November 7, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
These boots were made for running, and that’s just what they’ll do. I was first introduced to Lightning Greaves in my first days of playing singleton formats, as a backup one-creature Fires of Yavimaya. Granting shroud makes it even better in a lot of circumstances than its famous predecessor: the feel-good moment of hurtling a massive creature into combat is tempered when your opponent turned out to be holding Condemn or a similar card. Its equip ability is neither colored nor a spell, so it works well with Emrakul, Red Akroma, and Iridescent Angel (if those cards somehow need more help!). Plus, the only way I can think of offhand where it could directly make you lose a game is still good – as in hilarious – because it involves getting Mindslavered while there’s an Immolation Shaman in play.
Back when equipment was first a thing in Mirrodin, the power level of the early equipment cards was rather wildly variant. Lightning Greaves was definitely one of the stronger ones; for a two mana investment, you have the ability to give any creature you control shroud and haste. Because, as we all know, the only thing better than an 11/11 with indestructible and trample is an 11/11 with trample, indestructible, shroud, and haste. You do have to pop off the boots if you want to equip other things to the creature, since shroud protects from all targeting abilities, but it’s a small price to pay.
This has always cast a long shadow over Swiftfoot Boots, which costs 1 to equip and gives hexproof instead of shroud; that this costs zero mana to equip is a massive upside. It hasn’t really seen any competitive play after its time in Standard, since it can’t protect particularly well against instant-speed removal or board wipe effects, but I think it’s a nice bit of off-meta tech that can catch an unprepared deck off guard. It might also be a bit more useful with Stoneforge Mystic as a potential tutor for the shiny greaves.
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