– Eldritch Moon
February 12, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Fun fact: I couldn’t remember what this card did offhand, so when I saw it on the list of cards we were reviewing, the “Reveler” component of the name made me wonder if he was a satyr from Theros – that particular culture is big on its drunken revels, after all. I should have realized that the “Bedlam” component, implying asylums, sanitoriums, and the general breakdown of ordered minds, is about as Innistrad as you can get.
This guy doesn’t necessarily read so well at first glance. 3/4 is a decent set of combat statistics for the early to middle game, but green decks often start throwing down spiders and beasts that are bigger than that surprisingly early. Prowess is also not always the most reliable mechanic to save you in combat, either, as any deck can run out of cards sooner or later. I think his cost reduction is very tempting, but not quite as much as that mini-Wheel of Fortune effect. The first Reveler you cast in a game will require some setup to get a maximum discount – though cards like Tormenting Voice help a lot more than you might first guess – but his effect can fuel a second Reveler, and sometimes in the same turn. That’s before you even get to the insane synergy with cards like Enigma Drake, or reanimation spells.
Now here’s a card I completely forgot about. This guy has a lot going on so lets break it down and see if Bedlam ravager is greater than the sum of its parts.
A 3/4 with prowess for eight mana is pretty horrible, but even in Red – Green you’ll rarely cast it for that much. The dream is to cast this monster for a mere two mana, what a deal! Both the top and bottom abilities synergize with Madness giving this guy a niche home. Prowess usually works best in Izzet but Rakdos and Grixis decks are still able to take advantage of the ability. Red aggro decks usually run out of cards by turn 4 or 5, meaning that the last ability has almost no downside. In fact, its arguably the best part of the card. Those extra 3 cards might be just what you need to deal the lethal blow, or you could activate a sneaky Madness trigger.
Bedlam Ravager definitely isn’t for every deck. It takes a lot of work to get going but if you like slinging spells then consider giving this guy a shot.
Good thing you don’t need to cast Bedlam Reveler for its mana cost, because it would…not be a good deal otherwise, even with the bottom part of its text box. Eight mana for a 3/4 with prowess feels quite bad.
Of course, as part of the Shadows over Innistrad block, it plays well with graveyard synergies and effects. And this one offers a discount for each instant and sorcery in your graveyard, making this as good as a two mana 3/4. With prowess. This looks a lot better, to say the least. And the cost is still pretty payable and acceptable all the way up to five mana. While it would take a herculean feat to get Bedlam Reveler out on turn 2, turn 3 is actually doable (even in the Standard it was part of).
And that’s not mentioning its last effect: discard your hand and draw three cards. Red does not get to do this a whole lot, that sort of potentially unalloyed card advantage. Your hand is likely pretty whittled down by the time this comes out to play, allowing you to rid yourself of chaff in your hand and replace it with something potentially usable.
Bedlam Reveler is a bit clunky overall, thanks to its high mana cost and graveyard reliance, but it’s powerful all the same. While its light shone brightest in Standard, I believe it has seen some fringe play in more inclusive formats for being a big body and potential shot of card advantage all in one.
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