Ranking Every Planeswalker with EDHREC – Part 17: The Queen is Dead
We Vikings Now
GREETINGS, MORTAL. KALDHEIM PREVIEWS HAVE BEGUN, SO I HAVE EMBRACED MY INNER VIKING WARRIOR TO PRESENT THIS ARTICLE TO YOU WHERE WE RANK EVERY PLANESWALKER BASED ON THEIR NUMBER OF DECKS ON EDHREC! LET US SALLY FORTH AND BATHE IN THE BLOOD OF OUR ENE - cough cough cough
Okay, I can't shout for the whole article. I'm gonna blow out my keyboard using it that hard. Let's channel the spirit of the vikings in less shouty ways, like uh, the musical side! We can all be very cheery and bouncing during this article. That's much better.
40:: 5,505 Decks
It's pretty easy to look at the +1 and the static onand conclude she's not really made for Commander. Heck, I did when I first saw it, but that's because I was looking at the +1 as a way to draw cards. It will obviously never do that in Commander. You know what that +1 really says? Mill four. Ignore any other words on that ability, that’s all you need. I’ve resorted to before because repeatable mill fills your graveyard up all day long!
See, the thing about Tamiyo is that she's secretly a Sultai card, because not only does Sultai love filling the graveyard, but they also love. Even at her worst, Tamiyo is a four-mana sorcery , which is still a great card to have when you need that back. The fact that Tamiyo can also fuel her recursion with the +1 gives her a lot of value when you don't need something back right away.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Plus, any future recursion with Tamiyo in the graveyard has some pretty great returns. Looping Tamiyo with an is the epitome of spinning your wheels, and I love it.
39:: 5,756 Decks
(598 Decks as a commander, 5,158 decks as a card)
is the only creature ‘walker where her being a creature is an asset. It's incredibly easily to flip Lily, but the reward for doing so isn’t amazing on its own. The only really exciting ability is the -X. That will usually snag a decent creature, but if she only does it once, that's probably worse than even a card like . However, thanks to her creature side, you can easily get her back with stuff like and do that -X multiple times. It's a soul-crushing loop of death and resurrection. Hooray!
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Not a heady historic handmaiden, but a humble heretical healer.
38:: 5,812 Decks
When people are playing cards like, and , doesn't exactly stand out. She provides some ramp with her -1, and it's cute with stuff like , but I don't think that makes up for the fragility of being a planeswalker. Seven loyalty is a ton, but the fact that she can die is a definite downside, especially when compared to stuff like , which is all upside. It's always good to run one or two cards like Project, but Kiora is never going to be the best one.
What’s that? Kiora is 50 cents? Like, the perfect budget card for any Simic deck, unlike most of those other card draw options?
Excuse me a moment. I need to go find 50 copies of this.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: This andare basically the only budget s that exist, so even if they aren't the best, they should be in basically any stompy deck that can play them
37:: 5,873 Decks
(259 Decks as a commander, 5,614 decks as a card)
I actually really love It's just far too much effort when there're better ways to do it. It’s one of my favorite cards I’ve never owned, but I think that his ability isn’t great in EDH. That -2 is the main reason a lot of decks are running him, but why go through the effort of doing that when you could just return the spell with or or ? Jace is so dang slow. Sure, you can wait to flip him until you have something good to cast, but top-decking Jace is way worse than just top-decking because you have to wait a full turn cycle before you can get your spell back, or worse, get your Snapcaster plan ruined by a removal spell.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: And if you’re not Snapcastering, there’s basically nothing else for him to do. His other abilities are even worse.
36:: 5,892 Decks
So I've been teasing the budget Superfriends deck for a while, partly because I'm the type of person that would walk into a gold-leaf-wrapped caviar store and ask, "So what can I get for $2?" However, I think budget superfriends appeals to me a lot because it was certainly not a thing you could do a few years ago. Even the cheapest 'walkers used to run you $5-10, not to mention that the cool ones everybody wants to play like costing upward of $100. No high school student's got the budget for one of those, let me tell you, and I didn't even touch on the five-color mana base or the white whale of this series, . Superfriends was definitely the deck for those that wanted to really splurge.
But now, thanks to War of the Spark's introducing a ton of cheap 'walkers like you have a ton of cheap replacements. A lot of the support cards, like , are also fairly cheap. Heck, is only $1.50, and that’s one of the scariest cards in any superfriends deck. Even , while still being utterly unique and an “I Win” button for the tribe, has stuff like or that can fill a similar role. Sure, it won't have the flashiest 'walkers, like , but let's be real, most of those 'walkers weren't really great cards in Commander, anyway. I am at least interested in attempting to build budget superfriends and I encourage you all to try as well., I think you can totally build $50 superfriends. Sure, you can't afford some of the top tier 'walkers, like , but thanks to WAR, and a bunch of other sets,
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: 14-year-old me would be proud.
