Daretti, Scrap Savant
– Commander 2014
April 25, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our first planeswalking Goblin, Daretti goes in hard on the artificer angle…and it makes sense, since he’s one of the planeswalkers able to sit in the command zone and command things. That alone is value, as Daretti is a long-term value engine.
His +2 and his -2 play well with one another: the former lets you bin artifacts for the latter to get back. While it’s not really straight-up card advantage (something red rarely gets), it does let you filter through your deck faster to try and set up your artifact-based combos. His ultimate plays in that space as well, ensuring that you keep the artifacts coming all game long. It is an effect that is fairly weak to graveyard hate, especially enchantment-based graveyard hate (like Rest in Peace), but there are artifact ways to handle it (like Spine of Ish Sah, to name one option).
Daretti is a combo piece meant to power out massive artifact set-ups. He’s not absurdly broken, but there are ways to eke out the incremental advantages until you drop the bombs. Cheating out massive artifact creatures is always nice, and this is a way to do it.
I’ve actually played the meme format Kamigawa Block Pauper Tiny Leaders, and believe it or not, it’s kind of fun. But the main thing that I learned from playing it is how narrow some colors’ parts of the color pie used to be. The white deck gets draws where every single card is damage prevention; the red deck has very few creatures that can block effectively. There are a lot of cool things about throwbacks like KBPTL, but when I play them for a long time, I often start to miss cards like Daretti.
Granted, his appearances so far have been in the design boundary-testing Conspiracy and Commander pre-constructed decks, but he adds such a different dimension to red decks that he’s very much worth building around. Until he came out, there had been few red cards that interacted positively with artifacts since Urza’s Saga, but now you can dip into Scars of Mirrodin for metalcraft cards and Hellkite Igniter, into Kaladesh for Paradox Engine combos and Pia Nalaar, or into Unstable for Contraptions and Kindslaver. And if you’re feeling more Spike-ish, he has abilities that replicate Faithless Looting and Goblin Welder, considered two of the most powerful cards of all time. I never thought I’d be saying the words “mono-red reanimator deck”, but now it’s possible, albeit circuitous.
Plus, he’s a goblin planeswalker. That’s just cool.
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