Innistrad: Crimson Vow has no shortage of powerful Vampires and legendary creatures (and legendary Vampires, for that matter!). One that I’m particularly excited about is Henrika Domnathi.
I find Henrika to be quite interesting. The power level is high, but she also gives you a ton of flexibility. I value this ability to customize your experience, and take the game in whatever direction you want it to go.
Before going further, it’s important to note that four mana is a high price tag for a creature in competitive Constructed. Spending turn four and having your big play answered by something cheap like a burn spell, Disdainful Stroke or Infernal Grasp is an unfavorable exchange. In other words, the bar is high, and you want to get a lot out of a four-drop creature.
Henrika mitigates this problem by triggering immediately on the turn you cast her. Even though you can’t attack right away, you can always draw a card and replace the resource you invested.
Your mileage may vary in making both players sacrifice a creature, as this will depend a lot upon the construction of both your deck and your opponent’s deck. However, it can be extremely powerful against strategies based around single potent creatures. I particularly like that this ability can kill Goldspan Dragon and Iymrith, Desert Doom without targeting them.
At worst, Henrika Domnathi can do an impression of one of my all-time favorite cards: Dark Confidant. Eventually, however, the time will be right to transform her.
A big, flying lifelink creature is a great way to stabilize the battlefield, recoup any life you might have paid while drawing cards with Ms. Domnathi, or simply win the game. Since many Vampires (and other creatures in Innistrad) have either flying, deathtouch or lifelink, dumping three or six mana into the Infernal Seer’s activated ability can easily threaten a lethal attack.
All told, the two sides of Henrika make for a beautiful package. Her front side triggers right away for immediate value, and allows you to profit on whatever axis seems most important in the given game.
You could transform right away – for example, if you need to play around a three-damage burn spell – however, you’ll typically wait until a turn where you’re ready to attack with the Infernal Seer. At such a time, you’ll probably have all of your mana available to you, which means that Henrika herself can do a Baneslayer Angel impression, while also helping you go wide with whatever other creatures you might have on the battlefield.
I’m excited to play with Henrika, and I hope you are too!