Top 5: Ranking the Planeswalkers of Origins

magic origins banner

I have barely touched upon the very core of Magic Origins, the Planeswalkers. In this post, I will rectify my mistake by ranking them from worst-to-best in EDH, and I’ll reason a bit about them in other constructed formats as well.

5: Chandra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arguably, the hardest of them all to flip in non-EDH formats is Chandra. Lots of dumb people on the internet seem to think you need to cast two spells in a single turn to ping thrice in order to flip her, but she counts combat damage too, so swinging at someone who’s open (likely there is at least one of those at the table on turn 4), casting a single red spell to untap her and the pinging once will do the trick. That said, she is still very underwhelming when flipped. Since she can’t kill creatures without minusing herself, she will likely die quite quickly. Maybe in the 99 of some theme deck, but I don’t see this outclassing any of the red commanders available.

4: Jace

jacetelepathunbound

Jace is very easy to flip, and he has that going for him. He is also a looter, which is always nice, especially when available so readily on a commander. Since he doesn’t create card disadvantage when cast from the command zone, he will at least be on card parity in sheer numbers, and up on quality (most times). That said, when flipped, he has one useful ability, his -3, which synergises well with his ability as a creature, but his other two are rubbish. Getting one creature -2/-0 in a multiplayer format will amount to something of a nuisance only. Simply put, not worth it as your commander, maybe as one in the 99.

3. Gideon

While I think this will be amazing in Modern and especially Standard, I don’t see him make a big splash in EDH. Kytheon is quite difficult to flip, going wide in EDH is possible, but token decks are generally not mono white, and for a reason. His activated ability as a creature is pretty damn solid, though, and will be useful at all stages of the game, not only to make sure he doesn’t get himself killed trying to activate. When flipped, Gideon is pretty damn sweet, his +2 ability is nice, his +1 means one of the creatures who attacked with him will be able to protect him the following turn, and his 0 is a pretty standard Gideon ability. I imagine flipping Kytheon on turn 3 via a turn 2 Raise the Alarm, but even so, he won’t overwhelm anyone soon. I think I’d rather have Jazal Goldmane as commander of a mono-white tokens deck, but Kytheon will certainly fit into the deck as one of the 99.

2. Liliana

Choosing which one would take this spot, and thus which one was left to take the the runner-up was not easy. I think both of these planeswalkers are awesome, and I would gladly play either. However, Liliana just misses out because she is a bit too hard to flip and is difficult to flip early game. Her +2 ability is well known from Liliana of the Veil and it at least scales well to EDH since it’s “each player” and not “target player”. It will draw some hate, but any deck with Liliana in it will probably be well-suited to abuse that +2 enough to warrant the hate. The -X is pretty sweet, especially since she starts at 3 and will be at 5 after a single activation. The emblem is also pretty scary. Overall, I think I’d much rather have her in my 99 in my Gisa deck for example than as a commander, but I think she’d be fair as that as well.

1. Nissa

Nissa is the real deal. Unflipped, she is basically a Borderland Ranger in her own deck, and a bit worse in other decks, but in her own she generates card advantage when she enters the battlefield from the command zone! She is terribly easy to flip, even though it will probably not happen until turn four or five, and when she’s flipped she’ll give you a Coiling Oracle activation each turn. Her -2 is pretty boss, netting her a 4/4 for protection but leaving her vulnerable to any attack, and her ultimate will clean up tables pretty quickly as well. Overall, I’d gladly play her in my 99 in most green decks, and she will make a fine commander on her own, in my opinion.

What do you think of the list? Am I “out riding a bike” (as we say in Sweden to describe someone who’s terribly wrong)? Leave a comment!

Advertisements

Magic Origins: Chandra’s gear

magic origins banner

The spoilers are coming out very quick now, it’s impossible to keep up and talk about all the cards I want to talk about, but I’d like to shed some light on the ones I think are interesting or funny. This one definitely caught my eyes:

pyromancersgoggles

 

brockI was going to make a joke about how Brock from Pokémon finally has a pair of goggles that fits him, but then I reasoned that that might be racially insensitive, so I won’t.

