So, among the first wave of official WOTC spoilers we had a lot to take in. Fellow writers are going to be covering some of the cards spoiled today. The new Kiora and Ob Nixilis were also revealed and quite frankly very powerful cards. I’m here to talk about another card, one that I think is powerful in it’s own right. It might not be as flashy as new planeswalkers, but I have a feeling this will immediately be mis-evaluated and under appreciated.
Here we have Undergrowth Champion.
If you’ve all been reading my articles lately (and Ryan Overturf) between the two of us we’ve covered a deck not too long ago that could suddenly become quite powerful. The caveat is also that none of these cards have rotated. I think when we look at Undergrowth Champion, everyone expects “make my monster grow!”. This really isn’t the case. The value isn’t in how large the Champion can get, because it never really needs to get large.
It never dies in combat. Sure, a removal spell will take care of this creature, but the age old “dies to removal” argument doesn’t affect premiere tournament staples for years now. If it did, we wouldn’t be including Tarmogoyf into our decklists. Now, by no means am I comparing this to Tarmogoyf, but there was a tournament staple for those of you old enough to remember:
Yeah, this was the real thing back in those days. How far we’ve come since Judgment, right? Not only Undergrowth Champion vastly better than it’s predecessor, it’s also about to be included into a Standard that has plenty of tools to support it. Remember this when we evaluate cards – It’s not always about the card itself, but the cards around it also. There’s a plethora of viable cards that interact with +1/+1 counters, and curving this after a Hangarback Walker and into a Citadel Siege looks fairly scary in my opinion.
Let’s quickly go over some pros and cons:
- Doesn’t die in combat.
- Continues to threaten board without removal.
- Incredible Synergy with +1/+1 counters and Landfall
- Low converted mana cost (Collected Company)
- GG casting cost
- Starts off as a 2/2 – might not always trade with creatures
- No evasion whatsoever
- Susceptible to non damage removal
- “Build around” card
Undergrowth Champion hasen’t been posted on pre-orders yet on major sites, but I would certainly keep my eye on it.
Oh, before I go – Just remember some of the cards that may end up creating a very problamatic Champion. For very little investment: