Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student – Modern Horizons III

Date Reviewed:  May 27, 2024

Constructed: 3.75
Casual: 4.50
Limited: 3.50
Multiplayer: 3.75
Commander [EDH]: 3.88

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

Reviews Below: 


You might recall that planeswalker origins – and double-faced planeswalkers, on top of that – was the theme of Magic Origins. Revisiting that would have been a great theme for another core set, but a Modern Horizons set is the next best thing, as they play a similar role in terms of historical references and preservation. It’s also a good place to see more of a character like Tamiyo, who has technically been around for a long time, but didn’t always seem to fit in sets (she’s another character who was on surprisingly few cards, before the Phyrexia arc). Her new card looks rather variable in power level; in limited and a lot of slower contexts, it’ll be hard to flip her early, but in others you can do it using surprisingly few cards and barely any mana. I’m not sure the payoff is quite as good in the faster-flipping formats, as her -3 generally requires you to use her +2 first, and her +2 isn’t always relevant in the faster-flipping formats. Having said that, the minimum of her -3 will often be a second casting of one of the card-drawing spells that helped her flip, and when it’s more than that it can break the game right open. A lot of us thought Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy was kind of fiddly, and look what happened with him; this version of Tamiyo is probably worth trying to build around too.

Even apart from her planeswalker side, Tamiyo is surprisingly effective as a creature for decks that care about investigate and/or artifacts. Flying and three toughness means she has a reasonable chance of surviving to make Clues more than once, and while that doesn’t compare to the fastest artifact or token strategies, it works well enough for some decks.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4

 James H. 


The flip planeswalkers from Magic Origins were all a hit, and Modern Horizons III brings us a new batch of five, an enemy-color cycle that does Stuff and Things. Of the quintet, Tamiyo is the only one who has met with an unfortunate death experience, hence her popping up for Memorial Day. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s really interesting, so let’s get to Tamiyo, Inquisitive Scholar.

A 0/3 with flying and an attack trigger is interesting, and the idea seems to be to enable her to flip once she has learned enough. That said, blue is certainly not lacking in ways to flip her early; in theory, you can do it on turn 1! (Street Wraith and/or Gitaxian Probe, based on format legality, along with other things in that vein.) On her own, though, she can flip around turn four (having amassed two clues and four mana to pop them), and being able to flip herself is certainly potent.

Her backside is interesting; she usually won’t be able to go anywhere but up, but her +2 is a strong way to stem an early offensive and put her out of immediate threat range from a Lightning Bolt. Her -3 is excellent for any blue deck, though, since they do love spellslinging, and the upside can matter. The ultimate is…flashy, and it’s actually threatening enough if you can flip Tamiyo very quickly; it won’t be an auto-win alone, but it can certainly give you the tools to close a game out.

I think Tamiyo is a fascinating threat; she can flip quickly and generate plenty of value, though she isn’t great at protecting herself. Still, she is in a strong color pairing, and she does enough interesting things to make her quite a force for a deck able to support her. And considering she doesn’t need a ton of support, I suppose that’s perfectly fine in the end.

Constructed: 4
Casual: 5
Limited: 3.5 (won’t flip quickly, usually, but is good at forfending your board)
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.75 (can’t fit into mono-blue decks, but Simic is strong enough and her talents impressive)

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