2021 is coming to an end, but it sure feels like a new beginning in the world of Magic: the Gathering, as two prominent vampire families – the Volarens and Markovs – tie the knot in Innistrad: Crimson Vow expansion set.
Thanks to Wizards of the Coast, Geek Culture and Tap & Sac are again proud to unveil one if the only few spoilers – Curse of Hospitality! Just like our spoiler from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, it’s a red Enchant Player Rare and further builds on the cycle of Curse cards in these two sets.
The gripping artwork was beautifully done by Dominik Mayer, whose abstract style can be seen in over a dozen recent showcase cards from Zendikar Rising and Strixhaven’s Mystical Archive sets. See more of his artwork on Artstation!
Curse cards have always seen fringe play in the meta, but Curse of Hospitality shows a little more promise because of its second triggered ability.
The casting cost is also pretty low at 2R and gives Trample to all Creatures attacking enchanted player. Red is well known for having low-powered goblins and devils so there aren’t many Enchantments that give Trample.
Archetype of Aggression and Ferocity of the Wilds have similar costs, give Trample, but neither have the upside of letting you cast spells off the opponent’s Library. Stealing opponent’s cards is often the hallmark of blue and black cards, so Curse of Hospitality is actually a welcome addition in red.
Is Curse of Hospitality Good in Standard?
Mono red decks aren’t doing so well in Standard right now, after the loss of Embercleave and Anax, Hardened in the Forge that were rotated out just two months ago. The current stable of red decks either use burn spells (which don’t apply to Curse of Hospitality), or a massive army of power-1-or-2 Goblins to blitz the opponent.
Those goblins can easily deal damage to the opponent, but more often than not you’re tapping out all your Mana each turn to keep up the pressure. It could provide some pseudo “card draw” in the mid game as your Hand runs out of steam, but it really is kind of a waste to cast Curse on turn three when that Hobgoblin Bandit Lord is clearly a more potent choice.
Where Curse of Hospitality can really shine is in the green-red Werewolves deck that is seeing a lot of traction in Standard after the release of Midnight Hunt. Now that deck could really use Creatures with Trample. When you combine those trampling, howling beasts with Tovolar, Dire Overlord, you will likely draw even more cards, and for the icing even exile cards off the opponent’s Library. It’s going to be like hitting the floor on the gas pedal!
But is it Broken?
Sadly no – apart from the werewolves deck, it shows more broad potential in the multiplayer Commander format, since all your opponents will have an incentive to attack the player enchanted with Curse of Hospitality.
But because you have to still pay the costs for any exiled spells, that’ll realistically just be 1-2 each turn. Compare that to Etali, Primal Storm that also exiles the top card of each opponent’s Library, but lets you cast those cards for free. Curse of Hospitality would be a pea gun put alongside a pistol.
Really pumped that we’re seeing yet another new cycle of Curse cards in Crimson Vow, it’s a card type that really needs more support. With more Curses now available in the broader Commander format, be prepared to see more decks with curse-specialist Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor leading the charge!