Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord
– Core Set 2020
October 2, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It’s been a while since we had an explicitly tribe-oriented planeswalker; fans of vampires should be happy, though, because Sorin is set to give them a boost they haven’t had for some time. Permanently strengthening your own creatures and removing other things at will is amazing on both offense and defense, and there will be times in larger card pools where he immediately throws a Bloodlord of Vaasgoth or Butcher of Malakir into play and just wins the game on the spot. Outside of vampire decks, he neither does that much nor is completely worthless: giving a different creature each turn the combat abilities of a Vampire of the Dire Moon definitely has its uses, especially as it always increases his loyalty, but you’ll be a little more dependent on the luck of the draw and you’ll be losing quite a lot of his versatility.
Three-mana planeswalkers tend to be more narrow in their applications anymore, and this Sorin definitely is that. He’s less a black powerhouse and more support for a Vampire deck…and pretty serviceable support, truth be told! He can turn cheap Vampires into a Lightning Helix, he can buff attacking creatures (especially Vampires), and he can cheat out boss monsters ahead of schedule with his ult (which can pop as soon as he resolves). He does a lot of nice things for Vampires…which is slightly unfortunate timing, as Ixalan gets ready to leave Standard and leaves Vampires as a weaker tribe overall.
Sorin’s playability will wax and wane with the presence of Vampires, and it does not appear that the upcoming Standard will be conducive to that. Should they be a Thing, I foresee him being a strong part of those decks. But he’s not a great planeswalker without bloodsuckers to empower, and while he can help you out of a tight situation with his ultimate, he’s a bit too parasitic to score highly.
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