Readers! As you all probably know, War of the Spark is going to feature Planeswalkers. Not just that, it’s going to feature ALL of the Planeswalkers. One in every pack, 36 in all. “One in every pack “sets like Dominaria with its Historic card in every pack, Ravnica sets with their Guildgate in every pack or Unhinged with their premium card in every pack sell well. That’s why Unhinged sold well. Every pack had a contraption.
With a glut of new Planeswalkers, we’re bound to get some good ones, right? 36 is a lot and while there are bad to be same bad ones at uncommon, there are bound to be some good ones at rare. People are planning on them impacting every format and should they impact EDH, there are some cards we can use to stop the other players. A lot of them are good against Atraxa, also, which is nice. Here’s some anti-walker tech. If the card is usable in formats outside of EDH, I’ll be sure to mention that, also.
These are sort of weak metrics for what I consider to be a pretty decent card. Its “rarity” means it was in 2 decks and is therefore twice as common as a rare in the set like the $10 Meren, and it was in a Commander Anthology as well, so it will take some doing for this to move. It’s also not going down and the buylist price as showing signs of life for a minute. This is actually a terrific beating if you’ve ever resolved it but at 6 mana for a creature, people aren’t super thrilled about it. I’m not sure why. It’s not a 1/1, it’s frequently a 25/25 for 6 mana and you kill a bunch of walkers. If you’re buying In Garruk’s Wake but not this, get your act together. Also, if you’re running in Garruk’s Wake but not this, well you’re 6 times as likely to exist. This card’s good but I can’t make people discover it unless the Command Zone ever has me come back on the cast, and if they do, I’m talking about Acquire, not this.
Another bit of anti-walker tech has the benefit of being a card I saw people talking about. I don’t think any of this stuff is good but I do think people will try it and I think if you buy now, you can sell to the greater fools who notice the cards selling out. That’s not the best strat, but neither is using Thran Temporal Gateway to construct a 2-card combo where you play a Planeswalker that costs 2UW for 4 colorless.
This has the added benefit of being legal in Modern, unlike Thief of Blood. I don’t think that’s all that relevant, but Modern players are optimistic enough to think Stoneforge was getting unbanned and Faithless Looting was getting banned, so it’s possible they’re optimistic enough to buy into something like this. Realistically, a deck in Modern playing Walkers is playing Jace, Karn, Terferri or other Karn and odds are they aren’t letting you resolve a damn Aether Snap, but tech is tech. This also nukes tokens, which can really matter in a game of Magic, especially since it gets non-creature tokens, which matters in EDH. A little.
It’s not just black cards getting caught up in the fun, though.
Tragic Arrogance usually gets the nod because you can pick an artifact creature or artifact land as two of the modes and really hose them, but Cataclysm nukes Walkers entirely and leaves you with an angel with an aura and a sword, usually. People don’t like MLD much, but I don’t like Planeswalkers much, even the ones I do like.
Hex Parasite got a bump when Solemnity hit but it’s always been a pretty solid way to deal with Planeswalkers. It’s mana-intensive, but you get a power boost that could knock out a now-defenseless player and it’s reusable. I like it to keep counters off of my Decree of Silence, but I always liked that.
The EDHREC metrics on Anti-Walker cards are weak, and probably for a good reason. The ones that don’t do extra duty, like also wiping out tokens, or killing all creatures or wiping the whole board aren’t worth a spot in a deck. You won’t necessarily play against a walker, and a lot of spot removal just gets it. You should be playing Merciless Eviction regardless of whether Walkers see more play. But with terrible cards like Thran Temporal Gateway poised to go up in price, it doesn’t hurt to think about how to counter the incipient Walker uprising. Until next time!