Archon of Valor’s Reach – Battlebond
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Archons have a history of being very variable in card quality, with many escaping notice and a few absolutely devastating people on a regular basis. The recent Archon of Cruelty is making a name as a decent reanimator target, and Blazing Archon could shut out certain decks very cruelly while somehow also not being a particularly good card. Archon of Valor’s Reach is, pleasingly, somewhere in the middle – it is an absolute off switch, yes, but only for one card type which you’ll have to choose carefully. That means it can be either more effective in multiplayer settings, or less so, again asking you to make real decisions and read your metagame well. It also has great combat stats and keywords, and a mana cost that is feasible for midrange decks – when you take all these factors together, it can be a downright incredible card in the right setting, and perform a crucial role for the right kind of deck and the right kind of metagame. It proves that there are a lot of “second-tier” creatures out there which we should all try not to overlook.
Commander [EDH]: 4
Six mana to lock out an entire spell type is potentially pretty nifty, and Archon of Valor’s Reach ups the ante by being a pretty solid threat in and of itself. The Archon can’t hit creatures or the recently-added battles, but this can do a surprising job of protecting itself or stopping an opponent. While this is symmetrical, you’re likely playing with this in mind as to what you want to lock out of the game, and you can play this to make sure that it hits you far less than your opponents. This is an interesting prison piece in being one that can end games on its own, and while six mana has kept it from being workable in Legacy and other formats, there’s plenty of fun to be had with this. Particularly if you can copy it, but that may be too forbidden a tech to speak of here.
Constructed: 2.75 (powerful, but it doesn’t win you the game immediately at six mana; you might hose decks if you’re lucky, but completely stopping them is trickier)
Limited: 4.25 (be mindful of what your partner’s wanting to do; remember that Battlebond was a multiplayer draft set)
Multiplayer: 4.25 (so long as you’re paying attention, you might be able to lock someone completely or just heavily impede several people)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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