– Zendikar Rising
October 20, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 2.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Creatures that can return themselves from the graveyard have a long and illustrious history in Magic, and Skyclave Shade recalls the powerful Bloodghast from the original Zendikar block. The requirement to actually pay its mana cost will likely mean it’s less of a combo card than its famous ancestor, but there’s always something appealing about a threat that just keeps coming back, particularly when you can afford to start kicking it. There’s always an aggressive black deck in some format that’s looking to diversify its threats, so I expect to see this card take out some unprepared players in due time.
It might not be as intrinsically prone to abuse as Bloodghast was from Zendikar, but Skyclave Shade has a couple tricks of its own up its metaphorical sleeve. No haste is a slight bummer, but you have a recursive threat that can’t block…and unlike Bloodghast, it punches a fair bit harder (and can punch harder in a long game; 5 power coming back can do some damage). Being forced to recast it instead of it just coming back each turn is a slight downside, but you can try to force it through counterspells just by casting it again and again, and that one more power can matter. It’s not a star, but it’ll get the job done.
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