#3 Narset, Parter of Veils
December 27, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Hello Everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
Today we’re looking at the top 12 cards of 2019 and we’re nearing the #1 card on the list, but we’re looking at one of the cards so close to the top. I’m of course talking about the blue bombshell from War of the Spark that caused collective screams of anger and agony across almost every format! …Especially Legacy. This lovely lady planeswalker stopped at #2 on my list,
We’re of course talking about Narset who slammed into the formats like a meteor. Her static ability that said ‘Each Opponent can’t draw more than one card each turn’ is devastating to formats like Legacy where card drawing and minimal advantage is the backbone, in fact it was so strong that it took Oko to dethrone her from being the tyrant of the format.
Although Oko has done that to almost any format he’s been in.
For that reason alone she’s been set back, but where Oko is banned she shows her colors as one of the most amazing planeswalkers that have ever been printed.
She might only have one ability, and that’s basically Search for Azcanta on a planeswalker, but she was so good at everything else that there was debate as whether or not to run her, or the search. Because when she lands she insta-searches for you. And her static ability is truly a wet blanket to behold on your opponents. In Pioneer she’s doing work in the UW control deck where you can lock the opponent out of the game with a handy-dandy Geier Reach Sanitarium.
If they have no cards in hand, on upkeep activate the Sanitarium, each player draws and discards, and then because of Narset’s ability, they can’t draw for turn. Effectively locking them out of the game if they have no creatures on board.
In Commander she’s also pretty powerful, although her Static will make you more of a target than you may want, basically acting as the Blue Fun Police might be what needs to happen every so often to keep the degeneracy in check!
Constructed 4/5 – She’s amazing for U/x Control Decks and possibly midrange as a board option against the control decks, but outside of there she’s not much.
Limited 2/5 – Unfortunately the chances of whiffing on her -2 are greatly increased here, if she plucked a land as well then she’d be much better for this format… and in general! But she doesn’t need a boost.
Commander 3/5 – She’d rate higher here but her static ability is a double edged sword that will simultaneously stop the jazz music and put a target on your face.
Cube 5/5 – Here she’s an all-star, where you can draft a lot of degeneracy like Timetwister, Time Spiral, Wheel of Fortune, effectively neutering your opponent’s hand!
Phat Pack Magic is a channel dedicated to Magic: the Gathering and creating awesome coverage of local events for formats like Cube, rare pack drafts, and now FNM Pioneer videos! Check it out at YouTube.com/PhatPackMagic
This card was 8th on my Top 12 list.
While Narset, Parter of Veils got some attention back when War of the Spark came out, she definitely proved to be a lot more of a handful than people were expecting. It turns out that she’s really insane with any sort of Timetwister-style effect: you draw a crapload of cards to reload your hand and, at the same time, take your opponents down to (at most) a single card in hand. Any sort of symmetry-breaking effect like Narset is going to make otherwise innocuous cards far more dangerous and enable even more brutal combo locks to happen, giving Narset a deserved spot on Vintage’s Restricted list.
While she’s mostly played for how she can be abused with things like Timetwister and Wheel of Fortune effects, she also has a decent -2 that can help you to dig for those effects. Doing so does put her into range of a Lightning Bolt, though, and so it’s probably better to not start using her ability until you need to start digging. The static ability alone is more than enough reason to play her!
Narset hasn’t really made much of an impact in Standard; she sees some play in a couple of lists as a value engine with opponent-hating, but there are fewer ways to utterly abuse it there. Other formats are far more amenable to her shenanigans, and she’s an integral part of control shells wanting to smash some seemingly symmetrical cards.
This card was not on my Top 12 list.
Narset is a card that’s highly dependent on context and card pools. She does little in limited, a reasonable amount in Standard, and is absolutely devastating in Modern and Legacy. Drawing extra cards is no longer literally the best thing you can do in Magic, but many of the best decks in non-rotating formats do lean heavily on drawing extra cards. Shutting all of that down for a very reasonable price ensures that Narset will always have a place in such formats; her ability to give you extra cards is just a welcome bonus. It’s certainly possible to build a deck that uses her as a draw engine, but a lot of value can come from just leaving her on the table and blanking a lot of your opponent’s cards. As such, in the context of Modern and Legacy, Narset is arguably the most powerful card in War of the Spark.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