Sheoldred, Whispering One
July 23, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Much like there are persistent story archetypes, there are more than a few in Magic card design – Sheoldred’s abilities originate in much older cards like Grave Pact and Debtors’ Knell, but when you put them together in one Praetor, you get a very different impression. When you have both of them in one place, they generate combos with creatures that sacrifice themselves and the like, and can entirely lock an opponent out of the game under the right circumstances. She’s another creature whose lack of success in Modern is more because of the tendency of such large formats to generate fast combo decks: in other settings, she is absolutely devastating.
The entire Praetor cycle from New Phyrexia might be among the most obnoxiously oppressive creatures ever printed: while their bodies were rarely amazing, they made up for it with brutal, anti-symmetrical effects to choke all life out of your opponents. While Elesh Norn is the flagship Praetor that has managed to see consistent play over the years, Sheoldred is arguably the second-strongest member of the cycle. Seven mana for a 6/6 that doubles as removal and reanimation is, to say the least, pretty nuts, and swampwalk is an ability that can pay dividends if you’re running into a mirror match or have your own Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth out on the board. She’s not unbeatable (and requires time to really do her thing), but she’s excellent at cementing an already-strong board state, and she has some resistance to removal to help speed the game up.
Constructed: 3 (has never panned out in Modern or Legacy, because there are better targets for the things to trick her out, but you could do far worse than her)
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