Emiel the Blessed – Double Masters
Date Reviewed: August 15, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Sometimes, it pays to go back to basics. “Emiel the Blessed” is perhaps the most high-fantasy name that any legendary creature has had since Throne of Eldraine, and his art is exactly what you’d expect a legendary unicorn to look like. His repeatable flicker ability makes a staple white ability into an even bigger threat, and goes well with an enormous range of cards. (Recall that he first appeared in Jumpstart, whose default premise involves you not knowing exactly what the two halves of your deck do – this makes him one of the best legends in that set, since he has a high chance of doing something good regardless of what deck halves you get.)
His second ability is perhaps even more universal – there are many situations where it’s worth paying one extra mana to get a slightly bigger creature. And as if all that somehow wasn’t enough, he’s effectively a “lord” for unicorns too, which I know many of us thought we’d never see. I have at least one acquaintance who is very happy about his tribal element; and while we don’t get a huge number of new unicorns per year, there will undoubtedly be more for him to work with in the future.
Constructed: 2/5 (currently only legal in Legacy, but I might revise this if he’s ever in Standard)
Commander [EDH]: 4/5 (more of a “flicker tribal” or creature spam card than a unicorn tribal card, but those are both things in Commander)
While she’s no Allosaurus Shepherd, Emiel the Blessed was another of the intriguing Jumpstart cards that got a lot of attention, a potential commander option for a tribe with a generally light line-up; indeed, there are but 28 printed Unicorns in Magis‘s run, 27 of which share Emiel’s color identity. So the long-awaited Unicorn deck can come to fruition if you want it to.
But setting aside tribal affinities, Emiel is subtly powerful as a result of her repeatable blink effect; so long as you have three mana to spare, no targeted spell is hitting any of your creatures, and an extra bit of mana makes them come back bigger than before. While Azorius is long considered color pairing of blink shenanigans, green and white both have a potent suite of comes-into-play triggers at their disposal, and Emiel can even make that creature come back bigger than before (a boon for the “modified” batching effects of Kamigawa Neon Dynasty). She’s not flashy, but subtle power is still power enough, and Emiel is dangerous if you give her space to do her thing.
Constructed: 2 (too slow to leave an impact in Legacy)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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