Linessa, Zephyr Mage
– Future Sight
January 25, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The zephyr, or west wind, was historically considered the most pleasant and favorable of the directional winds, as reflected in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind. It might be a boon to seafarers from Ithaca to Ixalan, but Linessa seems to have channeled it into a much more aggressive force. Bouncing creatures at will, turn after turn, is a powerful ability reminiscent of famous cards like Tradewind Rider and Sigil of Sleep, and it can just take over a game against decks that don’t rely on comes-into-play or leaves-play abilities. If your own deck relies on the same, you can use it on your own side and advance your game plan even if you didn’t happen to draw any copies of Momentary Blink. Her grandeur ability can set an opponent even further back, though it’s a shame it doesn’t really work in singleton formats (unless, of course, you also use the Card With No Name from Unhinged. Cue the finger pyramid of evil contemplation).
Grandeur is one of my favorite mechanics. Although only found on five cards I enjoy this mechanic because it makes your legends even more epic. The biggest problem with Grandeur is that it is meaningless in Commander. I think Grandeur has a lot of potential in Limited if Wizards makes another “Legendary Matters” set.
Now onto Linessa, Zephyr Mage. Her bounce ability can help lock down your opponent once you have board advantage. You can even use it defensively if you’re feeling tricky. Her aforementioned Grandeur ability can essentially set your opponent back an entire turn for a relatively small cost at instant speed. I like to add “Illusionist’s Bracers” and “Ebony Owl Netsuke” for extra fun. If you’re playing Bounce control then consider sleeving a couple copies of Linessa.
The grandeur cycle from Future Sight was a very interesting one, to be sure. Five characters who paid homage to legends from Magic’s past, with the new and exciting grandeur ability to make extra copies of them in hand less useless. It’s a mechanic I can definitely see coming back when circumstances align, as it’s quite neat overall.
As for Linessa, even without grandeur, she’s sufficiently annoying as a repeatable Unsummon effect. If you untap with her, your opponent will have trouble making anything stick on board for a good length of time, made even more annoying with untap effects. She’s not a star by any means, but she can put in work as a solid part of a Wizard deck.
Grandeur on her is pretty spicy: your opponent has to bounce up to four permanents, and they don’t even get the ability to bounce one to count for two types. It’s a lot more powerful than it looks at first; while you’re not going to be reliably able to abuse her in Commander without some tricky cloning shenanigans, being able to devastate a board without regard to anything other than player protections is pretty legit.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Visit the Magic Card of the Day Archive! Click here to read over 4,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! Daily Since 2001.