Anafenza, the Foremost is our new Abzan Commander, and is the 4th of the 5 to be spoiled – we’re still waiting on the Temur clan’s Khan to be spoiled.
Anafenza is a 4/4 Legendary Human Solider for WBG – 3 mana for a 4/4 is pretty solid already, though that’s balanced by being three colors.
Now, she has two abilities:
When Anafenza, the Foremost attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on another target tapped creature you control.
While this initially seems like a really limited ability, you have to remember that the Abzan main mechanic is Outlast – you’re voluntarily tapping your creatures to put +1/+1 counters on them. This just lets you double up on that offer by throwing another counter on there.
If a creature card would be put into an opponent’s graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.
This is a little weird to see printed on a creature like this, honestly. When I thought about these colors, I’d never say graveyard hate was at the top of my list for them. I suppose the implication is that Abzan and the Sultai are close enemies, and Sultai is getting Delve. Now, she doesn’t 100% destroy Delve, however, as she only exiles creatures and not simply everything.
One little thing to note is that she could possibly see play in Project Melira in Melira Pod. The deck is already in these colors, and this card works wonders in the mirror match, especially in a deck that would love to reset its Kitchen Finks, or just throw counters on their Birds of Paradise or Noble Hierarchs. At worst, she’ll see play in the sideboard for the mirror match against Project Melira as it wrecks persist triggers.
I’ll talk about her more in a Commanding Opinion once we have all 5 of the leaders spoiled.
Until next time.