– Oath of the Gatewatch
April 8, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Serendipity and convergence are curious things. In particular, I’m struck by the similarity between “Swiss Army knife” effects on such disparate cards as Endbringer, Throne of Eldraine‘s King Kenrith, and Staff of Domination from both pre-Phyrexia Mirrodin and Kaladesh. While Endbringer has a shorter list of abilities than the others in terms of lines of text, it is still brutally effective. Every format has small creatures that need to be cleared for various reasons, and an on-tribe way for Eldrazi to draw cards turn after turn after turn is strong. And on top of all that, the Endbringer’s potency multiplies in settings with more than one opponent. The primary risk in multiplayer games is always falling behind on resources, and this card helps an awful lot with that. Just be careful with those activation costs: they mean you need to prioritize a different set of lands and mana artifacts than we’re sometimes used to (Karplusan Forest rather than just Stomping Ground, Mind Stone instead of or alongside Chromatic Lantern, etc).
Part of the re-tentacling wrought by Oath of the Gatewatch, Endbringer is a nifty set of abilities for colorless-heavy decks. Repeated pinging, tying up a potential attacker or blocker, and card draw are all legit things to do, and Endbringer even is kind enough to untap each turn to do it again. The only real downside is that Endbringer demands colorless mana to both cast and activate its abilities, which makes it 62% less splashable than most colorless creatures would be. Still, it has a healthy amount to offer if you can support it, and it’s a powerful card advantage engine once it gets rolling. (The 5/5 body is less relevant than other parts of the card, but it can get the job done.)
Constructed: 2.25 (too slow for Constructed of all kinds, since it lacks haste; if you’re going to cheat in a 6-mana colorless Thing, Wurmcoil Engine is usually preferable)
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