Warrior’s Oath – Portal Three Kingdoms
Date Reviewed: July 7, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Warrior’s Oath is a fun card, which is a minor part of red’s abilities but more persistent than you might first expect – there was even a riff on it in Crimson Vow – and also more potentially effective than it might look. It’s not only aggressively costed, but worded to incentivize ending the game right away, and while the Red Deck Wins style of decks usually like all their cards to deal damage, a card like this gives you an extra turn to attack with creatures and thus get around common countermeasures like Leyline of Sanctity. That’s not even counting the crazy things you can do in slower decks with cards like Dreadhorde Arcanist, and you might even be splashing for Platinum Angel once in a while.
And if you’re still not convinced by all of that, the art and flavor text for both the Portal: Three Kingdoms original and the Kaldheim-themed Double Masters version make it maybe the most badass Time Walk variant ever.
Commander [EDH]: 3/5
Red has, on rare occasion, gotten to borrow some of blue’s time magic tricks, though always with steep downsides associated with them. But you’re red; you don’t care about the future, right? Hence Warrior’s Oath…which is a redone version of Last Chance (from Portal Second Age and Starter 1999) and Final Fortune (from Mirage), done to fit the aesthetic and thematic of Portal Three Kingdoms. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Final Fortune’s technical superiority as an instant, so I’ll do just that; while the differences between it and its sorcery-speed brethren aren’t great, they do exist and are worth mention.
Anyway, Warrior’s Oath. As with other spells of its ilk, it’s high risk, high reward: take a second turn then and there and hope they all die. Or circumvent your impending unfortunate death experience with a card like Angel’s Grace, but that’s one of those well-telegraphed plays that still works well. Cards like these present an interesting sort of puzzle, because you have to be able to actually strike decisively or dodge the downside in order to make them work, and while red can do so, a lot depends on having a set-up that just needs one more turn and can’t afford to give opponents another one. It’s a fiddly card I can’t call great, but it may well fill a specific niche that can’t be easily replaced for you, and having two or three versions of the same effect can pan out in formats like Commander.
Constructed: 3 (high risk, potentially high reward)
Limited: 2.25 (marginal in Limited because the chances of you having a board able to fully eke out that one extra turn aren’t great, but it can happen)
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
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