous threat that is Aclazotz – and helps his case in various deck applications, too. It means that a lot of popular answers just don’t work on him, and on top of that, the condition for getting the front face back is easy to meet through Aclazotz’s main abilities, and sometimes just from the opponent playing the game. I think he has potential for the right constructed deck, even in a context with “those other” transforming creatures, the text-heavy Praetors from March of the Machine.
Commander [EDH]: 4
woop woop woop woop woop
The Bat God of Ixalan makes its proper debut here, and Aclazotz, Deepest Betrayal does some interesting things. It feeds into black liking to force discards, and it also incidentally rewards you if opponents discard land cards. That’s on top of it being a 4/4 with lifelink and evasion, as well as it returning on death in the form of Temple of the Dead. You have a fairly vicious swooping threat who can end games effectively, both by pulling answers out of your opponents’ hands and by rewarding you if they try to keep those answers.
Aclazotz isn’t going to be an all-star, but I do think it’s quite good. It’s a persistent threat that keeps coming back even if answered, and it plays well with what black does. While the revival trigger of Temple of the Dead looks bothersome at first, remember that it says “player” and not “opponent”, and you can try to make that spell bat news for your opponent in short order. I think it’ll do a decent job in Standard, even if it’s not a star.
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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