7, Jan, 22

10 Underrated MTG Cards from Innistrad: Crimson Vow

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Article at a Glance

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook certain cards in a brand new Magic: The Gathering set. Looking back at Innistrad: Crimson Vow there perhaps wasn’t as many big impactful cards as we had initially hoped but there were some surprises hidden among them.

Let’s take a look at some of the most underrated cards from Crimson Vow judging them by their current use in any play format.

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10. Hero’s Downfall

We’re starting with a spell that’s established itself within Dimir, Rakdos and Mono-Black decks. As a two black + one cost card that can destroy either a creature or planeswalker, its cost is justified compared to the multiple two drop removal spells.

Hero’s Downfall is a much better alternative compared to Infernal Grasp which can only target creatures and takes two life points away. This really is low key a great spell that seems to have no downside other than requiring two black mana to cast which may cause an issue for Rakdos and Dimir if you’re not set up land-wise in the early game.

9. Headless Rider

Mono-Black hasn’t been short of great cards but Headless Rider is tailor-made for the current Zombie craze. Its cost is fair at one black plus two and it leaves behind a 2/2 Zombie token when it dies.

It may end up being subject to targeting from Spikefield Hazard but there aren’t too many other hard counters for it that take care of the card and death activation. Easily one of Crimson Vow’s best contributions to the Zombie archetype.

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8. Abrade

Abrade has really started to shine in Izzet and Mono-Red for its versatility as not only a damage/removal spell but its ability to remove an artifact from the battlefield.

For a common, it’s ended up being quite a well-regarded spell that’s also a big player in more than just the previously mentioned archetypes. Lastly, its artwork is also really cool which has to be acknowledged even though it doesn’t play a part in it being on this list.

7. Hullbreaker Horror

Wizards of the Coast

Hullbreaker Horror was pegged as potentially one of the better cards in the set but it wasn’t until it was seen in action with Mono-Blue and Dimir that it had players convinced.

Despite a huge two blue plus five mana cost, it’s not exactly an easy spell to cast without facing immediate removal. Effectively, you need to cast it when your opponent is entirely tapped for land or when you have enough mana and spells in hand to protect it. It will rarely swing in for a successful attack but it’s a great creature for drawing removal spells.

6. Halana and Alena, Partners


As a complete mirror to Hullbreaker Horror, Halana and Alena, Partners wasn’t too hyped up in Standard but was one to keep an eye on for Commander. Either way, it’s ended up being a great option in both formats.

Its combat ability can give haste to any other creature you play with while also boosting its power. Mix this with the reach and first strike make it a real pest. The cost of one red, one green plus two is fair and perhaps even a little low. It’s a prime card for an Alchemy amendment if its dominance continues.

5. Fierce Retribution

One of the few cards with cleave to really land from Crimson Vow, Fierce Retribution has been a decent addition and it’s a great cheap removal for Mono-White that can take opponents by surprise.

It will rarely be cast for its cleave cost which requires six mana but it’s nice to have just in case you end up in a tight spot which can happen with White quite often if games go too long!

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4. Ascendant Packleader

Ascendant Packleader has slotted nicely into Mono-Green decks due to its sheer diversity as both a turn one creature or something that can enter booster if you already control a permanent of mana four or greater.

Even if you use it turn one, provided that you can protect it, you’ll boost it by playing spells that cost four or more mana. Don’t be surprised to see some big removal spells used early to prevent it from reaching its potential despite the plethora of dangerous green cards in the current meta.

3. Voice of the Blessed

Voice of the Blessed may have found its home almost exclusively in Orzhov Clerics decks but it’s an absolute terror to deal with and has some unreal active abilities. Clerics players must have loved Crimson Vow as a set for what it added to their decks!

Not only will it receive +1/+1 when you gain life, once it reached four counters, it will also gain flying and vigilance. Should you let it reach ten counters (hint: don’t) then it will have indestructible. The Clerics decks are built around lifegain mechanics so it will take a lot less time than you think for Voice to reach ten counters.

2. Lambholt Raconteur / Lambholt Ravenger

We’re finishing off this list with back-to-back red cards that have really found their feet across Standard and Commander since Crimson Vow’s release. Lambhold Raconteur is a decent four drop that will deal chip damage every time you cast a spell.

Its big appeal is the night bound Lambhold Ravenger which not only boosts the toughness and defence to 4/4 but also doubles the damage dealt when a spell is cast. It’s great is both Mono-Red and Gruul spell decks which could start to become more competitive in the coming months.

1. Chandra, Dressed to Kill

It should be no surprise to see Chandra, Dressed to Kill atop this list as many players counted it out before the set was released. It may actually be one of, if not the best Planeswalker from the set as Sorin, the Mirthless is now viewed as being a little overrated.

Each ability has incredible use and coming in at just three mana to cast, she can be a real problem very early on. She has also risen through the ranks in Modern play further proving her popularity.

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