Nadu, Winged Wisdom | Modern Horizons 3 | Art by Gossip Goblin
27, May, 24

New MH3 Legend Could Take Over Commander and Competitive Formats!

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By now, you’ve probably heard the ‘Commander Horizons 3’ joke more than once. Maybe even from Wizards themselves. It’s true that, despite its title, Modern Horizons 3 has a lot of cards that slot right into Commander decks. It’s the nature of all modern MTG products. Just because a creature is legendary, though, doesn’t mean it shares this fate. Case in point: Nadu, Winged Wisdom, an immensely powerful new MTG card spoiled just last week.

Nadu has more than a hint of Commander playability about them, but their influence is set to stretch far further than that. Players on Reddit have been brewing up ideas all weekend, and the Nadu broth is really getting thick. Whether you play Modern, Legacy, or, yes, Commander, this Bird is one to keep in the hand rather than the bush.

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Nadu, Winged Wisdom – A New MTG Legend

Let’s take a look at Nadu itself. A 3/4 for three supplies some premium stats, and Flying can be a very relevant keyword, especially in formats where Delver of Secrets is legal.

Things get really interesting when you get to that chunky ability, however. While it’s in play, Nadu grants all of your creatures, themselves included, two Coiling Oracle triggers that go off when the creature in question is targeted. This means that, whenever any of your creatures are targeted, you’re either drawing a card or ramping a land into play. Possibly twice each turn.

At a surface level, this acts as pseudo-protection against removal. Your opponent will be much less likely to strike down your creatures when you get guaranteed card advantage as a result. Going one level deeper, it works like a supercharged version of the Heroic mechanic for your whole board. If you’re playing a lot of combat tricks, they can pay you back with draw or ramp beyond their usual effects.

The most exciting way to use Nadu’s ability, however, is in conjunction with Equipment. Equipping a creature counts as targeting it, and thus triggers Nadu’s effect. Find yourself an Equipment with a low Equip cost, ideally zero, and you suddenly have a card advantage machine that scales with your board.

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Taking Flight In Modern

That’s exactly how most players are planning on playing Nadu in Modern when it hits. There are a few pieces of Equipment that can equip for zero mana, including Lightning Greaves and Shuko. If you have one of these out when Nadu drops, you can immediately get two Coiling Oracle triggers for every creature you control.

Note that this only works if you control at least one other creature, since you need to be able to switch the Equipment to another target. Shuko has already exploded in price in response to Nadu’s reveal, so clearly players are confident this synergy will work. There are multiple ways to make use of it. You can include it in a fair shell, such as Temur Prowess, and use the card advantage to fuel your aggressive plays. Alternatively, you can aim for a combo finish.

With a zero mana equip cost Equipment out, Nadu, and a Scute Swarm, you can draw through your entire deck in a single turn. Each token Swarm creates will get its own two triggers, which all but guarantees you another Landfall trigger, and another token. Once this is done, You can end the game in all manner of ways. The lands from Nadu’s ability enter untapped, so a big X-damage Burn spell is an option. Alternatively, you can just drop a Thassa’s Oracle.

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Soaring Into Eternity

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This isn’t the easiest combo to pull off, even in Legacy. That said, there are ways that you can up its consistency. Urza’s Saga can tutor up Shuko for you, in addition to the million other broken things it can do. Step Through can grab Nadu themselves with its Wizardcycling ability. Alternatively, it can save two of your creatures from removal and grant two Nadu triggers in a long game.

Notably, Urza’s Saga and Step Through are both legal in the Modern format as well. Given how much of the combo you can tutor for, it may actually be a valid strategy in Modern and Legacy. Nadu is a strong enough creature on its own that it doesn’t feel bad to just drop it before you have all the pieces assembled. And once you do have them, you can end the game on the spot.

Interestingly, there is already a deck in Legacy that does, basically, exactly what Nadu wants you to. Cephalid Breakfast abuses synergies between Cephalid Illusionist and Shuko to mill your library and win the game via Dread Return. Nadu could fit into this deck like a glove, offering card advantage to find the other tools needed to win the game.

There’s still a lot of the set to see, but I’m fairly confident in saying that Nadu, Winged Wisdom is one of Modern Horizon 3’s very best cards. It excels in grindy matchups and fair games, but can also enable devastating combos as well. Don’t be surprised to see it swooping over the Modern and Legacy tables at your LGS in the near future.

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