#7 – Vraska, Golgari Queen
– Guilds of Ravnica
December 21, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card was #6 on my Top 11 list.
I may have written in this space before about how Vraska’s new card is a combination of every ability that makes the Golgari so appealing to so many players. I would add to that by mentioning that one of the major advantages of her +2 ability, compared to other cards like enchantments or creatures with a similar effect, is that the advantage you get from it is not limited to the card drawing or possible death triggers alone, because she has an ultimate. That ultimate is very fanciful and sometimes “win-more” considering how much time it takes to build to, but if an opponent does let you get there, it will completely change the complexion of a game. (It’s also pretty good against Project X or Aristocrats-style decks that think they’re safe against midrange decks because they have an Essence Warden combo!)
I should also comment on how her -3 should, by the numbers, be good in formats like Modern, but those formats are also fast enough to prevent her from using it repeatedly. It makes for a strange sort of tension, but it can certainly keep you on top if you’re able to get her going.
This card was unranked on my Top 11 list.
Four mana planeswalkers have historically been threatening sources of repeatable card advantage, thanks to a convenient casting cost and the ability to pack more power than their cheaper brethren. And if left unanswered, Vraska can do just that; her -3 lets her pop cheap nonland permanents, while her +2 is a way to trade in extra permanents for a bit of value. I don’t think she offers enough of an incentive to a Golgari deck, though, and she hasn’t quite found her footing in Standard; being able to only hit cheaper permanents leaves a number she misses on (including Arclight Phoenix, among others), and slower decks will want more reliable sources of advantage. But she does have potential, and any planeswalker capable of repeated removal and repeated card draw is at least worth a second look.
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