Genju of the Realm
Genju of the Realm

Genju of the Realm
– Betrayers of Kamigawa

Date Reviewed:  August 12, 2021

Constructed: 2.25
Casual: 4.00
Limited: 2.50
Multiplayer: 3.00
Commander [EDH]: 3.25

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

Reviews Below: 

It was harder than you might think to find a card that includes the word “Realm” for this week’s Throwback Thursday and thus fits cutely in the time we’re reviewing Adventures in the Forgotten Realms cards. It’s such a fantasy-ish word that you’d think it would have been used on more cards, and more notable cards! Genju of the Realm, though, is an interesting example because it combines so many Magic concepts and feels kind of odd, to go along with the very Kamigawa-typical “odd” art. It was part of a large cycle in Betrayers of Kamigawa that turned one of your lands into a Treetop Village-style creature land; some of the other members saw tournament play in aggro and control decks of the era, but Genju of the Realm was held back a little by its very specific mana cost. At least, it was until the advent of Enduring Ideal in the very next set. The epic ability doesn’t prevent you from using abilities, so it can still attack even if you can’t play spells.
Mana cost cheating is perhaps the most reliable way to start attacking with Genju of the Realm, and certainly the fastest. But it certainly has a place outside of combo decks too. It can be a surprise finish in five-color decks, one which is somewhat resistant to removal. And I’ve heard that some people have made a house rule that it can be your commander, which is pretty hilarious!
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 2/5 (if you have a bunch of Sakura-Tribe Elders and Kodama’s Reaches, I guess)
Multiplayer: 3/5
Commander: 3/5

 James H. 


Genju of the Realm was notable as the first multi-colored card to be printed with the post-Eighth Edition card frame, though I suppose the card itself is okay enough. It does make one of your lands into an Absolute Unit that can smash through opposition largely unfettered, and while the land is vulnerable to all of the anti-creature things, it dodges a lot of sorcery-speed creature removal and also recurs Genju of the Realm if the land gets destroyed. It’s definitely a card that can put in work, but a demanding mana cost is hardly ideal, particularly in a block notorious for some of the worst color-fixing of all time.

Constructed: 1.5 (too slow for Modern, though I believe it wasn’t useless back in Kamigawa-era Standard)
Casual: 4
Limited: 3 (the card is powerful, but it has very demanding demands)
Multiplayer: 3
Commander: 3.5

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