Khabal Ghoul – Old School Magic the Gathering Card Review

Khabal Ghoul is an interesting Zombie creature card from Magic the Gathering’s second-ever release Arabian Nights. This creature is uncommon, but it’s on the Reserve List, like many of the best Arabian Nights cards became. For 3 mana (2 Colorless mana, 1 Black mana), you get a 1/1 Zombie. That’s not exciting at all, but his ability is quite good. The Ghoul gets a +1/+1 counter at each end step for every creature that died that turn and wasn’t regenerated. Potentially, this guy could get pretty darn big in a hurry.

The Ghoul used to be a decent card when he was first released. But, even with creatures not nearly at the power level they would become decades later, Khabal Ghoul still wasn’t a guy you saw in competitive play. Still, he’s found a home since the creation of the Old School Magic format, where you can only play cards released from 1993 to 1994 (Alpha through The Dark). He’s especially a fun first turn play if you cast Dark Ritual, which gives you three Black Mana. 

Over twenty years since his printing, Khabal Ghoul has gotten pretty pricey, thanks to never again being able to be reprinted. If you have about $75+ to spare for a copy of this guy for an Old School Magic deck, Khabal Ghoul is worth a look. He’s also worth picking up if you love collecting Reserve List Magic cards and have the wallet to do so. He may be a nice little card to put in your Zombie-based Commander deck or crazy rogue Legacy deck, especially if those decks have a heavy theme of sacrificing creatures. Still, he’s not really worth the price tag unless you’re looking to collect every Reserved List card you can, anyway.

Have you ever played Khabal Ghoul?

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2 thoughts on “Khabal Ghoul – Old School Magic the Gathering Card Review

  1. There is an infinite combo in contemporary Old School Magic involving this card — albeit a bit hard to pull off. With a Concordant Crossroads in play, begin your turn with one Hell’s Caretaker on the battlefield, and a second Hell’s Caretaker in the graveyard. During your upkeep, use the Hell’s Caretaker’s ability to continuously sacrifice one Caretaker and resurrect the other — do this infinite times. Then, just cast Khabal Ghoul later on in the turn (or maybe you began the turn with the Ghoul already in play, that’s fine too). At the end of your turn, voila — your Khabal Ghoul has infinite +1/+1 counters. Either attack with it next turn, or, to add a fifth card to the combo, sacrifice in your end step to Sword of the Ages and deal infinite damage. Infinite Ghoul!

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