Malevolent Hermit / Benevolent Geist – Midnight Hunt
Date Reviewed: September 14, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I find the disturb keyword quite interesting. It feels like a twist on the Amonkhet block’s embalm and eternalize mechanics, but without some of the memory issues since the alternate version is printed on the other side of the same card. There are a couple of different ways to build around it, but it seems like many decks will hope they can take advantage of both sides, since putting a card with disturb directly into your graveyard means you’ll need a separate way to reanimate it if you want its “front” side, which you might not always have at hand.
Fortunately for Malevolent Hermit, both sides are generally strong in themselves. It’s a good kind of threat to deploy against a spell-based control or combo deck, particularly in older formats where such spells are very powerful and mana is tight. If you can get to its other side, it’s a relatively minor upgrade in stats (though flying is always nice) plus the ability to win any counterspell war you want. Since the Hermit isn’t great against every potential opponent, it may not always be the first card you reach for, but even if it’s more of a sideboard card than an archetype-defining staple, that can be a good place to be.
Malevolent Hermit is a sort of “worse” Cursecatcher at first; while the effect is more powerful, it’s also two mana and needs one mana to trigger the effect. All the same, it is a nice Mana Leak for noncreature spells…and serves to get him in the graveyard, where he can be roused into a 2/2 with flying that protects all of your noncreature spells. The body is acceptable, but the passive spell protection is quite nice, and it’s a good way to bypass other blue decks. I’m leery about him being an all-star, but there’s room for him to work with his good creature types and the ability to get two creatures out of one card, and I feel like disturb is going to play quite well if you can set it up.
Limited: 4 (the disturbed version is a decent finisher)
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