Ranking Every Planeswalker with EDHREC – Part 10: Oooh! Niiiiiiiiiight Weaver!

(Calix, Destiny's Hand| Art by Magali Villeneuve)

Author: Some Nerd on the Internet

There once was an MTG Series

That was built on this website's queries

Ranking planeswalkers' play

Based on decks where they stay

Led by one that makes half-baked theories.

Oh, and something something, Commander Legends. What do you want from me? It's too many syllables.

110: Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver: 2,301 Decks

Of all the non-planeswalker deck Ashioks, I think Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver is easily the worst. Not bad, but certainly the least relevant to Commander. Some games, the -X on Ashiok is gonna do very little. Aggro or tribal creatures are too situational, and big mana decks like Gruul have creatures too big to get with Ashiok. The sweet spots for the -X are the value decks. Your Muldrotha the Gravetides, your Yarok the Desecrateds, your Meren of Clan Nel Toths. Not every pod will have a value deck, but if you’re in a value meta, or if you’re willing to roll the dice on randomness, I think Ashiok’s fine.

And none of you are listening. You’re all waiting on me to mention the mill decks, because that’s actually why Ashiok is this high. It’s particularly great in Phenax, God of Deception, with all the Walls the deck runs anyway. Ashiok is more debatable in more spell-based mill like Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker, but those usually have to run some ways to not die in combat, anyway, so Ashiok's not that strange as a repeatable "mill three" a few times. Maybe, occasionally, you can snag a good creature, but that's just gravy.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Wait, Ashiok has an ultimate? No, I think I’d remember if Ashiok had an ability other than the plus and the minus.

109: Garruk, Apex Predator: 2,308 Decks

I could try and play this game where I talk about Garruk, Apex Predator objectively. I could say he puts himself pretty low on loyalty to protect himself with the -3, and how even the ultimate doesn’t kill the entire table, ultimately concluding with the statement that, at seven mana, he's not much better than a planeswalker deck 'walker.

However, there is not a snowball's chance in the Furnace of Rath that I can do that. I love this dork!! Everything this card does feels powerful! The +1 murders planeswalkers! Sure, it's not gonna come up super often, but think of the planeswalker you hate most, and imagine Garruk snapping their entire body like a twig, for positive loyalty!

Can't do that? How about making 3/3s that also eat anything foolish enough to try and kill Garruk, or just yeeting the biggest creature with a Swords to Plowshares from the Upside Down? Ooh! Ooh, I love it! And sure, you may not win that game with the ultimate, but for that one player you target, they are going to be eviscerated in almost any scenario. It's downright euphoric!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: The logical part of my brain is saying this is probably Overplayed, but if I'm playing superfriends, Garruk is getting in there!

108: Tibalt, Rakish Instigator: 2,320 Decks

I honestly would have been content if they just never made another Tibalt again after Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded. If they absolutely had to, I'd hoped they'd put him in an Un-set, where he actually has no text on him, or go the complete opposite direction and make him absolutely busted, or if they had to have him in black border, make him completely random like his playtest card from Mystery Boosters. After the amazing meme that Tibalt became, Tibalt. Rakish Instigator kinda committed the worst sin possible: he's perfectly average.

He's not useless. Last I checked, Oloro, Ageless Ascetic still exists, so there will always be a place for anti-life gain cards like Tibbles, but there's so many options for that slot. You got the excellent Sulfuric Vortex, the hilarious Stigma Lasher, or even the chaotic Witch Hunt. (See, Tibbles? Even random enchantments are outdoing you for memey-ness.) If you have some synergy with the tokens, Tibbles is a fine choice, but that's the problem: Tibalt, Rakish Instigator is just fine. The meme hasn’t grown into something even more outrageous, or redeemed itself with a shining powerful comeback. He’s just made himself a bit more respectable in front of the in-laws. *Sigh*

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I hope someday you get on your feet, Tibbles... and then fall down a mountain.

107: Liliana, Untouched by Death: 2,326 Decks

99% of the time, I assume Liliana, Untouched by Death is a four-mana Zombie Yawgmoth’s Will. If you don't do the -3 right away, it's likely that opponents will make sure you never do it. Maybe Varina, Lich Queen can keep Liliana alive for a bit, but what for? The -3 is also the main reason to play Liliana. Her +1 is pretty low-impact, and her -2 is mediocre removal. Why complicate matters? Don't your zombies decks want a $4 Yawgmoth's Will? This card could have a +1 that gives target Wood Elemental +0/+1.6, I would still play it in basically any Zombie deck!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Ok, maybe not Azorius Zombies.

106: Ral, Izzet Viceroy: 2,358 Decks

Off the top of my head, I’d say Izzet might be the worst color identity for protecting 'walkers. Maybe tied with Boros? Mainly because Izzet is usually fairly light on creatures to protect them. They have answers to creatures, but it's stuff like removal, wrathes, or counterspells. You don’t really wanna waste those on every random creature that tries to kill your 'walkers. I find that the best Izzet 'walkers either don’t need to do a lot to be good, like Dack Fayden, or they lend themselves to being in superfriends, like the Wonder Twins.

Ral, Izzet Viceroy doesn’t really fall into either of those categories. He’s mainly a spellslinger 'walker, so he’s not great in the superfriends decks, but he also needs time before he’s worth the mana spent on him. If all you do with Ral is kill a thing, or draw a card, he is no way worth the investment. He needs to stick around, and I said a similar thing about Ashiok, Nightmare Muse, but this is a case where color identity makes all the difference. Dimir can keep Ashiok alive pretty easily, and Izzet can’t in most cases.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: At least his +1 is better than Jace, the Living Guildpact's! (Look, I only have so many opportunities to trash Jace, the Living Guildpact. Let me have this!)

