I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of straight Onslaught drafts. With one color brutally handicapped in all but a single archetype, and another pair of colors unplayable together since they couldn’t handle Visara or Sparksmith, you were looking at a lopsided, bland format. But Legions helps to reverse all that.
First, the colors are a bit more balanced. There are good, powerful commons and solid rares, but nothing goes off the stupidity charts like Sparksmith did. I’m not saying Sparksmith is an overpowered card, but it’s a bomb common – and a bomb common that shuts down whole archetypes is not good for a format’s variety and flexibility. In Legions, however, each color has a fair amount of depth with good commons, good uncommons and of course a handful of amazing rares. Bane of the Living is great, but it’s no Visara, which really improves the format.
Second, the format is both a bit slower than Onslaught and a bit more skill-intensive.”Slower” doesn’t mean it’s not tempo-based: If you screw around in your first five turns, you will lose most of your games. You don’t have time to fool around with a janky mana base or whatever else. This means that while it’s slower overall and tends to stall, you’re rewarded for your play skill. You will do better if you understand the game better, especially since Legions is the sort of set that averages out drafts. If you did really badly in the first two picks, Legions will usually show up and make sure you at least have a solid creature base.
One of the core suggestions is to take removal much higher in Onslaught. This is definitely true. Cards like Pacifism, Inspirit, Primal Boost, Essence Fracture, Choking Tethers, Vitality Charm and so on are all much more important than before. Obviously, black removal like Cruel Revival or Death Pulse is just as important as it always is. This is what sets you up before you hit Legions; Legions can fill out your ranks with quality men, but it can’t really give you good removal. Skinthinner, Skirk Marauder, and provoke dudes are all nice, but they usually need to be set up to function well. Skinthinner is a total of eight mana for a Dark Banishing; that’s a wee bit on the expensive side.
To make things a little clearer, I added ratings this time around. They are set up as such:
- Great : These are cards that are defined as”bombs” within the format. I generally reserve”great” for a card that is a bomb almost every time it is played. Lavaborn Muse, Celestial Gatekeeper, and Deathmark Prelate are all cards that many people might consider bombs, but they won’t always do their work for you. Great cards should always make your deck if they’re in your colors.
- Good : These are your backbone; the consistent, solid cards you pick high and hope to end up with fifteen to seventeen of in your deck, at the very least. Good cards range from the near-bombs to the stand-up guy creatures, to just solid overall picks. A good card should always make your deck over a fair card… But in a format based around tribal synergy, that’s not always true.
- Fair : These are usually borderline playable, but not always solid enough to warrant playing. Things like Daru Mender, Berserk Murlodont, or Blade Sliver all define”fair” cards. In some decks the increased synergy will make them more playable, and sometimes they will supplant Good cards. But not usually.
- Bad : These are cards you should avoid. There are not a lot of bad cards in Legions, and morph makes any card playable.
Don’t get too caught up in the idea of arranging picks. While the best cards are always good, a lot of stuff is better or worse depends in your archetype. I’ll talk a little at the end of the review on archetypes, but I am not exactly a master when it comes to that field of Limited play.
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
There are few cards I dream of as fondly as Akroma. She has picked up many brutal names in the few major tournaments she has seen play in – but frankly, there is just about nothing I’d rather drop for eight mana. Sure, Visara is probably better pound for pound, but Akroma is just about unstoppable against most decks. How can you not like this card? Sure, eight mana is a lot – but Legions has a lot of creatures, and the format does tend to stall out at eight mana.
Much has been said about the value of Hill Giants in this format, as the 3/3 after your opponent has dropped a 2/2 will generally put you on better ground than him. At the same time, 2/4s have their advantages as well. The Devoted lets you make extra use of tapping clerics, while being a fair priced body for the format.
Because these will current show up in pack 3 and are extremely solid in the W/B clerics archetype, there isn’t really much point in noting the cards they have synergy with… But of special note is Aven Redeemer, who becomes absolutely scary, and Grassland Crusader, who becomes quite frightful.
