Ranking Every Planeswalker with EDHREC – Part 15: The Bogeyman Arrives
I Shall Enjoy My Merriment
It's finally the article before Christmas! I look forward to this one because I get to share the holiday cheer that I have to keep bundled up for the rest of the month so I don't look tacky. Time to let loose the holiday spirit! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Habari Gani, and may any other holiday that allows you to express joy be a merry one!
Does this article where we rank every planeswalker based on their number of decks on EDHREC have anything to do with the holidays? Nope, but I'm doing it anyway!
60:: 4,504 Decks
People sleep onfar too much. Whenever I talk about how great Xenagos is, everybody goes “Oh, is amazing," which I can't argue with; he is quite swole, but that doesn't mean you should forget about OG Xenagos. I think he's one of the top ten best 'walkers for Commander. I can explain why in a sentence: look at the price tag on . If the +1 doesn't make Xenagos free after you cast him, you're doing something wrong. Your Gruul, Naya, Jund, Temur, or whatever stompy deck suits your fancy is going to love being able to cast giant dorks with the +1, which also manages to protect Xenagos, and if you're a token deck? Whooboy! could not ask for a better +1!
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: It’s not like the rest of the card is bad either. When you have no creatures, Xenagos can just be a better. The ultimate is also pretty game-winning in any nontoken decks, but, honestly, if all you ever do is make a gazillion mana with the +1, that should still make him a Gruul staple.
59:: 4,544 Decks
(522 Decks as a Commander, 4,022 Decks as a Card)
Should be obvious why after last week when we saw a bunch of these "Removal 'walkers," you can find a better option for those decks than Freyalise. Use , or , or some of the ones we'll see later. Freyalise just does very little else in superfriends.is seeing play with all the Elf cards on her page, but interspersed with those are a bunch of superfriends staples, because look at that! We have the as a minus on Freyalise too! I hope
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I do actually think more creature-based decks, like, could take advantage of her, but not enough to balance out all the superfriends decks.
58:: 4,620 Decks
Of the cavalcade of Orzhov Sorins, we finally reach one I think is okay! I mean, I still wouldn't run in Vampires. He's far too slow. Would you rather cast clunky clunkerson at six here, or a Vampire like or ? Seems obvious to me.
But unlike all those other Sorins, this one's got some meat on his value-based bones. Imagine that +1 in a superfriends deck. Flip, dome for eight? Mmmm, delicious. Plus, the fact that he's so beefy means that getting to the ultimate on this card is a possibility. Don't get me wrong, I'm not excited for Sorin, and if I never saw him in play, I'm not sure I'd notice, but I think it is playable in superfriends, which is a higher bar than most of these Sorins on this list.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Still not a Vampire card, but this one's not completely worthless.
57:: 4,645 Decks
! AKA: Sorcery-speed .
Okay, that’s not fair. Sometimes he’s two sees play in over 6,000 decks.s, but he’s very rarely a 'walker. Even if he does stick around for more than two turns, he's basically a seesaw of destruction. Tick up, tick down, tick up, tick down. The Karn lives to eat things, and colorless decks are pretty bad at that. Like, the worst case on Karn is still something that
So Karn's a staple in colorless decks. Should the colored decks be running a seven-mana? I mean, if you want that, and budget isn’t a concern, Karn is the best one. Being sorcery-speed is made up for in spades by him being repeatable. If you want colorless expensive removal, I’d recommend Karn, but do you want colorless expensive removal? Green and white have no trouble in the removal department, blue has all manner of counterspells to catch things, and red has . The only iffy one is mono-black with artifacts, but even they have reanimation to snag an opposing , or just kill opponents through whatever artifact is bugging you. The removal is nice, but he basically does nothing else, so you might as well just run better removal, especially in superfriends. If there is a deck that doesn't need an expensive removal spell, it's absolutely superfriends.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: And before we move on, please, please please, don’t ever try and ultimate the Karn.
56:: 4,653 Decks
If EDHREC had a salt score in 2013-2016, I can guarantee that would be on it. That -3 was the ultimate neutralizer. It didn’t matter how much board state you had acquired. It didn’t matter how far ahead you were. If Sorin ticked down, and you couldn’t immediately win on your turn, you suddenly got really nervous. I did not actually see a ton of Sorin in my groups, partially, if not entirely for salt reasons, but the few times Sorin's ire got pointed at me, I lost those games, brutally.
Of course, now we’re living in the modern Commander age, where stuff likewins the game on the spot, puts a loaded gun on the table, and abuses the format to an uncomfortable degree. Does still deserve his status as a bogeyman of the format? Maybe not as much as he used to, but he should still absolutely be respected. If anything, EDH has gotten even less combat-centric in the past few years with value engines like ruling the day, so decks have probably stopped protecting themselves from damage as much as they should. 10 life still leaves opponents dead to a lot of things. Plus, once you do the -3, opponents are gonna smell blood in the water, and are probably happy to get that one player out of the game.
