Cultivator of Blades – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

Cultivator of Blades from Magic the Gathering’s Kaladesh set is essentially a new and improved version of Wild Beastmaster from Return to Ravnica. Wild Beastmaster saw some play in Standard when the Miracle Sorcery, Blessings of Nature from Avacyn Restored, was legal. If it was the first card that you drew in a turn, you could choose to pay just one Green mana for it. This sorcery spell card distributed four +1/+1 counters among any number of target creatures. Ordinarily, it would cost 4G. When played with Wild Beastmaster, the game could be over pretty quick. Whenever the Beastmaster attacks, your other creatures get +X/+X where X is the Beastmaster’s power. Pumping your creatures by +5/+5 is pretty devastating, especially on turn 4, when this could easily be done.

Whereas the Beastmaster was a 1/1 for 2G, the Cultivator is a 1/1 for 3GG, but also with Fabricate 2. This means you can either put two +1/+1 counters on him, or create two 1/1 Servo tokens. It’s fair enough to make 3 bodies for 5 mana. But what’s most interesting about the Cultivator is having the same ability has Wild Beastmaster. Whenever the Cultivator attacks, your other creatures get +X/+X where X is the Cultivator’s power. It’s relatively easy to pump your creatures by +3/+3 in that case.

While there were some decent pump spells in Standard when the Cultivator was Standard legal, especially in Red, five mana was a lot to invest in this card. As it is, Wild Beastmaster wasn’t a top-tier card at any point, just a nice way to quickly win games with the beats out of nowhere. Cultivator can do the same thing more efficiently on its own, but It’s not going to win out of nowhere the way that Wild Beastmaster could. It requires a bit more set-up, and being on average two turns slower than Beastmaster really hurts its ability to be a competitive-caliber card. It takes what was already a fringe Standard-playable ability and puts it into a more mid-range role that just wouldn’t fly in top-level play.

Cultivator of Blades ended up relegated to Commander, where so many other ways to pump it exist. In token-based strategies, Cultivator of Blades can be extremely powerful, especially in that he can create two tokens himself. But, he was a bit too fragile and too high on the curve to really impact Standard. In Commander, though, it can be a useful creature to have if you’re running a good amount of creatures. It’s a solidly designed card.

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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