Bishop of Rebirth
January 2, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
That converted mana cost and that ability are very famous to players of a certain age – they recall the mighty Reveillark, one of the few cards that consistently stood toe-to-toe with Lorwyn‘s Faeries and Five-Color Control decks at professional level, not to mention a popular and resilient one-card combo in casual and Commander formats. Of course, the Bishop is rather toned-down compared to her famous predecessor. Having to engage in combat is important, as it puts her at risk as well as forcing her to wait a turn to have an impact; caring about converted mana cost seems like an insignificant hurdle compared to power, but you’ll never see an effect like Riftwing Cloudskate or Acidic Slime at a cost of three. I don’t mean to be too negative, though, as that is still fairly open and has the same type of synergy with the same kinds of things. It’s also worth noting that as a vampire, she has a range of powerful and aggressive synergies available that differ from the case of cards like Reveillark.
Black and white play interestingly together. Mechanically there isn’t a whole lot of overlap outside of Lifelink, which is why the Ixalan vampires make a lot of sense. Another overlap that I don’t think is used enough is resurrection. Bishop of Rebirth is a slightly weaker yet cheaper Sun Titan, a card that’s a personal favorite. White excels in weenies and enter the battlefield triggers so there are plenty of options, my favorite of which is Ampryn Tactician. Black has a plethora of creatures that want to die, so bringing them back for a second round is brutal. Having a Gifted Aetherborn refuse to stay dead will slowly break your opponent while gaining you a bunch of life. Its a bit odd reviewing a card during spoiler week as a new card could be revealed tomorrow that transforms my opinion, specifically “Tomb of the Blood rose.”
Back to Ixalan we go, with a mini-Sun Titan to shake things up. It’s certainly nowhere near the power level of that particular giant, but Bishop of Rebirth has a fair bit to offer with its reanimation effect. Particularly with Vampires enabling sacrifice shenanigans at times, being able to fish them back is nice…if not a bit ill-timed, with Shadows over Innistrad having left Standard some time ago and Ixalan alone being insufficient for Vampire tribal.
That said, Bishop of Rebirth can work. It’s a decently durable body with vigilance, and repeated reanimation is always a tantalizing ability. I feel like its prospects ride or die with the Rivals of Ixalan support for Vampires, since it fails to do a lot to support the extant decks, and it needs to contend with the format bogeyman in the Temur Energy deck.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