Myth Realized - What if Any Planeswalker Could Be Your Commander? (Simic)

(Simic Signet | Dan Frazier)

Stupid Sexy Simic?

The question of planeswalkers as commanders has been brought up in Magic discourse an infinite number of times. People say it would kill EDH as a format, and others say it will do nothing but give more options to a perpetually endless pool of commanders. I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle. My name is Nick, and the seventeenth installment of Myth Realized will cover Simic (green and blue) cards. Let's look at how they would each ruin (or not ruin) your favorite 100-card Singleton format.

If you've stuck around with me until this article, you know what cards to look for in this color combination. If not, check out the articles I did on green and blue planeswalkers to see the cards I've previously shouted out in these colors.

Kasmina, Enigma Sage - 1GB

Kasmina is a card that looks like it should be broken, and somehow, I can't tell you if I have ever seen this card in play at any point in my life. This card does have unlimited potential and will only get better as the years go on, thanks to the static ability on this card. A similar ability to Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, without counting planeswalkers that are not yours. What helps this card the most is the color combination it finds itself in. Simic has access to two of the most critical things in Magic: ramp and card draw. Ramp is what makes this card go from an afterthought to the only thing you will be thinking about. Starting at two loyalty and getting to eight is daunting, but there are two key things we can do to speed it up. Utilize the suite of Nissa planeswalkers and Karn Liberated.

Why these two things? A common motif amongst the Nissa planeswalker cards is their ability to untap lands / turn your lands into blockers. Both of these things help you keep Kasmina alive. The second thing comes down to numbers; in this case, the bigger the number, the better. Karn Liberated has amongst these colors the largest number plus ability at four loyalty, essentially hitting the NOS button on getting to your ultimate. Not to mention, using Karn's plus four twice in a turn is already absurd.

And before people come at me in the comments, I know things like Doubling Season, Deepglow Skate, and The Chain Veil exist and are very good with planeswalkers. We discussed these to death in the individual blue and green articles, so if you want to see my thoughts on those cards, go check out more of my stuff. One other planeswalker must be called out here: Teferi, Master of Time. The part of Teferi allowing him to activate his abilities on anyone's turn does not work with Kasmina since Kasmina only gets the loyalty abilities and not the statistics.

Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner - 2(G/B)

So you want to play mono-green big creatures, but you also want access to Cyclonic Rift? Then, do I have the potential commander for you? If you have dabbled in the Pioneer or various Arena formats, you will likely run into this card and how good it is when paired with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Other than making a massive amount of mana and drawing cards of creatures with more than four power, if you want more ways to untap permanents then you should play this. Outside of those two things, this card does...well, nothing. Don't get me wrong, this card is excellent at what it does, but it does not do much.

Kiora, Master of the Depths - 2GB

The best "engine" planeswalker in these colors that could sit in your command zone. If someone aimed to design a planeswalker, that was the definition of inoffensive power level-wise, and this is the poster child for that—a fair mana cost and starting loyalty. A good plus-one loyalty ability lets you cast more spells. A minus two enables you to find creatures and lands. An ultimate that is good but might not be good enough to force your opponents to kill this card on sight every time you cast it. Unless you pair this card with something like Doubling Season, then you're looking at what might be the fairest planeswalker made.

Kiora, the Crashing Wave - 2GB

I've never liked this planeswalker. There's no reason for my slight disdain for this card, but every time I look at it, it makes me mad. It always has, and it always will. To me, this card is a trap. At first glance, it looks like this card will have no problem getting to the minus five to get a 9/9 Kraken every time you end your turn. The hard truth is this card will die before you even think about getting there. The plus one on this card is making something your opponent controls, not dealing or taking damage, which is so hurtful to this card. If it could target itself, this card would be almost impossible to kill by attacking it with creatures. I see you, Questing Beast. Also, it only has two loyalty. Just two. This card will die to a Llanowar Elves; you only get one more land drop. You could play Explore, Growth Spiral, or even Summer Bloom instead of this card, and you would be better off. I'm not a fan, not in the deck or the command zone.

Nissa, Steward of Elements - XGB

This planeswalker is my preferred way of designing ways to alter how much starting loyalty a planeswalker comes with. The downside of having an X in the mana cost is that Simic is the "Big Mana" color combination, so getting an out-of-hand number on the bottom of this card is not too difficult. Sadly, this is most likely the reason for the abilities on this card to be a bit lackluster. Having a plus two that can help set up the top of your deck for the zero ability is nice, but the restrictions on what creature you get take a decent amount of your resources before it becomes a non-factor. I would like to see more planeswalkers with X or a non-physician man cost way to change the loyalty, but they might have to stay out of Simic if it involves the amount of mana paid for the card.

Oko, the Ringleader - 2GB

So, usually, I would not talk about a card this new. But since there are not too many Simic planeswalkers, I think it should be doable. The first thing about this card is all the numbers seem to be acceptable for the effects they give. On top of that, the mana cost is fair as well. The best thing about the Ringleader is they are not as broken as the first iteration of Oko. The first two abilities on this card are simple. Drawing cards is always good, and committing a crime is so laughably easy that you will not have to if you do not want to discard two cards. Beyond that, Oko will either become a copy of your best creature or, at worst, it will become a copy of the 3/3 elk you made with him. The ultimate on this card is another question entirely. Making a copy of every nonland permanent you control could fall anywhere between solid value or an insane level of value. You can even go infinite two different ways. My preference for the two includes Spark Double. The Ringleader in most games will either look like the greatest planeswalker ever created or will get the table to talk about how they have never seen this card outside of pre-release.

