– Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths
April 20, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It’s been a while since we had a new card with this effect, and it may well have been worth the wait. Birthing Pod ended up getting banned in a couple of formats before everything was done, and while Fiend Artisan is perhaps not as purely powerful, it offers many of the same strengths and potential for a powerful toolbox. It’s also a relevant tribe, as there are a couple of Ikoria that care about Nightmares. Note that it can keep its creature-searching ability if you put a mutate card on top of it, so looking for mutations that increase its resilience could be a worthwhile strategy.
Fiend Artisan’s effect is one that looks familiar, doesn’t it? It’s not quite Birthing Pod or Yisan, but the ability to turn creatures you have into creatures you need directly from the deck can be a powerful weapon when you have enough mana, and doing so even fuels Fiend Artisan’s power and toughness to push it out of reach of kill spells or make it able to smash faces all on its own. Couple that with a very flexible mana cost, and it’s no wonder that Fiend Artisan has a lot of hype going into Ikoria. I’m not completely sold on it yet; no haste and a fragile body means it’s possible that it just dies without ever doing anything, but the upside is very real.
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