Kibo, Uktabi Prince – Jumpstart 2022
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2022
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We’ve actually seen quite little of Jamuraa’s Uktabi region over the years. It seems to have captured people’s imaginations, which is likely largely because of Uktabi Orangutan‘s history of success in constructed. I also once encountered someone trying very hard to make Uktabi Drake a thing during the Time Spiral block, but perhaps Kibo will be the first stage of something bigger.
His ability is interesting – very multiplayer-friendly, with a potentially strong twist of self-interest (as you might perhaps expect from a mischievous monkey prince). It’ll be hard for people to resist using the banana tokens you give them, and that’s even before you get into the kinds of decks that like sacrificing things, often artifacts. He’s rather “fair” in certain ways and can be slow to get started; conversely, against the right opponents, he can also add threatening levels of power to the table quickly. And when he’s a deck’s commander and thus harder to remove, I could see him playing the role that Fish decks used to play in Vintage: the deck that attacks the things the format likes to do, and pressures opponents just for existing.
Casual: 5 (people will play Monkey tribal, even if just because it’s fun to say)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
At first glance, Kibo, Uktabi Prince looks cute and harmless: everyone gets bananas, and bananas combine for both mana and life for everyone. Then you realize that Kibo’s ability certainly triggers off of your opponents popping their bananas, and things get pretty…well, bananas in short order. Kibo’s in an interesting place as a very potent enabler for a tribe that has not been as supported, but much like how Chatterfang became the glue that let Squirrels do unspeakable things, Kibo does enough for Monkeys (and Apes) that he could well make for fun times. His artifact-sacrifice effect in a pinch shouldn’t be underrated, since that does give your board of prime apes more power in a pinch. He won’t cut it in Legacy, but Kibo’s a fun and flavorful commander option that will let the fur and fury fly in equal measure.
Limited: 4 (pretty powerful pack he’s a part of, and as long as you get another one with some synergy, you should be good)
Commander [EDH]: 4
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