F*cked up commanders: Nin, the Pain Artist

Nin bannerThe Izzet League hasn’t been blessed with the best of available commanders. It’s an enemy colour pair, and in fact, only six legendary creatures exist that are exclusively red and blue. Two of these are incarnations of Niv-Mizzet, in the original Ravnica block and in the return respectively. The former has been the partner of Curiosity to rather flavourful but rather lame quick wins, and the latter hasn’t made much of a splash. Then there are Tibor and Lumia who might bore your opponents to death, and Melek, Izzet Pargon who in theory is rather powerful, but most of my data suggests he’s very durdly in practice. Jhoira of the Ghitu is arguably the most broken of the Izzet commanders, but her reputation tends to precede her and she draws lots of hate when she suspends a bunch of mass-land destruction and an assortment of broken creatures in the same turn.

nin,thepainartist.hqThe final of the fantastic six is Nin, the Pain Artist. To me, Nin is the most intriguing of them all, not only because her ability is pretty cool, and not only because she has the lowest CMC of them all, but because she seems pretty messed up, flavour-wise. Very little is known about her from official sources. This article states: “Despite her famed career, Nin does not see herself as a torturer. Nin seeks to awaken a deeper consciousness within her “clients” by exploring their personal limits. She believes every nerve ending is a pathway to self-knowledge.”

Looking at the card itself a few things are evident: She’s an artist, so she creates art. She’s a vedalken. She creates pain (damage) and also knowledge (cards). The image itself also suggests she’s alternative in her way of dressing, it’s been a long time since I saw someone getting away with that amount of eyeliner. This leads me to conclude that Nin is a classic tortured poet, of the teenage-girl variant. Perhaps she is in fact a Vogon, famed for their poetry, supposedly the third-worst in the universe, according to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I think she’s more of a eye-rollingly bad teenage poet, however, with works such as “My soul is all darkness” and “I am a dead angle” (sic).

This alone makes me want to brew a deck with her.



Leave a comment


  1. psykopatmullvad

     /  December 4, 2014

    You have to have this commander in German if so. Much better name there 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grim Lavamancer

     /  December 4, 2014

    I like Nin. She’s a very saucy girl. I used to run her as commander of my “steal your stuff and sacrifice it” deck (not too unlike your own Brion Stoutarm deck). She very a very decent commander, giving me lots of cards. And hey, who doesn’t mind a little light-hearted BDSM every once in a while? I mean, a 1/1 wizard that deals damage? That’s quite a catch for a lavamancer like me.



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