Yay, more Legends generals… I know they were trying to have lots of legendary creatures in the set, but I wish they were better.
Bartel Runeaxe is a 6/5 for 3GRB with vigilance and protection from auras. Honestly, the greatest part about this guy is the flavor text.
Thundering down from Hammerheim, no foe could slow Bartel’s charge.
This would have made a lot more sense if he had trample instead of vigilance… The only other thing of note about Bartel is that he cannot be the target of enchant creature spells, so he can’t be the target of Aura-based removal such as Prison Term, etc. Otherwise, he’s pretty plain, and nothing to build around.
One of the best cards out of Homelands, we have Baron Sengir, a Rare from the set. Baron Sengir is a 5/5 for 5BBB; a bit mana-heavy compared to most generals, but Baron Sengir is quite impressive in my opinion. A 5/5 with flying, and whenever he kills a creature, he gets a +2/+2 counter (instead of two +1/+1 counters; unsure of the interaction with -1/-1 counters) and he can regenerate any of your vampires.
With this being the list of available vampires, you can easily make a tribal vampire deck around him. Personally, I prefer Anowon due to the lower mana cost, but he definitely deserves a slot in your 99 if you’re playing vampire tribal.
Cards to play Baron Sengir with:
- Anowon, the Ruin Sage
- Vampire Nocturnus
- Vampire Nighthawk
- Ascendant Evincar
- Bloodlord of Vasgoth
- Captivating Vampire
For completion purposes, I’m going to include this on Generally Speaking; Barktooth Warbeard. Possibly the greatest name ever. As a vanilla 6/5 for 4BRR, he’s unimpressive in all senses. Due to this, he goes for roughly 50 cents, being a uncommon from Legends. There are obviously better choices for Red/Black generals, but I suppose being a Human Warrior is an upside?
Ayesha Tanaka from Legends is the only legendary creature with Banding in the history of Magic. As I’ve stated in my article on banding, this was not a popular mechanic. There is another Legendary that refers to banding, but he just gives banding to birds.
As for a reminder, I’m going to re-post the reminder text for banding:
Any creatures with banding, and up to one without, can attack in a band. Bands are blocked as a group. If any creatures with banding you control are blocking or being blocked by a creature, you divide that creature’s combat damage, not its controller, among any of the creatures it’s being blocked by or is blocking.
Ayesha also has a tap ability, negating an activated ability of an Artifact unless they pay 1 white mana; making sense due to her Human Artificer type. The fact white mana has to be paid is an upside, but it’s only the activated abilities of artifacts, so unless you’re worried about them, I’d pass on Ayesha aside from her Banding mechanic.
If you’re going to play banding, you may as well play Ayesha as your General, as there’s 42 cards with banding that you can choose from, and 29 in White and Blue that you can find here.
Cards to play with Ayesha Tanaka:
- Liquimetal Coating
- Creatures with Indestructible
Axelrod Gunnarson is a Legendary Giant from Legends and Chronicles. Being in Red and Black makes Axelrod Gunnarson not all that impressive compared to other Black/Red commanders like Kaervek the Merciless and Olivia Voldaren. For 4BBRR you get a 5/5 trample.
Not really impressive; I personally don’t think he’s worth the 8 mana, but I guess he isn’t terrible if you’re playing an Unearth deck in Grixis with Sedris, Traitor King, but there’s better re-animator targets, as he only pings for one damage if he kills a creature.
Avacyn, Angel of Hope is a very impressive card in my opinion. As one player on the gatherer said:
If only reanimator didn’t have so many better targets. Still an amazing casual card and insane in EDH.
Avacyn, the opposite of Griselbrand, is an 8/8 Legendary Angel with Flying and Vigilance. Not quite Akroma, but it’s her static ability that’s impressive; Avacyn, Angel of Hope and other permanents you control are indestructible. The only thing that really stops Avacyn in EDH is Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, and -X/-X abilities. -8/-8 is harder to come by, but Black Sun’s Zenith can manage.
In standard, it’s considered not all that great, but it still goes for about 10; Starcitygames has it for 11.99 and foils for 34.99, namely due to the fact it’s amazing in Commander/EDH.
I personally wouldn’t play her as a Commander, but it’s not a bad idea. Armageddon and Worldslayer both combo very well with her.
Csrds to play with Avacyn, Angel of Hope :
- Boardwipes in general
- Akroma’s Memorial
- Cavern of Souls
- Platinum Angel
Cards to play Avacyn with:
- Unburial Rites
- Karador, Ghost Chieftain
Autumn Willow is a Legendary Avatar from Homelands which is among one of the more unusual cards from Homelands. Along with Homelands being a rather mediocre set, it has some of the most unusual art for it’s time, this card in particular. As said in the discussion for this card on the gatherer:
Obsoleted by today’s fatties, but the ability to allow you to target her makes her rather flexible.
The artwork is kind of odd, though. “Watch as I swing with my 4/4 shrouded MILF!”
This generally sums up the card. A 4/4 for 4GG isn’t great, but it was better at the time, and optional shroud makes her both unusual and flexible. While I wouldn’t recommend her as a general, if you’ve got an attachment to this card, she makes a decent addition to any green commander deck you may want to play.
Atogatog is not a good card.
Though, to be fair, I honestly really like Atogatog. Flavor-wise, it’s amazing; seeing every Atog in the game on one card (at the time, at least; Megatog broke this by being printed later). As far as a 5-color commander goes, I would much rather play Child of Alara or Progenitus. Sadly, an Atog-themed Commander deck is unlikely, as there aren’t very many atogs, as you can see here.
Today on Generally Speaking we have a legendary creature from Invasion; Atalya, Samite Master. For 3WW, she’s a 2/3 Human Cleric with an interesting ability; for X mana and a tap, you can either prevent X damage this turn or gain X life. In Commander, that sounds like a great idea, with all of the left over mana you may have from a turn you aren’t doing much. Sadly, however, you can only spend white mana on this, making her not nearly as usable in Commander due to multi-color decks being big, along with colorless mana artifacts.
As stated here, she’s a fun casual Commander card, but doesn’t warrant competitive play in any format, and there are better cards to use in Commander than this. However, if you want to play mono-white in Commander, I wouldn’t recommend her as the general, but I’d consider a slot for her in the deck. The problem is it’s nearly obsolete because of this card:
While it’s not mono-white like Atalya, you aren’t restricted by mana color, and the fact it’s green is great, as you’ve got plenty of ramp in those colors to get the mana – and the life.
Asmira, Holy Avenger is a Legendary Human Cleric from Mirage, and not a bad card at that. For whatever reason, this human cleric has flying, and is a 2/3 flyer for 2GW; not a bad deal in my opinion. However, it gets better; at the end of each of your turns, Asmira gets a +1/+1 counter for each creature you lost this turn.
Personally, I believe that she goes best with tokens and Skullclamp, as tokens are treated as having gone to the graveyard. I don’t know if I’d build my deck around her, but she’s a fairly decent card in Ghave or other Green/White token decks.
Due to the Innistrad block, Asmira also gains a lot of support in the form of Human tribal mechanics.
Cards to play in an Asmira, Holy Avenger deck:
- Gather the Townsfolk
- Fungal Sprouting
- Doubling Season
- Parallel Lives
- Increasing Devotion
- Gavony Township
Cards to play Asmira with:
- Ghave, Guru of Spores
- All of the Above