Anzrag, The Quake-Mole
– Murders at Karlov Manor
Date Reviewed: February 5, 2024
Commander [EDH]: 4.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Bloomburrow comes out later this year, and when I do the gameplay-free review, we’re going to have to have a conversation about Brian Jacques’ worldbuilding. Because there are some, shall we say, interesting choices he made for Redwall which have colored animal fantasy ever since, perhaps partly because the subgenre is quite small. Anzrag plays against one of those Redwall tropes – you might describe him as rustic in some sense of the word, but he is also an ineffable, menacing presence. Any animal can be the basis or embodiment of a god for the simple reason that even the most common animals have abilities that are mysterious to us, but this one’s abilities are pretty straightforward in their uses. That ratio of stats to mana cost is about as Gruul as it’s possible to be, indeed beyond almost anything we’ve seen in their guild; and even before his official release, people have already come up with multiple ways to get infinite combat steps with his activated ability. He also offers a different strategy for the extra-combat-steps deck in Commander – Najeela is the go-to for ones that attack with numerous creatures, and Anzrag might be the go-to for ones that attack with overwhelming stats.
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
Looks like the Gruul have discovered a new, destructive deity to worship. Anzrag, the Quake-Mole is pretty intriguing, thanks to a very intriguing set of destructive talents paired with a very acceptable body.
8 power for 4 mana with no real downside is the starting point, and…it’s certainly a starting point. A very scary one. It even has an upside: if the mole god gets blocked, your entire board gets to attack again. 4 toughness means that it’s not impossible to bring down the death mole, but doing so will grant the rest of an opponent’s board the ability to attack again…and he can force blocking to happen for seven mana. This is a lot of interesting text that makes up for the fact that Anzrag lacks keywords; if you’re threatening 8 damage unblocked and a lot more if blocked, things are going to get weird.
Anzrag feels like a very dangerous card. He’s comically overpowered on the power department, but he wants to draw in blockers for the rest of your board…though green and red are good colors to round out his skillset with trample and Lure-style effects. There is a non-zero chance this winds up being more cute than destructive, but the promise of a lot of combat steps is alluring, as is the ability to pair things to bring about the molepocalypse in short order.
Constructed: 4 (promising, but he needs a bit of support to really shine)
Limited: 4.75 (it has 8 power, and while this set has removal, Anzrag needs to be removed quickly)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
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