– Modern Horizons
July 1, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Let’s fighting love! And what’s not to love, when you have a devastating saboteur ability like Fallen Shinobi does? It’s interesting to note that his ability gets stronger or weaker depending on what exactly is in your opponent’s deck. Hitting Cruel Ultimatum when your opponent is still trying to set up is quite different from hitting something like Lingering Souls when your opponent already has four creatures in play. I don’t know if competitive Modern will like the variance, nor the requirement to attack with a creature in blue and black, but if Faeries is a deck, then this guy offers them a huge endgame that has synergy with the rest of their cards, plus access to effects they don’t normally get. I do know that Ninja fans in other formats will love this guy, and I for one am intrigued as to whether stealing other people’s spells is now an official Ninja sub-theme (not just this guy: see also Ink-Eyes and Silent-Blade Oni).
Fallen Shinobi is the newest addition to the Ninja army (along with several other Modern Horizons Ninjas), and this one is rather interesting. The combat trigger (exile two cards, play them until end of turn for free) is very potent when coupled with 5 damage to the face, and I can definitely see a case where a single Fallen Shinobi swing cracks the game wide open. It’s a very efficiently-costed and aggressive Ninja for the deck to play with, and while it needs help to keep getting in after that first swing, four toughness on a five-mana body makes it hard for a number of colors to answer efficiently (it dodges Lightning Bolt and Fatal Push, to name two spells), and it’s not hard for blue and black to take out blockers to enable repeated swings by this guy. If Ninjas are a tribe in Modern, Fallen Shinobi might be part of why it is, though I’m still not completely sold on it (yet).
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