Naban, Dean of Iteration – Dominaria
Date Reviewed: September 1, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Naban’s ability is potentially very powerful – note, for example, that it doesn’t care whether the ability belongs to the Wizard itself or to another card, making Purphoros work with him. Of course, he himself only has one ability and casting him on your second turn will entirely telegraph that something degenerate is going to happen, so he’s usually going to be best in formats where you don’t mind waiting around. Still, Wizards are a tribe known for getting tricky – consider the precedent of things like Dualcaster Mage – and it’s far from out of the question that he could make some kind of combo deck once they reach a critical mass.
Commander [EDH]: 4
Naban, Dean of Iteration is an interesting creature, thanks to how his ability is worded. Doubling Wizard triggers, or things triggered by Wizards, opens up some rather fun lines of play, from the mundane (Archaeomancer getting back two spells; Spellseeker tutoring two spells; Venser, Shaper Savant bouncing two things) to more degenerate and intricate loops of play based around it. While he himself isn’t anything special, a 2/1 with no abilities for combat, always remember that you’re using him as the key to some kind of degenerate combo, and his strength lies in what he enables more than what he does alone.
Constructed: 2 (Wizard tribal has never taken off in deeper formats)
Limited: 2.5 (mostly bereft of the pieces to really shine)
Commander [EDH]: 4
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