Even if you completely ignore that ability, he's still good. He can murder small things, and he can build up toin two turns. He absolutely rewards you for protecting him. Not to mention, he’s super funny with , getting to ult and then survive. The one stumbling block, his mana cost, isn't even much of a problem in mono-black, or even in black-heavy decks. If you've never played with OG Sorin before, try him out. I promise, you won't regret it!
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: He may not command the fear he once did, but you should cast him a couple times and remind people why he commanded that fear in the first place.
55:: 4,672 Decks
Hey! Long time, no see, Elspeth. Don't think we've seen you since the 120s. Did you get some new tricks?
Ehhhhhhh. Not really. Like, I think the only reasonis seeing play is because (everybody sing along) she works well with . There's not much else here. She can cast , but if that's all you want, you can just play an Equipment, like , that's way less fragile. Anything else, Elspeth? No? Just the Season thing. Okay.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: It's not even that good of an ultimate. Like, it's annoying, but opponents can absolutely kill you through it.
54:: 4,694 Decks
I always thinkcosts three mana, and then I read the card, see that she costs four, and am disappointed. She’s only got two loyalty, and the most appealing thing about this card is the thing that removes loyalty. Double is probably worth four mana in certain decks, but she’ll die to a poke with a stick before you get that. If she had just a couple more loyalty, she'd be better, but as is, she's a pretty lackluster 'walker.
However, to break from tradition, I think she’s actually an excellent superfriends 'walker in the early game. If she explores once and then takes heat from the 'walkers that you really want to keep alive, that’s pretty good. If she sticks around, she can help pillowfort and work towards the ultimate late game. Plus, the issue of being made of toothpicks is softened by the Proliferate in these decks. So bad Simic card, pretty good superfriends' card: split down the middle?
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Watch out, Kiora! You're gonna crash! Ah!
53:: 4,700 Decks
Why on earth isseeing any play? Sure, if you happen to run into a player running , then she’ll come in clutch, but everywhere else, that card text is never gonna come up. Maybe runs it as tutorable removal, but other than that, no one should play this. Double is not what you wanna spend four mana on in any superfriends deck. You should just forget this card exists. Rant rant rant, ... high-power decks....
Looks around nervously.
Have all the sensible people scrolled past this section yet? Okay, now that they’re gone, let’s talk jank. Obviously, fight tribal? Play her with stuff like , or to lock opposing creatures out basically forever. The world's your oyster with this card. Go nuts! Just don’t play it like a clunky removal spell. Now I better go. I’m sure all the regular readers jumped to the Overplayed section. Ahem....prevents your own wraths, like , from hurting you, but that’s thinking too small. Ever built Boros group slug? , . You can move into black for to really get things moving. Maybe that’s too mean. You could also just play symmetric effects like , or . With Wanderer in play, you can let opponents have fun with those cards, so long as they don't try to hurt you with it. What else? People had a ball playing Wanderer with in Standard. That sounds like it'll lead to some ludicrous turns in Commander. Ooh! How about
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Totally unplayable in all respects. Just never think about this card again. It doesn't do anything.
52:: 4,807 Decks
is almost too powerful for his own good. is one of the scariest cards in the right decks because it gets you to stupid amounts of mana very early on. Jiang may be more restrictive, but counters are cheap, and he can even assist with that. He's definitely impactful.
That’s not the issue. The issue is that the moment he comes down, a smart table is gonna target him, and he's only got three loyalty. The token decks can definitely protect him, but for how long?is fast, but it isn't usually instant gratification. It takes some time to be amazing. I'm torn. The ability is super powerful, but I think he's just too fragile most of the time to take advantage of it.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although, if you're hankering for this ability,is a hidden favorite of mine.
51:: 4,810 Decks
If you took all the 'walkers whose +1s were basically just , I think would be the best one to play in your average deck. Not even because he's particularly powerful. He's just vanilla enough to be good in the most situations. All his abilities are relevant, he's pretty beefy, he adds a scry to the draw ability, and he only cost five mana, so he wins!
If your deck can play a 'walker without it instantly dying, you can't really go wrong running Jace. You wanna lock combat? Well, you might as well run card draw while you're at it. Superfriends? Yep. He’s got an ultimate that works with Classic control? Jace will happily buy you some time. Krakens? Yes, Jace does enjoy the wall of beef protecting him, thank you. If anything, Jace should see more play. There’s not a blue deck that doesn’t like drawing cards, and Jace can have upside on top of that. If you care even a little bit about not being punched in the face, why is Jace a bad card in your deck?.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: The best way to describe my feelings on this card is just by going “Yup. That’s a good magical card there.”
Turns Out 'Unraveler' Isn't a Word. The More You Know.
May whatever holiday you celebrate warm your soul! It would help warm mine to hear your thoughts about any of these 'walkers we talked about! Isstill the monster he was before? Was I too hard on Karn? Let me know in the comments! May you have the merriest holiday!