FTV: Legends List Released

At long last we finally get a glimpse at the capstone of what has been an incredibly exciting summer for Commander players – From the Vault: Legends.  Ever since the set was originally announced, the web has been atwitter with rumors and guesses as to which legends were going to make the cut.  Well, the wait is over.  Behold: the fifteen lucky legendaries!

The beard is the source of his powers.

On one hand, it’s totally cool that they reprinted a P3K legend.  On the other hand, this guy isn’t that exciting.  His body isn’t all that impressive, and his ability doesn’t really scale well to multiplayer.  Sure, you can dump a few cards out of someone’s hand, but not only do EDH decks usually have ways to exploit cards in their graveyards, they are also notorious for drawing disgusting amounts of cards (meaning that they’re probably going to just ditch a couple lands).  Frankly, I just don’t think he’s worth the absolutely immense amount of hate he’ll generate.

Gerrard wishes he was this cool.

Was there ever any doubt that Sisay would be in this set?  Her flavor, her ability – she’s just perfect.  She’s also one of the most ridiculously powerful generals of all time.  Generals that generate card advantage are strong.  Generals that tutor up cards tend to be downright broken.  Sisay does both, and she does it for free once she’s on the board.  I’m just  disappointed that she didn’t get any new art – if anyone deserved it, it’s her.

A face only a mother could...wait, does he even have a face?

I’ll be honest, I don’t get the appeal of Doran.  A 5/5 for 3 is good, sure, but it’s far, far from gamebreaking.  If anything, it’s his colors that are the real draw, since white, black, and green are packed to the gills with powerful board control, tutoring, ramp, and recursion spells.  Still, with the release of the Commander decks and the advent of Ghave, Guru of Spores and Karador, Ghost Chieftain, I think Doran has lost most of his appeal outside of decks specifically built to exploit his unique ability.

Words fail me.

Kiki-Jiki, enabler of a million combos!  Easily one of the more exciting cards to be included in this set, it sadly suffers from the most disappointing artwork.  I mean, seriously, this is just embarrassing.  He looks like he’s constipated, or perhaps farting out an inferno.  They couldn’t have just reprinted the old artwork?  Hell, I’d trade this foil for a regular one from Champions any day, and that’s coming from a girl with a serious foil addiction.

Steve Argyle may be a wizard with cheesecake, but he knows how to serve up some tasty beef, too.

Kresh’s inclusion was kind of a foregone conclusion.  After all, he’s the favored general of the godfather of EDH, himself, Sheldon Menery.  That said, he’s a deceptively deep general to build around.  Sure, you can just pack your deck full of fatties, but once you start recurring them and getting extra combat steps and sacrificing them and Flinging a 84/84 Kresh at people things can get just downright silly.  The day I finally sit down to build a beatdown deck, I’m willing to bet Kresh is gonna be leading my horde into battle, dreadlocks and all.

The pope finally gets his own card.

So this is our spoiler card from Innistrad.  He’s a neat design, and is sure to be an absolute beast in Limited, but as far as commanders go he leaves me a little cold.  Let’s start with the good part: a mana cost with X in it.  Not only does that let you dump obscene amounts of mana into him to make him stupid huge, it also gives you a great deal of flexibility in casting him once he’s been killed a few times.  So far so good.  Now here’s the downer: he has to tap to use his abilities.  What that means is that you’re either going to be tapping him every turn to pump your team or basically just using him as a great big vanilla fatty beater.  Neither of those two options is particularly exciting.  If you want to pump your team, other generals can do it better – Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite comes to mind in particular.  That said, he can act as a decent roleplayer in a token deck, and his 1 mana CMC means he’s fetchable by the ever-popular Ranger of Eos.

It's name is Omnom. Because that's what it does to you.

Omnom seems to be the monogreen commander of choice nowadays, something I have distinctly mixed feelings about.  On one hand, it’s incredibly flavorful and awesome, and on the other it’s the kind of general that requires Answers with a capital A to keep in check.  My own journey toward degenerate EDH spikiness was kickstarted by my brother’s Omnath deck doing things like hardcasting Emrakul, the Aeons Torn on turn 6 or just equipping Omnath with Trailblazer’s Boots and Lightning Greaves and just beating my face in with unblockable general damage.

A bouquet of evil, mind-twisting doom, that's what she is.

I’ve never built an Oona deck, and haven’t really played against too many of them, but the ones I did play against were honestly pretty terrifying.  Not only is Oona a powerfully-sized flier who can produce an army of tokens while disabling an opponent’s deck, she’s also capable of outright winning the game on her own with an infinite mana combo.  Combine that with the powerful tutor and countermagic suite enabled by her colors, and Oona is an incredible force to be reckoned with.

Never again will this many mana symbols be packed onto one card.

Man, does anyone play Proggy as their general and really expect to cast it?  Ten mana is a lot for something that takes 3 hits to kill someone and still dies to a board sweeper.  Still, you have to appreciate the sheer audacity of this card: 10 mana, 10/10, protection from everything.  They should seriously have just printed that last word in italics on the card, just for the hell of it.  All that said, Progenitus is really not so much a great general candidate as it is just a really excellent stupid-huge beater to cheat into play alongside the likes of Darksteel Colossus in a deck packed with things like Elvish Piper, Sneak Attack, and Natural Order.

Wayne Reynolds is the Rob Liefeld of Magic art.