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Oko, the Trickster - 4GB

Even the most broken characters can't escape having their likeness forever shown in a planeswalker deck product. The strangest thing about this card is you might think, based on the zero ability to let Oko become a copy of one of your creatures, that this would be related to the Outlaws of Thunder Junction set. Well, you'd be dead wrong, partner. No, this mediocre creation is from none other than Throne of Eldraine. Before us is a six mana planeswalker with four starting loyalty. What do we get for our six mana? It's not the worst thing I have ever seen when looking at planeswalker deck 'walkers. Two +1/+1 counters on a creature is not great, but at least it gives Oko positive loyalty. The zero ability to make Oko a copy of a creature you control and prevent damage to him is, shockingly, a good ability. It's not one that I would reach for, but it is a legitimate ability. And I am not saying this statement with any sarcasm: The ultimate on this card is good and will win you games. This ultimate is essentially a Craterhoof Behemoth on your planeswalker. This is one of the least embarrassing planeswalker deck planeswalkers you could put into the command zone.

Oko, Thief of Crowns - 1GB

Stupid, sexy Oko. Banned in SIX formats Oko. The most powerful planeswalker of all time, Oko. Only in 6% of a possible 864,717 decks, according to If you play a deck that has green and blue in commander, you should be playing this card. It almost does not matter what your deck is doing; you should be playing Oko. This card is a mistake, and Magic's designers have admitted this. Giving two plus abilities to this card is why it was a menace. It is no secret that Food tokens are outstanding, and any card that can make them goes up in value compared to cards with similar abilities. However, turning an artifact or creature on the battlefield that can be targeted into a 3/3 Elk with no abilities on a plus one is so ludicrous of an ability that it borders on it being a fan-made effect. And not to be forgotten is taking your unused food token and swapping it for something like a Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy, Seedborn Muse, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, or the synergistic Academy Manufactor. If you have not had experience with this card, trust me when I tell you that no matter how good you think Oko is, he is better than that.

Tamiyo, Collector of Tales - 2GB

Without question, this is my favorite card on this entire list of planeswalkers. I love this card so much but for all the wrong reasons. I love this card because of a brief time when the Standard format was under the heel of Wilderness Reclamation and Nexus of Fate. I love it when an opponent on Arena concedes the game because the Thoughtseize they've just cast does nothing, thanks to the passive. Getting any card you want in your top four or just throwing four cards into the graveyard for synergies is lovely. And I will never turn my nose up at a Regrowth. I don't think this card is good when used fairly. So, if it could be your commander, you are building a deck with which no one but you will have fun when they are in the same pod. That is not the way that everyone wants to play. But for those who want to play that way, your new deck is here, and her name is Tamiyo.

Tamiyo, Compleated Sage - 2G(G/2 life/B)B

My love for Tamiyo does not extend to her Phyrexian version. This card is not bad, but it is held heavily in check when it comes in early but down loyalty. Tapping down a creature or artifact of your opponents and not letting it untap is a true blue ability. Even found on other planeswalkers. Copying a nonland permanent in your graveyard is strong, but its connection to mana value is why I am not looking to cast this card ahead of the curve. The ultimate making Tamiyo's Notebook interests me the most about this card. And I want to treat this notebook like a parent buying their child's school supplies. If one notebook is good, then five more notebooks are better. Reducing all spells by two mana and tapping to draw a card, who does not want more than one? Throw in a Mirror Gallery or Mirror Box, and it is smooth sailing.

Wrap Up

The Simic planeswalkers are a non-factor for this color combination. Ask yourself, the last time in a commander game, did you see any of the commanders on this list? I imagine you'll struggle. Now, ask yourself the last time you saw a Simic commander in a game. It will almost be too easy to answer. I find that intriguing. It is one of the most represented combinations of colors in the format because it has built-in ways to make your game "easier." The worst thing for Magic players is when they can't do what they want to do because they lack the basic resources of the game. Simic as a color by design fixes that issue.

Conversely, the planeswalkers here do a much worse job than their mono-green or mono-blue counterparts. Cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns, and to a lesser extent, Tamiyo, Collector of Tales, and possibly even Oko, the Ringleader would need to have a watchful set of eyes on them if made legal as commanders. The built-in synergies of doubling counters and proliferation available to these two colors also add a massive grain of salt to everything in this article. But none of this worries me like it might with other colors. That is because there is no shortage of powerful commanders in these two colors. Most commander players have built a Simic deck, and R&D will never stop making Simic commanders to build around. The rule change potentially impacts this color combination the least, which is fine by me.

We have covered all the monocolors and guilds for those paying attention. So what do we do next? Never fear, readers; we still have nine tri-colored planeswalkers to discuss.

Read more:

Myth Realized - What if Any Planeswalker Could Be Your Commander? (Boros)

Wombo Combo - Best Simic EDH Combos

Player and lover of all Magic the Gathering formats. Forged in the fires of Oath of the Gatewatch expeditions. Always down to jam games with anyone and everyone. When not playing Magic I am doing something else equally, if not more nerdy.

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