First of all, spoilers ahead.

Today I’ll be talking about every legendary creature that was revealed during last week’s FAQ leak. If you’re trying to steer clear of information on Dominaria this article isn’t for you. With that said, there’s a lot of new Legends that were revealed—33 in total. So let’s get started!

Adeliz, the Cinder Wind

I really like this card, although I’m not sure if this style of deck can flourish in Commander. If you ever wanted to play U/R Delver style of tempo, this is the commander for you. Wizard tribal needing spells to function is perfect, and the potential upside of the triggers stacking is great. The main problem is that counterspells don’t interact all that well with Adeliz, since she wants proactive spells rather than reactive in order to get that maximum number of triggers precombat.

Rating: C+

Arvad the Cursed

Sadly, Aravad isn’t in the right colors for Leyline of Singularity. Fortunately, there are a LOT of amazing Legends that’ve been printed over the years, enough to fill out a very convincing midrange deck. There might not be a ton of mechanical cohesion between the creatures you wind up running, but B/W leans pretty heavily towards attrition decks, and I could see Aravad functioning as an easy way to speed up your clock once the rest of the deck does its thing and grinds out a favorable board advantage.

Rating: B-

Aryel, Knight of Windgrace

The body’s decent, as a 4/4 for four with vigilance. Knight tribal is weird. Before now Kinsbaile Cavalier and Knight Exemplar were the only examples of cards that pushed in this direction, and while they’re undeniably powerful I really don’t think there’s enough to build a deck around, especially since there are very few token producers for Knights compared to types like Soldiers and Warriors. He is in the right colors for Conspiracy, so who knows?

Rating: D+

Baird, Steward of Argive

Super Ghostly Prison in the command zone? Yes please. Pillowfort, Prison, or superfriends, there are a lot of directions to go with Baird. Being monocolored hurts a bit, but this is still a fantastic commander for any deck that wants to play defensively.

Rating: A

Darigaaz Reincarnated

Seven hasty power in the air is fantastic, and trample just makes the whole package better. The reincarnation ability is extremely slow, and I don’t think Jund colors have a way to speed up the time it takes him to come back. That being said, Darigaaz gets a lot stronger the more ways you have to slow the game down, so he works pretty well as the finisher for a board-wipe heavy control deck.

Rating: B+

Demonlord Belzenlok

As the last of Liliana’s demons, Belzenlok stands in strange company. Griselbrand and Razaketh are two of the most broken Legends that Commander has ever seen, while Kothophed is underpowered and more or less forgotten by this point. I suspect Belzenlok is going to join the latter category rather than the former, as his ability has a few too many restrictions on it. It only triggers once unless you flicker him, it randomly cares about the converted mana of the cards you exile, it doesn’t let you stop the process if you want to, and it deals damage in very large chunks if you somehow find a way to circumvent the CMC limiter.

In a way he reminds me of Primal Surge, where you need to jump through some ridiculous deckbuilding hoops to unlock the card’s full potential. (in this case having your early game plan consist mostly of cycling effects and other cards with high CMC that can affect the game for less mana than they actually cost.) The only difference is that instead of winning the game instantly when you cast Primal Surge, you just die when you cast Belzenlok. I could be wrong, but I’m calling this one a pass.

Rating: D

Evra, Halcyon Witness

This is a beautifully weird design, but it basically boils down to the question of a glass cannon. If you can hit something with an Evra that has your life total for its (her?) power, you can rocket back up to max life total and easily one-shot someone. The key is doing so without either Evra getting killed before damage or you getting killed at instant speed before she connects. High risk, high reward, all awesome.

Rating: B+

Firesong and Sunspeaker

Boros spellslingers? This is a design we’ve never really seen before, but I’m ok with it. I think the best direction to go with the Minotaur Clerics is to make a burn deck that gains a ton of life in order to not die while you’re trying to burn people out. Or a lifegain based control deck that uses the commander for repeatable removal. Or both! It’s hard to say, neither is likely to be particularly strong. Card’s weird though.

Rating: C-

Garna, the Bloodflame

My first inclination is to say Garna is a nice piece of wrath insurance for an aggro deck that would typically struggle in those scenarios, but there’s probably some ridiculously convoluted combo deck to be had where you loop cheap creatures through sacrifice outlets over and over again. You’d need some way to bounce or flicker Garna and the deck would most likely be incredibly janky, but I kind of want to work on a decklist like that just for the challenge.

