MTG Foundations’ Nine-Lives Familiar is perfect for sacrifice decks

Jack Bye
MTG Nine-Lives Familiar

Nine-Lives Familiar is the most interesting card so far for Magic: The Gathering’s surprise-reveal Foundations set, coming back from death again and again.

Alongside a wave of impactful reveals for the Bloomburrow and Duskmourn sets, MagicCon Amsterdam shook up the MTG Community by announcing Magic Foundations.

This new Standard Legal set is designed around being as accessible as possible for new players, as well as reprinting some classic fan-favorite cards, providing a clear point of entry into the hobby.

Nine-Lives Familiar is a 1/1 Cat Creature that can be cast for 1BB. Such a paltry stat line would never be worth 3 mana without an impactful ability to balance it out, and thankfully, this card delivers in spades.

If you cast Nine-Lives Familiar rather than cheating it onto the battlefield, it enters with eight revival counters on it.

Every time Nine-Lives Familiar dies while it still has revival counters, it returns to the battlefield in the next end step with one fewer counter.

MTG Foundations Nine-Lives card
Nine-Lives Familiar borderless variant from MTG Foundations

While this can make an acceptable, repeatable blocker in the early game, the card’s real strength comes as a recurring target for sacrifice triggers like Ashnod’s Altar, Warren Soultrader, Witch’s Oven, and Skullclamp, as well as damage sources like Zulaport Cutthroat. Nine-Lives Familiar can build up reliable value through additional mana, card draw, and damage.

MTG players have been quick to rally around Nine-Lives Familiar’s reveal, pointing out its straightforward strengths. As said by one player on Reddit: “Such a simple yet evocative card, I love it.”

Another user was focused on the strength of the card’s writing, with special praise given to the borderless variant: ” “Curiosity stopped keeping score” is pretty awesome, as flavor text goes”

With so many different Magic products and formats on offer, Foundations will be a highly useful starting point, and Nine-Lives Familiar is likely to be among players’ favorite cards in the set once it releases on November 15.

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