Ashaya, Soul of the World
– Zendikar Rising
October 13, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Ashaya, you may recall, is Nissa’s elemental guide, who she first met around the same time her spark ignited. Now Ashaya has returned to help Nissa fight Nahiri, and although those abilities don’t necessarily stand out so much in the season of Omnath, there are still plenty of things you can do to take advantage of them. Becoming absolutely huge as the game goes on, and faster with land ramp, is not nothing, but I’m more interested by turning creatures into forests. Not only is it an amusing homage to Dryad Arbor, it is also a unique kind of mana ramp of its own, and means they can no longer be targeted by anything that says “nonland permanent”.
Ashaya is certainly unique, to say the least. While it alone is just a big body, the wording on Ashaya turns all of your creatures (including itself) into Forests in addition to their other types. And given the tendency of things like bounce spells to specify “non-land” as a targeting restriction, she opens up a lot of interesting interactions in terms of what she does. Her ability is more boon than downside in the current Standard, given that lands rarely tend to face downside, but more expansive card pools can be a bit more fraught that way if you’re not careful, whether through anti-Forest tech or anti-land tech (like Sunder). Unique and very unusual, Ashaya is a cool mythic rare that can do a lot of fun things with the right support.
Constructed: 3.25 (five mana with no combat abilities is a bit risky, though it is nice and big)
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