As much as I love Jenara, Asura of War, she’s by no means the most powerful general for Bant.  That title belongs to our knight in shining armor here, Rafiq of the Many.  Rafiq is inexpensive, can swing for 8 damage unaided the turn after he comes down, and his double strike means that any power bonuses he receives from equipment or auras is twice as effective.  In short, there’s a definite reason that people hate him off the board as soon as they possibly can.  That can be easier said than done, though, since Bant provides access blue’s vast array of counterspells to protect him until you can squeeze 21 damage through your opponents’ defensive lines.  Say what you will about too many Alara generals being included, but Rafiq certainly deserves his spot.

Damn pretty and she knows it.

I’ve seen a couple articles and forum posts claiming that Sharuum is the most popular general in EDH, and while that’s definitely not borne out in my meta, I wouldn’t really be surprised if it was true.  She’s card advantage, recursion, combo piece, and a threatening 5/5 body all in one reasonably-priced package.  Then there’s also the whole artifact angle – Magic players love artifacts.  Almost too much, really.  As a nice bonus the new art is gorgeous, so this is probably going to be one of the chase cards for the set.

Hello, ladies. I'm on a horse.

Horsemanship – the only keyword more obscure than banding.  Of course, despite the large number of creatures with horses depicted on the artwork, there’s very few creatures with actual Horsemanship, which means your entire team is going to be unblockable.  Granted, monoblue aggro decks are few and far between in EDH, but if you’re going to give it a go, Sun Quan’s your man.

Welcome to the desert of the real.

Eerie similarities to Laurence Fishburne aside, this is easily the most badass art to come out of FTV: Legends.  Epically epic.  It doesn’t hurt that Teferi is just plain bonkers in EDH.  Not only does he let you go nuts by playing creatures at instant speed, he locks down all of your opponents, forcing them to play spells on their own turn.  This can be exploited in all sorts of different ways, from the powerful and somewhat hilarious (Seedborn Muse and bounce outlets) to the instant-win combo(Knowledge Pool plus Teferi means your opponents can’t cast spells).

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Dimes to dollars this was originally planned to be Emrakul, the Aeons Torn before it got hit with the banhammer.  All things considered, though, I’m glad Ulamog is on this list.  Yes, he’s still the number-1 target when people cast Bribery, but Homeward Path has done a lot to scale back the power of theft effects and make people think twice before just pulling out the big indestructible eldritch horror.  I’ve never seen him used as a general, although I imagine that any deck built around him would just play as many mana artifacts as possible and cast him over and over and over again until opponents run out of ways to answer him.  That actually sounds kind of fun.  Hm.

If I killed people when they saw my face, I'd wear a boobtastic bustier, too.

Frankly, I’ve never really understood the hubbub around Visara and her non-legendary 3-armed sibling, Avatar of Woe.  I’m not saying they’re bad cards – far from it.  But as powerful as they are, they still seem kind of vanilla.  I dunno, maybe it’s just that killing creatures is so common that it just doesn’t seem that special.  She’s like Arcanis, the Omnipotent.  He’s very powerful, but he just isn’t unique enough to really get my deckbuilding mojo flowing.  In other words, Visara is a solid inclusion in a deck that can run her, but not really stellar general material.

9 comments to FTV: Legends List Released

  • samwise

    Am I the only person that was outraged that Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed wasn’t here?

    • Coda

      No, but imagine how livid people who had dropped $200 on a P3K copy would be when it dropped to 30 or so overnight.

      • Candy

        I understand WotC not wanting to outrage the collectors, but at the same time, I think Xiahou Dun would’ve retained the majority of its value—Alpha and Beta sol rings are still worth buckets o’ money despite the multiple reprints because there will always be edition snobs, and FtV cards aren’t just extremely limited print runs, they’re also collectible editions in their own right. So I get what you’re saying, but I honestly think Wizards wimped out for two other reasons:

        1. They didn’t necessarily want to give black access to recover black cards—any black cards—from the graveyard. Xiahou’s ability is a bit off in terms of the color pie; it’s something green does these days, not so much black. All the other reprints were very much in keeping with today’s color pie identities.

        2. If they’d reprinted Xiahou, it would’ve been one of the most valuable FtV releases ever (instead of one of the least, like it is now) and I think they were leery about how crazy the resale market was going to be, not to mention how much stores were going to jack up the prices beyond MSRP.

        This ends the crackpot theory portion of my evening 😀 .

      • LM // June 30, 2010 at 11:34 pmFormer Justice Department Lawyer Accuses Holder of Dropping New Black Panther Case for Racial Reasons **M***************************y gratitude and respect go to Mr. Adams, the whistle-blower. It takes a lot of courage to go public with this information. Perhaps it will encourage others of like mind.

      • As far as I can see (as I work from the Greek NT handiest to me at a place where I do not have my personal library, an ASV/Gk Interlinear) it is:‘through (the) patience [or synonym] and through (the) comfort [or synonym] of the scriptures’ so that both states apply to the scriptures (as, I note, in 15:5, they also apply to God!).

      • You probably already know this, but there are several DIY electronic bore cleaner variants on the ‘net. I haven’t attempted to make my own, yet, but the instructions can be found by searching on “homemade electric bore cleaner” at Google.

      • i prefer casual. i especially love the fourth setup! those chairs are the coolest!you have given me a great idea! i didn’t even think about the fact that i will not be able to blog while i’m Florida at the end of April. would you do me the honor of guest posting on Jorjah-B while i am away? that would be so fantastic!i’m off to check out your guest post now.

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