For Monday Magic this week, instead of going over a Commander card from the past, I wanted to briefly highlight a couple of the card cycles for the upcoming Commander 2014 sets. It’s only fitting since they too are largely from the game’s past.
Each of the Commander 2014 decks are known to have have two important cycles: a legendary creature who hasn’t gotten its own card before, and, similarly, a planeswalker Commander for those who can’t or won’t otherwise. (Gee, thanks Mending).
This week starts the Commander preview week over on Wizards at DailyMTG, and they’ve started showcasing a bunch of upcoming cards for us to all consume. I thought a simple post-Extra Life thing to, then is briefly mention / show the cards of these two cycles they’ve revealed so far.
Black’s planeswalker is Ob Nob himself, a character we’ve seen in demonic creature form a couple times. This is his state prior to losing his spark. I have nothing against the card itself really, but it seems like an odd choice when the game had so many other notable black planesalkers from the past to draw from that are infinitely more interesting than this guy. (Grandmother Sengir, Leshrac, Lord Windgrace, and Tevesh Szat all come to mind). They’ve seemed really insistent on wanting to make Ob Nob a ‘thing’, however, especially given his reprinting in M15. And I suppose now they have.
Blue’s planesalker is Teferi. He’s been been known to us for quite some time, and it was an obvious choice for the color. There really is no more iconic Blue planeswalker than he (pre-Jace at least), as he’s been part of the storyline since Mirage. That said, his ultimate ability really begs to be used elsewhere than as a Commander.
Green’s planeswalker is Freyalise. Freyalise has long been assumed to be this color’s oldwalker, as she made the most sense. Her efforts in ending the Ice Age and aiding the forests during both the Invasion cycle and the time rifts saga really made her stand out as a powerful and notable character in the game’s lore. Freyalise stands out as the poster child of the color’s natural side, and in a lot of ways is the side of Green you don’t see with Garruk. Admittedly, for all of the hype, her card here is sort of underwhelming. But that was bound to happen. Freyalise’s card may feel a little stock Green to that end, but that also makes her valuable in a lot of different situations. Plus, she essentially pumps out Llanowar Elves. And that’s a nice nod to her…er, roots.
Red’s planesalker has not been revealed as of yet. There is a lot of speculation on this part, as there aren’t a lot of very notable Red planeswalkers beyond Jaya Ballard and a few names that are probably so minor Wizards will do their normal thing of pretending they never existed. Numerous recent hints put out by WotC, however, hint that this may in fact be Ugin and Sorin’s long talked about but never seen Lithomancer friend – including the fact that one of these five planeswalkers is a “new” character. It’d tie nicely into the Khans block, and it seems the most likely at this point. Still, for those like myself that were hoping for something more obscure, we’ll likely be disappointed here.
White’s planeswalker has not been revealed as of yet. That being said, if it is anyone but Serra, it will come as a huge shock to everyone. Serra is to White magic what today’s Chandra is to Red, and her impact on the game has been memorable since the very beginning. She was powerful but compassionate, and she was integral to multiple storylines. There was also that time there was an entire set based around her artificially created plane. You know, back when they could do that sort of thing.
Serra should be the obvious choice, although there certainly are other less known choices that would satiate the nostalgia factor for the old guard players. Don’t be surprised if she, like Freyalise, doesn’t live up to the hype, however.
Black’s legendary creature is Gisa, the sister of the brother-sister Innistrad zombie mage duo. Few characters were invoked on flavor to such a degree that it seemed like a huge creative mistake to not actually have them represented as cards. That is being rectified here. Their rivalry was at once hilarious and interesting, but we as players only had flavor text of other cards to go on. Her zombie trick is to make one into many, favoring the swam approach.
Blue’s legendary creature is Geralf, the brother of the brother-sister Innistrad zombie mage duo. He is the antithesis to his sister’s army approach, instead opting to shovel many creatures into one giant abomination as his form of attack. Gee, I wonder why they often argued…
Green’s legendary creature is currently unknown. They certainly have many options to choose from, but this one is a real mystery.
Red’s legendary creature is Feldon. Yes, that Feldon. The guy had entire stories made about him, and it all came out of the mention of his cane. This was a complete surprise to me, and one that I’m very happy about. My first pack was from Antiquities, the set where the name first appeared, and so it has a lot of resonance as a player. Plus I’m all for more tinkerers in the world.
White’s legendary creature is Jazal Goldmane, the younger Ajani’s brother and clan leader. An English text version of the card hasn’t been revealed as of this posting, but he is a 4/4 First Strike Cat Warrior for 2WW and has “3WW: Attacking creatures you control get +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of attacking creatures.” Sounds like a warrior-based clan leader to me. People seem to have an attachment to learning more about Ajani’s past, and this fits right in with that notion.
So far, so good on these two cycles. As Commander Preview week officially continues over at Wizards, it’s likely we’ll have our few remaining gaps cleared up soon. Until then!