– War of the Spark
April 30, 2019
Commander [ED]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card is . . . actually kind of heartbreaking, for anybody who found the amoral but thriving culture of Naktamun interesting. I’m not sure Bontu herself, as the god of ambition, would condone me taking time to say that, as she’d probably be asking that we just think about what we could do with her comes-into-play ability. It’s a fairly common style of ability for black, but we rarely get it in a form that has the potential to go to such a large scale all at once. With the right setup, it rivals the biggest turns played by cards like Necropotence or Griselbrand, and in a form that interacts with cards like Grave Pact. Note that this time, the ability doesn’t specify just creatures – she’s also a combo with Barren Glory and Life from the Loam.
We also rarely get the death-for-cards ability in a form that’s so good at attacking and so hard to kill. This ensures that she’s never a dead card even if you don’t have the right things on the table for a huge turn with her triggered ability. Competitive decks do have a lot of options at this mana cost, but I can see her doing some very scary things in casual and multiplayer settings.
there still is no god
Back in zombie form, four of Amonkhet‘s gods have joined Nicol Bolas’ army of eternals, with Hazoret still doing godly things on their home plane. (There is a fifth god in the cycle with more Ravnican origins.) The four reanimated Eternals (Bontu, Kefnet, Rhonas, and Oketra) have a shiny new type line (Zombie God) and a new god mechanic (shared by the not-Zombie god): if they die or get exiled from play, they return to your library, three cards away.
Already, that gives the gods a lot of endurance and makes them harder to answer for good, and Bontu is a beneficiary of that. A 5/6 with menace is very solid for 5 mana, but she also offers you the ability to bin permanents to draw cards. Sacrificing depleted planeswalkers, creatures, even lands…Bontu can effectively be a “draw 7” spell that also has the benefit of being a 5/6 with menace. All for five mana.
All of the gods are limited bombs, though their constructed prospects are hazy. I feel like Bontu isn’t going to be one of the foremost gods (5 mana is a fair bit, and the ability does ask for some set-up), but she makes for a formidable curve topper in black and show stopper in general.
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. 😉
Visit the Magic Card of the Day Archive! Click here to read over 4,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! Daily Since 2001.