Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
– Return to Ravnica
January 23, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The Boros are led by an angel, and the Orzhov by their best and most undead. The Dimir have a guildmaster who can become anyone or anything, and the Izzet’s parun went on to be the Living Guildpact. But the Selesnya Conclave has its very own tripartite goddess, and if I were the other guilds, I’d be a little concerned about just how much she might hear and feel through those roots.
As such, it’s fitting that she stands out most in formats where planeswalkers cast spells that reshape the table, or even the world (ie. casual and Commander games where people go big at home). There’s a long-running debate over the best color to add to Soul Warden/Ajani’s Pridemate decks, and Trostani makes a good argument for green (even if it can become overkill). Her populate ability may not be the fastest way to get more tokens, but it can be hard to stop and it adds up to enormous advantage over time. She also doesn’t care where the tokens originally came from, as all are welcome in the Worldsoul – wanna copy Avenger of Zendikar with Bramble Sovereign, and then do it every turn?
Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice is a card that evokes the infamous “Soul Sisters” archetype when I see it; their effect is meant to gain you lots and lots of life, particularly in conjunction with their populate ability, and to build an army in the process. While they have no protection, a 2/5 body can take a hit or two if needed, and that ability can snowball a life total out of control very quickly. The downside is evident, though: Trostani is fairly slow and reliant on the rest of your board to work, and a color-intensive mana cost does them no favors. They’re definitely too ponderous and slow to work in Modern and Pioneer, since you likely need to wait a turn after they drop to get any mileage out of them, but that effect is promising enough in Commander to make one hell of a deck if you lean hard into green/white’s token proclivities.
Hello and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
Todays’ card of the Day is Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice, an oldie but a goodie from one of my favorite draft sets of all time. Seriously Return to Ravnica, Pack Rat aside- You know what? No. Even with Pack Rat as a nightmare of the format that essentially acted as an I Win Button, Return to Ravnica was one of the best formats to draft and play.
The ‘correct’ way to draft it was to go more towards single color cards and try and wheel multi-color cards to see what was open rather than committing to one guild in your Pack 1 Pick 1 (another reason why Pack Rat was so amazing! One color!) But if you’re playing FNM with this set, and you definitely should be, then you’re in for fun and not much else and Trostani is a fun machine!
While Selesnya was somewhat difficult to draft in that Populate required a mix of two mechanics to work at once, the Token Generators and the Populate Ability, being able to make multiple Knights, Centaurs, or even Wurms wasn’t just like drawing a card, it was drawing and casting it and making a gigantic threat that your opponent might have to dump a piece of removal on!
One of my favorite decks I ever drafted, and I recall fondly, was an Abzan (or Junk as it was known prior to KTK) RTR draft deck that had a mix of golgari scavengers and pack rat, with a couple of splashed GW populate cards simply for me to make more Rats!
Oh… and Trostani can populate and make more rats too!
But enough yawing about the good ol Days of Return to Ravnica draft. Which if you haven’t tried it you absolutely should, a booster box of RTR is about a hundred bucks and you can get Shocks in ‘em too… or you can be super cheap and go oldschool buy building an RTR Draft Cube for probably less than $50. …Probably the same amount as a booster box if you sleeve it.
So where does this ol’ Trostani line up nowadays? Well she’s pretty popular in casual commanders, which let’s be honest, Selesnya is the epitome of Casual Commander decks, and there’s no lack of tokens that she can create with her utility. She makes a semi-alternate win condition with her first ability to gain life which in GW colors can go infinite pretty quick.
She’s mostly a casual card, and while I’d love to pair her with Trostani Discordant for its Homeward Path ability, I would have to see the Selesnya’s voice as the main commander in a GW build simply because her ability can turn on the entire deck.
In Constructed? Her day has long past and she’s mostly a friendly reminder to those of us that played in those ancient days when Ravnica was only returning for the first time. We look fondly at this card and recall our first time brewing with this card that seemed to have so much potential when it was first spoiled, or reminisce of the time when we got the ‘Nuts’ Selesnya deck and went facefirst 3-0 at our local FNM draft pod.
In Cube? Maybe. Tokens are a really difficult thing to make work in a Powered Cube simply because like Flicker and Blink decks, the payoff for what amounts to a lot of work can seemed dismal in comparison.
Constructed 1/5 – She’s not swinging any games here.
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