Hostile Takeover – Streets of New Capenna
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.83
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
As long as there have been damage-based sweepers, people have been playing a loose archetype that Abe Sargent used to refer to as “sweep and keep”. Basically, you play creatures that you know are going to survive your spells, like using Soltari Priest alongside Firespout. There’s another variant of that, in which you combine the two halves of the equation in one card, with something like Caldera Hellion. But there aren’t a huge number of creatures that can play that role effectively, and the ones that do mostly aren’t much on the table other than big power and toughness. If you want, say, to keep a creature with a useful static or activated ability, Hostile Takeover lets you do that. Conversely, if you’re playing a more control-oriented deck and your opponent powers out something that would survive three damage to everything, well, it won’t any more once you cast this spell. There are more purely efficient sweepers in the larger formats, but there are none that can do exactly what Hostile Takeover can; as such, I think it’s going to get a lot of use in Standard and perhaps in casual decks built to take advantage of its unique elements.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
“Competition is for the weak. I dominate!”
Hostile Takeover is a fairly interesting spin on a damage board wipe. You shrink one creature into killing range, buff another out of range, and do the damage all the same. And if a couple others die on the way to your conquest, who cares? While just killing one creature with this is a bit inefficient, given its limitations, it’s still a way to make math a bit of an interesting prospect on a given turn, especially if you can protect one of your creatures during the takeover bid.
I think this is maybe a bit pricier than I’d like, though it’s an interesting take on a board wipe all the same, where you can all but guarantee something gets whacked. And it’s functional without targets to shrink or buff in a pinch. I think this is an interesting spell that gives non-white decks access to a serviceable sweeper with upside, and it gives you reason to start planning your next corporate conquest.
Limited: 4.25 (a selective board wipe is excellent)
Commander [EDH]: 4
Not sure I understand where this is going flavor wise but I like it. It’s a great way to remove a big creature that’s been driving you nuts all game and then, on top of that, it protects one of your creatures by making them a 4/4 outside of “bolt range”. Then it lightning bolts the board getting rid of the threat creature and it gets rid of any other creature that had a toughness of X/<3 to remove more of your opponent’s creatures. Since this is Grixis colors you can have a lightning bolt on hand to deal 6 total damage to a creature practically wiping away another big threat that your opponent has! There are a lot of possibilities and the mana cost isn’t too bad, it keeps it from being broken!
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
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