April 17, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 4.33
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It’s amazing to me that this is the first time in Magic’s history that we’ve had a depiction of the Weatherlight that was just named Weatherlight. We first saw the skyship in Visions, when Sisay arrived to help Mangara and Asmira in their fight against Kaervek the Merciless. It was involved in every turn of Magic’s story for the next four years. Tempest showed the adventures of its crew on the artificial plane of Rath, and uncovered the looming Phyrexian Invasion. Urza’s Saga took us back to its roots in Urza’s Argivian artifice and Yavimaya’s vibrant bounty, and introduced its first and also most recent commander, Jhoira. Mercadian Masques saw the Weatherlight’s crew involved in a more subtle and insidious side of Phyrexia’s plans. And, of course, it was a talisman of resistance during the story of the Invasion block, and a key part of the Legacy Weapon that destroyed Yawgmoth.
Now that the vehicle mechanic is established as part of Magic, we can actually fly the great ship herself, and what fun that’s clearly going to be. This card is a great card advantage engines in a casual legend-themed deck, and the fact that it can get you other artifacts will undoubtedly be important somewhere. You could quite easily throw some artifact-based combos (cf. Door to Nothingness, Scepter, Crown, and Throne of Empires, Ensoul Artifact, etc) in an otherwise aggressive midrange-ish deck and end up with something that’s going to have a lot of different axes of attack and be very difficult for a lot of opponents to handle.
Plus, Weatherlight will be part of Standard with Kari Zev for some time, and with Ixalan for longer, meaning we can mangle Eric Burdon and the Animals’ lyrics and ask, “Sky pirate . . . how high can you fly?”
Its been a long time coming but the Weatherlight finally has a card of its own. This card is super flavorful. It flies across the skies collecting crew members and pieces of the Legacy Weapon. It would have been cool if only Legends could crew it, but Crew 3 in Limited pretty much means that anyways. Except slimefoot.
In terms of raw power, Heart of Kiran is still the go-to sky ship. The reason you’ll want to play Weatherlight is for its ability. Sagas are neat, Planeswalkers are cool, but this card is all about grabbing artifacts. I can see this card excelling in two polar opposite decks. In a colorless artifact deck where bricking is almost impossible and where you can easily scoop a Mox Opal. Or a 5 Color Legends deck where you can grab a Mox Amber to help fix your mana.
The second card representing the iconic Weatherlight, and (amusingly enough) the newest card to share the name of a set. Years after the set, natch, but who cares.
So, Weatherlight is the set’s sole Vehicle, and it seems sort of oddly positioned in terms of effect and stats. A 4 mana 4/5 with flying is passable, even if the mana cost is maybe a bit high overall, but the repeatable tutor effect is nuts. Being able to fish out legendary spells, artifacts, or Sagas repeatedly can get to be rather oppressive in a long game, since you’re peering at the top five cards to potentially find one. Crew 3 actually works nicely in Dominaria, since a lot of legendary creatures, particularly the ship’s crew, come in with at least 3 power. So there is that.
Weatherlight seems like an excellent card in slower, grindier match-ups, but it’s not especially amazing outside of decks specifically tailored to take advantage of it, since its stats are merely okay. It’s definitely powerful, but it’s not insurmountable.
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