air elementalThrowback Thursday 

Air Elemental
– Alpha

Date Reviewed:
October 12, 2017

Constructed: 2
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 2
Commander [EDH]: 2.5

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average.  5 is great.


David Fanany
Player since 1995

“Some say that time is cyclical and that history inevitably repeats. My will is my own. I won’t bow to fate.”
— Crovax
Flavor text of Null Profusion, Planar Chaos

You wouldn’t guess it from the lack of discussion of Ixalan’s new version, an omission underpinned by the evolution of creature design over twenty-four years, but Air Elemental is a legitimate icon of Magic. It was not only one of the most intriguing creatures in Alpha, but one of the most powerful: 4/4 evades almost every damage spell in early sets save blue’s own Psionic Blast, and taking to the air gives a massive advantage against not only Moat but entire deck types like Goblins. Certain early versions still command relatively princely sums on the secondary market; and I for one would never cast aspersions on you for playing one in any deck.

Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 2/5
EDH/Commander: 2/5

King Of Hearts
King of

Air Elemental

Constructed: 2
Casual: 2
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 2
Commander (EDH): 3

Good ol’ Air Elemental, the big bad vanilla flyer. The art on the Ixalan version is one of my favorite in the set. In limited, this guy has the potential to end games. 4 power with evasion puts your opponent on a fast clock and 4 toughness makes him difficult to kill short of Unfriendly Fire, Crushing Canopy, and pretty much any black spell. The only reason to play this card in constructed is if you have an elemental tribal deck. For 1 less mana Curator of Mysteries has the same stats as well as additional abilities. For the same mana cost Guardian of Tazeem has better stats and a decent ability. Overall Air Elemental has decent stats for its cost but 25 years of power creep (and sphinxes) has taken its toll. 

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