Vraska, Golgari Queen
– Guilds of Ravnica
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Vraska’s game text is basically a whole bunch of famous Golgari cards put together, and the result is pretty great. First of all, her +2 is good when you have throwaway creatures or the like and ridiculous when you have things that like going to the graveyard (remember the scavenge keyword from Son of Ravnica?) She has repeatable removal, which is still pretty rare even among planeswalkers: the repeatable damage on Chandra, Torch of Defiance is good enough, and hers is literally Abrupt Decay. She basically does the same thing for midrange decks that Teferi does for long-game control decks, and any deck that doesn’t have a way to catch up can find itself in a world of trouble.
Vraska’s done quite well for herself, her fealty to the most Evil of dragons giving her control of the Golgari. And she has a pretty nifty bag of tricks, to boot.
Her +2 is a sacrifice outlet; it’s not repeatable, sadly, but it gives you the means to get value out of death triggers. You also do not need to make a sacrifice, if it is not to your advantage to do so. It also is a +2, pushing Vraska out of danger with surprising ease; 6 loyalty is a bit of a roadblock, and it ensures she’ll stick around. Her -3 is basically Abrupt Decay, which is nice; sorcery speed is less nice, but blowing something up is nice. And with the speed she ticks up with, firing off multiple kill shots is always possible.
Her ult is pretty fanciful, though it’s doable. It pairs well with evasive creatures (like black oft gets) and with little downside to you. That said, it means Vraska will have had to sit around for multiple turns (and she can’t immediately ult with Doubling Season). It looks cool, but it’s hardly the main attraction.
Vraska is pretty good overall, a value engine for the Golgari decks that may run around this Standard. It’s a threatening source of removal and card advantage; while I do not know if it’ll be an all-star, she’s no dud.
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