Behold, it is the new Ajani Goldmane. This time he’s green and white and costs 3GW (3 colorless, 1 Green, 1 White) to cast for a 4 loyalty planeswalker. The abilities are definitely quite powerful, as well, with a ridiculous ultimate.
First off, two of his abilities are +1 abilities, which is always good. The first one allows you to distribute three +1/+1 counters among up to three target creatures you control. Already, that’s pretty decent. The second +1 ability allows you to look at the top four cards of your deck and choose an Aura, creature, or planeswalker among them, reveal it, and add it to your hand. The rest of the cards go on the bottom.
The ultimate ability costs 8 loyalty and it causes you to gain 100 life.
Wait, ONE HUNDRED LIFE!? On a green/white planeswalker in Commander with Doubling Season around? Already, this guy is going to be a Commander all-star. The ability to place counters on three creatures in Rhys the Redeemed and other counter-happy decks is awesome and the tutoring effect is equally as useful. Also, gaining 100 life is pretty nifty for those life-gain based “win target game” shenanigans. But what about in other Constructed formats?
First of all, his first ability is not really so great for aggressive decks, mainly because you’re not going to invest five mana in a planeswalker. You already have Ajani, Caller of the Pride for those decks. However, in mid-range decks, he can help you make your creatures bigger and help you dig for creatures and planeswalkers, which is a useful ability. The ultimate, while really cool, doesn’t have a direct effect on the board state, but can definitely help you stabilize in a big way if you’re behind. He’s certainly playable, especially if you already have a ton of creatures that can protect him that will only get bigger when he comes into play.
I love this Ajani mostly for his Commander play-ability, but I can see mid-range decks now and post RTR-block rotation taking advantage of both of his +1 abilities. The -8 is not what you’re playing him for, but it is something that can happen, and I can just imagine a game going to time because someone gained 100 life… Interesting design that we’ll see how well it works in practice.
~ Elspeth for the Win
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