– Ice Age
July 12, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 4.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I know I’ve said it before, but it really is a little sad that there isn’t much room right now for some of the more offbeat creature types, especially the ones that Magic invented itself. I would think that you would want to set your own brand apart in some way. There weren’t even any lhurgoyfs or atogs in Dominaria, of all places.
Regardless, this guy is the original Lhurgoyf and still one of my favorites. In a matchup between creature-heavy decks, he can easily come in on turn four as a 5/6 or higher, which is plenty for most casual settings (Tarmogoyf really is overkill for most of us), and he gets downright out of control in multiplayer settings or decks that actively try to put things in their graveyard. I like him with Tracker’s Instincts or Forbidden Alchemy, for example. He does notably lack trample or any other kind of ability other than being big, but sometimes that’s all you need.
I shouldn’t review Lhurgoyf without talking about his flavor text. It’s pretty minimal and not very informative other than illustrating how dangerous lhurgoyfs are, because Saffi and Hans apparently didn’t escape . . . and then we found out in Time Spiral that at least one of them did. I guess it goes to show that things don’t have to be over-written to make an impact on readers!
One of the few disappointments of Dominaria for me was the lack of new, or reprinted, lhurgoyfs. The original Lhurgoyf, dating all the way back to Ice Age, is improbably one of the game’s more iconic creatures, inspiring a cycle of lhurgoyfs in Odyssey and lending its typeline to the legendary Tarmogoyf. And, of course, the flavor text, which has never been changed from its original printing.
Banter aside, Lhurgoyf is a unique sort of graveyard-based creature, trying to serve as a late-game powerhouse. Particularly notable is that it cares about the creatures in all graveyards, and it can get fairly massive after things have had enough time to expire. Golgari-based shells like Lhurgoyf for the sheer fact that it’s freaking massive after the self-mill effects kick in (like dredge), and it’s a “fair” payoff creature for such strategies.
And while Lhurgoyf doesn’t like graveyard hate, it lives through it, thanks to the unique quality of its base toughness starting at 1 instead of 0, giving you time to remove the offending source of graveyard loathe. Lhurgoyf’s time in the sun has long-since passed, but the namesake of Magic‘s greatest creature type still can offer something to the enterprising deckbuilder.
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