Ghalta, Primal Hunger – Rivals of Ixalan
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.0
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Ghalta is notable for being the largest and most expensive creature in her block, and not by a small margin. She is also notable for being a card that’s cast for less mana surprisingly frequently. If you already have enough power on the table to get her mana cost down to two green, you probably don’t strictly need a 12/12; if you’re cheating her into play, there are cards in bigger formats that have more non-combat effects. But there are times in the middle, when you have enough creatures to get her mana cost down to five or six, and those are probably the times when it’s most pressing – and sometimes hardest – to deal with a 12/12. In other words, she’s not going to change the face of reanimator decks, but as a top-end in dinosaur stompy strategies and kitchen table metagame monsters, she’s very cool. It might also be worth noting that her cost-reduction ability does work on commander tax, so keep churning out those tokens!
Commander [EDH]: 4
c o n s u m e
Ghalta, Primal Hunger is not subtle, but it is certainly effective in the right situation. Two mana for a 12/12 with trample is an excellent deal, even with the “dies to Doom Blade” argument there. It needs to be answered or it’ll stomp through a board in short order, and it’s a surprisingly small investment in spite of tis formidable mana cost.
That mana cost certainly is daunting, though: 12 mana at base is not insignificant, and it means Ghalta’s going to have trouble making its way out in an empty board. That said, since its cost reduction counts all creatures’ combined power for the discount, getting this down to something more reasonable is pretty doable on turn 5 or so. The main knock, I’d say, is that Ghalta is very much a “win more” card: it’ll put you into an unassailable position, but you likely weren’t too far off from that before Ghalta came out to play.
Constructed: 3 (I think it’s a bit too fiddly to work in deeper formats)
Commander [EDH]: 4
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