Fynn, the Fangbearer – Kaldheim
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I wonder how Fynn managed to get a fang from the Cosmos Serpent. You may have read the story about Thor going fishing with the jotun Hymir; I wonder if that’s what we’re going for here. Regardless, Fynn is quite a good hearth-guard, with three toughness holding back smaller creatures and deathtouch holding back bigger ones. But I suspect we’re mostly planning to call on him for the poison counters. “Deathtouch tribal” is already a thing, thanks to Hooded Blightfang and various Ikoria cards, and he does indeed let you build a deck that functions much like infect decks did in Standard seasons gone by, albeit more fragile. He’s unlikely to cast down the format’s iron jarls, but he enables a unique deck that you might enjoy playing around with. (Not to mention being like an even more villainous version of Roman Reigns to the part of the audience that still doesn’t like ten poison counters being lethal in Commander.)
Despite its seeming absence for years, poison is one of Magic‘s long-standing game mechanics, with a starring role in the Scars of Mirrodin block under the infect banner. Fynn is not another infect creature; his reference is more to the brief appearance of Future Sight‘s poisonous mechanic. Specifically, he gives all of your deathtouch creatures (himself included) an effective “poisonous 2” keyword: if they connect with an opponent, they get poisoned, and 10 counters is enough for them to meet with an unfortunate death experience. He even himself has deathtouch, which is interesting enough.
Fynn is…weird as a creature. With only two ways in the current Standard to manipulate poison (this and Vorinclex), he’s basically the key to a poison kill, and he’s good at forcing troubling blocks to avoid getting poisoned by whatever’s attacking. He’s cheap, which makes him a serviceable blocker and able to get some damage in early, and he demands to be answered. But he’s also a weird creature in that he’s only going to force blocks if your opponent is in danger of dying from poison.
Still, it’s neat to see poison back as a mechanic, which makes me wonder if it’ll return to being deciduous. It’s not the worst thing to have other ways to kill people running around.
Constructed: 3.25 (I think you can make a deck to make him work, but it feels like he’s better as a supplemental piece than as the linchpin)
Casual: 4 (poison is always a risk in casual decks, as some people hate playing against it)
Commander: 3.5 (as a reminder, poison does kill with 10 counters in Commander, but this is the kind of creature that will draw early ire)
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