The Planeswalkers of Battle for Zendikar

nde bannerIt’s no secret that Planeswalkers have become very important to Magic as a game, and a set is often judged on its Mythichs, specifically its Planeswalkers. Battle for Zendikar has had three revealed so far, and it’s unlikely we’ll see a fourth. I want to take some time and go over them.

gideonallyofzendikarFirst up is Gideon, and he is pretty darn good. His +1 is very Gideon, though useless on the first turn in a vacuum. His 0 his pretty darn great though, and even though the ability won’t plus him, getting a 2/2 creature for free every turn is powerful even in constructed. On top of that, the creature in question is an Ally, meaning it’ll trigger the various Ally abilities on the field (now dubbed “Rally”). His -4 isn’t terribly impressive, but it will have quite an impact, and the fact that you can drop him and immediately ultimate him means it’s an anthem effect for 4, not awesome but not shabby either. Overall a very solid Planeswalker, and I can’t imagine him not seeing Standard play even Allies aren’t a thing come this fall. Blatant Limited bomb, and a windmill slam first pick unless the draft format turns out to be very strange and white somehow turns out to be the worst colour.

kioramasterofthedepths1Kiora does a somewhat decent job at protecting herself with her +1, untapping creatures to block or untapping lands to cast spells to protect her. It does recquire work, but overall it’s a pretty good +1. The -2 is restrictive enough to not be broken but flexible enough to be powerful, and you can do it twice without plusing her. The ultimate is pretty insane, she gets you an emblem which will let you fight for free and after that she nets you three 8/8’s (!). In case anyone is keeping scores, this means that she will clear the board from almost anything and net you a game-winning advantage immediately. Very potent and fitting for her ultimate. Easy constructed playable, but perhaps only in Standard. Her mana cost might mean she’s not an easy pack one pick one, but she will be played anywhere people can play her in Limited.

obnixilisreignited2Last up is my new favourite bad boy of Magic! Ob Nixilis protects himself nicely with his -3, but it’s a shame he can’t do it twice without plusing. The +1 by the way is quite insane, seeing as how he will immediately replace himself no matter what ability you activate and leave you with a Planeswalker at either 6 or 2 loyalty. The emblem will also close out even the grindiest games very quickly, and overall I must say he’s solid but perhaps the least potent of the three. I also think they could’ve shaved a colourless mana off of his cost and not turning it broken. I will surely try and get my hands on one for EDH!

What do you think of our cast of Planeswalkers for Battle for Zendikar? Leave a comment!

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4 Comments

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  September 8, 2015

    Gideon and mean ol’ Ob Nixilis seems nice. I’m not too sure about Kiora though, I want to like her. Her ultimate speaks loudly to the Timmy in me, but the way to get there (four turns of a rather lackluster +1 ability) is just too difficult. Her -2 ability seems very nice at least, so she’s got that going for her. Her +1 does have some extra political advantage in a multiplayer game though, since you can untap lands and creatures for potential allies. But I really wish it would have read “tap or untap up to one target creature and up to one target land” instead.

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    • Never considered her like that. You raise a fair point. And yeah, she’s probably the weakest of the bunch considering she’s also harder to cast.

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  2. How would you rank them in Constructed?
    I would say 1. Gideon 2. Ob 3. Kiora.

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    • Yeah, I agree. In EDH, I’d swap Ob for Gideon, because drawing cards is better than making random 2/2’s, but in Standard, I agree with your list.

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