Golgari Gets the Second Planeswalker in Return to Ravnica
September 6, 2012 | Posted by Dee
I’m always excited to see the planeswalkers of a new set, because Wizards seems to make an extra effort designing them. Planeswalkers have multiple interesting abilities and they impact games in a unique way compared to the other types of cards.
I was doubly excited when I found out the second planeswalker in Return to Ravnica was black/green because I chose Golgari as my guild.
Black/green hasn’t seen much play in Standard for a while, but that looks to change. Many strong Golgari cards have already been spoiled and the Golgari planeswalker is definitely part of that group.
Check out Vraska the Unseen below.
Vraska the Unseen
One of the main questions to ask to evaluate a planeswalker’s power level is “does it defend itself?” Vraska passes this test with both her first and second ability.
Her first ability, which I’ve dubbed the deathtouch ability, puts your opponent in a tough position. Right away, she goes up to six loyalty, which is pretty high for a five mana planeswalker. If your opponent attacks her, it will probably take him multiple creatures to deal six damage. If they hit Vraska, they would die and you would gain card advantage.
Of course, you may have enough blockers to keep Vraska alive. You gain an extra advantage when you declare blockers because any unblocked creature is still going to die once they hit Vraska.
By the way, her deathtouch ability doesn’t target so it destroys hexproof creatures like Geist of Saint Traft.
Your opponent doesn’t have to attack Vraska but there are consequences to that play. You can threaten to ultimate her and then win the game with one attack or you can start wrecking his board by activating her second ability multiple times.
Vraska’s second ability is pretty good because of its flexibility. It can take out small and big creatures. It can destroy powerful artifacts like Runechanter’s Pike. It can deal with annoying enchantments like Oblivion Ring.
But its best target is other planeswalkers. When Vraska enters the battlefield, it can kill a planeswalker right away while still having two loyalty to work with. If planeswalkers become popular in the new Standard format, she will dominate because she wins any planeswalker war.
Vraska’s ultimate is hilarious. I love the Assassin creature type and I can’t wait to see what the token card looks like.
She reaches her ultimate ability very quickly. You can activate it two turns after you cast her. To make the card balanced, Wizards made the ultimate vulnerable.
You get three creatures that kill your opponent when they connect. However, they are small and non-evasive so they can be blocked easily or killed with mass removal. For example, spending three mana for Bonfire of the Damned negates the whole ability.
Still, your opponent must have an answer right away or they’re dead on the next turn. Also, you can use Golgari’s mechanic, scavenge, to buff up an Assassin token so that it can survive Bonfire and be harder to block.