Wizards has seemed to blow the lid off their mechanics starting with the new Kamigawa set just out. The spoilers had long time fans reeling with the possibilities. Now that the cards are out in both paper AND Arena, players are coming to grips with a great many combos, strategies and synchronicities that have made both Standard and Commander a whole new ballgame.
One of the card types that has a whole new perspective in MTG is Artifacts. And one of those artifacts that has a great many talking is Eater of Virtue.
There’s nothing NOT to like about this card, but you have to be careful about the way you use it. First of all, it is an equipment with a 1 mana value and a 1 Equip cost for an added +2/+0. Already a win-win. But it is that wonderous ability when a creature equipped with it dies that has heads turning. When the equipped dies, it is exiled. But every card exiled with Eater of Virtue gives its keyword to the next equipped creature. AND it stacks. So every creature exiled with this adds its particular keyword to the list.
And speaking of list, take specific notice of the keywords listed on Eater of Virtue. Remember them. These are the only keywords that work with it. You cannot jank a keyword ability on the equipped creature and transfer it to Eater. That doesn’t work. It has to be printed ON the card exiled with it.
Also, you have to be prepared to get these equipped creatures killed. Now, if you keep coming at your opponent with this creature, you could hope that they would do you the honors by blocking and killing the creature. Or maybe get up against a black or red deck with either death cards or destroy cards. But, they will figure it out sooner than later and you will have to prepare to kill off your own equipped creature.
One way to do this is to turn these kill and damage cards against your own equipped creature. And don’t forget the sacrifice mechanic. Works great in this situation. Dockside Chef is getting a lot of attention it being a one drop creature with a payment of 2 to sacrifice either an artifact or creature (Or in Kamigawa both at once!). And you get to draw a card each time too! The transformed Saga, Echo of Death’s Wail does the exact same thing every time it attacks. And the Ogre Demon, Hidetsugu, only cost you 1 swamp for every sacrifice and you get to Scry2 each time!
So, once you figure out how you want to deal with getting your equipped creatures killed, you will want to plot what kind of keywords and what cards to use.
As it should be, there are only two ways of gaining indestructible in this situation. The first is easily the amazing Legendary squirrel from Kaldheim, Toski, Bearer of Secrets.
This little rascal has to attack when able, can’t be countered (Take that Saw it Coming!) and lets you draw a card when any creature you control does damage! But, in this situation, we’re after that precious Indestructible. You could always cast another Toski later for all of those cool abilities and have possible two creatures with Indestructible!
The only other choice is to work with Skyclave Relic. Yes, those are the only two cards in all of Standard that carry Indestructible! But, it’s an Artifact, BDC! And NOT a creature. Well, thanks to Kamigawa again, we have a work-around. Enter Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh! That nifty -2 ability on Tezzeret allows you to turn your Skyclave Relic or any other Artifact that isn’t a Vehicle into a creature and a 4/4 one at that!.
The best types of ‘go away’ cards for Indestructible are definitely ones that simply gives a creature -?/-? since they aren’t defended against this type of attack.
There are also only two creatures in Standard with the Hexproof as a Keyword ability. But both are rather expensive and, once you get them on the field, they should be the most powerful creature in your deck. The good news is that, if they kill these big hitters, if they’re equipped with Eater of Virtue, you can hand off Hexproof to the creature equipped with it next!
Double Strike is definitely one to strive for, especially if your creatures aren’t behemoths. It also automatically gives them First Strike which messes up creatures with toughness equal to your power and totally wrecks a deathtouch strategy. Probably my favorite Double Strike card in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is Lizard Blades! Kor Blademaster gives Double Strike to all equipped creatures you control.
But my question is whether Thunderous Orator will synch with the Eater of Virtue as much as I think it will.
There are a lot of Deathtouch creatures to bring into this party. But the one that makes me wonder is Egon, God of Death. He’s a cheap 6/6 creature at a 2 and a swamp Mana Value. And, if you can’t keep paying to keep him out there, you pass on that Deathtouch keyword.
But, with all of your creatures equipped with Eater of Virtue going into exile instead of the graveyard, he’ll be short lived, I’m afraid!
THE EATER OF AGGRO
I could go on and on about all the cards you could put in your deck to transfer Keywords like Reach, Trample, Haste, Menace, Lifelink etc. But I’ve noticed that some of the new Artifact Creatures from Kamigawa:Neon Dynasty are special fit for this deck. And they’re all red, cheap cards! I’ve already mentioned Lizard Blades that bring Double Strike. But Add Rabbit Battery (Haste), Reinforced Ronin (Haste), Bronzeplate Boar (Trample), Ironhoof Boar (Haste and Trample) and Twinshot Sniper (Reach). And three of them have Channel for extra value.
If you’re building this as an Artifact Creature deck, below are some other color ideas.
Well, this ought to get you started. Let us know what crazy builds you make with the Eater of Virtue. We do not brew in a vacuum so we and our readers value your input. Drop us a message here of check out our Facebook (follow the link).