Vraska, Relic Seeker
November 1, 2017
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Here’s a character I thought would never return. Vraska is back and is now the poster character for Ixalan. It’s pretty cool how she does similar things to her previous form, but with a pirate twist.
Continuous token generation can break most deck’s defenses and they also make great sacrifice targets for Golgari shenanigans. It’s a bit unfortunate that Vraska can no longer kill Planeswalkers but I assume it is due to her change of heart in the story. Finally we get to her ultimate, which unlike Jace and Huatli, is about as straight forward a game winner can get. I imagine she’s turning her opponents to stone like in an RPG. They just need to be touched once to shatter.
Her biggest problem is the complete lack of support for Green-Black in Limited. I would also argue that the tokens should have Explore instead of Menace, but that is a very minor nitpick. At 6 mana Vraska is a bit slow to get out, but with 6 loyalty and three powerful abilities she’s worth taking out for a spin.
On the other end of the scale in planeswalker price points, we have Vraska. She does a similar shtick to her Return to Ravnica iteration: make dudes and kill things. This time, she’s a bit better at both.
Her +2 makes evasive attackers that can block in a pinch, protecting herself as she slowly ticks up towards her ultimate. If you need to remove something, her -3 can do that, and you get Treasure at the same time. And, of course, there is her ultimate: set a player’s life total to 1, which plays very nicely with those evasive Pirates she puts out. She’s the rare planeswalker that literally can win a game on her own; for six mana, you’d hope that she’d have that kind of impact!
She’s a powerful card for her versatility and her resilience; 6 loyalty is a healthy starting total (by contrast, the previous best six-mana planeswalker hit the board with four loyalty), and she makes blockers that can wall a ground force or nuke something a bit more evasive. Her mana cost is a bit of an issue, but it’s a minor issue in Standard, and she can take over a game if left unanswered.
With that said, Vraska is a bit of a harder sell in Limited; she’s undeniably powerful, but she’s the only black/green card in the set and offers virtually no synergy with any of the tribes (except some very slight Pirate synergy). She may be worth forcing the color combination, but she is harder to use than Huatli and Jace are.
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