Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle
– Double Masters
August 21, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 2.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Although Arixmethes is a flavor callback to Theros, it also kind of reminds me of a particular scene in the new She-Ra series on Netflix, where something they think is part of the landscape is actually a living creature. That’s a surprisingly easy mistake to make in fantasy settings! I am a little surprised we didn’t get something of this style in Ikoria, though I guess the kaiju-scale creatures on that plane are a little more active than Arixmethes is.
This guy is actually surprisingly interesting to play with: not only is he one of the few times where you have to pay mana to put a land into play, he’s also one of the few times you can use a land as your commander. There is also at least one fun deck out there based around removing all of his counters at once (might I suggest Vampire Hexmage?), and probably at least one that leverages his interaction with Thespian’s Stage. I think the official ruling is that he’s not a kraken for as long as he’s a land, but I would let you use him as though he was at my table!
A four-mana 12/12 sounds neat enough, though it comes with plenty of hoops. Arixmethes is a land until you get it motivated enough to actually get going, and it’s a creature with no combat abilities or protection (besides being a land before it comes online as a creature). Going from four mana to potentially seven is not exactly a strong breakpoint for most decks, though there’s no denying that this can be a ticking time bomb for decks unable to kill a creature of that size. I think it’s more cute than good, sadly, as it just doesn’t do enough in most games.
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