M15: Nissa, Worldwaker

Even though she is regarded as a rather weak planeswalker, I always liked Nissa Revane. It may be because I really like tribal decks, and Nissa is a tribal-centric planeswalker. Sure, her starting loyalty of 2 is very low for a cost, and it takes her a long time to ultimate, but she is a fun addition to an elf deck.

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And even if she had an important role in the Elrazi storyline, she wasn’t heard from in quite a while. In M2015 she makes a return, and appearantly she left the Elves behind, and choose to go with Elementals instead. And somehow she has become very reminiscent of another Planeswalker, who since has taken the role of being the Big Bad of the set.

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Yes, she is a lot more like the original¬† green Planeswalker from the ‘Lorwyn Five,’ Garruk Wildspeaker. She does cost a little more to play, but in return one of her +1 abilities untaps twice the lands that Garruk did. Well, she only does it to Forests, so there is no Gaea’s Cradle madness (or at least, it’s more difficult to pull off) but in mono-green she effectively costs 1.

Unlike Garruk, the ability to make creatures is a +1 ability, further strengthening her. It does make your land more easy to remove though, but at least you get a 4/4 trampler out of the deal, that can often attack immediatly (and sometimes gets pseudo-vigilance with Arbor Elf.) It’s not the best ability, but I guess it’s nice to have the option when you’re not using the untap ability to ramp into, say, Avenger of Zendikar.

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Because, just look at that ultimate! Not only does it make an entire army of 4/4 tramplers, it does trigger a massive amount of Landfall abilities. It’s not always an immediate ‘I win’ effect, but even if your army get removed by a mass removal card like Wrath of God, you still are less likely to draw lands for the rest of the game, and use the existing mana base to draw spell after spell.

All in all, it’s nice to see Nissa return, even though she isn’t as tribal-centric as she used to be. Getting all Elves was awesome as well, but since she takes Garruk’s spot in the set as the green Walker, it’s understandable that she is a little more open-ended, while still mainting some of that Elf identity.

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