MTG’s War of the Spark spoilers just got a little bit more wild with the newest card: Ilharg, the Raze-Boar. This reveal is important because it confirms that we’re getting a cycle of mythic Amonkhet gods. Let’s get into it.
Ilharg is, simply put, a monster of a card. The effect it has is similar to the effect we’ve seen on two other cards that have seen play before: Through the Breach and Nahiri, the Harbinger. Both these cards were used in eternal formats for the express purpose of cheating in big creatures like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Primeval Titan. Ilharg, the Raze-Boar does this as well, except only when he attacks. Essentially, if you can give him haste, he can be a 6/6 trample creature with Through the Breach printed on him.
That’s kind of insane.
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Furthermore, he is actually impossible to get rid of. Even exile effects like Conclave Tribunal or Vraska’s Contempt don’t take care of him. He just gets put back into your library. He will always come back, making him a spectacularly grindy card in Standard.
But how does he relate to the Amonkhet Gods?
A while back, it was discovered that we’re going to be seeing the Amonkhet gods return as Eternals. However, there was a huge question hanging in the air: who would be the red god? In the Amonkhet storyline, every god died to Bolas except for Hazoret, the Fervent. She was the only mono-red god on the plane and never died, so if the gods were returning, how would she be on Ravnica? She can’t planeswalk.
Now, we have our answer: Hazoret isn’t showing up. Ilharg is her replacement.
The god mechanic
Every set that has gods has had a specific ability that all the gods in the set have. This ability usually makes them hard to get rid of. The Theros and Amonkhet gods had ‘Indestructible.’ The Eldrazi originally shuffled back into your library if they died. Here, we see Ilharg with a new ability that says if he were to die or be exiled, you instead put him into your library third from the top. It seems more than likely that all of the new gods will have that effect.
Ilharg is going to be a very strong, very annoying card to deal with in Standard that could be used to cheat in cards like Ghalta or Zetalpa. I would not be surprised to see it pop up in older formats as well, though it does have to contend with Through the Breach.