Cleaving Reaper – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

It’s been some time since Magic the Gathering printed an Angel creature in Black, and Kaldheim brings with it the Cleaving Reaper. Like another Angel being released in the set, Valkyrie Harbinger, the Reaper is only available in Theme and Collector (Set) boosters. An Angel Berserker who costs 5 mana (3 colorless, 2 black) to cast, she is a 5/3 flyer with trample. She also has a secondary ability that when she’s in the graveyard you can pay 3 life to add her back to your hand.

This Angel wouldn’t be all that competitively playable if Kaldheim didn’t have a creature in it that makes your Angel spells 2 colorless cheaper to cast called Starnheim Aspirant. Yet another creature we won’t see in Draft boosters, the Aspirant turns Cleaving Reaper into a potent 3-drop threat. While she’s no Seraph of the Scales, who was very playable in the days of Ravnica Allegiance, she might be just good enough to see play, especially if the Berserker subtype gets some extra love.

Also, unlike the Seraph, Cleaving Reaper doesn’t bring a couple tokens into play when she dies. Yes, you can get her back to your hand from the graveyard, which is something. But, it’s nothing like Deathpact Angel, the Mythic Angel from way back in Gatecrash, who made a token you could sacrifice to bring Deathpact Angel right back to the battlefield for her casting cost.

Cleaving Reaper could potentially be a good creature in the right deck, especially if Berserker Tribal becomes a thing in Kaldheim or some time in a future Standard environment that still features the set. At the very least, she’ll be a lot rarer than your typical Kaldheim rare, so her scarcity alone may make her worth looking at as a trade chip for hardcore Magic the Gathering card collectors.

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