Hopeful Initiate – Crimson Vow
Date Reviewed: January 28, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 2.07
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I’ve already seen people making word plays about how the training keyword mirrors the mentor keyword, and that might turn out to be a fun combination in casual decks. More specifically to this guy, it’s worth noting that his having 1 power should make it easy to get at least one counter on him, and further that his ability can use counters from any creature you control. This means you can do things like time his ability for when something of yours is about to die anyway, or get extra uses for counters you put on them for some other reason. That kind of thing is perhaps more cute than anything else, and takes a lot of setup in casual play; yet he also has the potential to get quite out of hand if the rest of your curve is constructed right.
Commander [EDH]: 2/5
Repeatable enchantment/artifact removal is certainly a promising skillset out of the gate, and Hopeful Initiate offers a fairly affordable way to do it. He can even supply the needed counters on his own, thanks to just needing a pair of +1/+1 counters between all of your creatures and him having training to get bigger. He’s not flashy, but there’s always room for spells like this, toolboxes with useful abilities and a nifty creature type; Human decks are often rather potent in the right set-up, and a couple of Modern appearances for Hopeful Initiate can attest to that.
Constructed: 3.25 (not a star, but he does the job in a pinch)
Commander [EDH]: 3.25 (easy to play around his counter proclivity, and plays well in a broad swath of strategies)
I don’t know why but this card feels like it should be paired with an Odric card to fully utilize the training ability. It’s a cheap creature that can get permanently bigger (up to a point) with the added bonus of being able to destroy artifacts and enchantments and then get bigger again. I can’t really see this meshing well in the current white color based aggro decks. Unfortunately I think this card is just a bad rare that needed to be printed for balancing purposes. Too slow, too weak, and too expensive for removal.
Commander [EDH]: 1/5
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