October 24, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Stigma Lasher is a creature with a unique, menacing effect. Hitting an opponent once with it means they’re not gaining life for the rest of the game…which won’t screw over most decks, but it will do a lot of damage to decks either revolving around it or with lots of incidental lifegain. A 2/2 for 2 with wither means it’s likely going to hold its own in combat early, but getting through to an opponent can be the challenge; there are ways to get the Lasher to do noncombat damage, which still triggers its effect.
It’s a cute bit of tech that likely will shine when you can get it set up properly, but the fragile body and color-heavy requirement mean Stigma Lasher does need some help to do its thing. It also does synergize with Shaman and Elemental support of all kinds, so there are definitely ways to really get it doing its thing.
Although creatures are better on average now than they were when Stigma Lasher was new, it actually holds up pretty well in hindsight. He’s awkward for a number of types of decks to deal with – creature decks won’t want to get into combat, as even midrange decks fear having their best cards permanently weakened, and one attack completely derails game plans like Martyr of Sands or Essence Warden. Those were both big in Standard in its original run, and while they’ve dropped out of tournaments, they’re still the sort of deck that can require a specific response in casual settings. He’s less impressive against the sort of control decks that try to remove everything, but when he works he can make a big difference.
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