Edgar Charmed Groom – Crimson Vow
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Edgar has so many things going on that it’s difficult to keep track (albeit in a different sort of way from Strixhaven‘s modal double-faced legends). The basic traditional boost to power and toughness is definitely welcome, and vampires might even be approaching a critical mass of them at this point. The switch to the card’s coffin face is a hilarious response to Wrath of God effects, and it plays really well for when he does come back (in addition to reminding me of how many different Belmonts had to kill Dracula in the Castlevania series). And although it doesn’t work as well flavor-wise, you can find some way to remove bloodline counters from the coffin and keep the stream of tokens going – fiddly, but potentially useful.
Straight into Crimson Vow, the Vampire set, we get the return of Edgar Markov in a card that plays homage to the original Dracula. Four mana gets you a 4/4 that buffs all your other Vampires, which is quite a nice tribal lord effect, and one that resists removal rather nicely. His death causes him to retreat into his coffin for three turns, making warm(?) bodies that interact well once he does flip. As a literary reference, this one is top-notch, and as a card, he’s not half bad.
Four mana is a bit for a lord, but a lord that can raise an army and resists most removal is a nice place to be. Edgar, Charmed Groom isn’t invincible, but killing him for good takes a fair bit of effort (like destroying him while he’s in his coffin). I think he’ll occupy an interesting place in Standard as a good midrange Vampire weapon, though he’ll come up short if the format speeds up. And while his being only two colors may make him a harder sell as a Vampire commander, that needn’t stop you if you just want Orzhov vampires or having him in the 99 of a Commander deck.
Limited: 4.75 (hard to kill for good and good to draft around)
Edgar, Charmed Groom
Not the powerhouse of the original Edgar Markov, Edgar, Charmed Groom is very interesting and under the right circumstances could constantly give you a 4/4 creature with a lord ability. For a total mana value of four you’re getting a 4/4 creature that gives other vampires +1/+1 (just yours and not your opponents). Right off the bat it’s a great card, my only issue is the colors. Vampires primarily focus on black and red with white being tertiary, black/white vampires are not as strong of a deck in most formats that black/red or even mono black vampires are good in. Time will tell if Mardu vampires is the color pairing for vampires as a whole but with three colors in a sixty card deck you may opt to skip this card for just better alternatives in eternal formats. Standard Mardu vampires is where I see this card being used as a two of in a deck but being legendary you don’t want too many more. The flip effect is fun, you get 1/1 vampires for nothing on each of your turns (you’ll be getting at least three of them) and then on the third turn you get Edgar back and he pumps up your 1/1’s into 2/2’s. It’s a bit slow but in a control strategy it could work and win you the game. It’ll be interesting to see if there are cards from Kaldheim, Strixhaven, Kamigawa, or the Brother’s War that’ll give this an instant boost. I recommend buying one or two at the price it’s at now (~$2 at the time of this writing).
If you’re drafting, draft this card. For sure you can build around it with the amount of commons and uncommons in this set and you’ll have little issue using it to its full potential given your card pool. At the absolute worst case scenario it is a 4/4 for four lord creature. Commander on the other hand, not a fan as a commander but it is a very good inclusion in the 99 in the Edgar Markov builds. If you’re playing Edgar Markov you are 99.9% playing a vampire deck, why not throw in a vampire lord that’ll make more vampires when it dies and then it’ll come back to life? Instant value in my opinion. As a commander, hard pass solely for regular Edgar Markov reasons, it just provides more value.
Constructed: 2.5/5 (I don’t like to do halves but I really struggled at my keyboard thinking about this for 15 minutes and could not give this a solid 3)
Commander: 4/5 (in the 99) 1/5 (as a commander)
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