Recently, we had talked about a handful of cards from Murders at Karlov Manor that function rather similarly to cards of the past. In some cases, such as with Long Goodbye, the newer version is strictly better than the older version, which in this case is Eliminate. However, there are plenty of other examples of new spoilers that have taken card designs from the past and modified them in unique ways.
For example, Analyze Pollen has a similar function to Traverse the Ulvenwald, but different conditions have to be met to maximize the card. Today, we are going to go over a recently revealed card in a similar vein. This card is pretty close to Hushbringer in its ability to stop certain enters-the-battlefield effects. However, there are some key differences that may help put the newer version over the top.
Strong EDH InteractionsDoorkeeper Thrull is our latest Creature with a built-in Torpor Orb effect. These effects can be quite strong in the right matchups, stopping enters-the-battlefield effects from Creature heavy decks. Unlike Hushbringer, Doorkeeper Thrull does not interact with death triggers well, but what it gains is absolutely noteworthy.
By far the most important aspect of this card if Flash. Part of the issue with previous cards like Hushbringer, especially in an EDH setting, is that your opponents would now know about it and simply avoid playing into it. Thanks to Flash, it’s quite likely you will be able to respond to something very impactful and essentially force your opponent to have wasted their mana.
In cEDH, two of the most played cards, Dockside Extortionist and Thassa’s Oracle, get completely shut down by Doorkeeper Thrull. Getting to respond to the likes of Spellseeker or Imperial Recruiter can be devastating, as well.
Even outside of cEDH, there are plenty of haymakers Doorkeeper Thrull can stop. Casting this in response to a Craterhoof Behemoth or Avenger of Zendikar, for instance, can potentially save the whole table at once. The surprise factor with this type of effect cannot be overstated, since your opponent may not have the luxury of being able to simply kill it before resolving a spell with an impactful triggered ability.
In Pioneer and Modern, there are some potential opportunities for this card to mess with specific archetypes. Starting with Modern, one interaction that’s worth looking out for is the ability to shut off Protection granted from The One Ring. This is yet another added benefit for Doorkeeper Thrull compared to Hushbringer, as being able to shut off Artifact triggered abilities from entering play can be a big deal. If you’re aggressive enough, this can completely slant a race in your favor.
While a little less popular nowadays, this is also a decent card against Colossus Hammer decks. Doorkeeper Thrull successfully blanks the ability of Sigarda’s Aid that lets you attach an Equipment that you play to a Creature for free. What’s awkward about this interaction, though, is that Hammer Time is one of the archetypes that otherwise could’ve best used Doorkeeper Thrull to its advantage.
Hushbringer sometimes sees play in Hammer Time as it is, helping against Solitude and Primeval Titan decks. Negating The One Ring’s Protection clause could be useful as well, but the unfavorable interaction with Colossus Hammer likely makes this point moot. Not to mention, other white-based decks like Heliod, Sun-Crowned combo and Abiding Grace midrange rely too much on their own triggered abilities, making this a bit of a niche card. Still, this card is powerful enough to keep an eye on even if it doesn’t have a great home.
In a similar sense, Doorkeeper Thrull can do a great job at keeping Abzan Amalia Benavides Aguirre combo at bay. First of all, it shuts down the vast majority of ways the deck has to gain life, as they are mostly tied to Lunarch Veteran and Prosperous Innkeeper. This is also tough for the Amalia decks in their current forms to remove, as it shuts off Skyclave Apparition as well.
Part of the reason aggressive mono-white Humans decks in Pioneer have faltered in recent months is in part because this matchup is extremely tough. Perhaps the added benefit of being able to Flash this in in response to Collected Company could help the deck make at least a bit of a resurgence.
Speaking of white aggressive decks, Doorkeeper Thrull could be a game-changer in Standard. There are simply an absurd number of cards with powerful enters-the-battlefield triggers in the format right now. Rakdos midrange makes use of Discover cards like Geological Appraiser and Trumpeting Carnosaur to reliably pull ahead. On the play, you can also Flash in Doorkeeper Thrull in response to Deep-Cavern Bat to protect your hand, which is a very nice bonus.
Meanwhile, five-color Domain decks rely on Topiary Stomper to ramp and Archangel of Wrath to stabilize. Azorius Soldiers makes great use of Resolute Reinforcements and Knight-Errant of Eos to pull ahead, as well as Werefox Bodyguard to keep the pressure on[/tooltips].
If anything, this showcases just how powerful Doorkeeper Thrull’s effect can be in Standard. We’ve already seen Tishana’s Tidebinder make its presence felt in Azorius and Esper midrange shells, and for decks that don’t utilize enters-the-battlefield triggers in a high capacity, Doorkeeper Thrull can provide a powerful, continuous effect on an efficient, evasive body. There’s no denying this card’s power, so it’s certainly worth monitoring to see what shells can best maximize it across all formats.