– Core Set 2020
October 4, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.63
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
So, let me get this straight. You get a reimagining of one of Magic’s most iconic creature types, you get basically endless removal and endless card-drawing (the latter of which obviously helps you fuel both), you get an always-relevant use for those late-game lands that everyone hates drawing, and all you have to do is have lots of Swamps? I guess the downside is that a 3/3 for four mana is not usually very efficient. He won’t be dominating combat in constructed formats, but he might well end up being a relevant mid- to late-game play against all sorts of opponents. Small creature decks have to stop him before you get a chance to play many lands, and control decks have to stop him before you draw too many cards. And I hear today was the release date for a set that visits a realm that likes mono-colored decks . . .
Black does like playing with itself, and Dread Presence promotes it really playing itself. Or, at least, playing more Swamps. Dread Presence gives a flexible choice effects whenever you play a Swamp: Phyrexian Arena or a bit of bleed/removal. Of course, Dread Presence really made its presence (heh) known pre-rotation, thanks to its role in a Standard Scapeshift deck. Since it just cares about Swamps hitting play and not how they hit play, you could pop Scapeshift to get heaps mad damage out with one spell. Or a lot of cards, but if they’re dead, who cares?
Dread Presence is a card that is good either built around or passively, though being a four-mana 3/3 with no defensive ability is something that can be exploited. Still, it presents a nice reward for being black…and a flexible mana cost, coupled with merely caring about the land being a Swamp (and not, say, a basic Swamp), means pretty good things about decks wanting to take advantage of a whole lot of darkness.
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