Fresh off of Wotc’s Week of Metal where we got looks at some of the gods, equipment, dwarves and new planeswalkers among other things, how could we have known that lurking in the outer recesses of the fandom, there was a creature of unimaginable chaos about to descend upon us. I mean, we had no clue. Wizards did a great job of giving us a taste of Kaldheim a couple of weeks ago. But all it took was the possible spoiling of ONE CARD to send us over the edge into delirium.
Now, before I go any further. We are in spoiler and speculation country pilgrim. SO, if you don’t want to be ‘possibly’ spoiled, well it’s probably TOO late (I guess the title was enough). But, to be honest, unless you’re living under a rock, there is no way you haven’t heard. But just to be up front and honest, the card we are ‘spoiling’ has NOT been confirmed. But neither has Wotc denied.
Ok, so it seems almost every monday without fail, we are dealing with a new spoiler of some type. Every monday but the beginning of Metal Week…..hmmm. You know, it seems damn convenient for Wizards to sit back and let all of these spoilers bounce around and NEVER deny or confirm much of anything. It’s almost as if it’s good for Wotc for these unsubstantiated spoilers to pop around leading up to the ACTUAL spoiler season. Whether actual or fakes, Wotc will allow them to pop around the internet because, WHY NOT? I mean, all press is good press, right.
I would just LOVE for them to, for ONCE in their lives, just shoot down some of these bogus cards out there. Let us know if they are real or fake. BUT, until they do, we will keep spinning the speculation wheel and talk about what you’re talking about. (That’s why I never give much of a listen to those who rail on me for digging up all of this nonsense since obviously someone wants to discuss what is going on.) And what YOU’RE talking about is Vorinclex Monstrous Raider!
This bad boy has been burning up the internet ever since it appeared. SUPPOSEDLY popping up in a pack of Commander Legends, it instantly became the talk of Magic the Gathering world wide. And why not? This monstrosity is a counter engine. And not just +1/+1 counters, my friend. ANY counter your permanent can manufacture. That’s right, any and all of them!
It doubles your counters and halves your opponents. And, as long as you have green in your deck, this beauty can power up almost any color combination known to MTG.
Now most of the chatter has been about what Vorinclex can do for your Commander deck. Lots of the Youtube thinktank out there has already begun to brew on that end (and quite ably I might add). The power this card will bring to the 100 is quite obvious. Off the top of my head, I think of the IKORIA commander deck of KATHRIL, ASPECT WARPER. And, although this commander benefits mainly from abilities derived from the graveyard, with an Ozilith in the deck, you can multiply the fun by dropping lost counters gained off fallen creatures. ANYWAY, I’m not ready to brew that just yet.
What I want to talk about is this cards impact on standard and Arena.
The bottom line is COUNTERS. Basically, if you have a creature that makes counters, Vorinclex will double them. He can also be handy, as I said before, by stunting the counter growth on your opponent. Imagine a lifegain deck trying to ramp a Hallowed Priest against Vorinclex. He could gain life all he wants, without some other influence, that Priest isn’t going anywhere.
But Vorinclex can effect almost any color combination that has cards that make counters. Let’s just take a look at some of the damage our little Phyrexian friend could do.
Add black to green and there are a group of cards pretty new to standard that’s getting a decent amount of spin on Arena. Ramping counters to the death of your enemy is an amazing mechanic that broke out in a powerful way this year. Eternal Thirst and Malakir Cullblade would ramp even harder with Vorinclex in the deck. Add a bunch of kill cards and deathtouch and go to town!
Also mentioned: Guul Draz Mucklord, Hagra Constrictor and Drana, the Last Bloodchief. Also with the doubling of counters KICKING cards like Ghastly Gloomhaunter and Sklyclave Shade makes more and more sense.
GRUUL SACRIFICE (or JUND)
Go full on Gruul on your opponents faces with a touch of sacrifice. Add the Blood Aspirant and Hobblefiend with Vorinclex and watch these suckers ramp. Add some Evolving Wilds and Fabled Passages not only for land variety but to add to the sac engine (since they both are also sacrificed). If you want to add black, include Malevolent Noble and Skyclave Shadowcat for more sacrifice fun. Now that the counters are doubled, the Malefic Scythe might be handy in this type of deck also.
TEMUR NON-CREATURE RAMP
With plenty of non-creature spells, you could add Sprite Dragon, Spellgorger Weird, Pyroceratops and, even, Grumgully the Generous to watch some hard to stop fun play out. For your non-creature cards, you could add power rampers to stomp your opponent into oblivion.
SEMIC CARD DRAW RAMP
One of my favorite type of ramps is to card draw. Now, not only can you up the ante on counters with cards like Rousing Read and Teferi’s Ageless Insight, but Vorinclex can double ALL of that. With cards like Lorescale Coatl, Primal Empathy, Animating Faerie and Subtle Strike, you could build to a powerful crescendo with card draw. Want to add destruction? Drop red in the deck with Irencrag Pyromancer and you have some serious removal each turn.
Combine Vorinclex with Heliod, Hallowed Priest, Vito (Thorn of the Duskrose) and Scion of the swarm and life gain becomes your friend. Add Duskfang Mentor and she can ramp all of the creatures that Vito gives lifelink. In green, there seems to have been more life gain than in white lately. So, there are many cards to help build this deck. Trufflesnout and Elder Gargaroth are a couple of my favorites. But add in cards like Life Goes On, Incscription of Abundance, Scavaging Ooze and Scale the heights to keep those life gainers ramping. Want to have some extra fun? Throw in Nethroi with the Essence Symbiote and, maybe, a Chevill, Bane of Monsters.
MONO GREEN RAMP STOMPY
Not that mono green needs any help stomping the life out of decks on Arena these days, but Vorinclex is going to make the stompy decks stompier. There are SO many cards starting out with counters that will grow exponentially with this Phyrexian’s help. Start with a Wildwood Scourge that ramps counters to other creatures gaining counters like Ivy Elemental, Stonecoil Serpent and, especially Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig! And suddenly Vorinclex is doubling them and you have a 8/8 Yorvo! Damn!
I guarantee that you will see mono green go through the roof if this card is real.
MONO GREEN TRAMPLE
Make the stompy the stompiest (I really need to stop) with TRAMPLE! Vorinclex already has trample. But add creatures like Baloth Packhunter, Elder Gargaroth and, especially, the Hornbash Mentor that will be dropping +2/+2 on every creature with trample! And, hell, add the Crawling Barrens just for some extra spike!
People! This card MUST be real! Please? BUT, if not, I’m good. Kaldheim has plenty of other cards that have been officially spoiled by Wotc that are real game changers. I’m so excited for the official spoiler season to commence. But, wherever there are spoilers. Wherever there is speculation to be had. Wherever there is erupting excitement at what Magic the Gathering has to offer, WE will be there fanboying and giddy as all of you.
Till, next time, here’s a gallery of OFFICIAL spoilers from WOTC!