Alara Reborn – Defiler of Souls

We bring you a look at a much improved Woebringer Demon, Alara Reborn Mythic Rare Defiler of Souls!

As I mentioned in the excerpt, the card that this makes me think of is Woebringer Demon.

When I originally wrote about Woebringer Demon, it was I believe my first attempt at a set review. I went back and looked it up… I had Woebringer Demon on Flagship originally.


No, that one never made Flagship.

However that 4/4 flying Abyss for five mana was actually pretty good. I will refresh your memory if you didn’t recall: I personally played Woebringer Demon in a deck; arguably one of my best performances ever, my Charleston Batman deck:

8 Plains
9 Swamp
2 Belfry Spirit
4 Blind Hunter
4 Ghost Council of Orzhova
3 Godless Shrine
4 Mortify
4 Orzhov Basilica
2 Orzhov Pontiff
4 Orzhov Signet
4 Skeletal Vampire
3 Teysa, Orzhov Scion
2 Gleancrawler
3 Hour of Reckoning
4 Last Gasp

2 Muse Vessel
4 Castigate
3 Culling Sun
2 Debtors’ Knell
2 Orzhov Pontiff
2 Woebringer Demon

If I recall correctly, I won every single time I sided Woebringer Demon in. I usually brought it in when I was playing against Simic Sky Swallower; it was a 4/4 Diabolic Edict that generally struck their mighty 7/7 and locked the opponent out of ever being able to have a board presence before I did them in.

… And Woebringer Demon was not half the card that Defiler of Souls will be.

Defiler of Souls costs exactly one Red mana more than Woebringer Demon. In return you get two key differences between the cards:

  1. +1/+1 (not bad)
  2. A slightly different take at The Abyss

While the size difference looks to be a perfect upgrade, the sacrifice line is different on these cards, neither one being strictly better than the other. Defiler of Souls is the more flexible card: If you simply don’t play any monocolored creatures, Defiler of Souls has zero downside. You can play him whenever you want and he will generally just be annoying for the other guy.

On balance — and this is kind of obvious and silly and at the same time irrelevant — you could never side in Defiler of Souls in the spots where Woebringer Demon was useful for me in Charleston; basically Defiler of Souls don’t eat no Simic Sky Swallowers. Not that that matters of course; for Charleston we would be talking about a very specific metagame, and it is unlikely Simic Sky Swallower and Defiler of Souls will ever be facing off anyway… But it was still something I wanted to mention.

Basically on Defiler of Souls you get decent Dragon stats and a body that can chomp on some — even “most” — decks on the bonus.

Where can I see this fitting in: Defiler of Souls would be a fine killer in a Reflecting Pool Control style of deck; he has no interaction with Plumeveil but chews on the creatures in most of the obvious decks. If some kind of progressive creature deck like I played in Charleston were viable, he could top up there as well (usually you just want a body to step up, this is a pretty good one). Or you could build around the Defiler of Souls as a Flagship; that won’t be popular but some players will try it. I would expect one of the first two options as the most likely paths for serious play.

Snap Judgment Rating: Role Player


All Alara Reborn

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