Venser, Shaper Savant – Future Sight
Date Reviewed: August 18, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Venser was the first of the “new breed” of planeswalker, though it took a few years after Future Sight for him to get an actual planeswalker card. In his own time, he made quite an impression on various formats – while his abilities are variations on the old-school designs of Man-o’-War and Mystic Snake, the addition of flash makes him more versatile than the former and his mana cost makes him more universally-applicable than the latter. He was one of the pillars of a Standard deck called “Omni-Chord”, which leveraged Chord of Calling (as James mentions below), and he’s remained a solid choice for tempo decks all across Magic ever since.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
Venser, Shaper Savant doesn’t look like much at first glance: he merely delays a spell if used as a counterspell, and he’s a bit pricey for bounce. His value, though, comes in his versatility, being able to bounce a spell or a troublesome permanent and leaving behind a pretty decent body. A 2/2 won’t win games, but Wizard is well-supported, and sometimes your delaying tactic leaving behind a warm body is enough to get you there. And while Venser’s not a permanent answer in most cases, keep in mind that he’s not actually a counterspell, and so uncounterable spells are still susceptible to being pushed off to another turn. He sees healthy play in Modern and Legacy to this day, thanks to playing well with being a creature (and things like Chord of Calling and Aether Vial), and he’s an excellent tempo card rarely found wanting for opportunities to muck things up.
Commander [EDH]: 4
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