– Secret Lair
December 2, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 2.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with Brikwars, but one of their goals is to be “metal”. I’m not sure how metal you can really get when you’re playing with Lego – after all, the default expression for Lego minifigures and minidolls is a cute smile. It might be a better goal in something like Warhammer, or maybe even Magic, although there hasn’t really been on-theme art . . . until Secret Lair, that is.
Bloodghast is a pretty fitting card for it, too. If you’re an aggressive deck, the thing you hate most is drawing lands late in the game when you need to try and finish the job. It feels a lot better when they also perform another function, and if you were aggressive enough in the early game, one land could get back as many as four Bloodghasts with haste. There are few opponents who can come back from that. While it lacks relevant combat or evasive abilities early in the game, it makes up for it by resisting most normal answer cards and making it much harder for decks to beat its controller by attrition. It even has two relevant tribes on top of that!
Bloodghast has long been a staple of Constructed play, and it’s not hard to see why; simply put, it doesn’t die. Or it doesn’t die for long, at any rate.
While a 2/1 for 2 is not the most exciting rate of return, particularly because it can’t block, the landfall trigger means that it’s damn near impossible to get rid of a Bloodghast for good. This often means that attacking with it presents little ill effect, since you can just get it back next turn! Bloodghast paired especially well with the Zendikar fetch lands on its first appearance, since you can get it back twice in one go if you’re willing to wait. It can even present a threatening finisher if you get an opponent low enough, as it gets haste when an opponent nears death.
Bloodghast is one of the enduring cards of the Zendikar block in Modern and in Legacy, presenting a threatening presence in both the combo-based Dredge shells and just offering decent value in other decks like Jund. It doesn’t matter as much if you’re small when you simply never die for good! It is weak to graveyard hate, but that’s minor.
Hello Everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
We’re looking at one of the Secret Lair Cards today so let’s dig in to Bloodghast and see what’s up.
At first glance Bloodghast is good. It’s clearly meant to be in an aggressive deck, has a recursion clause and potential haste in the mid to late game, but it’s the combination of all these traits that gives it the versatility that has let this card show up in a myriad of decks.
Originally this was one of the all-stars of the Mono Black Vampires deck back in Zendikar that was the go-to aggro build. Fetchlands were in the same set and allowed for him to recur easily and by all means he was definitely what you wanted to see in your opener.
Then people began to realize the graveyard implications that a recurring creature could offer for the simple task of playing your land for turn. Dredge Decks both prior and during the time of Hogaak utilized these cheeky vampires Landfall clause by milling their deck and dropping any land to bring the whole squad back ramped up and ready to convoke a Hogaak.
Even now without Hogaak, Dredge still exists and Bloodghast is a vital component to creating a critical mass of creatures in that deck.
In Commander this creature is great fodder for an Aristocrats style build with his near constant recursion.
In Limited Environments, if you’re fortunate enough to play Zendikar Draft, he’s definitely a high pic and first pickable simply due to his recursion, and Zendikar Limited is an incredibly fast format so that haste clause is going to be up quite often.
Cube is where Bloodghast is also a staple if you’re running Black Aggro in your cube, or Aristocrats. He’s not a high pick in Cube where the power level can simply be off the charts but if you get him fairly late you can take it to start working into the Black Aggro deck.
Constructed: 4/5 – He requires a deck with synergy to work, but stars when he finds his home.
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