Elvish Spirit Guide – Dominaria Remastered
Date Reviewed: January 20, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 2.63
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you’re thinking that tossing a card from your hand for a mana burst seems kind of red, then you might be thinking of Planar Chaos‘ update to this card, Simian Spirit Guide. But the original is not obsolete no matter how you look at it – being an elf is a big deal in the right decks, meaning it can not only power out more mana elves but also be cast late game and deal serious damage because of Elvish Archdruid. Since it doesn’t stay on the table and repeat its effect, it’s more for decks with an element of combo or one-shot ramp, rather than the midrange threat-fests we sometimes see. But it does that job quite well indeed.
Commander [EDH]: 3
If you’ve played Legacy, Vintage, or even Modern in the past, you may be familiar with Planar Chaos‘s Simian Spirit Guide, a powerful enabler for all sorts of Very Rude combo decks, enough so to get banned out of Modern somewhat recently. Elvish Spirit Guide is the slightly less on-color version of the effect, but also the original, dating back to Alliances. Green tends to parley extra mana into a bit of extra presence overall, particularly compared to red just using it to combo even harder, so the upsides of Elvish Spirit Guide are a bit subtler overall.
It’s still powerful, though; green can always use a couple more friends to help its gameplan out, and this represents potentially another Elf on the board in short order or more mana to fuel the combo fires. Elvish Spirit Guide generally gets more play in things like Enchantress decks and Elf decks, since those have less use for green mana…and it also gets played alongside the prime ape counterpart to it in decks like “Oops All Spells”. It’s not an impressive card on the surface, but any player worth their salt will tell you that one mana in a pinch is sometimes enough to blow a game wide open…and it can fill in as a below-rate body, which certainly can’t be underestimated in a pinch.
Constructed: 3.5 (Simian Spirit Guide is probably better, but this is still quite powerful)
Limited: 3.5 (sort of a weird card to evaluate, but putting a threat out one turn sooner is worth a surprising amount, and this is uncommon to boot!)
Commander [EDH]: 2.25 (fine on the occasions you draw it, but definitely less efficacious here)
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