35:: 5,946 Decks
Okay, I’ve been pretty mean to the Izzet planeswalkers, but I can’t be rude to the greatest thief of the multiverse,. Everybody was freaking out about as a new EDH staple, and even that cost a million mana to steal even just a . on the other hand? It’s the same amount of mana to steal a or a , and when he doesn’t have a good thing to steal, he can also just every single turn. You never draw dead with a Dack in play.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Like, who cares if Dack dies in a turn or two? His floor is a good card. His ceiling is an amazing card!
34:: 5,955 Decks
If I ever made a list of worst loyalty abilities on 'walkers, I think's +1 might be the only non-Planeswalker Deck, non-Tibalt 'walker on there. Most of the time, you'll just tick up and do nothing, and isn't that a great ability? "+2: do absolutely nothing." Maybe you'll have a useless mana rock or land to sacrifice to it, but you're probably going to need those until late in the game. Even when you do draw a card off the +2, Vraska's still this giant sitting duck.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: The rest of the card would need to really wow me to overcome that, and it really doesn’t. The minus is just okay, and while I’ll concede that the ultimate is very funny, it’s gonna be forever before she gets there. I can’t even really say she’s good in superfriends. Your return on investment is quite slow.
33:: 5,997 Decks
I go back and forth on how good Karn is. I’ve never seen it in play, so I can’t really pull on any previous experience here. The most appealing thing here is he’s a colorless way to draw cards, and we’re still pretty hungry for that even with stuff likeand existing. He’s not amazing card draw, but you can usually strike a deal with an opponent to get a key wrath or removal spell that you might reveal. That’s also not all he does, either. In artifact decks, the Karnstructs can be massive creatures that can protect Karn or just attack for ten.
There's definitely a lot to like here. There's just a lot of downside if Karn flips two lands off the +1 and then dies. That's a pretty low floor on Karn. I think if I were building a deck and owned a Karn, I might try him out anyway because there is so much to like, but he's also $8. Like, I could buy, , and a Coke Zero for that price. I don’t know if I can justify giving him a shot.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I’d still like to see Karn in play. I think there's a chance he's better than he looks
32:: 6,053 Decks
I’ve come to the conclusion thatis some sort of hypnotic wizard disguised as a Magic card. People see this card, and I swear they hear this siren call. Oooh, a +1 that makes Plant tokens that work well with pump spells. Oooh, a minus that pumps a whole team. Oooh, she works well with Proliferate since it increases the +1/+1 counters she gives and gives her more loyalty counters. Woooooooooooooaaaah.
And then somehow, in seeing all this cool synergy, they enter into a catatonic state and are oblivious to what Nissa actually does most of the time, which is either “Make a 0/1 Plant, and then die,” or “Do aand then die.” Being three mana is not a boon for Nissa because the 0/1s are really terrible at protecting her from any defense stronger than a loaf of bread. Most games I see Nissa, it is very easy for me to kill her, and I’ll say that to people, and they'll say, “Oh, but when that doesn’t happen, she’ll really go off.” When does that not happen, world? What black magic hath infected y'all?!?
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I swear, either I'm in games where Nissa gets incredibly unlucky, or Wizards has been sneaking some sort of catnip into the cardboard.
31:: 6,078 Decks
Poll time! When’s the last time you’ve seen acast? I expect two answers: never, or last week. is pretty outclassed by stuff like , , , , etc. There’s definitely better options, and if you’re playing in a higher-power meta, you’ll probably never see this card.
But also, it’s not bad. Wizards, for some reason, likes to put this card in precons, so depending on where I'm playing, I will see Rise a fair bit, and I gotta tell you, I lose to it a lot. You can say whatever “strictly better” option you want, but the fact is games tend to end when you cast a five-mana , or a five-mana , or a five-mana ... you get the idea. It kinda doesn’t matter that feels so mediocre. It’s a mediocre way to get the best creature any deck is playing. That kinda has to be good.
So when I talk about(See, my rambles have a point... sometimes) and say that 95% of the time she’s just restricted to your graveyard, that's not a bad thing. Sure, when she gets to stick around, she’s much better. You can occasionally get to the ultimate, which is going to be pretty one-sided in the right deck, but often that’s just a bonus. Most of the time, she’s an expensive that gains you some life, and that’s totally fine.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Does that ranking refer to or Liliana? Yes.
Staying on Topic? What's That Mean?
Well, go celebrate the Kaldheim previews by learning to play a Talharpa. While you're doing that, sing about what you think about this batch of 'walkers. Is better than I think? Do you have a budget superfriends deck? Serenade your thoughts in the comments. Until next week.