Valki, God of Lies//Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor – Kaldheim
Date Reviewed: January 18, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Tibalt’s fans must be very happy right now, because he is the second planeswalker to become a god. And it definitely agrees with him, because he takes the concept of turning people’s favored weapons against them and turns it up to nine (in the cosmic numerology sense, not out of ten). Tibalt himself can do some pretty spectacular things, given enough mana to spend on him and time to re-cast them (since it’s an emblem, there’s no pressure to do it the same turn or something). And his Valki form is quite strong even if you don’t get to actually play the exiled card, as it’s efficient enough to keep them from using it when they potentially need it most.
I wonder if we’ll ever find out if Valki only exists as Tibalt’s alter ego, or if there really was a Valki and Tibalt was just impersonating or usurping him?
Can’t keep a bad devil down, it turns out. Tibalt seems to have figured out some interesting new tricks, assuming a god’s mantle on Kaldheim. Let’s start by addressing Tibalt himself; the Cosmic Impostor isn’t bad, but he’s a fairly slow, ponderous planeswalker not helped by being seven mana. His abilities are simple, and they allow you to exact some less-than-incremental advantage by knocking out cards. The main issue is that Tibalt is too slow to be a proper finisher, and while he’s not bad as an ersatz removal spell, seven mana is a bit too much to count on.
Thankfully, he’s got a bit more. While in the form of Valki, God of Lies, he does an interesting approximation of Tidehollow Sculler. Two mana to tuck a creature away is actually a decent rate, particularly since he can do some rude things with them. Stealing a Questing Beast just to use it later is quite nice, though keep in mind that Valki can’t keep changing forms once he picks one to go into. And even if he’s ultimately removed, you still provided enough of a speed bump to get rolling.
Valki’s definitely a card that feels more like the sum of his parts. Tibalt is more cute than good, but in a scenario where Valki isn’t enough, Tibalt can get the job done. But before then, Valki’s pretty nice. Flexible mana requirements are quite nice, and I think he’ll be useful as long as black is a deck in Standard.
Constructed: 4 (Valki is the main attraction here, but he’s at least good enough on his own)
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