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January 15, 2019

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Adventure in Spoilers: Pestilent Spirit

You’ve seen the spoilers, you’ve heard the news, you’ve gotten caught up in the hype. Ravnica Allegiance is coming down the pipeline on January 25th and we’ve seen a lot of cards since New Year’s. Things have been exciting in general, but something truly special dropped and I’m super excited about it:

I don’t know if you can tell, but this card is a game changer. In a set that, so far, followed the recent trend of designing sets almost solely with the Limited Draft environment in mind, this card breaks away and shines like crazy.

Pestilent Spirit would stand to be a beast in Limited if it only had Menace and Deathtouch. But that second ability is what makes it amazing. That’s especially true in a format like Commander where it’s much easier to protect than in Standard. Imagine, if you will, suddenly getting a board wipe out of Electrickery for exactly two mana! Having this card launches you to number one threat. It’s a creature that should always be countered or removed the moment it hits the table. In Standard that shouldn’t be hard, considering it falls to Shock and a plethora of other direct damage spells.

Where this card gets really spicy is in how much mana it costs. It’s an early way to help you control the board, and between this and some other new cards, Thousand-Year Storm is starting to look a lot better. Suddenly a lot of low-cost damage spells look a lot better and help to get that storm count going. Clear the board of a few tokens using Shock and Pestilent Spirit, then dive through with something simple like Wizard’s Lightning or Lightning Strike to go for nine damage. I’m just saying, it’s looking a lot better for spells that would have only seen sideboard play at best.

I think that this kind of spoiler is my favourite because it flies under the radar. It changes up the meta in a small enough way that it paves the way for a lot of creativity. While it won’t change the pace in ways like Fatal Push did for nearly everything, everywhere, it certainly has the gumption to keep things fresh. I will definitely either adapt my current Izzet Standard deck to at least accommodate this in the sideboard, or I’ll just build a brand new deck with this card in mind.

What do you think of this card? Kind of crazy, no?