Rise of the Dread Marn – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

Rise of the Dread Marn is an Instant spell from Magic the Gathering’s Kaldheim set, which is a fine example of the power that the Foretell mechanic can have on a game. On its face, it’s a three-mana spell that creates X 2/2 Black Zombie creature tokens where X is the number of nontoken creatures that died during that turn. Already that’s a good card, but thanks to Foretell you can play this card face-down in exile for 2 generic mana. Then, you can cast it on a later turn for a single Black mana.

Because this card is an Instant, you can use its Foretell ability any time during your turn. Then, when the time is right you can pay a single Black mana to create a bunch of Zombie tokens. It’s also notable that unlike some other cards that creature Zombie tokens, these do not come into play tapped. There are plenty of decks that would be happy to play a card like this, creating creature tokens at instant speed.

One of the downsides to Rise of the Dread Marn is the amount of removal spells in today’s Magic the Gathering that exile rather than destroy creatures. Rise of the Dread Marn is pretty bad after an Extinction Event, for example, which exiles rather than destroys. However, against more traditional board wipes, it’s a great card. Rise of the Dread Marn is also a great card both for and against sacrifice-themed (Aristocrat) decks.

With Ranar, the Ever-Watchful around to make your first Foretell cost zero in a turn, it’s likely we see Rise of the Dread Marn quite a bit in Esper (White/Black/Blue) Control decks. Even for its full 3-mana cost (2 generic, 1 Black), it only takes you getting two tokens to make it worth casting. Typically, you’ll likely want to wait until you can get three or four tokens, especially in a deck that’s happy to sacrifice its creatures.

In Commander, this card could see a lot of play in not only Zombie decks, but other Sacrifice-themed decks, too. It may even become a staple in some token decks, as well. There’s a lot of ways for this card to be good and a lot of that is thanks to its Foretell ability splitting its mana cost quite advantageously.

How would you play Rise of the Dread Marn?

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