Greven il-Vec had better watch his back, because there’s another Spinal Villain in town. Now that I got all of my skeletal puns out of the way, let’s see why I think Spinal Villain might be a budget King Suleiman. Unfortunately, due to a buyout around Amonkhet, this little guy skyrocketed from $10 to $40. That’s still a lot better than the $200 that the King has been sitting at for quite some time.
Also, in case you missed it, check out last week’s Knowledge Vault on Hand of Justice!
Four of the eleven Old School MTG 93/94 Djinns and Efreets are Blue. Spinal Villain could be a useful, repeatable sideboard piece if you are having trouble against aggressive decks containing these or other big, Blue creatures that Red has trouble dealing with, like Reanimator‘s Deep Spawn. I also had no idea that New England Old School’s beloved Old Man was errata’d to a Djinn!
There are also a couple of two-card combos involving the villain. This thread on /r/oldschoolmtg brings up a combo with Sleight of Mind. You change Spinal Villain’s text to whatever color the troublesome creature is, ex. Green, and then kill it. Alternatively, you can use Thoughtlace to turn the target to Blue and then kill it!
Edit: /u/RichardArschmann pointed out that Sea Kings’ Blessing works here, too!
However, don’t look to Gatherer for any other ideas on how to use Spinal Villain. It’s just a dozen 5 Star comments about how Spinal Villain has “eye butts” or how “Spinal Villain” is an awesome mname for a metal band.
It does bear a striking resemblance to Ponda Baba, though…
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