M15: Garruk, Apex Predator

“You are a Planeswalker” the introduction to Magic: the Gathering exclaims. You’re a powerful, one-in-millions mage who has the whole multiverse at your fingertips. It would make sense there are a lot more walkers like Tamiyo, the Moon Sage, who use the whole worldhopping ability for little more than science and discovery. Yet, all this space doesn’t seem enough, and most Planeswalkers seem to be at each other’s throat the whole time. Sometimes, Planeswalkers team up to help each other out against particularly large threats, like the Eldrazi, or Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. But who is crazy enough to team up with Garruk, Apex Predator, who’se whole raison d’etre seems to be killing all the other Planeswalkers?


Like Karn Liberated, he’s among the most expensive Planeswalkers you can hire. But once you get him into play, you do get a lot of options. It’s the second Planeswalker after Jace, the Mind Sculptor who has four abilities. Two of those are +1 abilities, even though one of them requires another Planeswalker on the table. And that ability just outright kills other planeswalkers, no questions asked. Unless those Planeswalkers are also players, but still.


Okay, technically four abilities is less than his previous incarnation, Garruk the Relentless, which had five, but it took two sides of the card and he only had 3 active at one time, max.

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The new version is more comfortable using black mana than the just transformed Garruk the Veil-Cursed. Instead of 1/1 deaththouch Wolves, he now produces 3/3 deaththouch Beasts. This (and his relatively high starting loyalty) does help protect him against attacks.

Then there is the -3 ability. When Deathtouch animals don’t cut it, because of flying creatures, he can just kill those. And due to his altruism, you gain some life. At least Garruk can really defend himself.

At -8, the ultimate ability is killer. Someone is going to get hurt, when everything going their way gets +5/+5 and trample. Maybe even some Assassin tokens from that other ‘Walker?

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Sure, is a lot of mana, but with the new Nissa to help the ramping, it’s going to be reasonably easy to get him out, and start defending you own Planeswalkers. Together they can all form a group of somewhat villainous Superfriends. Maybe even Kiora can help and show up with some Krakens, it’ll be fun!

The new Garruk is expensive, but a potentially powerful toolbox. His succes will largely depend on how often other Planeswalkers show up. Producing an endless stream of deatthouch creatures that are a relevant threat on their own, and the ability to kill creatures and planeswalkers makes him certainly worth a look.

Posted under Commander / EDH