Extus, Oriq Overlord – Strixhaven
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
There is a lot of text between this card’s two faces – you’re literally getting two complete, somewhat complex cards in this case. Extus is potentially dominating in combat even without his magecraft ability, and if you can start making spells that buff him double as Raise Dead, your opponent won’t know what to deal with first. And Awaken the Blood Avatar is a powerful spell that scales well to multiplayer and works shockingly well with the Aristocrats archetype popularized by Guilds of Ravnica. (Plus, it might be the only allied-color gold card in Strixhaven, which is going to be tripping people up at Magic trivia night for years to come.) Any deck that can use either side will do well with them, and if you can somehow get both online at the one time, so much the better.
Extus seems to be intended as the analog to Voldemort for Strixhaven, that sort of Evil who aims to overthrow the extant order. He brings back followers on his front face, attached to a fairly decent body able to receive massive buffs, and his back half lets you turn sacrifices into a fast-moving timer that thins out the opponents’ boards. Both Awaken the Blood Avatar and Extus, Oriq Overlord can speed up a game quickly, though the former is more geared towards immediacy, and it can come down around turn 4 (or 3, I suppose) if you have enough tributes to sacrifice. It strikes me as sort of more “cute” than lethal, but Extus and his summoned pet can both win the game out of nowhere, and recurring creatures for free with Extus can help you grind out a game (or fish back MDFCs you’ve previously cast).
Constructed: 3.25 (not sold yet, but it has potential)
Limited: 5 (if they don’t answer this, they will die quickly)
Multiplayer: 4 (the back half scales well enough that way)
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