Rating: C

Radha’s back, and all grown up. Radha’s first iteration never really clicked in commander, although being guaranteed a mana dork on turn 2 is an interesting concept. Grand Warlord Radha goes a bit bigger, playing into both big mana and token strategies, two of the most powerful areas you can go in commander. I don’t think she crosses the “too much mana too quickly” line, but she’s very strong and can fuel some crazy stories.

Rating: A+

Grunn, the Lonely King

Is nine mana for a vanilla 20/20 commander too much? Hard to say. Grunn lacking any combat keywords is pretty rough, but if we’re going the Voltron rout he really doesn’t need to be any bigger so you can focus on granting evasion and other combat abilies rather than building up his size. That being said, he’s probably best as a curve topper for green ramp/beatdown decks.

Rating: B-

Hallar, the Firefletcher

A card that mechanically cares about kicker is pretty bland, but the fact that the damage scales with +1/+1 counter means you can supercharge Hallar’s ability pretty quickly. Unfortunately you lose all of your progress if Hallar dies or otherwise leaves play, and that fact that you want to kick all of your spells plays merry havoc with the mana curve of any deck that has Hallar at the helm.

Rating: C-

Jodah, Archmage Eternal

Fist of suns in the command zone is extremely potent. Something tells me that Jodah decks will be comprised entirely of ramp spells, color fixing, and ludicrously expensive spells of all descriptions. There aren’t many clever combos to be had here, but Jodah’s the ideal commander for Timmy/Tammy. Pick your favorite awesome things and play them for all for WUBRG.

Rating: A-

Kazarov, Sengir Pureblood

I’ll say it. Pestilence is a thing. So is Pyrohemia. Kazarov is in the colors for both. Note that the damage doesn’t even have to come from sources you control, so things can get out of hand fast. In a way your opponents are even encouraged not to block to keep your commander from growing. The fact that he costs seven mana keeps him from being busted, but this is a solid option for B/R control.

Rating: B-

Kwende, Pride of Femeref

I don’t know if there’s enough creatures with first strike to not require running bad draft fodder, but since we’re talking about a mechanic that’s been around since alpha there probably are. They might not be better than Odric, Master Tactician at the head of a mono-white agro deck, but Kwende is a unique lord that you can only really play as a general instead of in the 99.

Rating: B-

Lyra Dawnbringer

I honestly can’t believe it took this long to get an Angel lord, and lifelink is the perfect ability for Lyra to grant. There are Angel decks out there, and while they’re very different from a deck like Elves or Goblins they can be quite potent. Will definitely see play in the 99, but I’m not sure if she replaces Avacyn, Angel of Hope or Bruna, the Fading Light as the commander.

Rating: B-

Marwyn, the Nurturer

On the one hand, Marwyn is fighting against Azuza and the original Omnath as a 3-drop ramp spell to head up big mana decks. On the other, he’s competing against Ezuri (and many others) to head up an Elf tribal deck. I think he’s worse than the other ramp options, and while there’s an interesting discussion about whether it’s better to have a payoff on an enabler in the command zone, Elf decks are already fantastic at making mana so you really don’t need more. Fantastic for the 99 though.

Rating: C-

Muldrotha, the Gravetide

If ever there was a Commander deck that wanted Tarmogoyf, this is it. That being said, you don’t want ‘goyf here. What you can do is play a brutal game of attrition that puts Karador to shame. I don’t think there’s a way to really break him without playing white, but you shouldn’t be playing Muldrotha if you’re looking to set up an infinite combo. You play him if you want to crush your opponents into dust.

Rating: A-

Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar

To quote a friend: “Molimo for the Timmy who hates flyers.” That being said, Multani is one mana cheaper than Molomo, has reach, and counts fetchlands in your graveyard. That’s not a bad payoff for an all-in ramp deck. The second ability is mostly useless because it’s going to be more efficient to just pay the commander tax most of the time, but there’s some really convoluted setups with Explorations, Survival of the Fittest and a mana doubler that make it potentially relevant. It’s a terrible idea, but it can be done.

Rating: B

Naban, Dean of Iteration

Wizard tribal is a very strong deck, but nothing is dethroning Azami at the helm of mono-blue version. Don’t get me wrong, I like this card a lot and he’ll see play in many decks, especially thanks to the C17 precons. But I see no reason to run him as a commander.

Rating: C-

Naru Meha, Master Wizard

Dualcaster Mage as a commander is interesting. The Lord effect will be mostly irrelevant (once again, Azami is nuts) but with bounce/flicker effects you can get some solid value out of Naru Meha in a spell-focused deck. And, of course, they’re absolutely nuts with Deadeye Navigator. (Then again, what isn’t?)

