Mangara, the Diplomat
– Core Set 2021
June 16, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Mangara’s rules text is kind of a new paradigm for multiplayer and Commander, although I actually quite like it. Even though it might be eyebrow-raising to some of us, I actually think white should re-embrace its taxing and rule-setting elements – but avoiding oppressive and unfun designs requires a subtlety I’m not sure they always have! Aside from that these sorts of questions, Mangara is likely to shine most in matchups that skew towards slower speeds and require some degree of grinding and attrition. Both his abilities will draw you a lot of incidental cards in certain matchups, and his first will sometimes direct opponents away from attacking you in multiplayer. It is, however, worth keeping in mind that some opponents won’t be counting how many cards you draw if they can burn you to death regardless.
Speaking of attrition decks, I think it’s kind of funny to think that Mangara is being touted for bringing card-drawing to mono-white, when he will be good in multicolored white decks too. Blue has cards that care about having lots of cards in your hand, and Rock-style decks don’t often get to interact with spellslinging decks in such a way.
White card draw is something that is intrinsically exciting, owing to a general dearth of it, and Mangara’s second card is definitely a nice tool for the color with the weakest card advantage. Passively gaining an extra card or two each turn can be big, especially if you’re in a multiplayer setting, and a 2/4 lifelinker can recoup some of the damage in the process. I don’t think he’s going to be a multi-format all-star, but a decent blocker that passively gains you card advantage is a good investment.
Constructed: 3 (I suspect he’s playable enough in Standard, but he’s not going to be the star of a deck)
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