Godzilla, King of the Monsters

Published May 18th, 2020

We’re back with one of the most interesting crossover promos for Magic: The Gathering ever, Zilortha, Strength Incarnate. The Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths buy-a-box promo is the newest addition to the pool of choices for Gruul Commander. It functions like a reverse Doran, The Siege Tower, where your creatures power will act as its toughness. While they can still die from having their toughness reduced to 0 it means a creature like Zilortha acts as a 7/7, so yes it’s actually outside of Lightning Bolt range. Now putting aside the Godzilla cosmetic we’re going to see just how powerful the King of the Monsters can be.

//Commander (1)

Zilortha, Strength Incarnate

//Lands (37)

Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Cavern of Souls
Cinder Glade
Command Tower
Copperline Gorge
Dryad Arbor
Fire-Lit Thicket
Forest x10
Gruul Turf
Kessig Wolf Run
Misty Rainforest
Mosswort Bridge
Mountain x4
Myriad Landscape
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Path of Ancestry
Rootbound Crag
Scalding Tarn
Sheltered Thicket
Stomping Ground
Taiga
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

//Artifacts (16)

Mana Crypt
Sensei’s Divining Top
Shadowspear
Skullclamp
Sol Ring
Arcane Signet
Gruul Signet
Lightning Greaves
Mind Stone
Talisman of Impulse
Bow of Nylea
Mage Slayer
Sword of Fire and Ice
Embercleave
The Immortal Sun
The Great Henge

//Enchantments (4)

Rancor
Rhythm of the Wild
Greater Good
Guardian Project

//Instants (4)

Worldly Tutor
Chord of Calling
Beast Within
Return of the Wildspeaker

//Sorceries (7)

Green Sun’s Zenith
Finale of Devastation
Nature’s Lore
Cultivate
Kodama’s Reach
Natural Order
Rishkar’s Expertise

//Planeswalkers (5)

Domri, Anarch of Bolas
Vivien, Champion of the Wilds
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Garruk Wildspeaker
Garruk, Primal Hunter

//Creatures (26)

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Eternal Witness
Fierce Empath
Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist
Prowling Serpopard
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
Tireless Tracker
Wayward Swordtooth
Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma
Proud Wildbonder
Solemn Simulacrum
Deus of Calamity
God-Eternal Rhonas
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar
Quartzwood Crasher
Xenagos, God of Revels
Bane of Progress
Carnage Tyrant
Etali, Primal Storm
Inferno Titan
Woodland Bellower
Avenger of Zendikar
Beanstalk Giant // Fertile Footsteps
Siege Behemoth
Craterhoof Behemoth
Woodfall Primus

Synergies

Xenagos, God of Revels: A staple choice for a Gruul power based strategy that turns Zilortha into a 14 power creature with haste for combat. Along with the natural trample ability it makes a destructive strike of commander damage.

Siege Behemoth: When trample isn’t enough there are several ways to assign combat damage directly to your opponents. Siege Behemoth is a big hexproof beast that will make blockers irrelevant for your creatures as long as it’s attacking as well. With Zilortha the 7 power keeps it from lethal damage by another 3 points and depending on the size of the attack you might not even need another combat to finish off your target.

The Great Henge: Power, card draw, mana, and life gain, The Great Henge accomplishes all of this in green. With Zilortha or any other creature with 7 or more power it discounts itself to cost two green, effectively paying for itself.

Power

God-Eternal Rhonas: In a deck that cares about power the fact that it doesn’t grant a toughness boost is all but irrelevant. A solid 5/5 deathtouch creature that grants vigilance and just straight up doubles your creatures attack power. On top of this as with the god cycle of War of the Spark if it dies or is exiled you can tuck it away as the third card from the top giving you a chance to reuse the effect repeatedly.

Finale of Devastation: A creature tutor and potentially huge power boost the finale cycle asks for a lot of mana for it’s additional effect for a reason. When X is 10 or more you get a full board power/toughness boost or X as well as haste to help make sure even the creature you just tutored for is ready to attack.

Garruk Wildspeaker: One of the original planeswalker cards released in Lorwyn and a personal favorite. The main purpose is to untap two lands a turn generating obscene amounts of mana when used with lands like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx or Gaea’s Cradle. He can create 3/3 beasts to defend himself as well but the ultimate ability seems to be overlooked quite often. At -4 it gives a classic +3/+3 and trample Overrun effect to all your creatures which turns a creature wide strategy into a devastating and possibly game ending swing.

Support

Draw: Garruk, Primal Hunter, Return of the Wildspeaker, and Rishkar’s Expertise combined with any of our powerhouse creatures (especially Zilortha) gives you plenty of resources to keep the threats coming.

Uncounterable: Domri, Anarch of Bolas, Rhythm of the Wild, and Prowling Serpopard are a few of our anti-counterspell techs and have some extra functionality ready depending on the situation.

Removal: While typically quite light on options in these colours relying on combat as the “removal” there are some very destructive pieces. Bane of Progress can cripple players with heavy artifact and enchantment strategies or just destroy their mana rocks. For single target noncreature removal Woodfall Primus will be happy to oblige, twice even, perhaps even more in conjunction with The Great Henge and Greater Good. Greens catch all spell for removal though is simply Beast Within

Summary

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Regardless of the Godzilla theme that Ikoria did and the fact we probably never get to see an actual Zilortha, Strength Incarnate card I for one am excited to see what kind of damage these decks will do. I’m also just a sucker for 7 power creatures since they’re able to knock out opponents with commander damage in 3 hits.

Zilortha is not only a fun choice but quite deadly. The power as toughness ability synergizes heavily with all sorts of aggressive creatures and abilities. This version is more of a big threats and high value to show off Godzilla, but if you were looking to go wide there’s all sorts of fun in cards like Hero of Oxid Ridge and more Overrun effects. If you grabbed a box and have one kicking around I would say give this big lizard a chance. As a Commander and a collectable it’ll be a great addition to my collection anyways.

Article by Cascade.Cascade

The editor-in-chief and creator of Command Beacon. They started playing Magic during the Scars of Mirrodin block and hasn’t been able to stop since.

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