Kodama Of The West Tree – Kamigawa: Neon Destiny
Date Reviewed: February 25, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.92
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you’d been paying attention for the past 17 years – or maybe even just since Commander Legends, for those of you who started more recently – you probably knew this guy was coming. Apparently he’s the most favorably-inclined towards technology of the Kodamas, helping modified creatures kick it up a notch, and it’s not so hard to get going considering how versatile the “modified” category really is. Something as simple as an aura that grants flying or the small white or green spells that give a single +1/+1 counter can turn into turbo-ramp, and from there your options are even greater. He might read a little more subtle than some of the other members of the cycle, but he might also be the most versatile and the most breakable.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
The fifth card of a cycle that only recently got its fourth member, I’d say Kodama of the West Tree might be the best of the bunch, though part of it is as a result of it being the cheapest of the five. Reach is nice, but the main upside is that it can enable trample for your entire team, and this is a set that allows for the condition (modification) to readily go off. It can be trivial to get something swinging with the trigger live on turn 3, and being able to, say, ramp from 3 mana to have 5 mana on your fourth turn is a pretty remarkable breakpoint for a lot of decks. While it itself isn’t the most resilient body, I think that the trample alone could make this quite a threat to break open a board stall, and the ramp is a quite nice upside. This is definitely a subtly strong card, and I’d not be surprised if it saw play.
Constructed: 4 (I don’t think it’ll quite make it outside of Standard, outside of maybe as a tech option in Bogles decks or something)
Commander [EDH]: 3.75 (probably not ideal as a Commander, though functional; it probably shines brightest in a Selesnya/Azorius/Bant Enchantress build)
Great use for enchantress commander decks, green is the perfect color for this card to be in considering you’ll likely be using Auras in your strategy. The added cherry on top is when a modified creature deals combat damage you can ramp and search for a basic land! This is excellent in the current standard environment because of Zendikar Rising’s landfall mechanic making a comeback for at least the next year. I can see this being used in green auras in standard or green aura landfall just to get the added benefits of the landfall trigger. Even cards like Lotus Cobra can give value because with this card costing only three mana you’re likely to be playing it in the early game to get as much value as possible to put yourself ahead!
The only downside, and its not even that bad, is it is a legendary creature (great for commander). Having more than one on the field would yield almost instant victory so it was smart of Wizards from a balance perspective to not make this card too overpowered.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
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