105: Sarkhan Unbroken: 2,459 Decks

As the resident EDHREC smashy smashy Dragons player, I have a fair bit of experience with Sarkhan Unbroken. With an ultimate that often just wins on the spot, I had to at least try it, and unlike Sarkhan, Dragonsoul, the surrounding card looks a lot better. However, and I hate to crush people's fun, but I've never been impressed with this dork. The problem is he's just too value-oriented. When I tapped out for Sarkhan, I always wanted to play a Scion of the Ur-Dragon, or a Mirari’s Wake, or even a Spellbound Dragon. Sarkhan is good over time, but he was just too slow for my punchy needs. Maybe there’s a Temur Dragons variant you can build that can support Sarkhan gaining a little value overtime until the ultimate finally pops off, but in most decks, I’d rather just play a way to punch people.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Hey, EDHREC! Hire more people that play Dragons! I need company!

104: Teyo, the Shieldmage: 2,464 Decks

Teyo, the Shieldmage... is just shy of the top 100? That's, uh... good for him? I, uh, I guess he's got cool shield buddies. That's neat.


Okay, I give up. Why the heck is Teyo this high? I was expecting him to be the first uncommon 'walker on the list, so I'm baffled he's all the way up here. I could maybe see a human person think about putting him in an Arcades, the Strategist deck, but he's not... good. I’m pretty sure Arcades could care less about the Leyline of Sanctity effect, so you must just be playing him to make two Walls, except they're mediocre Walls. Functional 3/3s sound big in Arcades, but that’s small fries. You can do way better than that when stuff like Wall of Denial exists.

And I am completely flummoxed at the Superfriends staples on this page. The Wall buddies can technically protect your 'walkers, but he just does nothing else. I would never be excited to play Teyo. I guess you could argue that's the point. He’s supposedly an early lightning rod that distracts from the big stuff, but you could also just play ramp, or Pillowfort stuff, or other cheap 'walkers, like Jace, Architect of Thought, or anything that does more than just make a derpy shield prison.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I’d be interested to see if anyone can change my mind on this one. 2,464 decks is waaaaaaaaaaay higher than I thought, so maybe I’m just missing something.

103: Calix, Destiny's Hand: 2,484 Decks

They’ve made seven-million-bajillion artifact 'walkers, but only two enchantment 'walkers. It's actually kinda surprising. You can tell there’s a market for more, because people want to play a subpar 'walker like Calix, Destiny’s Hand.

Okay, that’s a bit unfair. The more aggressively Aura-oriented decks, like Siona, Captain of the Pyleas, really love Calix. It hits blockers that are in the way. It finds key Auras to help apply pressure, and if the board gets wiped, it can help you recover through the ultimate. I think it's actually pretty great to play if you're aiming to Voltron opponents out with Auras.

In the more enchantress-style decks like Estrid, the Masked, he gets a lot worse. That +1 is still card advantage, but you have loads of better options like all the Enchantresses the deck is named after. The -3 is not nearly as good in the long term. It’s awkward when you have to exile a creature under a key Pillowfort enchantment, or a mana doubler because they're going to find an answer to those cards eventually, and now they'll also get their creature back. Sure, the ultimate is gonna be great, but Calix isn't protected by a lot of the pillow fort cards like Propaganda, or Collective Restraint, so he's actually kinda tricky to get to that ultimate. It’s not a bad 'walker, but it’s not the 'walker that these defensive decks wants. They’re gonna want more generic good 'walkers like Tamiyo, the Moon Sage that have more long-term plans.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I honestly think as more enchantment planeswalkers are printed, Calix will fall further down the list.

102: Jaya, Venerated Firemage: 2,502 Decks

Torbran, Thane of Red Fell is a gross card. If you're pointing damage at people's faces, Torban is the best way to do it, no exceptions. If you wanted to punch people even more, Embermaw Hellion is another favorite of mine, so I'd recommend you play that next. If you get through both Torban and Hellion and still want to just beat the devils out of people, then you can consider Jaya, Venerated Firemage, but she's so fragile, I wouldn't recommend it unless you really just want to go all-in on making your fire be more fire-ee

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: What the heck is this Kumano, Master Yamabushi deck I ran into on Jaya's page? Like, you need to get six janky cards in play, and your reward is that Kumano maybe actually becomes a good card. I love it!

101: Koth of the Hammer: 2543 Decks

You know what I love? Mana Geyser. By the time you get to five mana, Geyser will almost always lead to stupid turns where you jump up to a stupid amount of mana out of nowhere. It’s quickly become a red staple for me, and one of my favorite “ramp" cards of all time.

I get similar vibes from Koth of the Hammer. With 10 Mountains in play, this is the type of card that can be played and ramp you in the same turn with the -2, but the beauty here is you can put it on layaway. So long as you can protect Koth for a turn, you can untap with 10-15 mana on turns 5-7. I might play Koth for that alone. Plus, unlike rituals, Koth isn't a dead draw late game. I wish the +1 made the land a creature until your next turn, but it can ramp you by untapping a land you tapped for mana, and the ultimate is pretty easy to get to that does a ton of damage per turn. None of these are reasons to play Koth on their own, but they're still useful. He's basically a weird ritual with upside, I dig it.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: And also, the only underplayed ranking I gave this week. Man, I was mean today!

I'll Smash it With a Hammer

And with that, I shall go take my cue.

What I need in the comments is you:

Can you find Teyo's home?

Perhaps Ral Zarek's ome?

Until then, I shall bid you adieu

Joseph started playing in Theros Block but decided that the best way to play the game was to learn every single card and hope that would somehow make him good at Magic. It hasn't. He is a college student in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also enjoys reading and other games of all shapes and sizes.

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