– Masters 25
March 26, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.17
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
In a sense, it surprises me a little that it took us all the way until Shards of Alara to see a sorcery with Blightning’s text. Since damage is probably the first thing we associate with red, and discard the first thing we associate with black, putting them together under a black and red mana cost should be obvious. It’s possible that designers were a little afraid of the power level: either a card that takes out a sixth of your opponent’s life total and a card that reliably takes two cards out of your opponent’s hand would be well worth a space in an aggressive and/or disruptive deck, and one that does both is a major danger to basically any opponent. Indeed, Blightning is a strong argument that black/red is the best color combination to go to for discard strategies (not to mention it has access to a cool card like Lavaborn Muse!).
“Without warning, lightning strikes you in the dark.”
You know what’s better than Mind Rot? A Mind Rot with an extra spicy kick. It’s hard to talk about Blightning’s legacy without its partner in crime, Bloodbraid Elf. These two were the corner stone of the brutal Jund deck during Alara Standard. The only thing scarier than a 3/2 with haste is a 3/2 with haste that also discards two cards and deals 3 damage. By itself Blightning is a solid card. You get two decent abilities for a fair price. Just about any Rakdos deck can fit in a couple of this card, making its reprint a much welcome one.
Ah, Blightning. Also known as the card you wanted to hit off of Bloodbraid Elf back in Alara-era Standard. It’s effectively Lava Spike stapled to a Mind Rot, which turns out to have a bit of a discount attached to it for that reason. While it’s poor as part of a removal suite, and three mana is maybe a bit too pricey to use in the deck (since hand disruption works best in the opening turns), the raw power of Blightning is still remarkable even now, and it’d definitely be a force in Standard. Whether or not it has a home in Modern is more dubious: Liliana of the Veil and Liliana, the Last Hope are usually the three-drops of choice in Jund for their flexibility, and burn might prefer other options in that slot. It’s still a nice toy to frazzle your opponents with; it’s efficient, if nothing else, and it’s still a power pick in Limited.
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