Nadu, Winged Wisdom
Nadu, Winged Wisdom

Nadu, Winged Wisdom – Modern Horizons III

Date Reviewed:  July 3, 2024

Constructed: 4.00
Casual: 4.63
Limited: 4.00
Multiplayer: 4.25
Commander [EDH]: 4.63

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


We put Nadu in the Card of the Day rotation before the last Pro Tour results came in, so you might already know a lot more about him than for some cards we review. I don’t follow that type of tournament particularly closely, and genuinely did not realize we had scheduled a card that would be discussed as possibly ban-worthy by the day the review was published. But that’s the case: he’s already making power plays in Modern and being adopted in competitive EDH because he does everything his colors are associated with and feared for, unusually effectively. A major reason why is the unusually broad nature of his ability: he protects creatures from removal spells, yes, but any zero-mana neutral or beneficial activated abilities are absolutely broken when he’s around (and there are some convenient colorless ones to choose from). Two per creature per turn doesn’t really balance things out when the trigger cost you nothing. In addition to bestriding Modern like a colossus, he’s caused massive price spikes for two of the most obscure cards in Magic: Sea King’s Blessing and Sylvan Paradise, which give you redundancy in Commander-type settings. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he does end up getting banned, and this is where I usually comment about using Nadu wisely in casual Magic if that does happen – but I’m not entirely sure what his innocent uses are.

Constructed: 5 (enjoy it while you can)
Casual: 4.5 (use with caution)
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 4.5
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (again, use with caution)

 James H. 



It seems like every Modern Horizons set so far has had a creature that winds up being seen as a Mistake. Hogaak in the first one, and the second was probably either Fury or Ragavan…and almost certainly Nadu, Winged Wisdom in this set, responsible in part for making an otherwise obscure Betrayers of Kamigawa uncommon spike to nearly $30. Among other things. It’s a card that’s been attracting a lot of discussion for banning talks, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get the axe.

The main attraction here is Nadu’s ability…which triggers up to twice per turn per creature you control. You’re effectively either drawing a card or putting another land into play, and this is agnostic as to who is doing the targeting. It’s hard to out Nadu before he at least replaces himself, and it’s not hard to turn one turn into a crazy one…particularly with the aforementioned Shuko, which also slots cleanly into the deck thanks to it costing 1 generic mana (and thus can be tutored out with Urza’s Saga). Add to it a respectable enough statline that dodges Lightning Bolt, and Nadu becomes both a threat to end games and snowball you out of control on the way there.

In many ways, Nadu is basically the card that embodies what Simic does well as a color pair…and it does it absurdly well, seeing as how it was the star of the deck that won the most recent Modern Pro Tour (and was heavily represented in the top cut). Cards like this rarely get a chance to last, and while I don’t know if it’ll have the same legs in Legacy if it gets banned from Modern, Nadu is one avian perversion you don’t want to mess around with.

Constructed: 5
Casual: 4.75
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.5
Commander [EDH]: 4.75

I know ibises come in all shapes and sizes, but Nadu just reminds me of a bin chicken. Not sure where that observation goes, so I’m putting it here.

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