Jared Carthalion, True Heir
– Commander Legends
December 4, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you were playing in the 1990s, you might consider Jared’s appearance in Commander Legends to be quite a big deal. It’s his first appearance outside of some of the comics from the mid-1990s, which the various wikis will tell you are mostly ignored in later stories and may not be canonical. They might have to update those warnings now. I can’t help but wonder if Jared is just the first one through the gates, and what else might be on the way.
The monarch mechanic seems like a perfect fit for Commander, and Jared’s use of it especially well-crafted. Aside from the allusions to the comic stories about him losing his inheritance, you can gift the monarch status to someone politically, and Naya decks are often well-equipped to take it back when they’re ready. Once you have it, Jared gets out of control very fast, and you can even build your deck in a way that ensures he does so even faster – note that cards like Blasphemous Act help keep your opponents from stealing the crown and also turn him into a threat that can take on elder dragons and walkers of night alike.
I also can’t help but wonder if using a mechanic like monarch in a Commander playgroup encourages people to use more creatures in their decks so they can more easily become the monarch. I’d be interested to hear any stories you all have about this, especially once you get a chance to try Jared and some of the other new cards.
An homage to the early days of Magic‘s storytelling, Jared Carthalion shows up with his first card nearly 25 years after his story debut, and it’s an interesting bit of flavor meshed with gameplay: mark an opponent, take them down, and reap the rewards. While he gives an opponent a shiny crown, successfully reclaiming it will help Jared Carthalion become an Absolute Unit of a creature in short order. He’s just a combat stick for the most part, but Naya is good at helping large creatures smash, and that bit of politicking can help you to shift the target off of your back for a bit.
Constructed: 1 (bad idea in Legacy, where opponents benefit from the extra card readily)
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