Fierce Guardianship
Fierce Guardianship

Fierce Guardianship – Commander Masters

Date Reviewed:  August 29, 2023

Constructed: 1.50
Casual: 2.50
Limited: 3.63
Multiplayer: 2.00
Commander [EDH]: 3.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


Fierce Guardianship is part of a cycle which has become . . . let’s just say contentious among some Commander players. Each one is decent on its own, but arguably overpowered when your leader is in play. This one, for example, compares surprisingly well even to Force of Will under those circumstances, and is probably stronger than Force of Negation; and considering how good those cards are, that says a lot. As the flavor text implies, the idea was that you’d use them to protect your Commander or your other things, but in practice, a lot of people use this to protect combos or degenerate things – which just adds to the contentious nature of the mechanic.

Constructed: 1.5 (when you don’t have a commander, Force of Negation or even Negate are better)
Casual: 2
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 2
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

 James H. 


Fierce Guardianship is part of a five-card cycle that can be cast for free if you control a commander, and it’s easily the one that got the most heads to turn…a free counterspell is always attractive, and while it whiffs on creatures, there are a lot of things this hits. It’s effective enough to where you can bring in your commander and still have the opportunity to protect them from most things, and a free wrench in the spokes has never been particularly unwelcome in blue, a color that seeks to do Nothing.

That said, I think this is maybe a card where the value was cranked up by its availability (only in 2020’s Commander deck tranche), and while this is an effect that can go into a lot of blue decks for minimal cost, I think it may actually be among the weaker counterspells that’s still on the “good” end of the scale, thanks to missing creatures and relying on you having your commander out (be it creature or planeswalker). It’s still plenty playable, don’t get me wrong; you only have so many free counterspells otherwise, and they are incredibly useful in a pinch, but this one’s limits may be acutely felt from time to time.

Constructed: 1.5 (no commanders makes this a bad Negate, and Negate is already not played in Legacy that much at all)
Casual: 3
Limited: 3.75 (while Limited revolves around creatures, a free counterspell can pay off in a pinch, but don’t draft this over actual threats)
Multiplayer: 2 (seriously, don’t play this if you don’t have a commander)
Commander [EDH]: 4 (I’m not extremely high on it, but a free counterspell that doesn’t burn another card from your hand is pretty reasonable)

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