Emry, Lurker of the Loch
– Throne of Eldraine
October 7, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Wrought by a queen for the hand of the chosen,
I am so excited for this new set that I almost can’t think straight to type this review. If Dominaria was Magic’s homecoming in terms of its own lore, Throne of Eldraine is Magic’s homecoming in terms of its cultural roots and mythological foundations. This set’s importance reaches far beyond Standard and Commander.
There may not be an undisputed Excalibur analogue in Throne of Eldraine itself, but I nonetheless see a lot of swords in Emry’s future: the seemingly never-ending cycle of Mirrodin swords already has an insane number of options to choose from, and it’s not done by a long shot. She might even do better alongside equipment than Stoneforge Mystic – it might sound crazy to you right now, but only one of these cards can be your Commander.
Don’t let the fact that she’s holding a sword distract you from the broader combo potential she represents, either. Immortal Ensnaring Bridges, Temporal Apertures out of nowhere, and Resto Mania: Kaladesh Edition involving Smuggler’s Copters and Aethersphere Harvester’s will ruin opponents’ game plans all day long. Apparently the Lady held even more secrets beneath the surface than we ever realized!
And now we are into the Throne of Eldraine season, the set rife with lots of allusions to both Camelot and fairy tales. Emry, Lurker of the Loch is a fairly direct allusion to the Lady in the Lake from the take of King Arthur, who gave the king his stabulous sword (Excalibur, I do believe).
Appropriately enough, Emry can do just that: give you back a proverbial Excalibur. Or anything else similarly stabtacular and/or shiny. She mills four cards for you when she comes out, and her tap ability enables you to cast up to one artifact from your graveyard each turn. This is a pretty nice bit of synergy in terms of setting up plays, giving fallen artifacts another shot at stardom and also giving more flexibility if you get artifacts into the graveyard. (Do note it says cast, so you can’t play artifact lands off of Emry.) She even is cheaper if you have more artifacts; a lot of decks that would want her won’t have trouble casting her for more than 1 blue mana, and the cost reduction helps a lot if you choose to make her your Commander.
Emry is pretty scary in terms of what she can enable; she does have a rather squishy body, which can be a liability in some games, but being able to set up graveyard plays and get back artifacts is pretty nuts. I feel like she’ll see some Modern play and will be a Commander staple, though Standard might be a slightly different case; she’s as good as the best artifact deck, and I’m not sure Standard has one right now.
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