However, the card itself is very interesting at least at first glance. First of all, it’s a mana rock in red EDH decks – tapping for a mana and getting a free Mirari activation is neat, but on the other hand – what are you going to copy? Wheel of Fortune effects are useless in multiples on the stack unless you are Nekusar (and by extension, a bad person), mass-removal equally useless, but here are a couple of neat spells to copy:

rakdossreturn.full

Make two enemies for the price of one!

decimate

Sure, the board state would be weird, but 8-for-1:ing the board is awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are just two suggestions, there are a bunch of value removal like Chaos Warp where a copy is always neat, and Threaten effects for value!

What’s the craziest thing you can think of to copy with Chandra’s gear? Leave a comment!

 

Magic Origins: More EDH and constructed

magic origins banner

 

More spoilers coming in late (I love when they spoil big sets with lots of rares). The first was spoiled by Jimmy and Josh of The Command Zone: 

the great aurora

Pardon the blurry image, but their site seems to be down at the time of writing. In any case, this card is bonkers in EDH, it is essentially a board wipe for green decks that resets the game. I’m not sure what kind of deck would want this card right now, but I’d say any green deck with lots of lands could make good use of it – perhaps Titania, Protector of Argoth?

Here is their latest podcast episode in its entirety. They discuss the new card at around 51:01.

Further, I’d like to discuss Containment Priest‘s spell kin:

hallowed moonlight

Instead of being a 2/2 with Flash, it is a cantripping Instant. Initially, I don’t think it’s quite as good as Containment Priest, mostly because it’s just a one-shot effect. In Legacy, I’d say “Draw a card” is more valuable than a vanilla 2/2 body, even in decks that might run equipment. Hallowed Moonlight will only be around for a single turn, meaning it must be spent very well in order to not just have the Sneak and Show player pass, untap the following turn and win from there. That said, it is at least playable in Modern I’d wager, even if Birthing Pod is banned.

What do you think of these new cards? Leave a comment!

Magic Origins: Woodland Bellower

magic origins banner

The green mythic was recently spoiled, and I have to say I like it a lot:

WoodlandBellower

Woodland Bellower enters the battlefield as a 6/5 vanilla for 6, which is far from stellar in this day and age where creatures are awesome, but it will also tutor for something with utility for three or less. A short list off the top of my head:

Eternal Witness

Deathmist Raptor

Kitchen Finks

Scavenging Ooze

Tarmogoyf

And more. I predict that this is good enough for constructed play in both Standard and Modern, and since it doesn’t carry the “if you cast it from your hand” clause, I can easily see it in EDH as well in, for example, a Bant Blink deck headed by Roon of the Hidden Realm. For value!

Magic Origins: Demonic Pact

magic origins banner

The black mythic was spoiled today, and it’s called Demonic Pact.

demonicpact

The card is extremely flavourful, the art is pretty nice (even if Liliana’s… assets… are perhaps played up a bit too much) but the card itself will probably never see play outside casual constructed. Losing on the upkeep on the fourth turn after this is cast is rough and probably bad for all the formats I care about.

In Limited, it doesn’t affect the board when cast, and one of the modes doesn’t affect the board directly, and one does so only indirectly. Since board presence is the most important part of Limited (aside weird versions like cube drafts), this means the card is probably pretty terrible in Limited.

Legacy is way, way too fast of a format for anything that costs four mana and doesn’t read “you win the game” outright (i.e. Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Aluren, Sneak Attack).

EDH is too big and powerful for the effects. Making “all opponents discard two cards” might be playable, and drawing cards is integral to the format, but it’s too little, too late when competing with Phyrexian Arena and Necropotence.

consumingcontractThat said, the card is very, very cool and I have to bring up the fact that deja-vu hit me like a truck when I read it. I scoured the internet for some time before I found out why: the card is actually one of the submissions for You Make the Card 4, which was voted down in favour of what would become Waste Not. The card was nicknamed “Consuming Contract” which might even be a better name considering the aliteration, but eventually lost out.

Proof found here on the mothership.

This fact makes me excited for WotC using other ideas from You Make the Card in the future, especially since a few of the submissions who lost out to Waste Not were so much better.

What do you think of Demonic Pact? Leave a comment!

