Challenge the Stats – Henzie "Toolbox" Torre
(Henzie "Toolbox" Torre | Art by Johannes Voss)
The Blitzkrieg Bop
Welcome to Challenge the Stats! This series is based on the awesome EDHRECast segment where we pick out cards that we think are overplayed, underplayed, or sleepers to challenge EDHREC’s data. But remember, these are merely comments on the data, and card choices made by you, the deckbrewer, for any reason such as flavor, budget, art, or fun are always most important and are what keep our format unique and awesome.
This week, we're challenging the new Jund precon face commander, Henzie "Toolbox" Torre.
We're challenging the data from a staggering 2,574 Commander decks at the time of writing, and you can see how often those cards are played in parentheses (%). Here we go.
I chatted with quite a few folks to brainstorm challenges for this article, so I'd like to especially thank Mike Carrozza, MotherEffingMage, Looter-Scooter, AwesomeMcCoolName, and OboeSapien for their great insights!
1. Ziatora's Envoy (35%)
Ziatora's Envoy is making it in the deck just probably just because it's lying around when people are opening their Streets of New Capenna packs and building Henzie decks. Honestly, it doesn't do enough. Even if it doesn't get blocked (and that's a big if), we could still hit a 6-and-up drop and whiff.
2. Indrik Stomphowler (23%)
Indrik Stomphowler is a classic precon effect example in the EDHREC data. It was released in the preconstructed deck, yet there are much better options. I'd much prefer Foundation Breaker in its place. It hits Henzie's four-mana-value criteria, but can also cost two to Evoke, which can be fantastic in a pinch or if we want to put it right into the graveyard to reanimate it on the same turn.
Underplayed and Sleepers
3. Seedguide Ash (38%)
We can Blitz out Seedguide Ash for four mana and ramp three Forests (nonbasic!)! That rate is pretty awesome compared to a Circuitous Route or Migration Path.
4. Body Snatcher (9%) + Underworld Sentinel (4%)
These two are cute ways to cheat something into play permanently when we Blitz them. Body Snatcher cheats something into play from our hand, and Underworld Sentinel effectively reanimates a creature from our graveyard. Sure, there are more effective ways to reanimate creatures, but in a creature-based deck and with Henzie's discount, the Sentinel is a solid synergy choice.
5. Homura, Human Ascendant (2%)
The downside of Homura is that it's a bit overcosted and hard to flip, but Henzie eliminates both of those! This will equate to five mana (or less) to give our whole team +2/+2, flying, and firebreathing! That's a huge buff that can help us close a game.
6. Rakshasa Debaser (5%)
Encore cards are fantastic in Henzie since we want them in the graveyard anyway. Rakshasa Debaser is a favorite of mine, snagging a creature on its first Blitz and then up to three on the Encore. Other Encore creatures are neat, too. Phyrexian Triniform is also a powerhouse and a great one to discount. Finally, given the number of Treasures running around, Fathom Fleet Swordjack might just be a finisher if we have enough artifacts (but check your deck before including it).
7. Doom Weaver (14%)
Soulbond cards can pair to whatever we Blitz in, and Doom Weaver's death trigger will easily happen when we sacrifice the creature. Let's imagine this: Blitz in a Seedguide Ash, Soulbond with Doom Weaver, and, on our end step, sacrifice it to draw a total of five cards! That's a pretty reasonable floor when Henzie loves to play creatures with a high power stat.
8. Morbid Opportunist (9%)
Deathreap Ritual is played in 35% of Henzie decks, and the creature version, Morbid Opportunist, has much better synergy with our deck. I would also be very interested in playing Fecundity because we're going to probably profit from it more than other players. Just be careful if there's another sacrifice deck at the table!
9. Kodama of the East Tree (9%)
Kodama works beautifully with Blitz. We'll get a discount on the Blitz cost, but we'll still get to put in a permanent for free based on the Blitzed creature's undiscounted mana value.
10. Gleancrawler (2%)
Gleancrawler is a powerful engine with Henzie. We get all the creatures we Blitzed back every turn so we can do it all again next turn! If we need to, we can also Blitz the Gleancrawler, stacking the triggers so we sac other Blitz creatures first and get them back before the Gleancrawler dies.
11. Bonus Pick: Obosh, the Preypiercer (2 decks)
AwesomeMcCoolName pointed out that Obosh would be a really cool Companion for Henzie since Henzie lets us essentially play our five-drops as four-drops and mitigate Obosh's downside! Whet your whistle with these odd-MV spells that the folks in our discord shouted out:
- Gratuitous Violence
- Dictate of the Twin Gods
- Angrath's Marauders
- Seedguide Ash
- Corpse Dance
- Living Death
- Succumb to Temptation
- Dawn of the Dead
- Drakuseth, Maw of Flames
There are so many cool death triggers we could reach for that don't make it on Henzie's page. I combed through every creature with a death trigger on Scryfall, and here's a list of some I think could be neat:
- Bhaal, Lord of Murder
- Caldaia Guardian
- Cavalier of Night
- Cavalier of Flame
- Cavalier of Thorns
- Cemetery Desecrator
- Demon of Dark Schemes
- God-Eternal Rhonas
- Gorex, the Tombshell
- Moldgraf Monstrosity
- Nightmare Shepherd
- Rootless Yew
- Ruin Grinder
- Seed Guardian
- Seedguide Ash
- Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper
- Syr Konrad, the Grim
- Sultai Flayer
For more info about Henzie and decklist to start from, check out this video by the EDHRECast's Joey Schultz!
Rudolph and Blitzen
What do you think about these challenges? Are there any other cards you would challenge? Let me know in the comments below! As always, you can find me on twitter @jevinmtg.