Sheoldred, the Apocalypse – Dominaria United
Date Reviewed: December 26, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale: 1 is bad; 3 is average; 5 is great.
In many ways, Dominaria United is revisiting concepts from Invasion, but Sheoldred is an escalation in every regard. The concept of Praetors having continuous effects that severely damage the opponent is well-established now, and hers are a lot stronger than they might look on a first reading. Consider that she’ll literally kill the opponent just by sitting there. You might not always feel like waiting for that, but it means that a stalemate favors you, and the opponent has to act or lose. And she also augments any kind of card-drawing-related plan you might have, and offsets black’s frequent effects that pay life for extra cards. This version is perhaps even more frightening than her New Phyrexia card, on every level, and I suspect it’ll hold up well over time, too.
This card was #3 on my Top 10 of 2022 list.
Sheoldred 2.0 is, on the surface, the kind of card that looks “good, but not great”, but it turns out that the creeping dread of having your life total hemorrhage away turn after turn just for playing the game is more than enough, especially when layered with her owner’s life total creeping up and a solid body with decent toughness. While the extant “dies to removal” argument is one that still counts for something, they still have to remove her, and Sheoldred is a creature that must be answered quickly. Cards that actively punish players for playing the game can be subtly powerful in less-apparent ways, and while Sheoldred isn’t a star against an established board, punishing the blue (or green) player who wants to draw all of the cards is always a noble goal.
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