Karador, Ghost Chieftain
September 3, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I remember 2011. It seems like a much simpler time in certain ways (though, I think that in 2011, I might have been saying the same thing about 2002). Certainly it was before Commander’s big explosion in popularity, an explosion that was connected in part to Karador and the other cards from the first wave of Commander preconstructed decks. He was probably a little underrated when he was new, being seen as a card on theme with his color combination’s affinity for recursion who could also be your general. Now, of course, our options have expanded greatly, and with how good these colors are at setting up their graveyard, Karador will usually be seen as more of a combo card. You might just be using him for an extra trigger of your Auramancer targeting an Armadillo Cloak, but people will be fearing all kinds of game-ending things, particularly at the more political tables.
One of the original Commanders, Karador is a pretty good Abzan card, able to get you a creature each turn if you can pay for it. While it isn’t cheap, its cost reduction can pull that 8+ mana investment down to a sensible 3 (and a 3-mana 3/4 is not awful). It’s definitely the kind of card whose strength is based around you building to take advantage of it, through potent sacrifice or reanimate effects, and while it’s too fair to ever make a splash in Constructed, it’s pretty nice to have in Commander.
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