Another good booster pack today but my eyes lit up as I found my first copy of this very exciting Gruul enchantment:

Rhythm of the Wild

Rhythm of the Wild is a 1 Generic ManaRedGreen enchantment with two components:

  • Your creature spells can’t be countered
  • Your nontoken creatures enter the battlefield with riot (choose haste or +1/+1)

I’d already seen this card during spoiler season and it was one that was discussed the most at the RNA pre-release event I attended. Most people I spoke to immediately said they were going to pair this with Carnage Tyrant which is a fair proposition1. However, the true scope of that riot creation ability is revealed when you realise that riot is stackable. Lets say you have 2 of these cards on the battlefield; when you cast a creature, you can choose to give it both haste and a +1/+1 or no haste and a +2/+2. You could give it two copies of haste if you really wanted2. Hell, even one of these cards is going to give a massive boost to creature cards that already have riot such as Gruul Spellbreaker, Frenzied Arynx, and Ravager Wurm3.

Whilst focus is correctly aimed at all the nasty things you can do with stackable riots, that first clause of uncounterable creatures can’t be ignored either. This is a killer feature against control decks as they are pretty much left with bounce spells. To my mind, this is a bargain at 1 Generic ManaRedGreen and could probably have been nerfed a little by having that uncounterable text apply only to a specific creature type or mana colour. That said, I’m very happy at where it sits, especially at the uncommon level, as I’ll be putting a full compliment of these into my dinosaur deck.

In terms of how to deal with this card, Green and White have easy ways of destroying enchantments (e.g. Hungering Hydra and Demystify) and Red and Black both have ways to do it when splashed with some Green (e.g. Sunder Shaman and Status // Statue). Blue mostly has bounce spells (like Disperse and Blink of an Eye) but there also some nasty tricks like In Bolas’s Clutches. When playing against Azorius you definitely want to look out for Deputy of Detention if you have multiple copies in play. All that is to say that there are several ways of removing this card4 so watch out!

The final thing I want to mention about this card is the flavour text, specifically the sign of “Ilharg the Raze-Boar’s imminent return”. I’m not very clued into the whole story and lore aspect of MTG yet but it’s something that I’m trying to improve on. After a little look around, it turns out Ilharg was first mentioned in the Planeswalker’s Guide To Gatecrash: Part 2 where it says:

In this current age, most Gruul clans simply live by the rule that “the strong survive, the strongest rule,” but there is still a small spark of the old ways left in certain Gruul clans. The Zhur-Taa believe that the quakes that rumble across the Rubblebelt are a sign that the gods of the deep earth are awakening and preparing to rise up and destroy the “cobble roaches.” The Zhur-Taa believe that the first sign of this apocalypse will be the coming of Ilharg, the boar-god.

It seems like the signs of apocalypse could be important but there is one word in that paragraph that really caught my eye; “spark”. The next MTG expansion (coming in April or May) is titled “War of the Spark” and revolves around the battle between the Gatewatch and Nicol Bolas. Perhaps we’ll see Ilharg heralding the apocalypse then?

  1. Although it’s kind of ironic that you’d want to pair this with a card that is already uncounterable! ↩︎

  2. That would be stupid though as additional hastes do nothing… ↩︎

  3. An important note on Ravager Wurm; the +1/+1 counters from riot are added before the “fights target creature” clause so if you are running multiple copies of Rhythm of the Wild then you can kill a meaty creature straight off and then attack with haste straight away. Nice! ↩︎

  4. In fact there are 24 cards in Standard right now that have the ability to “destroy enchantment” and that’s before you get to the bounce or ownership switches! ↩︎

This post is part of a weekday series where I open up a booster pack and pick a card to discuss. Whilst these are often the best cards from the set, I'll often pick one that is a bit niche or one that has cool artwork or flavour text. If there's a particular card you want me to take a look at, get in touch or join my Discord community.