Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
September 18, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
By himself, Mavren Fein offers relatively little for his cost. If he’s the only vampire you control, you’ll have to attack with him to get the extra creature, and his stats mean that’s probably only happening once. One extra creature here and there is not usually a big deal, though it can occasionally help in a battle of attrition. You’ll need a significant number of vampires to get a major advantage out of his ability, and often you’ll already be winning if that’s the case – or inviting the opponent to hit you with a Pyroclasm effect. That’s a big risk for constructed formats and not much payoff without a lot of additional cards (Soul Warden comes to mind), but there is definitely a place for him in the right deck.
One of the Ixalan block’s “go wide” tribes was Vampires, and Mavren Fein looks to help out your efforts to unleash the big suck. An extra Vampire each time you attack is a good way to replenish and reinforce your army, though you’re going to need non-token Vampires to make the most of it. And being a 2/2 with no protection is not a great place to be.
I think the problem with Vampires in Ixalan was that they simply didn’t do enough without being completely on-rails; if you were in Vampires, you were there full stop. Mavren Fein is one of the Vampire cards that helps you to win more, but he doesn’t do enough on his own to help you if the board state looks dire. He’s obnoxious in Limited, where a flood of bloodsuckers can bring you the proverbial bacon, but he has too many issues to really make it in any sort of constructed format.
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