Things are getting spooky on Innistrad. Olivia, the progenitor of the Voldaren line, has emerged from her manor and onto the battlefield. I'm thrilled to have the privilege of previewing Olivia, Mobilized for War.
Olivia wouldn't be ready for war if she didn't bring the coven along with her. I'll be previewing more Vampires and discussing Olivia more tonight, March 16, at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET) at twitch.tv/gabyspartz.
Olivia Voldaren is an iconic card from the original Innistrad set. Not only was she a Standard staple when she was printed, she's also seen play in Modern. Now she's back and ready to rumble.
Three mana for a 3/3 flyer is already a respectable rate for a creature, but it's her ability what really makes this card shine. You can discard a card to give one of your creatures a +1/+1 counter and haste. She also turns that creature into a Vampire in the process. We're not sure how many cards will care about the number of Vampires you control, but hopefully we can get some sweet bonuses once we assemble the squad.
Importantly, Olivia pairs great with the madness cards in Shadows over Innistrad. Burn spells such as Fiery Temper can be cast cheaply with the madness ability once discarded to Olivia. Being able to clear the way for your attackers while giving your creatures haste is an efficient way to drive your opponents mad.
Another way to get the most out of Olivia is to play her in decks with creatures that can come back from the graveyard.
Akoum Firebird doesn't mind taking one for the team. You can discard it to Olivia at any point in the game, then get it back and attacking on turn six.
Here are a few other cards that could really benefit from Olivia's ability:
If you cast Olivia on turn three, on turn four you can cast Thunderbreak Regent, discarding Akoum Firebird, and attack for 8 damage in the air. Four mana for a 5/5 Dragon with haste? And it's a Vampire Dragon?! Don't mind if I do.
If you really like to live dangerously, you could even curve Olivia into...
Few things end a game as quickly as a 6/6 flyer does. With Olivia's ability, Inverter of Truth becomes a 7/7. Then you have to hope you get to untap one more time to finish the game, and that your Inverter of Truth doesn't die. What could possibly go wrong? (The answer is many things, but we're living dangerously here.)
If Modern or Commander is your jam, this card has exciting combos available when you can turn all of your creatures into Vampires. Olivia provides great synergies with Bloodline Keeper, Captivating Vampire, Stromkirk Captain, and Vampire Nocturnus, to name a few.
Olivia looks great. She provides a strong madness outlet with a powerful ability, and she'll be a fun card to build around. I can't wait to see the rest of the cards from Shadows over Innistrad to see what tools for unleashing her power we have to play with.
And don't forget to come check out some of Olivia's friends tonight as I preview yet more Vampires on at twitch.tv/gabyspartz!