Magic: The Gathering‘s newest set War of the Spark wraps up spoiler season this Friday. Plenty of new and explosive cards have been revealed this week and today is more of the same. Are you looking for a creature that gets a boost from all your Planeswalkers? Well, if you happen to be a Simic mage, do I have a creature for you! Our latest reveal comes to us from Commander’s Brew Podcast. Meet Bioessence Hydra!
Bioessence Hydra is a 4/4 Hydra Mutant with trample for 5 total mana. Rarely will Bioessence Hydra enter the battlefield as a 4/4, though. Its first ability allows it to enter the battlefield with additional +1/+1 counters for each loyalty counter on Planeswalkers you control. So your optimal play line will include deploying Planeswalkers on turn 3 or 4, then dropping this card, which should be pretty big as a result.
Its second ability adds +1/+1 counters to Hydra anytime a loyalty counter is put on a Planeswalker you control. This means you’ll want to activate Planeswalker plus abilities and deploy more Planeswalkers even after Bioessence Hydra is in play.
Also worth noting, there’s a good chance that Bioessence Hydra will also receive +1/+1 counters equal to the loyalty counters a new Planeswalker enters the battlefield with. While specific new card interactions and rulings aren’t available for new cards, this replacement effect works similarly to Doubling Season. This means you’ll want to plan out when to deploy your Planeswalkers, before or after Hydra, to maximize the damage Bioessence Hydra gets in for.
Bioessence Hydra may find a home in a new Planeswalker-heavy deck. While Hydroid Krasis has historically held the Blue-Green fatty spot, Bioessence Hydra advantages Planeswalker cards in a much different way. If you’re looking for card advantage and evasion, Hydroid Krasis should still be your go-to. If you’re playing a lot of Planeswalkers and just want a huge beater in the first 5-6 turns, Bioessence Hydra may be just the card for you!