Four mana for a 2/2 is the general cost of fliers in the Limited format. While you generally prefer to receive a larger power, the Redeemer is a doubly useful creature for being both a source of evasive damage, and a solid combat trick. Looking at it as a defensive Dive Bomber that sticks around, or blocks to kill morphs without being threatened itself since you can tap to prevent the two, you can see why I feel pretty good about drafting the Aven Redeemer’s high. It’s just a good, flexible card.
Also, the Redeemer works nicely in both a clerical-tribe style decks, or when in a W/B or W/R tempo beasts deck. While 2/2 fliers aren’t quite as good there, it’s still pretty damn decent in either one. Bird and Cleric are two creature types that are heavily used; bird lets it pump up your Aven Warhawks, while Cleric lets it bolster your Battlefield Medics.
One of the traps of Legions has been people misjudging Amplify entirely. However, the Warhawk is a little up on his kin because you need only a single soldier or bird in hand to make it reach parity with the benchmark for its casting cost. 3/3 fliers for five mana, with only a single symbol in their cost, are always solid. As the Warhawk gets larger, it becomes an especially powerful card. Generally, you will want Warhawks more in W/B or W/U, where there are other birds or soldiers in your second color to make pumping it up even more reliable. Once it breaks 4/4, it will generally be able to kill opposing Gournas, and a 5/5 flier on turn 5 is absurd. I would not presume to reliably get it bigger than that, as having four birds or soldiers in your hand implies you are holding back cards. This isn’t worth doing unless you know you’ll need a 6/6 to break through, or if you know your opponent will burn the Warhawk off the board if it’s smaller.
The card has obvious synergy with any effect that puts a lot of a tribe back into your hand. The best card for this is Aphetto Dredging. Dredging isn’t normally that great when you’re looking to go for a quick win, but it works pretty well when you’re pulling back up evasive creatures and then throwing down a huge Warhawk a turn later.
Rating: Good, but sometimes if your deck suits it, the Warhawk will be Great. (Come on – 5/5 fliers for five would be considered bombs in anything but this bombtastic format. Remember back in Odyssey, when people used to consider Shower of Coals a bomb? Yeah.)
Beacon of Destiny
Occasionally you hit a rare and wonder to yourself why that card was put in the rare slot. Beacon of Destiny is one of those cards. Rares are generally the flashy, impressive cards – but Beacon of Destiny doesn’t even look that great compared to Starlight Invoker, and Glory Seeker outright thumbs his nose at him. Let’s not even mention Stoic Champion or White Knight…
The Beacon is useful mostly if you need clerics or an early drop to stem the bleeding. But with the Invoker and Wall of Hope, you will often have better options that are coming around the table in the common slot. This leaves us wondering where Beacon of Destiny fits in. Well, it can redirect damage from a source to itself, letting your Battlefield Medic prevent damage to you… But that’s not very good.
This is really more of a sideboard card. Even when paired with recursion, like Oversold Cemetery, it can only redirect damage every other turn – which is just bad, if not outright awful. Here’s a suggestion to prevent you from taking damage from creatures: Block them.
Tactically speaking, your ideal with this card is to use it to push ahead on tempo and card advantage, which is not so bad for a rare. You want to play this in W/B or W/U, where it can bring back some nasty friends when it trades with an opposing morph. When paired with black, your hope is to bring back solid reinforcements, making it hard for your opponent to keep in the game. Pulling back Fallen Cleric, Akroma’s Devoted, Vile Deacon, or Grassland Crusader with a friend will generally put you in a good position. The problem there is that none of those options are generally that quick, but it’s a possible three-for-one card advantage. Who’s complaining about that?
Birdwise, you have other interesting options. I say black for clerics, because I don’t expect W/U clerical decks, but birds show up in black and blue pretty well. Returning Screeching Buzzard or Ascending Aven to the battlefield is nice, but the ideal situation would have you pulling back a cycled Escaped Primoc.
