Korlash, Heir to Blackblade – Future Sight
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 2.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I remember seeing Korlash occasionally at those Ravnica: City of Guilds-era FNM events I mention sometimes. There were the people who played him in “24 Swamps and 50% removal” decks, but if you had access to shocklands, you could branch out into different colors. Even then, he wasn’t really the optimal card for those decks – sorcery speed and not much evasion other than just being huge didn’t align well with the counterspell-heavy part-black control decks, and being a monocolor enabler and slow to get going didn’t align well with the more aggressive decks.
But I should point out that there are even though Korlash isn’t the sort of card people tend to look for when choosing a commander, he has two relevant creature types and reaches a power and toughness level that rivals Eldrazi in long games (read: Commander games). And besides, you’re still allowed to play 60-card casual or some such, despite the impression you might get from Reddit – and there are even more dual lands with basic land types now than there were in 2006.
Commander [EDH]: 2/5
The Grandeur cycle from Future Sight intrigued a lot of players with the mix of references and interesting mechanical foci. Korlash himself is an interesting approach to it: a resilient, hard-to-kill attacker with good types that also can turn extra copies into ramp. Two things to note about it: you do not need to be confined to finding basic lands (just Swamps), and you need to already have Korlash on board to fire his Grandeur ability.
He’s kinda plain, but he has promise for more casual decks as a boss monster whose additional copies aren’t necessarily dead. I know that there are ways to make Grandeur work in Commander, despite its singleton nature, but the issue there is that it requires (in most cases) branching out into different colors, and getting two lands is an acceptable, albeit fairly underwhelming, payoff. That tension shows up with his power scaling off of the number of Swamps in particular you control, which means you’re really going to want to fish out Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth with him as soon as possible.
Constructed: 1.75 (a step too slow and fair)
Commander [EDH]: 2.5 (he’s just a big, dumb body, which can be nice, but Grandeur takes several hoops to jump through to get him to work; still, Dimr/Sultai Zombies might be a nice home for him, given those colors and their ability to copy creatures)
Four mana for a potential game ending powerhouse? A great commander for a Voltron strategy? The number one card that this pairs well with is Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth hands down. No matter what lands you have in play, they will all be swamps thus giving your commander a huge power/toughness. If you can make a B/G commander deck focusing on land ramp and then playing this card for the win would be a huge advantage and something your opponents might not expect. In constructed, sad to say this is not used. Modern decks have evolved to a point where this isn’t a good card, this is a card that is good in commander (despite it’s last effect, you’re not really playing it for that). Looking back on it, the odds of you getting two of in limited are slim but if you managed to get just one it’s still a good win condition card in your 40 card deck!
Commander [EDH]: 3.5/5
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