Ezuri, Claw of Progress – Double Masters
Date Reviewed: August 24 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Ezuri, Claw of Progress is one of those creatures who has, predictably, become most known for the infinite loops he enables as much as he’s known for his “fair” interactions. His most notorious pairing is with Sage of Hours: if you can put at least five counters on Sage of Hours, you can take all of the turns and end the game then and there. On top of that, he synergizes extremely well with cards like Walking Ballista and Triskelion, to take full advantage of them being able to make use of a steady supply of +1/+1 counters.
Despite not being in ideal Elf colors, Ezuri plays well with a lot of them, thanks to their generally small bodies and how he can buff them with experience. Remember that experience counters are possessed by a player, and while there are ways to remove counters from players, most people won’t bother to deploy such means, and you can wait until the time is right to go for the throat. He’s never gotten anywhere in deeper formats, owing to just how slow he is to really get the ball rolling, but Ezuri is both here for a good time and to make sure your opponents don’t have a long time.
Constructed: 1.75 (theoretically can work, but he needs other pieces to go off, and he’s a sitting duck in Legacy)
Limited: 3 (a weird build-around piece that can blow open a game if you can guarantee one or two counters each combat)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (Ezuri engines are extremely powerful decks, and he’s rightly a feared commander in the hands of a skilled pilot)
If you found these Phyrexianizations of Mirrodin natives confronting, there are some cards in Dominaria United you probably shouldn’t look at. I probably shouldn’t have looked at some of those, either. Ezuri, though, has been out in the wild for a long time, and he has an interesting combination of abilities – while +1/+1 counters are a well-travelled theme in Simic-colored cards, it’s the use of experience counters which sets this apart. You keep them even if he leaves play, which makes him quite dangerous if he’s your commander, as recasting him literally picks up the mayhem from the last place you left off. That trick doesn’t really work in 60-card constructed, at least not without some help from other colors, but he can start an avalanche with the right support.
Casual: 4/5 (fun fact: proliferate works on experience counters)
Limited: 3/5 (hold him back if you can, and watch out for Lightning Bolt)
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
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