It’s not quite a bomb, and W/U isn’t really an archetype I want to load up with five casting clerics and seven-mana Air Elementals – but still, if you see this a few picks down, it might fit nicely in your deck.
Rating: Good, possibly a bomb in some decks.
I’ve played with this card in Constructed, and I wasn’t too happy with it there. Here, though, it provides some interesting tricks, and even situational 3/3 earlier fliers I don’t dislike.
First, with morphing birds, you can suddenly spring the Cavalry into the air. This wouldn’t normally be a big deal, but the morphing birds are generally too small to trade effectively – Ascending Aven has only two toughness, and Wingbeat Warrior would be better giving the first strike to a 3/3 than itself at times. Sootfeather Flock is also two toughness as well.
Second, it’s obviously a force to be reckoned with if you can find the crucial third-turn bird for it to get going. There are not a ton of these – Fleeting Aven, Wingbeat Warrior, Thoughtbound Primoc, and Gustcloak Harrier – but generally they’re all considered playable. Essentially, it’s about your birds. If you have birds to get the Cavalry off the ground, the Cavalry is a 3/3 flier for less than half what you would comfortably pay in Limited. That has to be powerful – and if you’re in the tribal style, you will probably see it passed around.
I’ve gotten contradictory thoughts on this card. Some people have said they feel it’s stupid and unplayable, other people swear it’s excellent, a consistently powerful trick.
I look at it like this: It’s a 2/2 that Death Wards another creature when it’s going to die, all for a single white mana. The ideal situation is your opponent trading two morphs for this and another of your morphs, and then flipping the Mender to save your other morph – an effective and tempo-based two-for-one.
Even if it doesn’t earn itself a place in your maindeck, as it won’t always, you should bear it in mind if you’re facing down a red opponent with a lot of mass removal. The Mender is a very solid trick against red-based removal; nothing like flipping a Mender to botch your opponent’s Starstorm or Slice and Dice, right?
Gravel Slinger is often considered pretty solid because it can flip over during combat to keep itself alive while taking down an opposing morph, and then sit back doing a point of damage here and there when it counts. Daru Sanctifier is in a sense, the clerical equivalent of the Slinger, but that doesn’t necessarily make it equal to the other card.
Ideally, you flip the Sanctifier in combat, killing the opposing morph while leaving a fairly tough cleric around to absorb later punishment. With only one power, it will generally not be too relevant to the game state, but the four toughness helps it stay useful. If it kills an enchantment, good stuff – but while there are a number of bomb enchantments in the environment, you will not reliably find yourself with targets. This makes the Sanctifier more of a fair card, but something you should probably grab late to make sure you have good enchantment kill in your sideboard. I would much rather play Sanctifier over Naturalize or Demystify, if I was gunning for an opposing enchantment.
Some cards are extremely dependent on the contents of your deck: Daru Stinger is pretty much the ultimate expression of this. The Stinger is either absolutely worthless or an absolute house, with little ground in between. With two soldiers in hand, it’s a Hill Giant that can slaughter morphs, becoming a very tough defensive line in the early game and forcing your opponent into bad trades in the late game. With three or more, it begins to dominate the board both as a fatty and a defender into the late game…. But three is about the best you’re going to get with it consistently. Without soldiers, though, the card is completely useless and pretty much uncastable.
Because of this, you will sometimes see late-pick Stingers when you really shouldn’t, or be unsure if you can take them earlier into the Legions pack. This effect will become even more pronounced when Scourge comes out, making Daru Stinger picks a very tricky situation indeed, since your deck won’t have formed enough to really make a solid choice before pick 10 of Legions.
Stinger is a white card, it pairs with other colors – but since soldiers are a 95% white tribe and often based around tempo, you will generally want to use this in quick W/B, W/U or W/R. Slower builds will get more into clerics, which will dilute the Stinger’s value, making it less reliable and functionally much worse.
