Etali, Primal Storm – Rivals of Ixalan
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Etali is the red member of the Rivals of Ixalan cycle that gave us Ghalta, Primal Hunger from last week. Those creatures didn’t formally have the God creature type, but they are quite close to that status on the plane of Ixalan, and it shows in their game effects. Etali was clearly intended to evoke M11’s Titan cycle in his cost, stats, and attack trigger; he doesn’t dominate combat the way some of them do, but he’s more than strong enough to swing a game when used correctly. An extra card is an extra card, and revealing it is nowhere near a downside. I find it hard to believe any strategy really revolves that much around bluffing. And of course, dinosaur decks are now a thing in Commander – Titans don’t have a relevant creature type from that point of view. This is also probably as close as you’ll get to a mainline version of the “draw a card from an opponent’s library” effects from Unstable, so we should probably take an advantage of it!
Commander [EDH]: 4
Etali, Primal Storm is a very dangerous card to give an opportunity to, because stealing things never goes out of style. It’s not even just stealing, as you can get a free spell out of your library in addition to potentially free things from your opponents. Costing six mana means Etali is a bit awkward to sometimes get out expeditiously, and it’s just a 6/6 with no keywords. Still, it’s a good way to blast ahead if you get lucky…or unstick a land situation, but there’s little downside to plowing ahead with Etali to steal all of the things.
Constructed: 3 (can do damage, but rarely the best thing to cheat into play in any format, and it’s too expensive to work as a fair play)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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