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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Northern Paladin
Image from Wizards.com

 Northern Paladin
- 4th Ed.

Reviewed January 23, 2014

Constructed: 2.75
Casual: 3.38
Limited: 3.25
Multiplayer: 3.33

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 being the worst.  3 - average.  5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Northern Paladin

I've heard that when this was printed in Seventh Edition, there was some sort of "core set storyline" involving the four Cardinal Paladins. I don't know what it was about, but it seems that even back then, Wizards knew that the Core Set needed work. And back then, this card could destroy black creatures or black enchantments, and that was it unless you wanted to play something like the old black version of Chaoslace-- not worth it. It isn't worth much more now, but it should be noted that we now have black artifacts from Esper and black planeswalkers. The Northern Paladin still needs your opponent to be playing black for him to be any good-- 3/3's for 2WW were of questionable worth even in Seventh Edition. If you are up against a black deck, he's great... as long as he lives.

Constructed- 2.5
Casual- 3.5
Limited- 4
Multiplayer- 3.7

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Northern Paladin

This was the first rare I ever opened in a booster pack, back in 1995. It technically wasn't among the first cards I owned - my sister and I were introduced to the game by a Fourth Edition starter set that was a gift from my grandmother. It came in a box whose cover looked like the back of a Magic card, and included a starter deck and some other miscellaneous cards, approximately enough for two decks assuming you just grabbed every card of two colors and shuffled them together with some basic lands. That was exactly what we did back then. While Northern Paladin was not technically my first rare, entering my collection a few weeks later, he was the first that I ever sat up and took notice of. He was the rare that was most responsible for lighting a fire for Magic in my mind: I wanted to know who he was, what the Book of Tal was, how he related to the other characters and places on the cards.

I didn't play much with him at first; I was always most drawn to red and green, even in those days. Besides, my starter had, by sheer luck, contained slightly fewer Plains than other basic land types. Nowadays, people feel they can't put a Standard deck together unless they have exactly the right number of dual land variants. Now imagine having to borrow basic lands from your friends, or trade for them. Either way, I tried white slightly later than other colors, but when I did, Northern Paladin soon became one of the most feared cards in family games (my sister liked, and still likes, blue and black). But it wasn't until I was exposed to more of the Fourth Edition that I saw his potential. Abomination, Animate Dead, Bad Moon, Deathgrip, Gloom, Hypnotic Specter, Nightmare, Pestilence, Rag Man, Sengir Vampire, Sorceress Queen, and Zombie Master ruined people's days on a regular basis, and a reusable answer that also attacked and blocked for three (and more with Crusade) became public enemy number one to black's many early fans.

You'd think this guy would have held up better over the years, as there are black cards in every set. I feel he did, for a while, until they decided that black's main constructed-level ability would be ripping apart the opponent's hand on turn one. And this was after Dark Ritual and Hymn to Tourach were long gone from Extended. Even so, this guy may still have a role to play in certain decks. Multiplayer settings that value the "rattlesnake" factor and get less value out of one-for-one exchanges can use him. And to me he will always represent Magic's potential: its depth, its mystery, its wonder.

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Northern Paladin which is a four mana White
3/3 that for two White can tap to destroy target Black permanent.  This is one of the original sidedeck cards and it works very well in that regard as a low cost reusable source of removal. It actually has gained some flexibility by adding planeswalkers to the list of targets it can destroy.  There are other options in most formats, but for what this is it is not bad and could even see play in Casual, Commander, or Multiplayer formats though primarily as a response to the local metagame or in a sidedeck role.
In a Limited format with this it is at worst a 3/3 body for four with some color dedication and at best is a serious threat for an opponent using Black.  Definitely worth playing then siding out if needed which makes it a top pick in Booster and automatic inclusion in Sealed if running at least half of the mana as White.  The double symbol in the casting and effect costs is a drawback, but the low cost for the potential advantage outweighs it more often than not.
Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 3.5

Skid Rambo

Northern Paladin has some of my favorite artwork in the MTG world. Every time that I look at the original artwork, my brain jumps to the videogame Dragon’s Lair. There is nothing flashy when it comes to the Northern Paladin. He is a 3/3 knight that can blow up any Black permanent for 2 plains. If I really had a complaint about this card it would be that it does not have protection from Black or First Strike. That might make the Northern Paladin too powerful, but I wouldn’t mind! If you are not playing against Black cards, then Northern Paladin is just a 3/3 and that is what hurts his review.

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 2
Multiplayer: 3

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