– Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths
May 15, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.17
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I absolutely love that they let the creature designers off the leash for Ikoria. Mindleecher has physical elements of a drake and a bat and I’m getting a little bit of a centipede vibe from its tail, yet it’s actually a Nightmare. They clearly had fun with things, and that point reminds me of Tony DiTerlizzi and his whimsically menacing Planescape art.
If you’re putting Mindleecher in a deck, it might not just be for those aforementioned reasons, but also to steal stuff from your opponents. It’s pretty good at that, although it does depend a little on having more things to mutate. Just doing it once means you’re fairly likely to whiff. Still, between the main Ikoria set and the accompanying Commander decks, you have plenty of options to combine with it. Plus, its wording is intentionally multiplayer-friendly, and more libraries gives you a much better chance of stealing something relevant.
The value of Mindleecher is in its mutate effect, because its effects don’t kick in without mutation (and it’s just a vanilla flying creature without it). Getting to hit your opponents with a Nightveil Specter-like effect all at once can be really nice, giving you options to try and run away with the game. Also notable is that Mindleecher’s mutate cost is less than its mana cost (though it is even, so I guess Gyruda doesn’t hate it too terribly much), and the nature of mutate means you can get this little treasure out with bonuses or to accentuate the cutest creature you already have on board. I don’t think this is going to be an all-star; it’s a powerful effect, to be sure, but five mana is starting to get a bit high unless you’re going to break a back or two on the next turn (or that turn).
Hello everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day, today we’re looking at a card that can get inside your head and even more importantly, your library!
So let’s take a look at Mindleecher, at baseline it’s a 5/5 Flier for 6 Mana, which is.. Okay. But the mutate cost is 4B and whenever this creature mutates exile the top card of each opponent’s library face down. You may look at and play those cards for as long as they remain exiled. Now… This card isn’t really that impressive, in fact it’s kind of the opposite of impressive.
Let’s skip over constructed because it’s definitely not going to show up there because, well, it’s not legal in Standard and this isn’t going anywhere near Legacy or Vintage. But even in those formats it’s not good. So where does it fit in?
Nowhere really, it’s part of the Commander 2020 set and most commander players are going to hop right over this card. Mutate is a very feelbad mechanic due to how prone it is to removal and even in Commander if you hit an opponents library for something good.. that isn’t a land, it has to be within your colors, and depending on how many you’re playing this is just a feelbad machine.
It’s an interesting design and reminiscent of Gonti but the main difference is that Gonti allowed you to use any type of mana to pay for costs associated with the card. That isn’t the case here and will send this card to the bulk bin of trade binders everywhere.
The only place I could see this being played is at the Middle School Lunch Tables where dorky weird decks are the norm.
My suggestion is to donate this card along with a bunch of other chaffe sitting in your longboxes collecting dust to your local Middle School Library. I used to play in Casual Tournaments like that once a month in my school days and even though we were all playing super bad junk decks it was honestly a lot of fun. It’s a great way to bring in a new generation of players and what is it really going to cost you, a Mindleecher?
Constructed 1/5 – Jankolicious Filler for Commander 2020 Decks.
Casual 3/5 – ‘This big guy is going to be perfect for my mono black deck!’ – Random 12 year old.
Commander 1/5 – Unless you’re playing straight precons I guess..
Cube 1/5 – Nope.jpeg
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