Mu Yanling, Skydancer
– Core Set 2020
July 31, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I’m up with the kites, and I dream so blue;
It didn’t take long at all to get both Jiang Yanggu and Mu Yanling in the Standard tournament rotation, did it? I think both of them are good cards, for the record. Yanling maybe doesn’t seem quite as strong the first time you read her, but that’s deceptive. It’s all about time with her. Time in the sense of three mana being early for planeswalkers; time in the sense of her stealing it by most likely weakening an opponent’s creature; time in the sense of her bird token coming down in a way that didn’t cost you a card, and perhaps let you steal time from your opponent; and time in the countdown to being able to use your Islands to draw infinite cards. It’s fitting, in a way, because the sky has always been used to measure the passage of time. As above, so below.
Making her proper Standard debut after a cameo in the Global Series decks, Mu Yanling has a pretty good card at her disposal. She can protect herself and give you a large amount of card advantage as payoff, which is always a pro.
Let’s start from the top, though. Mu Yanling can only tick up on her first turn out (usually), and it’s a pretty good way to suppress a potential attacker by taking away their ability to swoop. Considering how cheap she is (three mana is usually as cheap as planeswalkers get), this is a pretty good way to ensure, at worst, you get out a 4/4 with flying on your next turn. Three mana to impede an attacker and make a creature with which you can potentially win the game…pretty good, not gonna lie. Her ultimate is a bit of late-game insurance to make sure you always have tools at your disposal; it strikes me as more “cool” than functional, since she usually will need four turns to ultimate, and you might rather make an avian perversion somewhere along the way. But suppressing an attacker is a decent way to build up to that ultimate, and it can be a lot of card draw.
Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer is pretty good. She’s a cheap planeswalker with good utility in both ending a game and keeping you from losing. I doubt she’ll be an all-star, but three-mana planeswalkers oft find a way to have an impact.
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