Rating: Good to Bad. Very deck-dependent.
Defender of the Order
Played face up, the Defender is a vanilla 2/4. A vanilla 2/4 isn’t remotely negative on turn 4, but you will most often want to place it face-down and benefit from its trickery. Essentially, it’s a removal-defying card, good against black’s Death Pulse/Feeding Frenzy/Aphetto Exterminator and of course good against almost any red removal. It is especially scary when used as a foil to Infest, Slice and Dice or Starstorm. Suddenly, your opponent’s attempts at mass removal are critically foiled, and you’re left with a solid body on the table as well, even if just the Defender were to survive.
As a combat trick you would hope to set up many 2/2-on-2/2 fights and then flip the Defender over to make all the trades work in your favor. Two extra toughness is generally big enough to save a couple of creatures from a violent demise.
In this, I definitely like the card; in tempo beats, it acts as a solid way to keep your opponent from removing your offensive forces, and in clerics it helps keep your team alive on the board. However, as a foil that reacts to opponent’s removal or sets up a very idealistic combat situation is potent but not a high pick – and it’s not really a rare you want to see in your first pack.
In this format, you generally want to avoid the one-drops, since they will become rapidly useless once your opponent’s turn 3 rolls around. Gustcloak Runner, which can look quite funny on paper, doesn’t quite cut it once your opponent puts a wall of Morph dorks up to annoy you with.
Deftblade Elite, however, completely trumps that trend by being an excellent early drop (combine with Piety Charm for a Shock-emulating, morph killing action!) and maintaining a role in late-game combat, blocking large green fatties or allowing you to divert blockers away – both the kind that would keep your fliers from hitting (various Gournas) or if they have few blockers, letting you score hits with your other ground creatures.
The Deftblade Elite is pretty much everything you could hope for out of a one-drop. It will even take out Sparksmiths if it hits the table before them, and is actually good enough that people will trade time and resources removing them from the table. Obviously, any provoke creature gets better when you can use effect to boost its power/toughness to survive provoking opposing creatures. The Elite has the advantage that even if you’re using it with a Grassland Crusader (or whatever else) to kill morphs, you can just pay 1W to bail the Elite out if your opponent gets tricky. That makes it excellent for the job.
I would high-pick Deftblades if I had the various components to make them very powerful, but even if you don’t they’re still excellent. They do die pretty easily… But what do you want? It’s a one-drop!
If the Essence Sliver was a simple Hill Giant with Spirit Link built in, it would definitely be a high quality card…. Not quite a bomb rare, but you’d never complain about opening it. Instead, it’s a Sliver, which makes it a very different and much more complicated card.
All slivers carry with them the risk that your opponent will be playing opposing slivers, getting more benefit out of your slivers than you are. However, at the same time, any sliver your opponent plays is going to aid your slivers as well. In this situation, it’s the muscle behind the card that determines its worth: If your opponent plays a Blade Sliver, then you’re the one with a 4/3 Spirit Linked sliver.
The only serious risk is that your opponent will be playing Mistforms. There, you’re looking at nasty large Spirit Linked fliers, which isn’t so hot. So the Essence Sliver remains generally neutral: In some archetypes (U/W), it’s a serious risk when played against other blue decks, but in W/R or W/B where you can kill the Mistforms, you probably aren’t going to be too bad off.
Beyond that Slivers act like a sort of”tune-in Crusade” effect. Mistforms will allow you to gain great benefit from your Slivers (though U/W, as I said, is the most riskiest place to play them). Mistform Wakecaster, when combined with Essence Sliver, is a no-nonsense mass Spirit Link effect – powerful, but not necessarily as punishing as when combined with Shifting Sliver.
