Zilortha, Strength Incarnate – Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
Date Reviewed: April 6, 2023
Limited: N/A – See Below
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
At the time of writing, Zilortha only exists in physical card form as a Godzilla-themed buy-a-box promo from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. In-multiverse art does exist, but is currently only used on Arena. That’s not to say that we won’t get it as a physical card at some point, or that Zilortha might not have other aspects or forms that are relevant to the Magic storyline.
I’m a little surprised that the rules can support lethal damage being determined by power rather than toughness, but since apparently they do, it opens a couple of interesting lines with which to make decks. The obvious one is making the various riffs on Ball Lightning much more resilient, presuming you can wait to get Zilortha in play first. Being restricted to that line of play is somewhat awkward for competitive Magic and not ideal; it also doesn’t make such creatures as dominant as it first appears, since they can still be affected by toughness reduction. Still, such a deck can definitely take people by surprise in casual play, and I like any card that makes you look for unusual characteristics on older cards.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
The Ikoria buy-a-box promo, Zilortha, Strength Incarnate is only represented with one of the Godzilla crossover cards from the set in paper Magic. It’s a unique effect, to be sure: if you have creatures with imbalanced power/toughness ratios, this can represent a massive swing, and Zilortha/Godzilla itself is functionally a 7/7 in the vast majority of cases. The only thing that really wrecks it is-X effects against its toughness, which is a paltry three; whose exist in black, but this otherwise is a big, rude creature that empowers other rude creatures. It’s not so hot in Constructed, thanks to a bit too high of a mana cost, but it can really tear up casual tables if you let it.
Limited: N/A (hasn’t yet been draftable)
Commander [EDH]: 4 (good at throwing off math rather nicely)
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