MTG Zagras buffs Historic and Commander Pinger builds

This is a vampire that every planeswalker should fear.

Image via Wizards of the Coast

A new Magic: the Gathering Rakdos Vampire commander was revealed today during Zendikar Rising spoiler season, packed with keywords and the ability to give Pinger’s planeswalker Deathtouch.

Using the new ZNR Party mechanic to reduce his casting cost, Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats has plenty to offer Pinger-themed decks. He might not have a major impact within Standard Constructed or Limited, but the Rakdos Vampire Rogue has plenty of support via Commander and Historic, ready to unleash Deathtouch pings on a slew of detrimental planeswalkers. 

ZNR Zagras Thief of Heartbeats MTG
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering
  • CMC 4(BR)
  • Type: Legendary Creature—Vampire Rogue
  • Party mechanic: This spell costs one less to cast for each creature in your party.
  • Keywords: Flying, Deathtouch, and Haste.
  • Stats: 4/4
  • First ability: Other creatures you control have Deathtouch.
  • Second ability: Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a planeswalker, destroy that planeswalker. 

Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats needs at least two of the four Party creature types to become viable and worth playing. Rakdos’ primary creature types are Warrior for Red and Rogue for Black. The secondary creature types are Wizards for Red and Cleric for Black. 

In the Historic and Commander formats, ideal cards that work with Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats include the notorious Goblin Chainwhirler and Grim Lavamancer. Mayhem Devil is also a solid option but doesn’t reduce the vampire’s casting cost via Party. 

The ZNR Party mechanic opens the door for Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats to easily get played for a CMC of two (BR) as opposed to four (BR). A 4/4 four-drop with multiple abilities and a slew of keywords is a solid play in any MTG format, especially when one of those abilities gives Pinger’s planeswalker Deathtouch.   

Experiment with Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats when ZNR releases via MTG Arena on Sept. 17 and officially on Sept. 26.