Last updated on November 2, 2022

Tenacious Underdog - Illustration by Zara Alfonso

Tenacious Underdog | Illustration by Zara Alfonso

Have you ever wanted to haste a creature and cash it for a card? Well now you can, because Streets of New Capenna brought with it the blitz mechanic. Today I’m going to dissect this new mechanic and explain every single detail of it, as well as see which cards are good for Constructed play.

Ready? Let’s get started!

How Does Blitz Work?

Henzie "Toolbox" Torre - Illustration by Johannes Voss

Henzie “Toolbox” Torre | Illustration by Johannes Voss

When you cast a creature with blitz there are two possibilities: you can cast it normally, or you can pay its blitz cost. If you decide to cast the creature by paying its blitz cost, the creature enters the battlefield with haste and “At the end of turn, sacrifice this creature. When this creature dies, draw a card.”

The History of Blitz in MTG

Blitz debuted in Streets of New Capenna, released in April 2022. It’s the main mechanic for the Riveteers () family, mainly in red but also in black and green. It’s present in a few cards and hasn’t been reprinted yet, but it the possibility is definitely there.

Blitz vs. Dash

Blitz and dash are very similar, with one main difference: blitz creatures are sacrificed for card advantage while dash creatures are simply returned to your hand. When you cast a dash creature for its dash cost, it enters the battlefield with haste and returns to your hand at the end of turn (assuming it’s still on the battlefield). The blitz mechanic is more or less the same, but you sacrifice blitz creature at the end of the turn and draw a card.

Dash also became lingo for MTG players whenever a creature had this kind of ability (entering the battlefield, doing some stuff, and then returning to its owner’s hand).

Is Blitz an Alternate Cost?

Creatures with blitz can be cast for their normal cost or with the blitz cost, which makes it an alternate cost.

What’s the Mana Value of a Card Played with Blitz?

A blitz card’s mana value is always the value printed on the top right of the card, i.e., its conventional cost. Tenacious Underdog will always be considered to have a mana value of two, even though it has a blitz cost of .

Does Blitz Count as Casting?

When a creature enters the battlefield via blitz, it’s the same as if it were cast with the normal cost. The spell goes to the stack, it triggers “when you cast a creature” triggers, etc.

Does Blitz Trigger Sacrifice Effects?

Body Dropper

Blitz specifically says “sacrifice,” so as long as the blitz creature doesn’t die in some other way before the ability completes, then it will trigger sacrifice effects. One of the main draws of the blitz mechanic in the New Capenna Limited environment is that Rakdos () has synergies with creature sacrifice, like on Body Dropper. Each time you blitz a creature and sacrifice it, Body Dropper will grow.

What if a Blitzed Creature Dies Before Your End Step?

When a blitzed creature dies, no matter when or how it does, you get to draw a card. This is because the mechanic doesn’t say “when this creature is sacrificed, draw a card,” just “when this creature dies.” It’s a little more open-ended when it comes to card advantage.

What if You Bounce a Blitz Creature?

Someone bouncing your blitz creature is one of the few ways that it won’t draw you a card. But the creature does return to your hand, so you can try to cast or even blitz it again.

What if You Copy a Blitz Creature?

The copy of a blitz creature is a copy of the original creature. So, if I blitz Tenacious Underdog into play and make a copy of it, the copy will be a 3/2 without the effects from the blitz mechanic. The blitz effect (sacrifice at the end of the turn and draw a card when it dies) also only applies if the creature were cast by paying the blitz cost, not if it’s copied.

What if a Blitz Spell Gets Countered?

When a blitz spell is countered, the spell fizzles, the creature doesn’t enter the battlefield, and the card goes to the graveyard. You won’t draw a card because the creature never hit the battlefield and didn’t actually die.

What if You End the Turn Before the Sacrifice Trigger Resolves?

You don’t need to sacrifice the blitz creature if the turn ends because the sacrifice trigger can resolve, because that happens at the end of the turn. But the property “whenever it dies, draw a card” effect stays on the card until it dies.

What if The Creature Phases Out?

When a blitz creature phases out it keeps all of its characteristics. So the creature will have haste and “when it dies, draw a card” when it returns the next turn.

Why Blitz? Is it Good?

If you want a creature’s impact to be immediate, then blitz it. If you draw a 2-drop later in the game, blitz it and cash in for a card. But if you need a blocker, you’d better not blitz it. But on the flipside, it’s probably better to blitz anyway if you build a deck that has a lot of sacrifice synergies, like with Mayhem Devil or Witch's Oven. Only the game will tell if blitz is good.

