May 23, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Belzenlok’s comes-into-play trigger is a reference to Demonic Consultation from Ice Age, which was a powerful enabler for combo and suicidal aggro decks in its day. Belzenlok’s mana cost makes sure that he won’t be playing the same sort of role now, but at the very least he gives you an extra spell, and in a black deck designed to destroy things and attack people’s hands, that might give you an edge. He is arguably more interesting in Commander, where decks tend to have a higher average and median converted mana cost and you’re more likely to get multiple cards. Be careful – just like Consultation, you don’t get back any cards that don’t fit the stated criteria. Don’t run out of lands!
Considering that Belzenlok’s villainous activities involve revisionist history and trying to insert himself into important events, it would have been fitting if he had some ability to replace certain other names with his own. Unfortunately, there’s only so much room on a Magic card!
All hail the great and terrible Belzenlok, progenitor of Yargle and general nuisance to the people of Dominaria. The fourth and final of Liliana’s demonic creditors, Belzenlok is the only one to be typed as “Elder Demon”. And his effect is…pretty worthy of the title of “Elder Demon”.
The worst-case scenario for Belzenlok is that he draws you the top non-land card of your library, pings you for one, and is a 6/6 with flying and trample. Not bad for six mana. If your deck decides to give you more…well, that’s where things get interesting. As long as you hit a card with converted mana cost 4 or greater, Belzenlok keeps going. Demonic pacts rarely go well for all parties, and you can wind up with a clutch full of gas and no life to spend for the gas. It’s a powerful, though risky, effect, one that seems fitting for Liliana’s demonic creditor.
And, lest we forget, it’s still a 6/6 with flying and trample, two things well-suited to closing out games. It’s no Griselbrand, but Belzenlok still has plenty to offer.
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