Generally, though, in most games your opponent will derive little benefit from it. B/G and R/G decks are unlikely to hold a big pile of slivers, maybe the odd Spectral Sliver or Toxin Sliver – but there aren’t really any playable Green slivers, which makes Essence Sliver a safe bet against anything but blue. Play it with the realization that sometimes you have to be careful dumping it on turn 4, and may be forced to kamikaze it to get it out of play.
This is a very confusing card. At times you look at it and consider the price of it’s effect – a limited, but potent, symmetrical combat trick that offers both a bonus to your creature’s power/toughness and first strike. In this, it’s something like the Day part of Night / Day – and to add to that, it’s uncounterable and a cantrip. The body the card provides, if cast, is at least one mana overpriced for white if not much worse… But White gets few fatties, and five toughness lets it block some pretty decent stuff.
Therefore, I’m forced to consider it from the angle of the experiences I’ve had with it – and I’m admitting I’m biased. Frankly, the card has been surprisingly decent, lending my fliers power in combat (Ascending Aven kills Spitting Gourna), adding damage during a rush to kill my opponent, trading tempo to kill off blocking morphs, so on. Since it can be cycled, and cast, and used in a variety of situations, I would generally say I like this card and think one or two should be playable in any white deck with a fair commitment to soldiers.
I believe this is about right for the card, but I’m not going to value it too highly. There aren’t a lot of tricks in Legions that aren’t morphs, and cycling is pretty much always a good thing. Be careful with it in the mirror match; unlike the Gempalm Incinerator or Gempalm Polluter, it’s much worse in the mirror. Keep in mind it does not say”may” on the card for some odd reason.
I would never play this in draft unless I somehow managed to not draft a single morph. That would be a draft gone horribly wrong. Frankly, this card baffles me: It’s so close to being Constructed playable, but for some reason it falls out of flavor for white entirely. Why is it three mana for a 2/1? It doesn’t have an evasion ability, which most of the recent 2/1 for threes have (Wingbeat Warrior, Nightwind Glider, Pegasus Charger, Soltari Crusader, and so on). In fact, its ability doesn’t really relate to combat at all!
At two mana it would have been too dangerous, essentially punching spell-based decks in the throat on turn 2. So why not make it 2/3 so it can survive some combat, or be at least a half-decent card? R&D, I think you worried too much about this”new” mechanic and are going to have to try again – but still, a nice card. I love the artwork.
Liege of the Axe
2/3 for four is almost as good as 3/3 for four, but you’re generally not going to be slapping this puppy down on turn 4 instead of morphing it out. A bonus to toughness and an”untap” makes it an interesting card, allowing you to either survive a skirmish with another morph, or suddenly have another blocker when your opponent didn’t expect it. Interesting cards aren’t necessarily good cards, though.
Pound for pound, it’s another overpriced soldier in a world of bigger beasts, but it’s generally playable in most soldier decks. If you can kill another morph with either of its abilities, then you’ve gotten what will generally be the most of the card.
Rating: Fair in general, Good in decks that need soldiers
I may be missing something about this card, because I’ve heard better players calling it”playable” or even”good” when frankly I can’t seem to find much good about the card. Obviously, it’s a morph killer, with two power and first strike – but it doesn’t seem like you’d kill many morphs with it. What’s stopping your opponent from just adding another creature to block it, thus killing the Tracker at the end of combat? You just traded a five-mana creature for a three-mana creature – where’s the tempo gain in that?
Like Deftblade Elite, it improves with cards that make it bigger, and a 4/4 first striker isn’t ever going to be bad. If you’ve got the Grassland Crusaders or Piety Charms to make it happen, it can be worth it. On the other hand … Five mana for a 2/2? Deftblade Elite is one mana, and it can bail itself out of combat or be used as a poor man’s Whipcorder. This can’t! At least, not for very long…
While 1cc creatures, as I’ve said, are not entirely playable in Legions, the Planar Guide is probably the card that’s closest to the borderline. It’s generally not a combat-intensive creature and it’s unlikely you will find it very useful for flipping morphs over – unless you have two Daru Lancers, an Exalted Angel, and a Quicksilver Dragon all sitting face-down. That won’t happen too often.
