However, the Newt has an added ability. If the Bogbrew Witch happens to be on your side of the battlefield when the Newt dies, that creature instead gets -4/-4 until end of turn. Suddenly, this little one-drop becomes a much nastier removal spell. Plus, it can be tutored up by the Witch. It’s a solid one-drop for Limited even without the Witch.
The Cauldron’s first ability costs 1 and a tap: you sacrifice a creature and gain 4 life. This obviously can come in handy if you’re chump blocking and 4 life is no joke. But the other ability is what makes the Bogbrew Witch & Festering Newt combo all the more interesting.
The second ability allows you to sacrifice a Festering Newt, and each opponent loses 4 life. Not only that, you gain life equal to the life lost that way. So you can at the very least give an opponent’s creature -4/-4, have them lose 4 life, and gain 4 life, all for 1 mana and a Festering Newt. Note that the second ability reads “each opponent.” That you can gain a lot more life in a multiplayer game is somewhat fascinating.
To be fair, Bogbrew Witch made for a good Limited card, even just for the life-gain off of doomed chump-blockers. It’s even better if you run Festering Newt and the Cauldron. All three of these cards are good to watch out for, but it rarely made sense to first-pick the Witch without having both of these other cards already in hand. This combo is playable in Commander, and has seen play in Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker decks. But it’s a combo better suited for the kitchen table.