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How Busted Is Capricious Hellraiser?

Most players know Capricious Hellraiser is good, but how good? Find out what DoggertQBones thinks about this newest Mythic Dragon and why it may even be better than anticipated!

Hello everyone!

So we’ve been able to review Lukka, Bound to Ruin, Nahiri, the Unforgiving, Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting, Nissa, Ascended Animist, and Jace, the Perfected Mind as compleated walkers, Kaya, Intangible Slayer, The Eternal Wanderer, and Koth, Fire of Resistance as our heroes, as well as Phyrexian Obliterator , White Sun’s Twilight, Sword of Forge and Frontier, and Tyrranax Rex, but we have even more sweet cards to preview! What’s a Standard set without a big Mythic dragon, and while they’re generally five mana, this time we have a six mana option with Capricious Hellraiser!

So we have a 3RRR 4/4 Flying, which is generally quite under par for the stat line both in mana value and difficulty of cast, but that’s not the only mana cost! If you have nine or more cards in your graveyard, you get a 3 mana discount making this a RRR Dragon instead which is obviously insane! Of course, it won’t be easy to get to 9 cards in graveyard in a normal game, but when you can, this is extremely potent.

While the stat line is a little sad for the cost, that’s obviously not why we’re playing it! On entry, you exile three cards at random from your graveyard, then you get to pick a noncreature, nonland to play for free! See, you’re getting that mana back after all!

Most players thus far have identified that this card is strong, and by the title, I clearly agree, but how strong are we talking.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

While I think this may be bordering on overhyped, this card is definitely powerful.

First off, while six mana for a 4/4 Flying is not the best stat line in the world, it isn’t embarrassing and still needs to be answer from the opponent. Second, the RRR is not as restrictive in this metagame as it may in others as three color decks have easily been able to cast Invoke Despair, so I’m not worried there.

That leads us to the meat of the card – the ETB and cost reduction ability. With both of these abilities on the same card, that leads us to two potential paths with each game. One, we look to stock the graveyard as much as possible to get a really cheap Dragon. This is definitely the preferable option, and if you’re just playing a normal game, you should be able to accomplish this eventually without too much of an issue. Nine cards isn’t anything to sneeze at of course, but it’s far from an impossible ask. The other way you can look at this is actually looking to get as few cards in your graveyard as possible to have greater control over what you’re hitting. While that would be much more difficult, if you could situate yourself to have something like an Invoke Despair in your graveyard when it’s really small, that would obviously be disgusting. It may seem weird to pair a BBBB card with a RRR card, but in this Standard, I don’t think that’s particularly unreasonable!

Realistically, getting your graveyard full seems like a much easier ask, and in this Standard, there are definitely a litany of good cards who are good at doing that.

You get the idea. You definitely want to be playing this card in RB(x), and with all these options that are just fine cards in their own right, this seems relatively easy. Even if you’re just going Rakdos to play Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Liliana of the Veil, hitting the requisite amount of cards to turn on the cost reduction seems super reasonable.

Overall, while I don’t think the sky is falling, this card is definitely powerful and I can nearly guarantee will see play. As a final note, while I know it’s ambitious, I’m just saying it may have some cute interactions with this as well.

A man can dream.

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Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

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