Magic Origins: Displacement Wave update

magic origins banner

Just over a week ago, I wrote about Displacement Wave and marked it as “instant/sorcery” since the picture was too blurry to tell which card type the card really had. In my mind, I really hoped it to be an instant, in which case it would be an awesome constructed playable alongside Cyclonic Rift in Tron, and it would surely become a new staple in EDH and other casual formats.

As it turns out, it is a sorcery:

Displacement Wave sorcery

That said, the card is still really good, especially if you have a deck built around having creatures with a high CMC. Thassa will surely love this, even though it is a sorcery. The flavour is right there as well, and the art is pretty cool!

What do you think about Displacement Wave? Leave a comment!

Magic Origins: Day’s Undoing

magic origins banner

I’ve felt a bit out of touch from this spoiler season lately. The main reason for that is that my fiancé and I recently relocated to another town, and I’ve been without an internet connection for the past week or so. Bummer. However, I have been able to follow along with some of the spoilers on Twitter, and I must say Magic Origins doesn’t disappoint so far.

Oh yeah, they’ve made another Timetwister variant. The difference between this one and other variants printed previously? This one costs 2U:

daysundoing

The last clause is a bit of a downer, since the huge upside of cheap symmetrical draw 7’s is opening a turn with them to get ahead on the board before your opponent(s) can use any newly drawn cards. This is especially important in EDH since it’s a multiplayer format and symmetrical effects scale weirdly – in head-to-head, you draw seven and your opponent draws seven, in a four-person game, you draw 7 and your opponents draw a total of 21 cards to your seven. However, EDH is also a format of these cards:

leylineofanticipation.hq vedalkenorrery.hq quicken.hq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice that all of these are on-colour. If one is willing to bend to UG, there’s also this one:

alchemistsrefuge.fullI think Day’s Undone is very exciting, and the art is really baller.

What do you think of our new Timetwister? Leave a comment!

 

Magic Origins: Chandra’s Ignition and more

magic origins banner

There was a new trailer for the new Duels game at E3, and it showed off two brand new cards, and they are both quite exciting.

chandra's ignitionDisplaying the moment when Chandra’s spark ignites, this card is at best a mono-red Duneblast, and at worst it does absolutely nothing. High ceiling, low floor that is. This may well be a limited bomb designed to be the breaker of all stale-mates, or at least a reset of the board, and it might also be decent in EDH. Time will tell.

The other spoiler is a much blurrier picture:

ravaging-blaze

Ravaging Blaze XRR
Instant
Ravaging Blaze deals X damage to target creature.
Spell mastery – If there are two or more instant and/or sorcery cards in your graveyard, Ravaging Blaze also deals X damage to that creature’s controller.

This might just be playable in Standard and it’s obviously a pretty good in Limited. Spell mastery makes me hopeful for the future, it’s pretty damn easy to get online as long as it’s always two instants and/or sorceries, and added effects on cards are always nice.

 

Magic Origins: Displacement Wave

magic origins banner

The new Duels of the Planeswalkers video had this blurry beauty popping out:

displacement wave

It sort of looks like:

Displacement Wave XUU
Instant/Sorcery
Return all non-land permanents with converted mana cost X or less to their owners’ hands.

Thassa would LOVE this!

Magic Origins: Jhessian Thief

magic origins banner

Magic Origins previews kicked off somewhat today, with Mark Rosewater himself showing thee cards in his column. Two things excited me about this, the fact that Prowess is now an evergreen mechanic – though it might be in blue and red, and it would fix the “blue and red has the least mechanical overlap” issue, while still making sure blue/red creatures have something to do, and the following card. They have alos keyworded “Can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures” and called it Menace, which I think is both fitting and something Rx needs. Intimidate has its issues, as Rosewater explains in the column, and Menace is a cool evasion ability that also happens to be interactive. Gold star!

Further, this little doozy was revealed towards the end:

Jhessian Thief

Jhessian Thief, courtesy of Gideon’s exploration to Bant, is Ophidian but way better, meaning it is not only a pretty cool card for limited purposes, it will also fit right into my Thassa deck! Oh joy to see good new cards on the first day of spoiler season!

What do you think of Jhessian Thief? Leave a comment!