Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast (WotC), meet the founding Elder Dragon of the Witherbloom College in Strixhaven: School of Mages — Beledros Witherbloom!
The fifth and final Elder Dragon from Strixhaven is here, and Beledros Witherbloom deserves your attention. First enjoy the beautiful art on the normal version by Raymond Swanland and the showcase version by Daarken, two legendary Magic artists. Now, Let’s unpack all of what this seven-mana 4/4 flyer can do.
Notably, this trigger happens on every turn, not just your upkeep. The Pests will pile up once Beledros Witherbloom hits the battlefield providing a stream of chump blockers that gain you life. Witherbloom students will find plenty of other uses for the Pests, like sacrificing them for value with cards like Village Rites or effects like Spark Harvest. While a never-ending stream of 1/1s is nice, the second ability puts this Elder Dragon over the top.
How much are you willing to pay for a zero-mana Dragon? How about 10 life? If you reached the stage of the game where you can slam Beledros Witherbloom onto the battlefield, you can immediately untap your lands for the price of 10 life to defend it or cast other spells to stabilize the board. In a midrange or control matchup, the life will be available to spend giving you a free creature that has a huge impact on the battlefield. The ability is limited to only once each turn, so now crazy combo can allow infinite mana if you somehow found a way to gain infinite life.
Cards like Treachery and Palinchron have shown how powerful untapping the lands you used to play them can be. And though Beledros Witherbloom requires a steep cost to get the effect, there will be plenty of games where you’ll be happy to pay the life for access to at least seven more mana. Of course, this doesn’t even take into consideration Commander, where 10 life is isn’t as high of price as it is in Standard.
What do you think of Beledros Witherbloom? What will be the perfect spell to play after untapping your lands with this Elder Dragon on the battlefield?
Strixhaven: School of Mages releases April 23. Check out our official preview gallery.