The Eternal Wanderer – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Not only did I once call the Wanderer the best Emperor ever, but I also had to go to broader popular culture to praise her – and I stand by both of those assessments in the context of her new card. I think it’s pretty awesome that her +1 can be used as a pseudo-blink effect, but also to remove a blocker for one turn. I think it’s even more amazing that you can use her -4 immediately on entry, opening up all sorts of lines of play in the vein of traditional “asymmetrical symmetrical” effects. And there will be other situations where your opponent isn’t threatening her for a turn or two, and you just flood the table with 2/2 double striking samurai.
Making cubes has opened my eyes to how simple and seemingly basic effects can add up not only to powerful wholes, but to deep play patterns too. And The Eternal Wanderer is like a one-card embodiment of that principle. Best Emperor ever, it’s not even close – play her as much as you can!
Casual: 5 (try her -4 the turn after you summoned Ghalta and Mavren!)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (she can kill literally anything unless they have one of the couple of “you can’t sacrifice things” effects!)
The Eternal Wanderer combines two useful things in a planeswalker: immediate impact and self-protection, all at the same time. She actually reminds me a bit of Elspeth, Sun’s Champion in that she can come down and thin out a board immediately, and her -4 does so in a really spectacular way. Instead of each player choosing what they keep, you choose what everyone keeps. That alone is surprisingly vicious, even at six mana, and it may well make for fun decisions as to if they even want to try and take her out, thanks to her limiting an attacking force against her to just one creature.
Besides that, she has two other solid abilities. A double-striking attacker/blocker is a good deterrent that can threaten a clock on its own, and her +1 can serve as either a blink effect for you or temporary removal for something else. The only real downside is that The Eternal Wanderer costs six mana, which is reasonable, as this is a very powerful planeswalker overall with immediate impact and the ability to grind out games.
Constructed: 4 (top-end threat, but a good one)
Limited: 5 (meets my metric, which is that she’ll win you the game on her own if not immediately answered, and she constrains answers)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (a decent out to a lot of rude things, all in all)
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