Rating: C

Rona, Disciple of Gix

The main problem here is that if Rona won’t let you cast anything exiled by him if he leaves and reenters play before you cast the exiled card. Add in the fact that four mana is a metric ton for what is essentially “draw a card” with downside, and I really don’t see a reason to play Rona, let alone make him your commander.

Rating: F

Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy

It took me about four readings to realize that this card doesn’t just have hexproof. Shana, Sisay’s Legacy does not have hexproof. Her ability is far worse than hexproof and doesn’t really add much of anything to her powerlevel. She’s just a cheap beater for G/W swarm decks, and there are far better and far more interesting options to helm that kind of deck

Rating: F+

Slimefoot, the Stowaway

This is the first legend that isn’t mono-green to mechanically care about Saprolings, and I kinda like it. That death trigger is extremely potent, and a deck that just want to clog the board with disposable 1/1s has some real potential. Having a mana ink built in isn’t bad, either.

Rating: B-

Squee, the Immortal


Rating: D-

Seriously, don’t play him in Commander.

Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle

Teshar seems like a card that was designed strictly for limited. The CMC restriction ensures that he doesn’t scale too well to Commander, and only triggering off of legends, artifacts and sagas means that it’s really hard to build around triggering his ability consistently while also having relevant creatures to return.

Rating: D+

Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive

Thieving Magpie, the deck? Tetsuko wants you to load up on as many cheap saboteurs as possible, and while that’s really cool I suspect the deck will have a lot of card advantage for little actual payoff. He does let you run Ensnaring Bridge in commander, which seems hilarious.

Rating: C-

Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker

At first glance Tiana looks like a Voltron general that regrows any auras you lose when she’s killed, but the exact wording means that in most cases the auras would fall off after Tiana leaves the battlefield, leading to her ability not triggering. Other than that there aren’t many interesting routes to go with her, although Choking restraints is a hilarious if overcosted combo.

Rating: D

Torgaar, Famine Incarnate

Quasi Magister Sphinx in the command zone isn’t terrible, but the fact that he sets someone to 20 instead of 10 hurts a lot. Black isn’t really the color to make a ton of fast tokens to power him out quickly, but turn 5-6 isn’t unreasonable. My main problem is that you’re dedicating a lot of resources to half-finish the game, and will often be left with nothing left to do after expending those resources.

Rating: D+

Urgoros, the Empty One

Urgoros is ok? I can’t think of a compelling reason to run him in a deck, unless you’re dedicated to Specter tribal or just want to make everybody discard as much as possible. Given that there’s only 15 monoblack Specters in Magic (counting Urgoros) that seems not worth it. The body’s ok, at least

Rating: D+

Valduk, Keeper of the Flame

As someone who played Kemba, Kha Regent at the helm of deck for a few years, I like Valduk a lot. It’s a crazy aggressive Voltron deck and should be able to deal damage a lot faster than anyone expects. For context, there are thirty-five auras that cost only one red mana, and it doesn’t matter if theydo much of anything when they make a 3/1 every turn. Also worth noting is that Sundial of the Infinite lets you keep Valduk’s tokens around indefinitely.

All in all, the perfect general for a budget deck and scary efficient even in normal Commander land.

Rating: A

Verix Bladewing

Did you know this is only the fourth mono-red Legendary dragon in all of Magic? Somehow it’s true, despite dragons being the single most popular creature type in Magic.

Of those, Verix & Karox Bladewing are the most efficient in terms of raw combat stats, as either a 4/4 for four or a combined 8/8 for seven. The others are, in no particular order:

Ryusei, the Falling Star: 5/5 for 6

Rorix Bladewing: 6/5 for 6

Tarox Bladewing: 4/3 for 5

And somehow The Ur-Dragon is the best commander for mono-red Dragon tribal.

Rating: C

Whisper, Blood Liturgist

This is exactly the kind of nonsense I like. The exchange rate is unfavorable to start off with, of course, but there’s countless ways around that. Illusionist’s Bracers and Rings of Brighthearth let you get back two creatures on every activation, while reanimation targets like Grave Titan and Myr Battlesphere let you generate a ton of bodies from one trigger. I don’t know how far you can go with a deck like this, but out of all the commanders we have so far Whisper is the one I’d most like to build myself.

Rating: B+

Levi Byrne has been with the game since Worldwake and has a rabid love for fantasy writing that goes back decades. Despite some forays into Legacy he plays Commander almost exclusively, and has a love for the crazy plays and huge games that make Magic what it is. He was the go-to advisor of his playgroup on deck construction for more than five years before joining Dear Azami.

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