Instead, Planar Guide acts as a Fog effect, which lets you protect yourself from such nastiness as Wave of Indifference or Choking Tethers, as well as letting you buy another turn in combat. It can also be used to protect your creatures from removal. Keeping a Visara from being Cruel Revivaled can be quite useful. Generally, I would hold the guide in my sideboard and use it when my opponent showed off bombs like Bane of the Living or Starstorm, and use it as a way to disrupt his usage of those cards.
Blade Sliver is considered”all right” because it’s a 3/2 in a world of 2/2s. In another format, it might have been pretty good. On the other hand, if Plated Sliver was 2/3 in this same world, it would be considered a rock-solid card and a great way to spurn your opponent’s tempo. But instead, it’s a 1/2, which makes it about as useful and interesting as any other 1/2 in a field of 2/2s… Which is to say, not at all. Wall of Hope and Deftblade Elite are all much better one-drops.
I am probably much too partial to this card, but I can’t really complain. All the Invokers are playable, as they make you much stronger in the late game. While gaining five life isn’t as good as any of the other Invoker abilities, it’s still worth having in your deck when the game goes to ground stalls. Gaining ten or twenty life is going to put you further and further out of Wave range, and can give your fliers more time to do their work.
There is a lack of synergy with this card, though, as clerics don’t necessarily have the evasive beats to survive to a late-game Invoking, and soldiers don’t want less than a two-power card in their deck. I value it higher in Sealed than in Limited, but I still think it’s all right either way.
This is another one of those confusing cards. Ideally, you drop it turn 2 and start swinging, using cycling cards to push it past defenders and essentially trading cheap cycling (like Secluded Steppe and Akroma’s Blessing) for your opponent’s morph creatures, or just lots and lots of damage. In this case, it’s a Lightning Rift on a stick – it’s a bit limited by its status as a stick, but unlike Lightning rift, when it’s not getting bonuses, it’s still a functional 2/2. It probably balances out.
However, the double symbol casting cost makes it only a so-so card in Sealed deck, especially if you’re forced to splash a third color for removal or lack of depth in your color. In draft, you would look to this card fondly if white was your primary color, since it wouldn’t be nearly as good to drop it turn 4 or 5. The card is probably best in U/W, which possesses the best cycling and has a sister card in Warped Researcher. Still, as long as you’re primarily in white, or have a few Gempalm Avengers, I’m pretty certain this card is solid if you have at least some cycling to make use of its Wild Mongrel-like powers.
Mass tapping effects, even strange ones, are often pretty powerful. While the Legionnaire isn’t really all that playable without something to keep it untapping (Mobilization, Aphetto Alchemist, Centaur Glade), it can allow you a surprising amount of control in the early game, and keep cards like Severed Legion, Nantuko Husk, or Wingbeat Warrior in check as long as you keep your attention on using the Legionnaire effectively.
Since there are a lot of creatures that get played in this format, and many good targets for the Legionnaire, it can be a reasonably effective card. I wouldn’t high-pick it, and it wouldn’t convince me to play it in Sealed, but it does provide a surprising amount of tempo if played well in the earlier game. Some players will look at it on paper and never give it a chance; others may experiment, resulting in positive experiences.
Paying six mana for a two-power creature in generally not the world’s greatest plan. Let’s be honest; do you really want to pay so much for what isn’t all that effective in combat? In this case, the resulting opinion is”Mostly yes,” which may sound very odd.
The Talon is aided by its giant, oversized toughness. Six toughness means it can make the best of its provoke ability, either surviving pretty much any encounter with other airbornes and killing them, or distracting cards like Spitting Gourna from being able to kill your other fliers while the rest of your army does the dirty work. Six toughness also makes it a hell of a blocker – not quite a Silklash Spider, but pretty close.
