A few years ago, the introduction of the fairy-tale plane Eldraine in Magic: the Gathering was historic for many reasons. It introduced the Adventure mechanic and was notably a very strong set, despite it being for the beginner-friendly Standard format.
It’s back to the fables and storybooks in Wilds of Eldraine, with a full launch on 8 Sept, 2023. Will Wilds of Eldraine return be as iconic as the first chapter? Geek Culture and Tap & Sac are honoured to reveal a black rare card that packs a lot of power in it – Specter of Mortality!
Specter of Mortality is a black Creature that costs 5 Mana (2 black and 3 generic), in a nice 3/3 flying body. That on its own is passable, but it does come with a second ability that puts Specter in a nice spot. It reads:
“When Specter of Mortality enters the Battlefield, you may exile one or more creature cards from your graveyard. When you do, each other creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards exiled this way.”
This triggered ability provides a lot of flexibility because you can determine what X is. If the opponent has a swarm of 1/1 and 2/2 Creature tokens, while you merely have one or two 4/4 big boys, Specter of Mortality can clear the board with ease. Just Exile the appropriate number of Creature cards, and you’ll be ahead.
Provided you have sufficient cards in the Graveyard, and you have no other Creatures on the Battlefield, just make X a really big number and that will annihilate everything except Specter of Mortality, since the ability doesn’t affect itself.
Which is Better: Specter of Mortality or Massacre Girl?
Specter of Mortality brings back memories of Massacre Girl, another 5-Mana black Creature from War of the Spark that gives other Creatures -X/-X, while leaving Girl alive and kicking.
Massacre Girl has better base stats and swaps Flying for Menace, but there really is much less control and finesse in deciding who dies to her triggered ability. If there are two 1/1s, three 2/2s and a 6/6 Creature on the Battlefield, all will die. However, with Specter of Mortality, it’s much easier to determine if you just want the 1/1s to die or perhaps along with the 2/2s.
We also feel Flying beats out Menace as an evasive mechanic, as flying blockers are tougher to find than, say, two ground Creatures. You might think differently though. In any case, with both of their triggered abilities able to clear the path of Creatures, getting through for damage shouldn’t be an issue.
What Else is in Wilds of Eldraine?
Apart from the main set, Wilds of Eldraine will also feature a brand new foil treatment called Confetti. While we don’t have a physical card on hand to make a proper comparison, it does look like an offshoot of the Galaxy Foil we saw earlier this year.
While you won’t be able to find Specter of Mortality in this foil treatment, they’ll be found on reprints of special borderless cards featuring anime-styled art. These are for serious collectors, and hence only found in more expensive Collector Booster packs.
Whether you’re excited for the new foiling or new cards, Wilds of Eldraine will offer something for everyone. Specter of Mortality is not a shabby card and can make a dent in Sealed prerelease events, where it’s hard for players to recover after a board wipe. Try it out for yourself during the September events!