Govern the Guildless
September 12, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Stealing creatures is a staple effect for blue going all the way back to Limited Edition Alpha, although it’s often an aura rather than a sorcery or such, which helps with memory issues. Personally, I remember which creatures have changed control by leaving them upside-down relative to me (ie. right side up to their original owner). The sorceries do have one advantage, which is that they can’t be disenchanted; a flicker effect will, obviously, still return the creature to its original owner.
Govern the Guildless is an interesting sort of card – it’s much like Ultimate Price in that it has text which is very wide-open in the abstract but significantly narrower for the context in which it appeared. It still had a brief run in sideboards during Kamigawa-Ravnica Standard, where it was a decent option against some of the midrange and control decks’ finishers like Keiga and Ink-Eyes. You can even use it as a combo with hosers like Deathmark or Lightwielder Paladin, although that’s a little slow for competitive Magic. I’d keep it in mind for more casual environments, and occasionally Commander – it’s not great against generals as few people seem to choose the mono-colored ones any more, but they also tend not to have every single creature be multicolored, either.
Eight mana, permanently take a creature. Or six mana. Either way!
Permanently taking control of a creature is a potentially potent effect, and this definitely is priced in a way that makes it less abusable! Govern the Guildless can take any monocolored creature on a permanent basis, which makes it a nice tool if they have them. But this does have the Azorius mechanic from Dissension, forecast, which lets you get an effect by revealing the card before you cast it; the idea here is that you make a creature some color (like green) and then yank it by casting the spell proper. The forecast does have some novel uses, like using it to bypass protection abilities on other creatures or take advantage of color-based synergies. It’s a weird but fun casual card, but I don’t recommend it outside of Commander or the kitchen table.
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