Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero
– Commander 2019
August 26, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We’ve been waiting about as long for the real Gerrard as we were for the real Jhoira. Despite being the Weatherlight’s captain, the main character of Magic’s ongoing story at the time, and the lynchpin of Urza’s grand plan to defeat Yawgmoth, his Apocalypse card was a collection of white’s most commonly-used design tropes from the early 2000s. I hate to be so blunt, but those tropes are, quite frankly, boring.
Was it worth the wait? I’d say yes. Despite its specificity and its requirement that he go to the graveyard, his trigger offers a massive shift in card advantage that red and white often don’t get. Even if you “only” use him for a more fair application, like being a reasonably-efficient attacker who can sometimes undo a bad combat phase, that’s sometimes worth it. Red and white also have a surprising number of ways to trigger him during your opponent’s turn – Greater Gargadon comes to mind. On top of that, don’t forget that if Gerrard is your commander, you will presumably send him back to the command zone as a replacement effect and do it all again the next turn.
Reminder: Commander 2019 cards will not have Limited scores associated with them from me.
One of the most notorious “misfires” in terms of card quality from an important character was the original Gerrard Capashen from Apocalypse, an underpowered mess who didn’t really do much of anything and served as a disappointing capstone for Magic‘s original recurring protagonist. Nearly 20 years later, Gerrard gets a much better card, a tantalizing ability on a reasonable body.
Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero is basically a limited Second Sunrise/Faith’s Reward-style effect. You can get back all of your other artifacts and creatures when he dies, which is (if nothing else) good insurance against most board wipes! There are also Eggs-style combo set-ups that he can aid and abet, as another version of the same valued effect (especially in a format where redundancy is valuable). Add to it a body that’s a good bit better than his last outing (3/3 with first strike for 4 is a better deal than a 3/4 for 5), and you have a flavorful card that’s more fitting of a legendary hero. (Amusingly, he is capable of solo-crewing the Weatherlight from Dominaria, which is a nice touch.)
Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero seems a bit too clunky for Constructed; remember that he’s limited to Legacy and Vintage, as a result of being in Commander 2019, and a four-mana body that needs to die to have impact is a bit weird. I could see some use for him…he does synergize well with Flash, though that’s more because Flash is a really stupid card. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him show up, but I’m not optimistic about the prospects.
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