One of the most noticeable features of the Innistrad set was its introduction of double-faced cards. This was used primarily to represent some unfortunates who would transform into werewolves from time to time. Garruk Relentless has a worse affliction than this. After being contaminated by Liliana’s veil, he is being transformed from a green planeswalker into a black one.
On the card this is shown by a transformation trigger that occurs when his loyalty reaches a certain point. You then flip the card over to reveal Garruk the Veil-Cursed, a black/green planeswalker with a different set of abilities.
But first to Garruk Relentless. A a double-faced card you can only cast this side. He costs four mana to cast, one of which must be green, and enters the battlefield with three loyalty counters, and has two abilities.
Each of these abilities cost 0 to activate, and he transforms only if his loyalty reaches two or fewer.
The first of his abilities will help you do this. Garruk Relentless deals 3 damage to a creature, and that creature deals damage to Garruk Relentless equal to its power. As damage dealt to a planeswalker causes that many loyalty counters to be removed, even a power 1 creature can cause Garruk Relentless to flip.
You might not want him to flip right away, as the second ability puts a 2/2 green wolf into play. You may wish to build up your 2/2 wolf count before Garruk Relentless transforms into Garruk the Veil-Cursed.
Or maybe you do! Garruk the Veil-Cursed has three abilities. His +1 ability puts a 1/1 black wlf with deathtouch into play. This token will be more useful than the bigger wolves of Garruk Relentless if you need to defend, less so if you want to attack.
The -1 ability lets you sacrifice a creature, and if you do, you may search your library for a creature card and put that card into your hand. This is a great way to get the creature you need for whatever the current situation at the table is.
Garruk the Veil-Cursed’s final ability costs three loyalty. So if you want to use this one, you’ll have to so spend a turn or two bringing 1/1 wolves into play. With this ability your creatures get trample and +x/+x where x is the number of creature cards in your graveyard. Potentially this ability will kill an opponent.
Verdict: Strong. Garruk Relentless is a versatile planeswalker who can aid quite a few decks. With five abilities between his two sides, you are going to have some uses for him.
Connections: Like Garruk Relentless? You may also like [Sarkhan the Mad] [Elspeth Tirel] [Sorin, Lord of Innistrad]
Don’t like Garruk Relentless? You may prefer [Karn Liberated] [Chandra, the Firebrand] [Tamiyo, the Moon Sage]