– War of the Spark
May 10, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
“No man will send me down to Hades before my fated time – and fate, I tell you, is something no man is ever freed from, whether brave man or coward, from the first moment of his birth.”
The Blackblade seems to have less of a connection to the land in Gideon’s hands, the way it did for Dakkon and in Dominaria, but it looks like it gives him a different spin on his traditional powers, one that is fitting for going toe-to-toe with an Elder Dragon. Just leaving him in play and using his +1 to boost other creatures is a great mind game: your opponent or opponents will likely feel the need to hold back on playing their most powerful cards. And those other creatures will be not only hard to deal with, but backed up by a bona fide slayer of champions. A 4/4 may not be the fastest clock from among Gideon’s various cards, but the only cards that can permanently address this creature form on your turn are things like Vraska’s Contempt or Path to Exile. That’s a good place to be.
Another card’s flavor text pointed out that the true measure of heroes is not what they achieve, but who they inspire. Gideon has set the standard for what an entire sub-type of card can do, and the dimension that he adds to decks that use white has changed the way we play Magic for ever. But if you do want to talk about the storyline and his achievements (and why wouldn’t you?), I should point out that what he did in War of the Spark – along with Ugin, Liliana, Ajani, Jace, Nissa, Chandra, and everyone else who fought, both named and unnamed – is actually even bigger than made out by the social media hype. Since the Multiverse is infinite, the number of planes and peoples that would have been threatened by Bolas’ victory is of the same magnitude. That means that the impact of Gideon’s actions and Gideon’s sacrifice is literally beyond quantification.
And, at last, our tour of Gideons comes to an end with what might be our last Gideon, Gideon Blackblade. Given the stabulous Blackblade, he does pretty much all of the normal Gideon things you would want a Gideon to do.
Starting from his passives, he has two. They’re pretty similar to the usual Gideon “creature” abilities: he doesn’t take damage to swing in, and he’s indestructible. Even without haste, Gideon is a 4/4 that is pretty hard to auto-pop. And his abilities are nice: +1 lets you make another creature more powerful, while -6 is spot removal. But where this shines is that Gideon is still a 4/4 creature even while using these other abilities. And that’s a bit of power that shouldn’t be looked over; while doing normal planeswalker things, he still smashes faces in.
Gideon isn’t a perfect planeswalker, but being a 3-mana house that can put opponents on a short clock while dodging a fair amount of removal makes him quite the threat on-board. While his attempts to stab the most Evil of all dragons would fall short, the war would be won by his hands all the same. Or something.
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