Gallery and List of Blitz Cards

Best Blitz Cards

#8. Night Clubber

Night Clubber

Sometimes Night Clubber’s -1/-1 for creatures your opponents control and drawing a card is all you need.

#7. Wave of Rats

Wave of Rats

Wave of Rats can shine in a rats deck. I guess that are also plenty of opportunities to blitz the card, attack someone even for a point of damage, draw a card, and have the card again back for more outside of that.

#6. Ziatora’s Envoy

Ziatora's Envoy

Ziatora's Envoy is very close to a 5/4 trample that draws a card when it attacks. What’s more, you might be able to cast the card for free depending on the damage dealt.

#5. Mezzio Mugger

Mezzio Mugger

Mezzio Mugger is a solid card that provides card advantage when it attacks. Just make sure that it can attack without dying, either with evasion or equipment. The nice thing is that you get a card, an attack, and the cards if you blitz it. At that point you don’t care about keeping Mugger alive anyway.

Maybe you can steal some mana rocks or lands from your opponents on turn 3?

#4. Henzie “Toolbox” Torre

Henzie "Toolbox" Torre

Henzie “Toolbox” Torre gives Commander decks a new angle. Like Jaxis, the Troublemaker, you want to surround this with big creatures that have powerful ETB effects, attack triggers, leave the battlefield effects, or all of the above.

Since your creatures will be dying a lot because of the blitz mechanic, cards that sacrifice other creatures for value are interesting. Another thing to watch is that Henzie offers cost reduction, so things start going when you blitz your 7-drops for four or five mana.

#3. Jaxis, the Troublemaker

Jaxis, the Troublemaker

Jaxis, the Troublemaker requires you discard cards to make blitz copies of creatures you control. As with Henzie, you want to surround this with all sorts of creatures that have enter and leave the battlefield abilities. And since you’re trading cards for copies, you might want to play madness or flashback.

Jaxis is a card with Constructed potential in formats like Standard, Explorer, and Historic.

#2. Workshop Warchief

Workshop Warchief

Workshop Warchief does a good impression of Thragtusk. 5/3 trample that gains you three life is good to stabilize against aggro and lifedrain opponents. It also leaves a 4/4 token with trample behind.

Unfortunately it can’t be blinked like Thragtusk, but it’s very solid in midrange decks.

#1. Tenacious Underdog

Tenacious Underdog

Paying two life a turn for Tenacious Underdog’s blitz ability as a 3/2 that keeps on coming and drawing cards is such a low cost, especially against midrange/control decks that want to answer your cards 1-for-1 with removal. Add in eventual sacrifice synergies and you have a nice deck with a long game plan.

Beware of Vanishing Verse and March of Otherworldly Light.

Decklist: Blitz Ascendancy in Standard

Jaxis, the Troublemaker - Illustration by Zoltan Boros

Jaxis, the Troublemaker | Illustration by Zoltan Boros

This decklist was posted by CopieRightGaming. It’s a deck built around some blitz cards and Riveteers Ascendancy. Ascendancy lets you return a creature from your graveyard to the battlefield whenever you sacrifice a creature, as long as the returned creature has a lower mana value. So you’re constantly sacrificing creatures and returning lesser ones to the field to continue the fight.

Early Plays

These cards function as early board presence. They don’t mind dying since you can get them back with the Ascendancy later, or because they do something positive on dying like exiling cards that can be cast later. The Underdog can also come back by itself later.

Blitz Value Cards

Blitz Synergy Cards

Wrap Up

Night Clubber - Illustration by Joshua Raphael

Night Clubber | Illustration by Joshua Raphael

Blitz is a cool mechanic that has some good things going on for it. It’s kind of a cycling-esque mechanic in that you never lose the card or the value, and it’s a way to surprise your enemy just like dash in aggro decks. Blitz is also a way to capitalize on creature sacrifice since Rakdos usually has aristocrats synergies going on. There isn’t a way to profitably interact with a blitz mechanic coming your way aside from exiling, so it’s almost like cycling a card and doing some damage.

I’ve enjoyed playing with the mechanic in both Limited and Constructed across various formats and I think that the mechanic is open-ended enough to make a comeback in future sets. But what do you think? How has your experience with the blitz mechanic been? Let me know in the comments below, or find us over on Twitter.

That’s all for me. Stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your hands!

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