Nissa, Resurgent Animist – Aftermath
Date Reviewed: May 17, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I’m sure some of you are traumatized by the multiple landfall triggers style of thing – not that I blame you, after Omnath, but despite the similar amounts of text, Nissa’s new card is not really the same type of thing. In many games, she’ll just be one extra mana a turn from your lands, which is not actually that powerful or game-breaking for that cost. I suspect a lot of people will be trying to get the double trigger more reliably, which is easy in certain formats and not so easy in other ones. There are no fetchlands in Pioneer and Modern may not have a deck where she fits readily, but green ramp spells will help in other contexts. There’s also an interesting question about whether she’s better in decks where she mainly draws elves, or decks where she mainly draws elementals. Elementals are probably more impactful on average, and elves already like to draw cards with things like Glimpse of Nature, meaning Nissa’s more limited ability might add comparatively more to elemental decks. Either way, this card is capable of some fun plays.
Commander [EDH]: 4
In execution, desparked Nissa is basically a bigger, less boopable Lotus Cobra. That being said, she has some tricks beyond that; the second time you trigger it in any turn, Nissa, Resurgent Animist lets you add the first Elf or Elemental you find off of the top of your deck to your hand, potentially giving you something to do with all that mana.
If you have a way to make Nissa’s other ability work, I do think she’s a slight step up over Lotus Cobra; famously, fetch lands are great, since they let her generate two mana and dig out an Elf or Elemental on that turn, and there are plenty of splashable ones that will serve you well in a pinch. I think the issue of costing three mana is a notable one, as a three-mana engine is a harder sell than a two-mana one, but there’s enough intrigue that I can see Nissa doing Things in many formats. She can also be Lotus Cobra copies five through eight, but devoting eight spots to the effect might not be for every deck.
As a minor aside, Nissa can find any of the Tribal Elf or Elemental spells (and the Changeling ones, too); there aren’t many great hits among them, but it is a Thing and thus worth cursory mention.
Constructed: 4 (call this optimistic, but “Lotus Cobra, but different” might be enough for Pioneer or Modern, on top of Standard)
Casual: 4.5 (solid Elf/Elemental support)
Limited: N/A (probably a 3.5 or 4; the first ability is enough to put you ahead of schedule)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25 (legendary Lotus Cobra might be a fun way to build, along with the tribal support angle)
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 would be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read over 5,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! We have been reviewing cards daily since 2001!