Yarok, the Desecrated
– Core Set 2020
July 26, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Panharmonicon was, is, and probably will be a staple of certain strategies. I’m sure a version that’s harder to cast and easier to kill wouldn’t be as dangerous, right? Of course, Yarok can be your Commander deck’s leader, which mitigates a lot of weaknesses. He kills things in combat, including some creatures that cost about the same amount of mana as he does. His colors give your deck access to some of the best comes-into-play abilities in the game. Oh, and Panharmonicon is also colorless, which means they can be in the same deck and double your doubling for double the fun. Come to think of it, he might even be more dangerous than Panharmonicon.
I think Yarok has mainly arrived in M20 to help people make Commander decks and also support the set’s draft themes, but you might have noticed that he seems to be the personification of the destruction of Bala Ged by the Eldrazi, and thus a conceptual opposite to Omnath. Is M20 also hinting at the plot of Zendikar III: Sejiri Drift?
Panharmonicon in creature form is promising, particularly because it’s on a legendary body you can have sitting in the command zone for an EDH deck. But even beyond that, Yarok has some interesting things to offer to the enterprising deckbuilder, thanks to decent stats and the ability to trade favorably with most creatures. Elementals in particular like Yarok (particularly the Lorwyn evoke elementals), but anything that triggers is a good friend to Yarok (such as Altar of the Brood, to give an example). It’s likely too fiddly and ponderous to make an impact in Constructed, but you can do mean things when you can copy triggers like that.
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