Defiler of Vigor– Dominaria United
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
A new cost-related mechanic that mimics Phyrexian mana is, on the face of things, an ominous sign, though the Defilers are obviously more limited than the original cards since you can “turn off” the craziness by removing them. In the case of Defiler of Vigor, it also comes online later in the game than might be optimal in terms of turning your side of the table into a landslide of +1/+1 counters. While that also gives you some time to amass a lot of targets, once an opponent figures out what you’re doing, they’re going to do everything they can to stop you doing it again. Having said that, getting the bonus every time you cast a spell (not have something come into play) is a big plus, and this guy plays very well with effects like Elvish Archdruid that give you a ridiculous amount of mana either over time or in bursts. And like the other Defilers, his stats are strong enough to attack and win on his own.
Commander [EDH]: 4
Good thing Defiler of Vigor isn’t an Elf, else we might have a massive problem on our hands. Even now, it’s still a rather scary card.
Part of the Defiler cycle of the set, the Wurm of exceptional, Phyrexianized length is probably the scariest member of said cycle on its own, thanks to a solid body that threatens to get bigger. And that “growing threat” side is what really puts the screws in on opponents: a +1/+1 counter to each of your creatures adds up quickly, especially if your deck is low and close to the ground, and this enables you to cast a lot more of those things. It has the confluence of being a good creature and playing well with the gameplan of a solid deck already, and that’s definitely worth looking out for.
While five mana is a bit of a stumbling stone, how the Defiler of Vigor can really springboard you ahead in the following turns makes it a worthwhile investment, and it even turns later cheap creatures into threats in and of themselves. It may lack protection, but when it’s a threat on its own and a massive enable for the rest of your threats, who really cares?
Constructed: 4.75 (this may pop up in deeper formats from time to time, I suspect)
Commander [EDH]: 4.75
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