Hullbreaker Horror – Crimson Vow
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.92
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I know I say this fairly regularly, but as much as it’s good that they found a way to make big creatures more viable in constructed, it’s even better that they’ve found ways that don’t involve every single one having a comes-into-play ability. Hullbreaker Horror checks a whole lot of boxes, even by the standards set by those aforementioned pushed creatures. He’s great in control and great against control, and the fact that he’s blue means that you’ll likely have spells to cast after him. And the way he’s worded means that you can either use his ability offensively, to clear a path for your 7/8 creature; or defensively, to prevent your opponent if they’re tempted to remove your 7/8 creature. And funnily enough for a card this expensive, he works well in the larger formats – the cheaper the average cost of spells is, the more times he can trigger in one turn. Oath of Druids, anyone?
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
A seven-mana creature seems like a fairly unlikely source to be a multi-format star, but Hullbreaker Horror has been seeing play in pretty much every format. Stapling Unsubstantiate to a big body is always a pretty reasonably play, especially a body that itself can’t be countered, and sometimes the ability to buy one more turn against a threatening board state is what you need. But it’s also an answer that’s a threat on its own; a 7/8 is already quite hard to put up resistance to, even without combat abilities, and it’s possible that the Horror generates a tempo swing that cracks the game open that turn. Dropping this at the end of a turn, bouncing an opponent’s blocker, and smashing their face in is certainly a way to push a game towards the end faster! It’s definitely a “little” creature that adds up to more than the sum of its parts, and while its campaign of carnage has mostly been in Standard, its confluence of abilities and just being a big, horrifying body is more than enough to earn it a ticket to some play in deeper formats.
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
A big beefy and costly creature that can act as an Unsummon or a sort of Remand in a pinch late game then your opponent has a big creature to deal with that can bounce nonland permanents. Overall the high mana value is not worth it outside of a specifically designed control strategy but then I’d only see this as a side board card just because of the high casting cost. Overall it is too slow but again could come in handy so it’s hard to say. Not being able to be countered is the reason I think it could see play in standard or other formats, otherwise it would be a dollar bin rare. There are some fun things you can do with this in commander however, sea creature tribal or mono blue control commander decks will love this card late game and your opponents will have a tough time dealing with it.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5/5
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