Beasts are beautiful, aren’t they? As a fan of the B movie monster flicks – I’m talking Anaconda, Lake Placid, Megadon, to name a few, but also fantasy flicks like The Last Unicorn, Labyrinth, and Legend – I was excited to see what charming creatures and grotesque behemoths Ikoria would conjure up.
I didn’t expect that the kaiju would be making an appearance, but the latest trailer reveals that Godzilla, King of the Monsters (I don’t know guys, Kong has grown 79 feet since the Peter Jackson version, he might be able to take him on now) will be a part of the Ikoria deck. For those left disappointed by the Godzilla reboot, you may have your Godzilla moment yet.
It’s not Godzilla, but we were thrilled to get our virtual hands on an exclusive MTG Ikoria card reveal in the form of the General’s Enforcer. A two-cost card of one black and one white land. You can see his abilities below.
The General’s Enforcer’s arms are crossed. He’s standing in the middle of Drannith’s plaza as people mill around him. It had me thinking of the kind of decks he’d work well in.
So, I decided to have a little fun with it and create my own physical version of the card (I’ve got a lot of time, okay? Erm, if my editor’s reading, I don’t have a lot of time, ok?) and do my own draft at home. After roping in unwilling participants, we set about creating the ultimate decks to best each other and see what other gnarly combos we could inflict to win. Here’s how that went down…
Dipping into our stash of cards, we knew we’d have to make it work. The Ikoria set must have cards that complement our intimidating Enforcer, but this experiment was all about finding existing combos and exploring the Enforcer’s potential.
Funnily enough, the General’s Enforcer works really well with legendary humans. It may be down to his ability to make them indestructible, meaning it can’t be destroyed by rules and effects. Played with Eldraine’s Syr Alin, the Lion’s Claw, who has First Strike, effects reverberate throughout the play, allowing the legendary humans to stick around.
Another example of this is Syr Konrad, the Grim – a legendary black human knight that deals one damage to each opponent whenever a creature card leaves the graveyard. Well, you’ll be doing a lot of that with the General’s Enforcer, so pairing it with lifesteal cards produces some devastating results.
Throne of Eldraine and Thanos Beyond Death have some destructive human knight combinations, so it’ll be interesting to see what human soldier buffs emerge from the Ikoria set. We’ve already seen one legendary human soldier, Jirina Kudro, giving other humans a +2/+0 buff. By buffing your human soldiers, you can make the General’s Enforcer a pain to deal with.
On the other end of the spectrum, focus on black cards and treat the human soldiers like they’re expendable. By sacrificing your human soldiers, you’ll have a constant supply of creature cards in your graveyard to churn through with the General’s Enforcer. You can also use sacrificing mechanics to draw new cards or gain life.
My editor called this ‘a thing of terrifying beauty’ – I won’t tell him how long I spent it on then
The General’s Enforcer is relatively cheap and, played well in the opportune moment, can cause quite a bit of chaos. We found playing it later on in the game – so it didn’t suffer a premature fate and also allowing time for your deck to establish itself – can result in absolute misery for opponents. And there’s nothing more satisfying than making your opponents miserable…
Ikoria Lair of Behemoths launches April 16 on MTG: Arena.