– Planechase / Double Masters
August 13, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Australian Highlander has an entire archetype that’s referred to as “Value Midrange” by the format’s caretakers. Baleful Strix is a great example of what to look for when you’re making that kind of deck (and not just in Highlander): digging one card deeper into your deck is relevant at almost any stage in the game, as is trading with much bigger things via deathtouch. In the right deck, it can even win you the game whether it’s played early or late, by starting a flow of useful cards and attacking unchecked for surprisingly long (nobody wants to block a 1/1 flying creature with deathtouch with anything more than a 1/1, if they can help it!).
Creature cantrips are nice, especially when the body is solid to boot, and Baleful Strix offers a nice body on top of the replacement card. A 1/1 with flying and deathtouch is lovely value both early and late, and any black/blue deck wouldn’t mind having one with which to conduct swooping shenanigans; in fact, it sees a lot of play in Legacy shells that can support it because of its value (and its synergy with comes-into-play support, like ninjas). It’s not flashy, but it’s strong and gets the job done.
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