Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh
Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh – Double Masters

Date Reviewed:  July 27, 2022

Constructed: 2.50
Casual: 4.50
Limited: 5.00
Multiplayer: 3.88
Commander [EDH]: 4.13

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

Reviews Below: 


The four-ability planeswalker club is still pretty exclusive, but it makes sense that Nicol Bolas would be part of it. You’d expect the oldest living planeswalker, one who was ruling empires before Urza’s family line existed, to have learned a lot of tricks, and he has little interest in fooling around or wasting time. Everything the God-Pharaoh does is absolutely devastating, and he can attack any of an opponent’s key resources as the need strikes him. The deckbuilding wrinkle is that his mana cost puts him in the region of the most controlling of control decks, or perhaps the rampiest of ramp decks in a color combination not best known for ramp. When you do get him into play, though, your opponent doesn’t have a lot of recourse.

Constructed: 2/5 (he’s not very well-positioned in eternal formats right now)
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 5/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
Commander [EDH]: 4/5

 James H. 


The god pharaoh’s return came quickly, and the people were deemed unworthy.

All of the main set Nicol Bolas planeswalkers are famous for their brutality and their sheer, shameless devastation, and his stint as Amonkhet’s god pharaoh is no exception. He steals your opponents answers or removes them entirely; even if he’s forced to use his -4 immediately, 7 damage removes just about anything that needs removal, and it can even be used to finish a game on the spot if you need it to. That his ability to commandeer your opponent’s spells out of their library is a +2 is hilarious in its efficacy, and his ultimate can and will end games if you let it.

That said, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh is hampered heavily by costing seven mana, and in colors that sometimes lack ready way to cheat on his mana cost. He’s worth the investment, but he’s far too slow to come out in most Constructed environments, and there are generally stronger planeswalkers to cheat out (like Ugin) if you’re going to cheat one out. All the same, Nicol Bolas 2.0 will ensure your opponents don’t live much beyond his triumphant return if he gets a chance to resolve, a vicious mix of thievery and removal that will make for a bad time all around.

Constructed: 3 (not stone-cold unplayable, but you can do better than this as far as cheated-in threats go if you plan to cheat them in)
Casual: 5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 3.75
Commander [EDH]: 4.25 (two of his abilities hit all opponents, and that goes a long way towards ensuring he has a place in decks)

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