– Core Set 2020
March 17, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Nightpack Ambusher is perhaps the culmination of green’s flash creatures. Its combat stats aren’t as devastating as something like Cloudthresher, but you don’t really need that when it’s solid enough against early creatures and presents a growing threat. In fact, it enables a sort of creature-based version of the draw-go style deck (there’s a powerful one in Standard and probably an even more powerful one in casual). Some decks simply won’t be able to keep up as long as you manage to hold back on your turn. He also makes an excellent lord for Innistrad‘s werewolves – they’ve only been in a couple of sets, but with the kinds of lords they’ve gotten, the saints can’t help us now.
Another tribal lord, albeit one that is a bit less discerning overall, Nightpack Ambusher enables most things with four legs and a sick howl. A static +1/+1 to all of them is legit, and you can even make a horde of them if you give up casting spells on your turn (an homage to the Werewolf mechanic from Innistrad). Because he plays well with the “draw-go” style of play, he’s actually found a home for himself in Simic- and Temur-colored decks that are willing to do things at instant speed. Leyline of Anticipation being in Standard doesn’t hurt much, either.
Nightpack Ambusher is powerful, but not unbeatable; a 4/4 with no built-in protection can win many combats, but not all of them, and the cost to maximizing his value does exist. But he plays well in multiples if you have them, and there’s a lot of carnage to be wrought with the mangy mutt if you’re enterprising.
Hello everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day, today we’re looking at the Alpha Wolf of Core 20 and this wolf brings his buddies so watch out!
So the basics of this card is that he’s got flash, I guess that’s the ambush part, however the interesting thing is that at the beginning of the end step if you didn’t cast a spell you get a free 2/2 wolf. On top of that he pumps the team with +1/+1 so with this ambusher in play you get a 3/3 wolf. Not a bad trade for ditching spells for a turn. So where does this guy fit in?
In Standard this guy has proven to be quite a powerhouse, he is a cornerstone of the UG Simic Flash Deck with cards that love playing on your turn! It’s a very interesting take on a control deck with cards like Frilled Mystic and Brazen Borrower to help put a wrench in your best laid plans. Add in a Nissa Who Shakes the World and a Hydroid Krasis for game ending threats and huge card draw and you got a very potent Simic Deck the likes of which haven’t been seen since UG Madness back in the early 2000s.
In Draft this guy is pretty good as well, a 4/4 with Flash is going to be a great form as ‘gotcha removal’ by flashing this in as a blocker on your opponent’s attack, but in a format where card advantage is scarce, being able to bring down a big ol’ alpha wolf with his beta buddies is incredibly strong and can easily start to turn the tide your way in a game. Make sure to pair this guy with a color that can actively work on your opponent’s turn for maximum value like Black or Blue.
In Commander this guy loses a lot of his luster, only getting the benefit if you don’t cast a spell on your turn is a very fair drawback but one that can be more than a hindrance in a format where you’re looking to drop rocks and eventually catapult your card advantage into multiple spells a turn means that this guy is going to usually be a vanilla 4/4 for 4.
In Cube I think this guy is pretty interesting, I haven’t really had the chance to test him much but I think that he’ll be strong in the UG Decks since they’re fine with playing on your turn, and with cards like Opposition he becomes a huge threat that can quickly get out of hand and control the board.
Constructed 3.5/5 – There’s not a lot of decks where he belongs but he’s doing great work as a UG Flashbeater.
Limited 4/5 – The only drawback to this wolf is that if you go mono-green you’re probably not going to see the benefits of his army making ability until late in the game or unless you forgo your turns and risk getting blown out by removal and left with only a 2/2 wolf and a wasted turn.
Commander 2/5 – Maybe in the Naya Decks but casting creatures is what they do, ultimately seems a little weak here.
Cube 3/5 – Haven’t tested him extensively but I can see him rocking a spot in the UG decks.
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