Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage
– War of the Spark
May 22, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 2.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I keep having to remind myself that technically we’re not in an Elder Scrolls game, and the suffix -el on the end of a word or name doesn’t automatically mean that it’s from Elvish. That mask of his is rather reminiscent of some of the armor in Skyrim, though!
We’ve had plenty of Rack variants over the years, and we’ve had plenty of repeatable discard effects over the years – but I don’t think we’ve ever really gotten both in one. Come to think of it, that actually sounds kind of dangerous, and I suspect we wouldn’t even have gotten it here if Davriel weren’t a War of the Spark uncommon planeswalker with no loyalty-increasing abilities. Even with that, he’s a very exciting card for the Rack archetype. You can use proliferate cards on him if you really need to, and he adds another target that will chip away at the opponent’s life total and needs to be dealt with (with a different class of card from The Rack and Shrieking Affliction). And he takes me one step closer to being able to legitimately use the name “8 Rack” for the singleton/Filth Casserole variants of the deck!
Sort of Shrieking Affliction with a warm body, Davriel’s debut is a pretty simple reward for decks that aim to run opponents’ hands down or punish them for doing such. While he’s prone to being killed thanks to that low starting loyalty and no way to increase it, Davriel can still do a good bit of damage in his time on board. The potential upshot is that he’s three mana for discarding three cards, potentially doing loads of damage on the way…and once Davriel starts doing damage, it’s not too hard to keep the damage coming, presenting a rather rapid clock in the process. He’s not flashy or fancy, but he can do the job nicely, and a flexible mana cost means he’s easy to employ for nefarious schemes.
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