History of Benalia
May 8, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Depending on what sets you have or haven’t played with, Benalia might still seem like a novel concept. In a sense, it goes all the way back to the Limited Edition – a Benalish Hero implies a nation of Benalia – but we didn’t learn anything substantive about it until much later, when we were introduced to Gerrard Capashen. I seem to recall there’s a card in Dominaria whose flavor text references the caste system mentioned on Benalish Hero, which is not an element of the country that’s emphasized nowadays.
This card actually reminds me a little bit of Garruk Wildspeaker, at least during the times you use him for extra creatures and/or a hard-to-stop Overrun effect. Sure, it’s a tribe-specific Overrun effect, but that doesn’t hold Ezuri back, and this is one that you effectively get for no extra cost beyond its mana cost. I know M11 is now in an odd place of not being in Standard and not notable enough for most Modern decks and we hate Extended and most non-sanctioned constructed formats, but do you remember Knight Exemplar? She remembers you . . .
I wasn’t too impressed the first time I saw this card. My mind changed quickly after playing it. This card is the prime suspect why I feel like Sagas should be legendary. Multiples of this card can get out of hand rather quickly. Alone this card is good but it is a must in any Knight deck.
History of Benalia is simple, but make no mistake: it’s a powerful mythic rare all the same. It’s among the cheapest of the Sagas, and all you get out of it is…two 2/2 Knights with vigilance, and the ability to swing for at least 8 on your turn 5. Knight tribal makes this hit even harder when it goes off, and it’s absolutely nuts in multiples. There’s a reason History of Benalia is one of the set’s chase cards: what it lacks in complexity, it more than makes up for in sheer power.
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