Hellkite Tyrant – Ravnica Remastered
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2024
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I’ve always had the impression that Hellkite Tyrant was rarely on people’s radar when they were talking about cards from the various Ravnica blocks. This is unfair to the card. It has a very particular niche in Commander, where the extensive (over)use of artifact-based mana and utility effects is just begging to be punished. People really don’t do that as much as they should, and so I’m glad we’re reviewing this card and reminding people to do so with big spells as much as possible. Not least big spells that also end the game, because I’m a simple man and one of the first things I see on this card is a 6/5 with flying and trample for six mana. Even a lot of green cards aren’t that efficient!
And of course, I have to mention that it’s also an alternate win card in red – uncommon enough in itself, but when it’s a condition that Commander decks sometimes get close to without even trying, it’s doubly worth attention!
Commander [EDH]: 4
Dragons are known for their fondness towards shiny things, and Hellkite Tyrant is especially fond of them, stapling a win condition to its great, big, long wings. 20 artifacts is a lot…though, in the years after Gatecrash, the proliferation of artifact tokens like Treasure and Clue tokens has offered a way to more reliably get to the magic number.
Prior to this change, the best way to get there was to have Hellkite Tyrant swoop in, stealing all of their baubles on impact. As an evasive flier with trample, it’s not hard to yoink a lot of things, and you keep them after impact. This can be backbreaking against a lot of decks or, in the worst case, a minor inconvenience…though it does cost six mana and may kill them quickly enough through combat, so the artifact things are more of a fun upside.
All things considered, Hellkite Tyrant is an interesting angle of attack that shows how swooping is bad. It’s unlikely to ever make impact in deep formats, as it costs a bit too much without haste to really leave a mark. That said, it can be a very scary winged abomination if you’re not prepared to face one down.
Limited: 4 (run it because it’s a big, tactless dragon)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25 (lots of decks run artifacts)
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