nissa, sage animist
20, Apr, 23

Leaked New MTG Tribal Support May Warp Multiple Formats!

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Article at a Glance

MTG spoiler season has suddenly reignited thanks to a YouTuber uploading an entire Collector Booster box opening of an unreleased set. This wasn’t an official release, so it’s not 100% guaranteed to be authentic cards, but these cards look very credible – there’s a very high chance that this is the real deal. There are a lot of powerful cards leaked because of this video, but one of these cards looks like it could be a massive powerhouse in the Modern format.

Before going any further, in case you want to wait for March of the Machine: The Aftermath’s official release to see these cards, treat this as a spoiler warning. There’s still a chance that these cards are not real since they were not revealed from an official channel. That said, if you’re a huge fan of tribal strategies, March of the Machine: The Aftermath seems to have shown up in a major way via a series of desparked Planeswalkers!

Nissa, Resurgent Animist finds Evoke Elementals!?

Many MTG players were worried, especially after the lackluster ending of March of the Machine’s story, that the end of the Phyrexian arc would be devoid of consequence. Even though this storyline outlined a scenario where the entire MTG Multiverse was at stake, the end of the arc tied things up with a bow a little too well. At least, that’s what many thought until March of the Machine: The Aftermath was spoiled. It turns out that many Planeswalkers have lost their sparks as a result of the Phyrexian Arc, but that doesn’t mean their cards are any weaker. In fact, these cards might be even stronger than their Planeswalker counterparts!

Nissa, Resurgent Animist, is a three-mana 3/3 Elf Scout in green. Her Landfall ability may seem a little similar in nature to Omnath, Locus of Creation, which single-handily destroyed an entire Standard format. Whenever a land enters the battlefield, much like Lotus Cobra, Nissa, Resurgent Animist adds a mana of any color to your pool. This effect triggers whenever you play a land. When the ability triggers for the second time each turn, however, Nissa allows you to reveal cards from the top of your library until you hit an Elf or Elemental card, which is then added to your hand. This slots in beautifully into an existing Modern archetype focused around Omnath and many of the pitch elementals.

This Four-colored Elementals deck, created and piloted by MTG streamer RespectTheCat, won a massive Modern tournament that occurred in Prague a few weeks ago. Notably, having Keruga as a Companion allows the deck to function similarly to the Yorion decks that existed before the sky noodle was banned, but the midrange/control strategy is obvious. Nissa could be an interesting tool for a deck like this. Not only can the creature help extend to the deck’s larger plays more quickly, but it also threatens to find one of the many Elemental cards present in the deck every one of your turns! This is thanks to the presence of Fetch Lands in Modern, allowing players to meet the two-land requirement in Nissa’s ability easily.

Will this card see Modern play? I’m willing to bet it will. Having the ability to, theoretically, find an Evoke elemental every turn is an incredibly powerful upside, especially when the card can function as an overcosted Lotus Cobra outside of that. That said, Nissa is a three-mana creature that dies to Lightning Bolt, which can only promise to replace itself if immediately followed up by a Fetch land. As such, there is a chance that the card could be too overcosted, but I still think it’s powerful enough.

It is likely, however, that this card will see play (if it does) alongside Omnath instead of replacing it. Omnath does a few things Nissa, Resurgent Animist can’t, like create more powerful tempo plays by adding four mana instead of one, allow for stabilization by padding your life total, and immediately replace itself. Most notably, Omnath can act as Evoke fodder to a variety of elementals, while Nissa can only help Evoke Endurance. This is a big deal since Solitude is a major player in this list.

Finally, Nissa should not see play as a four-of in these lists because it can find itself. Playing four of these likely means that the card will end up finding itself instead of a zero-mana interactive effect that you may require it to find. I would, personally, start with one or two of these in your list if you want to try it.

Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep

Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep is a fantastic upgrade to any deck that cares about Kraken, Leviathan, Octopus, or Serpent spells. Unlike Elemental cards, these do not currently have a major presence in a constructed format, meaning Kiora’s initial speculation will likely be limited to Commander. That said, this effect is powerful enough to create a new archetype.

Whenever you cast a spell of one of the types above, Kiora allows you to look at the top X cards of your library and cast a card with mana value less than X from among them for free. X, for reference, is the casted card’s mana value which, in many cases, should be quite large, considering Kiora’s affinity with larger creatures. This could easily serve as a Commander to a sea monsters deck, and looks like a lot of fun to play with.

Read More: Massive Leak Spoils Half of March of the Machine: The Aftermath

Sarkhan, Soul Aflame

Yet another desparked Planeswalker appears in the early March of the Machine: The Aftermath leak! This one cares about dragons, which may be more relevant than many think, considering the crazy dragon support received in March of the Machine set.

The past Planeswalker does two pretty simple things that make it a staple in many dragon-focused EDH decks: firstly, it reduces the cost of any dragon spells you may cast. Secondly, Sarkhan can temporarily become a copy of any dragon that enters the battlefield. The biggest point is that Sarkhan can copy Legendary dragons without the rule applying since it keeps its name. This can allow you to have some pretty disgusting tempo swings with a deck piloted by a dragon Commander. Not only do you get to cast your Commander ahead of curve, but you also get to create a temporary copy of it! Outside of dragon decks, Sarkhan obviously isn’t doing much but should be a great shout in any Commander deck that contains, at least, a Dragon Commander and a few others to make the ETB trigger relevant throughout the game.

Incredible Tribal Payoffs

Ultimately, even though these Planeswalkers have been desparked as a result of the Phyrexian invasion, they still provide some potent tools for tribe-oriented MTG players to try. Nissa’s potential to even see Modern play makes it a card to watch out for financially. The card, without question, will find a home in any Commander landfall deck that has a handful of cards the Elf can find, but the ability to fix mana while finding an Evoke Elemental every one of your turns seems like such a ridiculous upside. Should all the cards we saw in this leak be real, I would not be surprised if Nissa is among the chase cards in the set.

Read More: Massive MTG Leak Spoils Sought-After $30 Reprint!

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