Nevinyrral, Urborg Tyrant – Commander Legends
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Now this was a card twenty-seven years in the making, so to speak. Nevinyrral’s Disk is one of early Magic‘s iconic artifacts, and while we haven’t heard much from the necromancer in the years since, we finally get the man behind the artifact, and he’s…an interesting creature.
Nevinyrral, Urborg Tyrant is a pretty interesting way to try and quickly raise an army, bringing an undead abomination to replace all of those that died previously, regardless of owner. This amusingly pairs well with his Disk: pop the disk, nuke the board for cheap, and use Nevinyrral to start the undead onslaught. He himself is pretty hard to remove, thanks to limited hexproof and a fairly big body. Speaking of his Disk, though, he emulates the artifact he lent his name to (and you can even see the redone art for it around his neck), and he’ll take many things with him if you let him.
I will say that Nevinyrral has an issue of not being particularly synergistic overall. Six mana is a lot for someone who needs action to happen before he comes out, and him dying may well be the impetus to blow everything up. It’s an interesting set of abilities, don’t get me wrong; it just feels like it’s a lot of disjointed parts with more of a loose flavor association than real cohesion. Don’t bother with him in Legacy, but he can do some interesting things elsewhere.
Limited: 4 (if you get 2 or 3 tokens with this, things will look nice)
Multiplayer: 3.5 (he benefits strongly from being able to be flashed in)
Nevinyrral is one of Magic’s most famous names, which guarantees a certain degree of interest in him regardless of what his game text looks like. While his various components may not be unique in and of themselves, there’s a certain appeal to having them all in one place, particularly when you make him your commander. His colors are very well equipped to making a lot of creatures die in one turn and following up with him – this obviously gets very expensive, but it’s a little more plausible in Commander settings. You could even make an entire deck based around repeatedly sacrificing him and blowing things up at will, though it doesn’t really do anything different than other similar decks of that style.
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