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Ranking Every Planeswalker with EDHREC – Part 5: 152 Blaze It
Hello, and welcome back to this series where we rank each planeswalker based off the number of decks they have on EDHREC. Zendikar Rising has been out for a while now, so I hope you aren’t feeling too crabby! Get it? From?
No, wait. That’s stupid. Let me try again. Ahem…
Hello, and welcome back to this series where we rank every planeswalker. Zendikar Rising is returning to all the classics, including our friend last year in Core Set 2020, and, wait: can anything from Zendikar be a classic since OG Zendikar came out in 2009? Hm.. I mean, I guess he’s not really a classic since we just saw him was
Wait, wait. I got it! One more try.
Hello, and welcome back to this series where we do the thing. Modal lands are broken in EDH… or they aren’t? People seems pretty split on them, and I can’t have a contrary opinion if there is no opinion to be contrary to. Uh. Anybody excited for ?
You know what? Why don’t you just go ahead and read the article? I’ll come back to you with this opening.
160:: 971 Decks
Under normal EDH rules, the -5 does literally nothing, so isn’t exactly off to a strong start here. That being said, the +1 is a decent piece of evasion and pump for big buff bois, and while the -3 isn’t great to use right away because it leaves her pretty vulnerable, it can be a great way to eat opposing commanders if Vivien sticks around a bit. I think despite having only two abilities, Vivien’s actually decent. Mono-green has a surprisingly high number of Voltron-esque commanders, like , or , and Vivien seems a great way to help those creatures get through.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Outside of mono-green, I doubt she’s worth the restrictive cost.
159:: 976 Decks
While that’s definitely the best ability, it’s not like the rest of the card is bad. Even as just a random superfriends card, he’s a personal with a decent ultimate. It’s certainly not a game-winning ultimate, but it’ll easily clear a board stall. He even synergizes with . He’s certainly not the best ‘walker you could play, but for a planeswalker deck ‘walker, he’s pretty generically good in most decks, and he really shines in others.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: The only reason he’s not a total slam dunk is that $6-pricetag, and, unfortunately, I doubt they’re going to find a place to reprint these planeswalker deck ‘walkers anytime soon. Sigh.
158:: 1,025 Decks
Is there a secret cult of players trying to summon Cthulhu by playing? Because I never quite understood why it sees so much play. I very rarely see creatures with native hexproof. Usually, creatures get it from cards that grant hexproof, like , and you can usually just target those cards with kill spells first. If you must have this type of effect for a commander, like , I find that it’s always better to play a land like rather than take up a slot in my deck.
So if I’m not a big fan of paying one mana for, I’m definitely not going to be a fan of paying six mana for it in , even if she’s also a double . You can definitely remove two creatures way more efficiently than Kaya, with cards like or . Basically, nothing this card does is very exciting or good.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I’m not even a fan of her in budget legendary decks. Six mana is just a ton for this meh effect.
157:: 1,032 Decks
So uh, Exile Tribal? I mean, it’s not like anything elsedoes anything else that’s exciting. She doesn’t protect herself at all, and her abilities are pretty low impact, but the ultimate does peak my interest. Can we make this work? Hmm.
There is, in fact, an EDHREC page for exile matters, and it’s certainly intriguing. There’re a lot of ways to get cards into exile, like , , and even quirky stuff like . The enablers exist, but the issue is that there’s not many payoffs. The only ones I could find were Kaya, herself, , and . None of these are really worth building an entire deck around. I guess that you could also just exile everyone’s libraries, but that’s no longer exile tribal, that’s just fancy mill. Seems like the payoffs for building exile Tribal aren’t really there, unless you go full on jank.
Okay, I buried the lede a bit here. There is one more exile payoff: the terrible Processor Eldrazi from Battle for Zendikar! You remember these, right? The cards that Mark Rosewater said were probably mistakes due to their unpopularity. I love the dorky five-color Eldrazi deck, but the Processors don’t even meet my janky standards. They’re mostly Limited fodder. , , . They take so much infrastructure to function, and even when they do, they’re just okay.
However, maybe playability isn’t a concern for you, so fine. If you just want to build something stupid and jam five-color Eldrazi exile Processor tribal, go for it.is definitely a staple of that deck. I’d have to imagine maybe 15 people wanna build that, so what do we say about the 1,000 other decks on Kaya’s page?
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: If we step back from the deep jank pit, we’re really just left with a ‘walker that barely impacts the board. Probably would have taken less time if we just led with that.
