Urza, Planeswalker – The Brother’s War
Date Reviewed: December 28, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale: 1 is bad; 3 is average; 5 is great.
Like Mishra yesterday, Urza, Planeswalker represents a watershed moment in Magic’s history: the first card that depicts Urza as a planeswalker, from the period when he was at his peak, who plays as a planeswalker in a “normal” game of Magic without Vanguard or similar. And that peak is, as you might expect, beyond what most modern planeswalkers are capable of – two loyalty abilities per turn can do at least as many things as Mishra’s collection of triggers that we saw yesterday. I’m not sure this is even exhaustive, but it’s worth noting that you can: draw a number of cards that almost no new blue spells have done in years; create an army of tokens that Elspeth would envy; reduce midrange artifacts’ casting costs to zero; and be ready to set off a devastating ultimate on the second turn you control him. He has some of the same issues as Mishra, in terms of creating the situation where you can meld his components, but when you do, this card is power. This card is Urza.
Limited: 2.5 (see note for Mishra’s limited rating yesterday)
Neither half of this meld pair made my Top 10 Cards of 2022 list, though I did have Urza, Lord Protector on my short list.
Much like with Mishra yesterday, Urza’s ultimate form is meant to get jaws to drop and horrify people. He can flip roughly on the same timeframe as Mishra can (around turn 5, if you believe in yourself), and each of Urza’s abilities is engineered to wreak as much havoc as possible on your opponents. And he even gets two of them in a turn, though you’ll always want to make sure you’re using the most immediately impactful ability first as a hedge against instant-speed removal.
That said, Urza, Lord Protector is plenty impactful on his own, and having something to do with a generically powerful cost-reduction effect later is always nice. Urza, Planeswalker is hardly subtle, but the suite of abilities do a good job of capturing just how powerful he is when he hits the board, and a resolved Urza will never not be horrifying.
Constructed: 4.25 (I think Lord Protector is playable enough on his own that splashing to have the ability to ignite his spark is reasonable)
Limited: 2.5 (same deal as Mishra from yesterday)
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