Usually, the core sets don’t have a whole ton of legendary creatures – we got lucky with M13, which had the tribal cycle of one-color legendaries, like Krenko and Yeva.

M15, however, seems to be full of surprises.


Ob Nixilis was one of the creatures from Zendikar that sparked my interest the most. Namely, his flavor text.

His spark lost, he plots revenge upon the plane whose corrupting mana fractured his soul.

For tohse not very versed in magic lore, the term spark refers specifically to the Planeswalker spark – that one-in-a-million occurrence that causes a being to become a planeswalker, like Jace or Chandra.

The original Ob Nixilis is a funny card, relying on land drops to drain your opponents. In format with fetchlands, it wasn’t surprising to see a land fall trigger rewarding you with a black effect.

And now, I saw this a few moment ago:


Ob Nixilis, Unshackled is a new Ob Nixilis – he has gotten his wings (including flying and trample) but not his spark. Rather than the landfall trigger bonus the original got, the new one has an effect that punishes your opponent for using their fetchlands – and any other tutor.

Whenever an opponent searches his or her library, that player sacrifices a creature and loses 10 life.

Well I have to admit, I’m impressed. The other part of this effect is that whenever a creature dies, he gets a +1/+1 counter.

While he’s a little small for at a 4/4 for 6, the original was 3/3 for 5.

I think they are both extremely playable as commanders.

Cards to play in Ob Nixilis, the Fallen:

  • Burnished Hart
  • Consume Spirit
  • Exsanguinate
  • Fetchlands
  • Polluted Bond
  • Terrain Generator

Ob Nixlis, the Fallen essentially plays out like most mono-black commander decks – lots of mana doubling, and then dropping a kill spell like Consume Spirit or Exsanguinate.

Cards to play in Ob Nixilis, Unshackled:

  • Barter in Blood
  • Sadistic Glee
  • Sheoldred, Whispering One

Ob Nixilis, Unshackled is a very, very interesting card that I”m excited about. I feel that The Fallen is more playable as a commander, but Ob Nixilis is more splashable in other commander decks, such as the following:

  • Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
  • Marchesa, the Black Rose
  • Nekusar, the Mindrazer
  • Prossh, Skyraider of Kher Keep
  • Sheoldred, Whispering One
  • Thraximundar

And of course, there’s plenty of other black decks that enjoy death that I’m likely forgetting.

Until next time,