It’s slow, though, and slow isn’t what a soldier deck is going to want to get a load of. The ability to drop out of the skies and provoke something else makes it a little too much like Lowland Tracker, as at six mana your opponent is likely to have six power on the board to kill the offending Talon. I wouldn’t take more than one of these in a draft, and I wouldn’t take it too high, but it’s a fairly all-around solid card and will help you end games.
Wall of Hope
Essentially a reprinted Wall of Essence, this wall is very much dependent on your deck. If G/W was consistently playable in this format, I would probably like it more, as it would give me a great way to stall the ground when trying to ramp up to my fatty beasts… But it isn’t, and outside of G/W I view it very much as a sideboard card. Most white decks in this format are either cleric-based – at which point you have lots of things to choose from when it comes to stalling the ground – or tempo-evasion based, at which point you will probably be the one attacking in the early game, not defending.
Still, it will consistently give you five or more extra life, which is pretty good for a one-drop, and if something larger runs into it you’re pretty well off. Not the worst card, even better if you can keep it alive to keep soaking up damage. Sideboard it in against faster decks, where it will buy you time.
Five mana for a 2/2 is pretty much awful unless you’re playing against a green player, or against the all-red Sparksmith deck. I wouldn’t take this card very highly, though I would probably board it in, in W/U against red or when playing against a really aggressive green deck that lacked evasion. Protection from green is pretty good ability. Since you don’t see a lot of B/R running around, if you nail down one color and have multiple creatures to work with, you will probably evade a fair amount of removal. Still, an experienced player would be have to be very desperate to play this maindeck.
Individually, this is a pretty bad card. Paying 1W to force your opponent to pay one to have a single creature block or attack is pretty poor. Assuming you drafted a B/W cleric deck, though, under the right situations it has the potential to become, well…. Okay.
I really can’t see this card as all that powerful, since you’re not forcing your opponent to pay mana and you need to get an absolutely huge number of clerics out to really pressure your opponent well. Still, remember that you can stack the ability to keep one creature from being able to block or attacker. Honestly, I’d rather use Deftblade Elite to distract a blocker, but not all the commons are going to be as solid as Deftblade Elite.
The White Knight is obviously playable, but I really have to question why it was reprinted now. It does fit into the format pretty well; 2/2 first strikers on turn 2 are tempo overkill. But it’s not a soldier, or a cleric, and it’s so small that it really feels like it should be a tribal weenie when you drop it. It has no real synergy with anything in the set; there aren’t even any real Giant Growth effects to use on it or much in the way of instant-speed burn (besides Shock, natch).
Obviously playable, but best in a primarily white beats decks. The fact it was not errata’d to become a knight-soldier or soldier-cleric is a damn shame and would have made this card much better in this format – but still, this is a high pick in a tempo-based deck. Better in W/R, where it can get some burning aid, as opposed to W/U.
It’s hard to dislike a card which both offers a well-priced body for the format, evasion and an ability that gives your evasive creatures time to do their work. This Muse is generally well-suited to any white strategy, be it tempo or slower on the control side of things. Because it’s a spirit, it doesn’t have much interaction with other cards in the set, but it’s definitely a solid pick that you would want to take early. If you’re looking for tempo, this is definitely a bomb. I don’t know if I agree with Gary Wise that I’d rather have this than Akroma – the Muse is three times more likely to hit the table and have an effect, but Akroma flat-out wins most games.
How can you disagree with a card that provides so much in the way of options? You can either use it as a quick flying beater, or play it morphed and use it for a temporary lance effect. That’s pretty decent. Sadly, the flip effect comes off as a little bit over-priced. Three mana for first strike? That’s rough on the mana, but it’s still an effective enough card either way.
This card fits perfectly in the W/x tempo beats decks that will crop up as people become more accustomed to Legions. Its casting cost makes it easier to put out than Harrier – and while one toughness is bad, when that’s a drawback you can always use it as a morph trick. Solid.