While we here at Win Target Game have been doing the “Generally Speaking” series in alphabetical order, we run into cards that aren’t usable as EDH Generals or just are terrible choices, especially those with mechanics that simply won’t work in EDH.
One of these mechanics was an interesting one called Grandeur. It was a mechanic introduced in Future Sight within a cycle of 5 legendary creatures that we’ll cover today. Grandeur is an instant-speed ability that can be used at any time, in which you discard another copy of the same card (for example, if you control Baru, Fist of Krosa, you may discard another Baru, Fist of Krosa from your hand) to trigger whatever ability the creature has. The Grandeur mechanic exists only on these five Legendary Creatures. First up, the green Legend, Baru, Fist of Krosa:
Baru, Fist of Krosa is the first of these Grandeur creatures; a 4/4 for 3GG. His first ability is a static ability that triggers every time you play a Forest, giving all of your green creatures +1/+1 and trample until end of turn. Then his Grandeur ability lets you discard another Baru to create an X/X green Wurm creature token, where X is the number of lands you control. As a General, he could work, but his ability isn’t the best around to build around. You could build a fun casual deck around him in Constructed, though.
Korlash, Heir to Blackblade is the black creature in the cycle. For 2BB, you get a creature whose power and toughness are equal to the number of swamps you control. Assuming you’re playing mono-black, Korlash is a great ramp card at instant speed, boosting himself +2/+2 if that’s the case. On top of that, he has Regenerate for 1B, making him even more impressive. Out of the entire cycle, Korlash is generally the best of them, especially as a General!
Linessa, Zephyr Mage is a nice looking card. She costs 3U to cost and her ability is ok. For X plus 2U and a tap, you can return taret creature with converted mana cost X to its owner’s hand. It’s a decent effect if you really need it, and Linessa certainly can fit into an Azumi, Lady of Scrolls deck if you just had to find another Wizard to put in there. But her Grandeur ability bounces a lot more than that. If you discard another Linessa, target player returns a creature, an artifact, an enchantment, and a land of their choosing to their hand. This sounds pretty good, except that the choice is that of the target player. So she’s not really amazing. As a general, she’s fairly meh, as well.
Oriss, Samite Guardian is playable in EDH simply for the effect to prevent all damage that would be dealt to a target creature that turn. A 1/3 for 1WW isn’t terrible, either. However, the Grandeur ability on Oriss is pretty silly. If you discard a copy of her while another Oriss is on the battlefield, target player can’t play spells or attack for that turn. I’d be fascinated to get a control deck that utilizes 4 copies of her, but obviously, this is one you won’t be playing as a general (although, it is possible if you love Oriss that much.)
Tarox Bladewing is a nice card for the Dragon fans out there to collect, but without his Grandeur ability, he’s just a 4/3 flyer with haste for 2RRR. That’s obviously not awful, but most certainly not General material. His Grandeur ability is not too special, either. If you discard another Tarox Bladewing, the Tarox on the board gets +X/+X where X is its power. Considering that its power could be boosted in a number of ways, this ability could obviously become more than a simple +4/+4 boost, but still, it’s the weakest of the Grandeur abilities. If you want to build a Red EDH Dragon Deck around him, be my guest, but there are far better choices for Generals out there.
You can bet that someone out there has built EDH decks around these five potential generals, but for now, we’ll consider these reviewed.