June 6, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Surprisingly, we’ve never actually reviewed Reya Dawnbringer before. She certainly deserves recognition – as the leader of the remnants of Serra’s Realm during the Phyrexian Invasion, and as perhaps the best casual reanimator card of all time. Yes, I mean that literally. While she doesn’t end the game on casting (unlike Iona) or attack particularly efficiently (unlike Ulamog), she provides an advantage that adds up even to the point of being able to threaten multiple opponents as a game goes on. While that makes her a target, it also means that if you succeed in protecting her, you will soon build to an almost unstoppable advantage.
Reya Dawnbringer is a powerful creature in terms of that effect: nine mana gets you a free reanimate each upkeep, and she has a pretty decent body otherwise (4/6 with flying is a bit weak, but creatures have gotten better with time, and she’s not completely incompetent). The problem is that she costs 9 mana, and in a color not exactly known for being able to cheat on mana costs or ramp into mana with any level of efficiency. She’s way too inefficient and ponderous for formats like Modern or Legacy; even if you can skimp on that mana cost, you don’t get a creature back until your upkeep. But in more casual formats, reviving your entire army can help generate a bit of inevitability as you march towards the endgame.
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