156:: 1,033 Decks
The only uncommon ‘walker outside of War of the Spark! Although, for EDH purposes,, is basically just an anthem for Elementals. Not a bad one, though. She’s fragile, but even if you do the +1 once, that can still easily amount to 15-30 extra damage, which is decent if you can’t afford stuff like .
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Outside of that, she’s not doing much. Maybe you can kill an opponent with the two damage once every 10,000 games. I won’t say it’s impossible.
155:: 1,044 Decks
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Three 3/3s. Say it aloud a few times, three 3/3s, three 3/3s, three 3/3s. It’s fun!
154:: 1,051 Decks
Okay, so my first thought here was that deathtouch tribal card, which, now that exists, we have exactly two payoffs for! Woohoo!was just a
However, even if you’re not going all-in on deathtouch, there’re tons of commanders that make dorks with deathtouch, likeor , which Vraska can randomly make into decent threats over time.
She’s also just a cheap planeswalker that works well with recursion. Vraska can tick down twice to make combat difficult for opponents, and then she’s free to be sacrificed and recurred with cards like. Repeat to your heart’s content. Even if you don’t care about the static at all, you still probably want this in budget builds of or that budget superfriends list that I’m still not sure actually exists.
Finally, she’s just cute with. She makes Chevill bigger, and she makes tokens to kill the creatures with bounty counters. It’s neat.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Actually, neat is probably the best way to describe Vraska. She’s definitely not ZOMG broken, but she’s decent across the board. I like her.
153:: 1,096 Decks
Five mana for a 4/4 hasty Dragon might be enough for other formats, but it’s not really what I want in Commander. Sure,does some other stuff, but that’s what it’s primarily doing, and it’s not nearly the best Dragon that you can play at five mana. The most appealing bit is probably the ultimate. It’s a pretty good source of card advantage, but even that can be situational. Overall, he’s pretty meh.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Although, I do sometimes thinkshould see more play. It’s risky, but I think it’s better than it looks in decks that like to discard, like .
152:: 1,127 Decks
There was a time when people would have said probably only behind Tibalt. Now, though, after going through some of the ‘walkers that we’ve seen on this series, Ablaze suddenly looks amazing. At least she protects herself and has abilities that aren’t terrible, and I don’t wanna throw her into the sea. That’s more than I can say for others.was one of the worst planeswalkers ever made,
Honestly, maybe it’s just from the comparison to the truly bad ‘walkers, but I kinda likein Commander. The obvious comparison is with , and, while Flamecaller is probably better in the average deck, Ablaze does have some merit on her own. The biggest stumbling block is the +1. It’s definitely card disadvantage, but since red is the queen of discard interaction with stuff like or , that +1 can hurt a lot less. Sometimes it’s even upside in decks like .
The real star of the show is that -2. Each player wheels. Each! Not only can you restock if you’re empty-handed, but you can also just make the person with eight or nine cards in hand start sobbing uncontrollably. The worst case scenario with Ablaze is that she does the -2 and then it dies. That’s not amazing, but that’s the floor on this card, and the ceiling is quite high. Unlike Flamecaller,has an ultimate to work towards. It’s pretty easy to keep her alive at six loyalty, and, if they don’t kill it eventually, then yeah, you’ll basically win the game. I think Ablaze is definitely janky, but worth considering in spell-heavy decks, or in decks that like to discard, like .
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Not the best ‘walker, but definitely shouldn’t be thought of alongside.
151:: 1,150 Decks
I’m always a bit disappointed when I look at. The whole planeswalker is built around turbo-ing to the ultimate. The +1’s only purpose is to get counters on Dovin, and the -1 isn’t really worth doing unless you need fuel for the +1, so the whole card is about getting toward the ultimate, and then when you finally get there… it’s just a fancy .
Don’t get me wrong, I like, and Dovin’s ultimate is an ever better version of that card, but we jump through these hoops to get Dovin to its full potential, and it’s just a decent value play. Instead of jumping through the hoops for this ultimate, I could just run or , or instead of trying to put counters on Dovin with the +1, I could just play , or . I understand that they didn’t want players to have a game-winning ultimate on turn four or five, but now I just look at Dovin and he doesn’t seem worth the effort.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I actually really love the design, and I hope they try and make similar ‘walkers in the future, but this one doesn’t do it for me.
Dovin Driving His Designated Dolphin, Donovan
Hello, and welcome to this serie-Wait, it’s over already? Ugh. Next week, I’ll figure out this intro thing! Until then, let me know what you think about this batch of ‘walkers. What do you think about? Do you have a sweet idea for exile tribal? Let me know in the comments! Until next week