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Three brand new planeswalkers have been spoiled in Magic: The Gathering‘s latest set, Core Set 2021. Much like Core Set 2020, the latest set will have a focus on cards surrounding one planeswalker, Teferi. Liliana and the brand new, never-before-seen planeswalker Basri Ket have also been revealed. We’ll also get a reprint of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Let’s take a look at what these new planeswalkers bring to the game.
Teferi, Master of Time masters Magic
Teferi, Master of Time is immediately a powerful card. His ability allows the controller to activate his planeswalker abilities on any player’s turn at instant speed. This allows for some annoyingly powerful time shenanigans and instant speed removal.
Teferi’s cost is a little high, at four mana for a three-loyalty planeswalker. However, being able to increase his abilities at instant speed helps to protect that low loyalty count. Then, on your opponent’s turn, you can just remove the biggest threat after they declare attackers. Wrapping up Teferi’s abilities is his ultimate, which grants its controller two extra turns. While this ability might feel like a win-more effect, it can almost guarantee an end to the game. A player can’t really do when their opponent has three turns in a row.
Teferi also comes with a slew of other spells to back him up. Teferi’s Ageless Insight is a legendary enchantment that allows its controller to draw additional cards after their first. Teferi’s Protege is a three mana 2 / 3 that loots, helping players trigger Teferi’s Ageless Insight and other draw triggers. While these cards might not make an impact on Standard or other eternal formats, limited and commander players will enjoy the extra card draw.
Liliana is back, again. Again.
It wouldn’t be a Core Set if there wasn’t a member of the Gatewatch there, and this time it’s Liliana. Liliana, Waker of the Dead feels like a worse version of Liliana of the Veil. Her +1 ability has all players discarding cards with a slight upside of life loss for your opponents if they can’t. Her minus ability kills something but depends on the number of creatures in your graveyard. It scales with the more creatures in your graveyard, so early in the match, it can be underwhelming without some self-mill.
Liliana, Waker of the Dead’s ultimate ability is different, slowly bringing back creatures from any graveyard on your turn. While not terrible, it might be difficult for this card to find a place in Magic‘s current meta. Mono-Black decks might run one or two of this card, but there are likely better choices at the four-mana slot.
Basri Ket, Magic‘s latest planeswalker
Basri Ket might be new, but he already looks like he’ll make an impact on aggro lists. Aggro decks that are low to the ground and reward going wide will find it easy to include Basri. The image isn’t the clearest, so here are his abilities:
- +1: Put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target creature. It gains indestructible until end of turn.
- -2: Whenever one or more nontoken creatures attack this turn, create that many 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens that are tapped and attacking.
- -6: You get an emblem with “At the beginning of combat on your turn, create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token, then put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.”
Basri gives creatures a permanent +1/+1 counter on a creature and gives it indestructible until end of turn. This ability almost guarantees advantageous attacks for players early on. Then, once a few turns have passed, players can use his -2 ability to double the number of creatures they control. This ability is weak to board wipes, but it can also allow for victories if your opponent isn’t ready. Basri’s ultimate seems similar to Core Set 2019‘s Ajani, steadily creating creatures on your turn to eventually overwhelm your opponent.
Spoilers for Magic: The Gathering‘s Core Set 2021 will be coming fast over the next few weeks, wrapping up June 16. Players looking to get their hands on the new cards can start playing digitally on June 25 on Arena and MTGO. Pre-release events for tabletop players start June 29, with the set officially releasing on July 3. As more spoilers are revealed, make sure to follow Daily Esports for all your Magic news.
Ryan Hay is a writer and content creator currently living in New York. Video games, anime, and Magic: The Gathering have all been strong passions in his life and being able to share those passions with others is his motivation for writing. You can find him on Twitter where he complains about losing on MTG Arena a lot.