Reki, the History of Kamigawa
– Saviors of Kamigawa
Date Reviewed: March 10, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Even in 2005, Reki was very tempting, as drawing extra cards for what your deck is presumably doing anyway is never a bad thing. Unfortunately, he never did much in the Standard or Extended formats of the day, and in that era of design, it took quite a lot of work to make a deck for him in casual play. Legends tended to have high mana costs, be rare, and not play well together. But he’s a great example of a card that got better with time. When Commander really took off and we started getting legendary creatures (and other legendary spells too, to be fair) in every set, his options expanded dramatically. The command zone rule offsets his rather confronting fragility, and he’s even a physical illustration of how colors can draw cards in their own ways without just color-shifting Divination a bunch of times (yes, that was a hint). What’s not to like?
Commander [EDH]: 5/5 (adding “draw a card” to your Commander’s text is his worst-case scenario)
Reki, the History of Kamigawa is a sort of logical apotheosis to the legendary-heavy Kamigawa block, rewarding you for playing more legendary things with a cantrip effect. While it doesn’t seem like much on its own, this can add up very quickly if you can start chaining them together (and there are plenty of cheap legendary spells), and Reki has earned his stripes in Commander as a very vicious, value-oriented Commander. His main downside is that his fragile body and lack of protection keep him from really doing much in other formats, especially conjoined with his need to sit around to accrue value. He can definitely leave a mark if you build around him, though, and he makes for a fun angle of attack for green decks to bury their opposition under mountains of card advantage. He’s even gotten better with the planeswalker errata and the addition of legendary sorceries to the mix, so there is that.
Constructed: 1.5 (slow and fragile is not an ideal combination in Modern; he’d be solid enough in Standard, but he’s not legal there)
Limited: 1.75 (despite the focus of Kamigawa on legendary things, there were very few legendary things below rare, and his body is nowhere near good enough to compensate)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (works in the 99 or at the helm, if you build around him)
A long time ago, before EDH became Commander, I ran a Sissay deck that used this card to just draw cards and it was great! Having so many legends in the original Kamigawa block gave this card a purpose but today with the popularity of commander it is a very good card that sees a lot of play. In constructed it doesn’t have a nice home which is unfortunate, but understandable because of the pacing and tempo of the various decks. It’s a nice casual card though for people who might want to sling kitchen table legend decks (Weatherlight Crew tribal deck maybe 🙂 ) but the real home is commander.
Commander is built around (literally) a legendary creature and decks are filled with them that Reki, the History of Kamigawa can give you an advantage in card draw especially in a color that doesn’t specialize in card draw. Just having this card chill on the battlefield while you ramp up lands in green and cast these legendary creatures to just generate card advantage and hence value over your opponent. Definitely a gem if the deck calls for it.
Commander [EDH]: 4.5/5
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