Busy days walking the Planes are made better when epic, brand new MTG sets come knocking at our door! This new Innistrad block has been an amazing one thus far, and the newest additions to my card arsenal coming in the 90th MTG expansion, Innistrad: Crimson Vow, are no exception!
Last month we covered all the new cards we were having fun with from Midnight Hunt, and we've got some real doozies coming in Crimson Vow too. Keep in mind: these cards aren't necessarily the strongest, most OP cards, but are more the cards I'm the most jazzed about building decks around (or adding to some already made decks).
Usually we only cover five or so, but I'll be a Vampire's Uncle if there aren't some real bangers in this set - so we've got EIGHT this time around, because I make the rules and that's how we're rolling this week!
So without further ado (in no particular order), here are the eight Crimson Vow cards I'm the most excited about playing with:
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Aggro decks end to be really running amok in Standard right now - Mono White, Mono Green, Mono Red... You name it! Thalia, Guardian of Thraben can help hold some of those decks off, whether it's first striking against pesky creatures, or keeping spell-heavy decks under control as well.
This really is a multifunctional card, and with it being a 2-drop, it will fit in the curve for most Mono White decks out there - definitely going to see big use in the current meta, I think!
I love me some Wolf decks, which typically means potent Green (sometimes Green/Red) decks that feature some pretty nasty wolves and werewolves. The issue with Green decks especially is you're looking at ramp time - whether it's doing things like popping Cultivate to get big mana early, or just trying to hold people off until your big hitters land on the board or transform. Ascendant Packleader helps with that, and honestly will mesh well in so many different decks.
A one-drop 2/1 creature is already nice value, but the ability for this card to be valuable as a game goes on is really special, and potentially really potent in the right deck - I'm going to try and fit four of these bad boys into my Werewolf deck right away!
Jacob Hauken, Inspector/Hauken's Insight
Honestly, what a neat little card - and really, so much versatility. You get this guy out early and start setting up essentially a free side-hand full of exiled cards that all of a sudden are at your disposal once you transform this card at six mana. Usually you see cards like this munch your lands too, but this allows you to get value no matter what you end up exiling - but you can also set up some truly ridiculous turns if you happen to exile out something like Alrund's Epiphany, which can all of a sudden just be free-casted from your exiled pile.
This is going to be so fun, and so frustrating, in the hands of the right blue Control decks!
Lantern of the Lost
This has been, appropriately, an expansion block that involves a lot of opportunity to raise the dead and reach into your graveyards for huge value, potent monsters, flashbacked big damage spells, and more. This can really be infuriating if you don't have the right setups and counters - well, in comes the Lantern of the Lost, which I imagine is more or less going to be an immediate placeholder in every single person's sideboard once they get their hands on it.
You run across anyone in your meta game at home, or anyone in a best of three match, that's reaching into graveyards: Welp, here comes Lantern of the Lost to say "Nope, I don't think so!". This is a card that won't see play in every match, but the matches that it's useful for, it'll legitimately just win you games, plain and simple.
Ulvenwald Oddity/Ulvenwald Behemoth
What a straight up fun card, and honestly a quintessential fatty monster Green card, if I do say so myself. But it's got a bit of a twist: Not only is it a 4/4 creature with trample and haste, which is RIDICULOUS value for a creature, but it's something that takes you deeper into end game too, once you hit the 7 mana threshold. Because what's better than a 4/4 with trample and haste? How about an 8/8 with Trample and Haste that makes all other creatures get +1/+1 and ALSO have trample and haste!
(P.S. Side note here, I think this card has some really nice potential synergy with the aforementioned Ascendant Packleader, so all my Green Boys and Green Girls at there should definitely look to sync these too creatures up ASAP!)
Chandra, Dressed to Kill
We've got back-to-back Planeswalkers to talk about here, and both can be really potent in their own ways - and honestly, they're both my favorite kind of Planeswalkers, but for different reasons. Chandra just gives you big value no matter what you end up wanting to do. +1s regardless of the ability you use is really nice, and really versatile, allowing you to ping away at some easy damage and help with mana economy, or it lets you fish into your library for spells to cast - plus, the big swinger -7 is going to be some game-winning damage in most cases.
The only real downside being that you can't use it until the 5th round it's in play, unless you proliferate/add tokens somehow. Still, it's a major win condition as soon as it hits the board, and gives you options and versatility to boot!
Sorin the Mirthless
Sorin the Mirthless is another sick Planeswalker card, and while it's maybe not as versatile as Chandra, it serves a very similar purpose in my eyes: bigtime win condition. The +1 can actually put a bit of a hurt on you, but you don't need to actually pull the card to get the token added. The -2 can really help you out in a pinch, if you need to use it, as a 2/3 flyer with lifelink definitely has some big value, and can mesh really nicely with some other vampire deck synergy that's available in this block.
But if you can push this bad boy into four rounds on the board to land the -7, boy oh boy, what a game changing swing that can be. 26 health swing is in most cases an insurmountable hill to climb, and one I will happily inflict upon my enemies at my earliest convenience!
Honestly, I kind of saved my favorite for last, because I think this is just a super neat card. Iconic, obviously, because it represents the marriage between Olivia Voldaren and Edgar Markov - you know, the whole event that Crimson Vow is built around? Well, it's only fair that this card be a real humdinger as one of the few mythic rare cards in the set.
You basically link yourself in unholy matrimony with your opponent - any cards you draw, I draw them too... Any life you gain, guess what? I gain it too. It creates this completely wild board state unlike anything I can think of in recent memory, and one that will likely be a pretty massive gamechanger for anyone who plays it - for better or for worse, in sickness or in health!