Obscure Curiosities

Your resource for the best niche hobbies.

Trading Cards

Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence is an uncommon green and black planeswalker card from War of the Spark. This four-mana planeswalker has a hybrid mana cost, meaning you can pay either green or black mana to cast her. This Vraska planeswalker shares Standard with another four-mana Vraska card from Ravnica Allegiance: Vraska, Golgari Queen. So, where does this Vraska fit in?

Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence is Strong in a Deathtouch Tribal Deck

Like all the uncommon War of the Spark planeswalkers, Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence has two abilities, one static ability and one loyalty ability. Her static ability is rather interesting: “Whenever a creature you control with deathtouch deals damage to a player or planeswalker, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.” There’s only a few good creatures with deathtouch currently in Standard. But, there are some possibilities.

Death Baron, for example, gives other Skeletons and Zombies you control deathtouch. So, Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence could work in a Zombie tribal deck. Dire Fleet Poisoner can give Pirates you control Deathtouch. Other playable creatures with deathtouch include Dire Fleet Ravager, Isareth the Awakener, Pestilent Spirit, and Tetzimoc, Primal Death. There’s also the split instant card Status / Statue which would be fairly playable in a deck with Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence.

The particularly fun aspect of Vraska, Swam’s Eminence is the tokens that she creates. For minus-two loyalty, she creates a 1/1 black Assassin creature token with deathtouch. Those tokens also have the ability that whenever they deal damage to a planeswalker, destroy that planeswalker. Those tokens have perfect synergy with Swarm’s Eminence’s other ability, so they can get bigger quickly.

Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence in EDH / Commander

Many Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons Snake Tribal Commander players added Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence to their EDH decks. Damia, Sage of Stone Deathtouch Tribal EDH decks can make use of Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence, too. While this Vraska planeswalker does need to fill a particular niche in EDH, she finds more than a few homes in Commander decks.

Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence in Standard

At the very least, Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence was considered as Standard-playable as a sideboard card against planeswalker-heavy strategies. Because of her hybrid mana cost, she can be played in decks that feature either green or black mana, and not just both. Red/black (Rakdos) and Blue/black (Dimir) decks can play her, as well as Red/Green (Gruul) and White/Green (Selesnya) decks. She’s a bit too niche for Modern and other Eternal competitive formats.

Being only an uncommon, Magic the Gathering players should be happy to add a playset of this Vraska planeswalker to their collections. While Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence may not be a super important card outside of a Planeswalker-heavy Standard metagame, she is a well-designed and flavorful planeswalker just like all those we have seen in War of the Spark.

How would you play Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence?

Leave a Reply

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy. Personal Website: https://www.thephoenixdesertsong.com

Discover more from Obscure Curiosities

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading