Defense of the Heart

Defense of the Heart


At the beginning of your upkeep, if an opponent controls three or more creatures, sacrifice Defense of the Heart. If you do, search your library for up to two creature cards and put those creatures into play. Then shuffle your library.

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Printings View all

Set Rarity
Urza's Legacy (ULG) Rare
Promo Set (000) Rare

Combos Browse all


Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Defense of the Heart occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.02%

Green: 0.14%

Defense of the Heart Discussion

Tzefick on Defender of the Heart, revised

14 hours ago

If it were me, I would make the creature more akin to the actual Defense of the Heart but more in spirit of catching up rather than the current "your opponent has many creatures, you get many creatures".

Name substitute

Creature - Elemental

At the beginning of your upkeep, if the total power of creatures an opponent controls is seven or more in excess of the total power of creatures you control, you may sacrifice ~. If you do, search your library for up to two creature cards and put them onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.


It's a defense related creature, that only gets to trigger if you are behind on the board - a catch up if you will. It could have been related to number of creatures the opponent control, but that would hit disproportionately against wheenie strategies, mana dorks, and not so much against single heavy beaters. It does miss out entirely against strategies that look to pump their creatures temporarily.

The trigger could have been when you were attacked, to grab some desperate defense measures, but that would make the trigger entirely dependent on the opponent's actions, whereas a more generic trigger in the upkeep is harder to completely work around for the opponent but also instill some dampeners on your own plays if you want it to trigger.

Hmm, it would be great in Arcades, the Strategist.

enpc on Defender of the Heart, revised

20 hours ago

Tzefick: The problem is that Defense of the Heart is a mid-game card. So the idea of having a creature that without ramp can't do its thing until turn 8 seems very slow, as opposed to DotH which can potentially deploy some devistating creatures on turn 5.

While I can see your comparision to Spawnwrithe here, it's not in the same boat. the problem that Spawnwrithe suffers from is that it nees to keep turning sideways to do its thing. You might connect once with it being unblocked but that's all you'll get away with. This card however only needs to connect once to do its thing, which is a fundamental difference.

I think at the end of the day though, MindAblaze hits the nail on the head. Having a creature version of the card based around YOU attacking has already failed the design brief.

The suggested card they proposed feels much more along the lines of the current design. You could create something like:

Magus of the Heart -

Creature - Human Wizard

, , Sacrifice Magus of the Heart: Search your library for up to two creatures and put them into play, then shuffle your library. Activate this ability only if a player controls three or more creatures and only in your upkeep.


Something like that might be more the go.

Tzefick on Defender of the Heart, revised

1 day ago

enpc I very much doubt a 5 CMC 2/2 trampler is going to connect on anything. I don't think that's good balance. At least a beefy 6/6 trampler has a chance to connect AND survive to see its trigger go off.

That being said, Defense of the Heart was a very strong card, and in eternal formats the fetch of two creatures to drop right on the board would often result in infinite combos. Legacy and Vintage are way faster formats than the DotH can keep up with, so it never really became much of a problem. However in multiplayer formats like Commander, the pace is generally slower (depending what pace the players have designed their decks for) and the Defense of the Heart is easier to trigger and will often end games on its own.

A creature variant is much easier to deal with in general, but I wont look forward to seeing a new variant of DotH, even if it does look more like an entwined Tooth and Nail. A creature is also way easier to cheat the mana cost on and to recur.

If you were to make a more direct creature version of Defense of the Heart I would change the trigger to be about evening the odds more than the old trigger that just saw a group of creatures on an opponent's side and decided to respond by grabbing the two meanest creatures you have in your deck.

So instead of "At the beginning of the upkeep, if an opponent controls three or more creatures, sacrifice ~

It would be "At the beginning of the upkeep, if an opponent controls at least two more creatures than you, sacrifice ~

Seeing as the legs is itself a creature and you replace it with 2, I decreased the excess needed for the trigger to just 2. By having the condition be about being outnumbered, it feels more fair and earned to grab the two best creatures from your library and toss them on the board. It also makes it easier to actually play around - making the trigger less likely to go off and would more easily balance out the cost-to-effect.

Under the old Defense of the Heart I never understood why, if you have a large army and your opponent has 3 creatures, you get to find even more creatures. That trigger was never about evening the odds (which I think was the intended concept) but rather, "the opponent has multiple creatures, lets find some better creatures to beat their brains in."

It might even be a better concept if it counted total power among creatures your opponents control, compared to yours. That way, if an opponent went more Voltron on single creatures, the effect would still have a place, and not punish wheenie strategies (going wide) unnecessarily.

enpc on Defender of the Heart, revised

1 day ago

DemonDragonJ: Yes it does, very much so. Not to mention, all of those creatures have a persisent effect. The card you designed requires you to sacrifice the creature to get a one off (abelit very powerful) effect.

I kind of want to say 5 mana for a 2/2 with trample sounds like the right balance here. It's basically a tooth and nail if you can connect it, so making it small but cheap to cast would be the go.

But the problem is that you've changed the fundamental parameters. The whole point of Defense of the Heart was that you could play around it by not playing creatures. But this one here is designed so that to play around it, you have to play creatures of your own to hold up as blockers. Yes, I'm aware that reomval is a thing but it's the same for the OG card too, so I'm moving past that fact.

Personally I would say thath you should either try to stick to the card more closely or not try to make a creature version. But what you have here is more akin to Tooth and Nail than it is DotH.

DemonDragonJ on Defender of the Heart, revised

1 day ago

Defense of the Heart is a very awesome card, but it is very overpowered and/or under costed for its effect, especially since the conditions under which its ability triggers are extremely easy to meet.

Therefore, I wish to create a new version of that card, a version that I hope shall be more balanced.

Defender of the Heart Show

Being a creature means that this card is easier to put onto the battlefield (and also return to the battlefield from the graveyard) than is defense of the heart, but, in exchange, it has a higher mana cost and its ability does not trigger as easily.

What does everyone else say about this card? How do you like it?

jets99 on Willowmaker

6 days ago

has anybody suggested Defense of the Heart yet? It can help when most of your creatures are 4 CMC and higher.

rychu on BRGW Commander EDH

1 week ago

For myself and others, how to optimally pilot the deck

Philosophy behind the deck, ideally should be played with 2+ other players.

You are a hard to kill end game boss, blue is boring busted and broken and is also expensive. Try to go for cards that will keep your hand healthy since we are not running blue so think how much you can squeeze out of one card for maximum value.



If you are good on mana the first couple of two card instant win combos will both require Heliod, Sun-Crowned. Be sure to use the activated ability on the other combo piece by giving them lifelink Walking Ballista normally played from hand and normally will need to be cast for 4 colorless mana. Heliod, Sun-Crowned can also combo with Triskelion cost 6 colorless mana and can be cast straight from library or graveyard to play without dying unlike Walking Ballista.

Walking Ballista will want cards like Demonic Tutor , Congregation at Dawn better yet Shared Summons

while Triskelion will want cards like Defense of the Heart , Tooth and Nail with the added 2 colorless for entwine (if it's already in hand just pick a different creature and still summon the creatures you want in hand.)

The next big combo piece requires Dockside Extortionist to get the mana engine running if low, if you are netting 4 or more treasure tokens you can go infinite with Eldrazi Displacer if the treasure tokens remain you can stop mostly all creatures as they hit battlefield or are entering combat for a lockdown by blinking the creatures in an early enough response.

A third piece combo to draw your deck with is Korvold, Fae-Cursed King sacrifice enough treasure tokens to draw your whole deck and play Revel in Riches and then Final Fortune.

Other three piece card combo include Oketra's Last Mercy , Felidar Sovereign into Final Fortune, lastly Wall of Blood , Near-Death Experience into Final Fortune.

Oath of Druids Best way to cheat in creatures, take advantage of Forbidden Orchard

Shifting Shadow will still work even if you are trying to destroy an indestructible creature during upkeep reveal the next creature while still keeping the previous one. Can be easily retrieved if no graveyard hate.

Sun Titan can even get a land into play

Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord+Wall of Blood if you have higher health than all opponents.

Thespian's Stage or Mirage Mirror+Dark Depths 20/20 flying indestructible legendary token combos with Mayael's Aria , I ended up cutting Vampire Hexmage

Green Sun's Zenith ramp for a single forest zero cmc Dryad Arbor or get rid of a huge threat with Reclamation Sage

Crop Rotation into Glacial Chasm in critical moment before losing the game from combat damage. Exactly 31 life can buy up to 5 turns consecutively (2,4,6,8,10)

Elvish Reclaimer does the same thing, also get Riftstone Portal into graveyard as it helps against Blood Moon

Chromatic Lantern can negate damage lands and lands with downside and can make useless lands useful.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth+Cabal Coffers maximum ramp the reason to try to run less artifacts.

Birthing Pod you can sacrifice zero cmc token creatures for a one drop ect.

Zequen on Godstrom

1 week ago

I would refer to this as a high powered deck, not quite a cEDH deck. cEDH decks have fast consistent ways to win the game. This deck only has Defense of the Heart as a fast cheap way to put out a creature. And that's assuming the others drop Mana dorks, you get your trigger and find Xenagos, God of Revels+Blightsteel Colossus and you kill one player. Most cEDH comboes kill everyone at once within the first 5 turns rather consistently. I would consider this High powered, and not cEDH. Besides the disagreement on the terminology it looks like a really fun deck to play. You have fast mana, some powerful comboes, and powerful creatures that will dominate almost any pod this is in. This is no doubt a powerful deck, but sadly I think if you go in saying this is a cEDH deck, and join a cEDH pod, you won't really get to play most matches as the game will be over before you can land your powerful creatures. You have no real way to stall cEDH decks from winning before you can beat stick them to death, and even with all the ramp you won't get there in time alot. Check out some cEDH pods on Youtube and you will find many games only last 4 to 7 turns at most. You probably need 5 Just to get really going and you have no interaction to stop them.

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