Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 3.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I’d be lying if I said I found the compleated planeswalkers as compelling as they seem to have been intended to be; but I’d also be lying if I hadn’t wondered whether Jace and Vraska might end up as a fallen power couple, something like Liu Kang and Kitana in Mortal Kombat X. In the meantime, Vraska is going to attract attention for the ability to proliferate every turn, and for her -2 to remove things black shouldn’t be able to remove. I suspect people are going to try and jam her into their black deck just because it happens to lose to a creature they otherwise have trouble dealing with, which is not entirely a trap – they’ll probably ending up winning with her Phyrexian Arena-style ability instead. As for her ultimate, you’d have to be playing a pretty slow poison deck for it to work well, but I wouldn’t rule it out – and besides, proliferate is a thing on other cards in All Will Be One.
Commander [EDH]: 4
Shifting out of green and going all the way into black after compleation, Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting is…interesting, as far as removal options go. Her -2 hits anything without hexproof or protection from black and it makes them basically no better than a mana rock, without a way to remove it (outside of blinking it). That’s a surprisingly potent way to nullify a problematic permanent…and if you needn’t do it, her 0 is a functional +1 that plays like Phyrexian Arena (ironic, given the new art of that card in this set). Her ultimate…exists? It certainly looks flashy, and it can help you end the game at that point, but Vraska needs a fair bit of help to bring your opponent to the brink of death with poison. Admittedly, Vraska’s Thing has often been that sort of leaving an opponent near death, and this is just an in-flavor version of it.
As always, her compleation lets you play this as six mana, six loyalty or as five mana, four loyalty. I think that there’s usually not a terribly compelling argument for either, but you may find yourself needing removal sooner. And bringing your card draw/poison enabler online sooner is usually more efficacious than waiting. I do think this Vraska looks underwhelming…at first. She’s basically a Phyrexian Arena that can double as pinpoint removal that gets around things like indestructibility, and those two trick alone make her quite potent.
Constructed: 3.5 (I think she’s probably a bit on the slow end, but might be a massive threat in control)
Limited: 4.75 (she can win you the game on her own, but she has a hard time protecting herself)
Commander [EDH]: 3.75 (her -2 is good at forcing players to reset their commanders, and another Phyrexian Arena-style effect only killed all of the people it was meant to kill)
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