Ghastlord of Fugue
Ghastlord of Fugue

Ghastlord of Fugue – Shadowmoor

Date Reviewed:  June 15, 2023

Constructed: 2.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 3.25
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


Ghastlord of Fugue is actually on The List of bonus cards you might get in Tales of Middle-earth Set Boosters, which is probably because they think it evokes one or more concepts relevant to Lord of the Rings. I certainly remember thinking many years ago that the “Seer’s Parables” quoted in its flavor text (and that of the other Spirit Avatars from the Shadowmoor block) may have been intended as an echo of the Poetic Edda. The most famous work from that collection is Völuspá, the Seeress’ Prophecy – our main source for the Ragnarok myth, and one of Tolkien’s inspirations for the Middle-earth legendarium.

The Ghastlord promises a devastating effect once he gets going – an enhanced version of Duress on a creature that can’t be blocked certainly feels like a legendary analogue of Hypnotic Specter. That never quite panned out in Standard – in early 2008, Faeries and Reveillark were the format’s dominant forces, and neither of them wanted to play it and both of them turned out to be less threatened by it than the way things initially looked. He’s somewhat overlooked in casual play, which I think is mostly because of his “restrictive” mana cost, and this is doubly unfortunate. The three-plus-color greed pile isn’t good for people’s mental health; and not every deck is as oppressive as Faeries or Reveillark and some will actively fold to him – and a blue or black deck can protect him. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody out there Rule Zeroed him to be an eligible Commander for Specter tribal, either!

Constructed: 2
Casual: 4
Limited: 4 (Shadowmoor was all about playing two- or one-color decks)
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

 James H. 


An unblockable creature that tears an opponent’s hand apart is definitely an interesting approach, and Ghastlord of Fugue can be hard to stop once it gets going. Getting it going is part of the issue, though; Ghastlord of Fugue is a five-mana 4/4 with no protective abilities, and while it’s dangerous once it gets swinging, the vast majority of kill spells will take this out long before it gets around to swinging. That said, this can be nasty if an opponent gives it space to start doing its thing, and it can definitely pt a strong board state beyond reach for an opponent.

Constructed: 2 (too costly to bank on getting going)
Casual: 4
Limited: 4 (solid enough in Limited, since this will end the game quickly and it emands a kill spell)
Multiplayer: 3
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

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