Hello! Third spoiled Planeswalker in a set! I woke up at 1:30 am Thursday Morning to see what new cards Wizards had spoiled and Im looking at a third Planeswalker in Theros. Sick! As a control player I feel both threatened and enticed by new Planeswalkers. Threatened because I have to work extra hard to win games where my opponent essentially gets to cast an extra spell each turn and enticed because Planeswalkers offer me a way to win that won’t often be affected by my wrath effects.

Let’s start by deconstructing Elspeth, Sun’s Champion.


Six Mana is a lot. Sure we all know that. But so far this post rotation meta looks like it’ll be a little slower than the previous one. I say that because the most powerful spoiled cards need devotion to be great. Triggering devotion can happen in the early game sure but its generally gonna have to wait til turn 5 or 6 to happen. Now Im not saying that this format is all about devotion, I really have no idea. But U/W still gets its Wrath effect and Azorious Charm helps fight the Gods off. SomI can see playing Elspeth as a VERY strong finisher. Three 1/1s a turn is nothing to scoff at. Her -3 is totally serviceable and will likely have a meta game built around it if she sees a few top 8, the same way everyone is worried about Mizzuim Mortars. If you do end up ultimating her. That’s a potential just from her for nine 3/3 flying Humans. That’s gonna be really hard to deal with.

Elspeth, does all the great things Planeswalkers that end up being great do. She brings you back from an unwinnable board state with 3 chump blocker to buy you time. She protects herself. And her ultimate wins games. She gonna see play in both mid range and control decks that want an alternate route to victory. That route being huge flying creatures or a ground stall while something else gets to work on your opponent.

Next is a little red green bro, Xenagos, the Reveler.


If you’ve been vigilant about casting dudes this far into the game then congrats. Xenagos was actually free to cast you may continue playing spells. Or for the low low cost of 0 loyalty you can have your very own goat boy! Oh fun! Giaco will be quite pleased. This means goatboy tokens! Xenagos’ ultimate is sorta like Garruk’s +1 and Chandra’s 0 for lands and creatures. It’s not flashy but it’ll get you some board presence. They go into play for free two so that’s sweet.

Xenagos protects himself (albeit with goatboys), he costs nothing if you have other spells to cast and you have been playing dudes. And his ultimate can be quite good if you pair it with the Hammer of Porphoros. I like him, but red and green together at the same time are colors I rarely play. He’s gonna be a boss and a pain in the butt in midrange decks. Thank, Thassa Huntmaster of the Fells is rotating out.

Somebody get Brayan Rodriguez on the horn! There’s a new Blue Black Planeswalker! Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver.


I can’t wait to have a Dimir powwow with B-Rod on this guy. Also, SICK ART! it’s a demon without a nose or eyes or a … a… TOP OF HIS HEAD! +2: Mill 3. That’s a way to win. It’s like a Nephalia Drownyard that you have to protect. This means you opponent might not attack you, so that’s worth noting. -X: rites a guy you milled X is the casting cost. Ok you have another win con there. And it’s -10 removes the hand and graveyard from the game.

Ashiok starts at 3 but goes to 5. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Planeswalker with a + that is anything but a 1. It’s worth mentioning. Look at Jace, AoT it was a real pain to get him off the board when he was +1ing every turn. That extra point you had to do through blockers and his pesky -1/0 ability really gummed things up. Look at Gideon, his +1 was effectively more and that could be a problem really quickly. Meanwhile you were free to cast spells draw cards and wrath while your opponent was dealing with your buddies. +2 means something here, don’t underestimate it. While it doesn’t protect itself it does make it harder to kill. That’s not nothing. The -X is pretty intense. Imagine in the new standard that cards like Desecration Demon or Angel of Serenity or one of the Gods is exiled. These are game changing cards. I’d be happy to trade my Planeswalker for a Scry 1 every turn or to remove three other creatures from the game. In that way it protects itself. The ultimate does not win the game. Not outright. Unless you happened to be playing control a late game wits’ end is not that great. But clearing the graveyard and having the option of bringing back a nightmare seems like a fine thing to do. I see this ultimate a lot like Elspeth 1.0s. Icing on the cake.

You don’t need to ultimate this Planeswalker. Exiling 3 cards a turn left uncheck can win you the game sure. But I think if you grab a resilient threat from your opponent that will likely end the game faster. I see this in an Esper or Grixis shell, plenty of removal.

So that’s 3 Planeswalkers. I didn’t expect a third, but now I wonder if there’s a fourth. Also no land cycle yet. I sure would like to see some mana fixing that isn’t an 0/3 Hexproof green creature.

On a final note, the new Grand Prix Schedule is up. More prizes are cool, I’m happy for everyone that places at these things that there’s more money going to the players. We’ve invested plenty of our time and money into the game, so it seems only fair. I have a gripe though. Where is the support for modern? Six events for Modern? That’s one less than last year! Unless I missed my count there’s the same number of Grand Prix as last year. So the title, “More Grand Prix…” Seems a bit incorrect. I’m sure nothing I say at this point is going to change anything, but what the hay! Wizards what are you doing to support the growth of Modern after Modern Masters? You have a player base that wants to play it, but no events for them to play it at. My LGS supports it weekly, but getting other stores on the band wagon seems like pulling teeth. Wizards, if you build it we will come. I understand the lower amount of Legacy events. Starcity Games supports that format and has given a second life it. What can you do to make Modern as widely played?

Now, I’d be a really horse’s ass if I didn’t have suggestions.

1) Give stores that support Modern weekly promos like FNM. Modern Foils or Full Art promos to give to winners and random participants.

2) Let’s have the fourth PTQ season of each year (or first or second or third) be Modern. EVERY YEAR, so there’s a season each year for Modern we as players can can use as a guide when buying cards and making trades.

3) Bring back player’s rewards! For Thassa’s sake. Why did this stop happening? Let’s get a kick back for being loyal to the game. Remember L5R, they had you trade in a pack wrappers for prizes. This was amazing! There was never pack trash to worry about. The items were cool (t-shirts, promos, a freaking samurai sword!!!!). We all like to get a little something for nothing.

Here’s the thing Wizards, we are gonna play this game. We love it. Whether you hook us up with cool stuff or you run more of the formats we love, we’ll obviously keep playing. But it’s the frequency of play that goes up when we know that our Planeswalker points mean more than just 2 byes at the one or two Grand Prix we go to that season. When we receive something physical, as a “thank you for your support” doesn’t everyone walk away feeling much better?

Sorry about the rant. Anyhow those Planeswalkers, which one do you think is the best?

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

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