Sorin the Mirthless – Crimson Vow
Date Reviewed: November 23, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.42
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Do you remember War of the Spark‘s alternate planeswalker art drawn by Japanese artists, some in anime style? Sorin is one of the planeswalkers I could most buy as an anime character. Although, in this version’s art, he reminds me a little of Dante from the Devil May Cry series. You can’t assume things like that are a coincidence any more.
I find his +1 ability quite exciting, to be honest. I’ve always loved the Dark Confidant ability for the way it balances re-usable card advantage with the thrill of having an actual danger of killing yourself. A planeswalker like Sorin is a great place to have it, because unlike, say, Dark Tutelage, he also does other things and can adapt to different game states. His -2 is quite effective on both offense and defense – the next time you’re playing draft, sealed, or Jumpstart Cube, keep an eye on any 2/3 creatures that show up. You may find that they punch above their weight in stalemates.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be an Innistrad set without the line “13 damage to any target”. That’s usually enough to end a game on the spot after an aggro or midrange onslaught, not to mention being an efficient way to use cards like Spitemare, teaching your friends when not to use Dralnu, Lich Lord, and taking out some hard-to-damage creatures. The first thing I thought of was Tree of Redemption, for some reason, but that might just be because it’s also from Innistrad.
I don’t think Sorin’s too pleased to see his father get married off to one of his nemeses, but I suppose his displeasure doesn’t mean he has a bad card, right? And for four mana, too. Sorin the Mirthless is an interesting mix of abilities that may well be one of the subtly stronger planeswalkers we’ve seen recently, so let’s go over that.
He’s capable of using his -2 to protect himself with vampires, they may not be Nighthawks, but 2/3 bodies with flying and lifelink help you in a war of attrition if it comes to it. His +1 is an interesting twist on Dark Confidant’s draw effect: if you don’t want to lose the life (or want to save something like a miracle spell), you can leave the card there, but there’s usually little downside to just using it to load up his hand. That sort of card advantage gets quite nice in a longer game, and card advantage ticking him up is even nicer. His ultimate serves as a powerful kill shot to something, be it something on board or someone’s face, and while it’s not the sole axis to evaluate this card on, a planeswalker that can come close to ending the game in a couple of turns presents a threat that needs answering.
Sorin the Mirthless is, in all, rather interesting; he has a nice mix of abilities, and while he doesn’t do everything concurrently, for a four-mana planeswalker, he does more than enough. If black is good, he’ll show up a lot.
Sorin the Mirthless
First off I need to comment on the great artwork. I normally am not a fan of digital art but Sorin looks so suave and has a debonair about him. Now let’s talk about the card…
Four mana for four loyalty is pretty good, I’d say the standard for planeswalkers.
The +1 ability is outstanding. You get an optional Dark Confidant…how good is that!? I don’t really think you’d want to go off on the ultimate when you can keep generating value every turn. For -2 you get a vampire with flying and lifelink, not as great as deathtouch, but if you’re down and need a creature this can help in a pinch. Not as solid as the +1 but still good.
The -7 is a game finisher in standard, 13 damage to any target and you gain 13 life is solid and the path to the ultimate is using the Dark Confidant ability! In commander the ultimate is good, it can really damage your opponent. I am thinking of putting it in my Nicol Bolas Legion of Doom deck.
If you get this in your draft pack, take it and build around it. Protect this card at all costs and it’ll win you the game!
Great card overall and is a good example of a good design that isn’t broken.
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