Spawn of Mayhem
– Ravnica Allegiance
December 10, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.42
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Spectacle is a very clever mechanic for Rakdos flavor-wise, and it’s very fitting for the color combination’s style of play. It’s easy to love it just in general, and particularly when you can use it to get a creature as strong as Spawn of Mayhem. The Spawn is effectively all upside – one damage a turn just to its controller was barely a drawback on Juzam Djinn, and one damage to all players is far better when combined with the demon’s size and aggressive cost (it’s even efficient when you’re not paying its discounted cost). As a creature that “only” attacks and blocks, it’s been somewhat overlooked recently in Standard, partly because of Oko. That may change now: if your deck’s plan is to deal as much damage as possible as fast as possible, it’s hard to do better.
Spawn of Mayhem was never a creature that caught on massively, though it definitely isn’t because it’s bad, by any stretch! An evasive demon that crashes through blockers and comes down ahead of schedule (even if by only one turn) is worth a look, particularly with its triggered ability helping the deck out.
The Rakdos decks in general like to put through little pricks of damage in order to set up for their spectacle costs, which are either discounts or bigger, flashier effects. Spawn of Mayhem is more the former, but the point of getting a 4/4 with flying and trample for 3 mana instead of 4 is still a pretty good one! It’s usually a turn before better defensive measures can come online, and so the Spawn usually gets a couple solid turns in of smashing in their face before being interrupted. And that’s before we get to its triggered ability, which is great for the deck.
1 damage to everything doesn’t seem like much, but every little bit helps, and it helps to turn on spectacle costs; remember that spectacle just needs some life loss from an opponent, regardless of how much. So Spawn of Mayhem is an aggressively-costed beater that turns on spectacle and comes down ahead of schedule! It even starts getting bigger as your life total dwindles, which isn’t ideal (but still a good way to close out games). By no means is it a multi-format star, but it does enough rude things to make it worth considering in a black deck.
Hey Everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day. We’re reviewing cards that didn’t get much fanfare during their debut and looking back over them with a bit of hindsight!
Today we’re looking at Spawn of Mayhem which is incredibly aggressive as a creature. His ‘cost’ is 2BB but the spectacle on it is 1BB which is fairly easy to achieve with the amount of creature and spell damage action that’s going on.
He’s more of a Standard mainstay and won’t really see much play outside of that in competitive formats but his ability of pinging every player on your upkeep will be fine in regular multiplayer casual formats but not so relevant in Commander where the starting life total is 40.
He has been doing pretty well in Cube though as a solid aggressive creature for the Mono Black Aggro deck as a 4/4 flying trampling beater on Turn 3 is a lot easier to do in that limited curve.
Constructed 3/5 – He’s okay in Standard, might see play in Pioneer, but too slow and clunky in older formats.
Multiplayer 4/5 – A nondiscriminatory ping that hits everyone fairly is fine for politics, and puts a threat and clock on the board at the same time.
Commander 2/5 – His second ability is pretty moot here, and a 4/4 on turn 3 is a bit lackluster compared to other options in the format.
Limited 5/5 – He’s a bomb, take him. Go Rakdos. Win draft.
Cube 4/5 – He’s a bit narrow in decks but he shines where he fits.
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