Ankle Shanker is a 3/3 Goblin Berserker for 2RWB with haste. 5 mana with three colors in it is rather expensive, but this is a wedge set, after all. The kicker is its swing ability.
Whenever Ankle Shanker attacks, creatures you control gain first strike and deathtouch until end of turn.
This ability is ridiculous. All of your creatures essentially can’t die unless you’re running into first strike or double strikers, and any creature that blocks you dies unless they’re indestructible. The only way this could get more ridiculous would be if all of your creatures had trample, too.
The only thing I really don’t like is that instead of flavor text, they completely filled this card with reminder text, which is honestly misleading. It looks like a very complex card until you read that half of the text is reminder text.
Rakasha Vizier feels like it’s trying to hose the Delve hosers in the block. At 2BGU for a 4/4, its stats are decent, but whenever cards are exiled from your graveyard, Rakasha Vizier gets that many +1/+! counters. It can turn a Bojuka Bog into a gigantic threat in other formats, and in Standard it simultaneously makes Delve and all of its hosers into buff spells.
The main downside here is that it has no built-in protection despite being a 5 mana investment. Not a terrible card by any means, though. It will definitely see limited play if you’re in that wedge, and it shows the Sultai have ways of adapting.
One more thing to note about this card is it introduces the Cat Demons that were rumored around the set announcement. Not a huge thing, but it’s worth noting.
Avalance Tusker is a 4/4 Elephant Warrior for 2GUR – starting to fuel the Ferocious ability we’ve seen for the Temur Clan. Whenver it attacks, target creature the defending player controls blocks it this combat if able.
It’s a simple ability, which is perfectly fine. It’s a solid play in limited and maybe standard with enough support.
I’m personally surprised to see these card at rare. If any of them, I understand Ankle Shanker the most due to the fact it’s very presence is a blowout. To an extent, it feels like New World Order has spread into Rare, though that’s definitely not true due to the nature of the plan.
I suppose it’s the fact that there’s a whole cycle of these limited bombs that will be in the clan packs at prerelease, and we’ll just have to live with the fact we’ll be crying over some of the packs that should’ve had fetches and had rares like Rakasha Vizier and Avalanche Tusker instead.
Until next time,