It’s day 3 of spoiler season and we’re starting to get a look at some rare creature cards:
During the WAR reveal panel it was hinted that there would be more than just basic zombies in the Dreadhorde and today we get to see how that army is shaping up1. To begin with, I’m really digging the lazotep coating on the zombies that give them that blue colour and also play a key part in the story of how they got here from Amonkhet; it just makes the artwork so much more interesting at a point where zombies really feel overdone in popular culture. It is also nice to see zombies in mana colours other than black2.
Whilst I’m not usually a fan of the zombie decks that exist currently, I can see myself getting excited at the prospects in War of the Spark, especially with something like Dreadhorde Arcanist allowing you to cast sorceries and instants for free from your graveyard; stick a few +1/+1 counters on that and you have a very scary proposition. Similarly, the mana shenanigans3 on Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion appeal to me, especially on a 5/4 trample body for just 4 easily castable CMC. Dreadhorde Butcher, aside from having some badass artwork, is also looking to be a good early play that can ramp up in power but also probably pack a decent punch to any target when it dies (which is always nice against sweepers).
On the lower levels of rarity, I’m not that interested in Eternal Taskmaster or Grim Initiate4 but Gleaming Overseer seems like it could be great; amass 1 is nothing to shout about and the 1/4 for 3 CMC isn’t the best, but making all zombie tokens have hexproof and menace becomes very important when you consider the Zombie Army tokens you get with the amass ability. Pair that with a Death Baron and you can have hexproof, menacing, zombie tokens with an extra +1/+1 and deathtouch. Maybe I need to take another look at a zombie deck…
Aside from the zombies, we also got to see everyone’s favourite homunculus on not one but two cards! The first is a simple reprint of Totally Lost with updated artwork and flavour text; for what it’s worth, I’m not a big fan of the artwork change but I love the text referencing the Juri Revue that you can see him watching in Captive Audience. The ability itself – putting a nonland permanent on top of it’s owner’s library – can be pretty decent in a milling deck5 but it’s an expensive trick to pull off.
Fblthp, the Lost is slightly more interesting, especially with some of the new cards we’ve seen like Bolas’s Citadel and Vivien’s Arkbow that allow for the library casting you need to get that two card draw. I don’t think it’ll see a huge amount of play in standard though; it definitely seems aimed more at commander. With that said, I’m glad that Fblthp got his own named card, that they made him legendary, and that they gave him an ability which fits perfectly with his personality of just turning up repeatedly. If you want to read more about this card, Gavin Verhey at DailyMTG wrote an article all about Fblthp and how this particular card was made.
It’s been nice having a slight breather with far less cards today. If I had to make a prediction for tomorrow, I’d guess we’re going to see a few more planeswalkers and maybe some rare instants or sorceries. Let me know in the comments what you think about these zombies and what you’re hoping to see as we head to Day 4.
Or should that be amassing? *rimshot* ↩︎
There are currently 21 zombies in standard and they all require black mana with 5 of them also requiring green. This number is going to jump up when WAR is released! ↩︎
Shemanagans? I’m here all spoiler season folks… ↩︎
Loving that blue artwork though. ↩︎