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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Image from Wizards.com

Sakura-Tribe Elder
- Champions of Kamigawa

Reviewed Aug. 31, 2016

Constructed: 4.00
Casual: 4.38
Limited: 4.38
Multiplayer: 4.25
Commander [EDH]: 4.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Magic players love cards that do more than one thing, modal spells and the like, and we shouldn't be surprised that they love cards like Sakura-Tribe Elder that do more than one thing at the same time. Getting a defensive speed bump and mana fixing and acceleration all at once is worth much more than two mana, which seems to be reflected in Wizards' more recent designs. It's funny that I've almost never seen one stay on the table for more than one consecutive turn, but the Elder has been the cornerstone of more decks than anyone can count over the last decade. 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer; 4/5
EDH/Commander: 4/5
James H.

Sakura-Tribe Elder


Champions of Kamigawa, and the block the set belongs to, is infamous for cards that are either painfully underpowered or absurdly overpowered. Sakura-Tribe Elder is one that actually is a fair, balanced card overall. It provides a warm body early on that can block, and it has the powerful ability to accelerate mana. This is actually surprisingly relevant even in more expansive formats, particularly with the Prime-Time Valakut deck, Scapeshift decks, or any deck that relies heavily on a lot of colors.


Sakura-Tribe Elder is not going to be an all-star, but it's a powerful tool in the decks that run it. It gets Prime-Time to five lands faster, it fixes mana, and it even provides a blocker early against aggressive builds. It's unlikely to return to Standard anytime soon, due to being tied to Kamigawa thematically (as one of the orochi, Japanese-inspired snake people), but it can continue to pull its weight wherever it's legal.


Constructed: 4

Casual: 4.75

Limited: 4.75

Multiplayer: 4.5

Commander: 4.5

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