Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow, a popular and legendary ninja from the plane of Kamigawa is back for Commander Masters!
Following the successful release of Magic: The Gathering’s Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth, Wizards of the Coast will be dishing out it’s next product line mainly targeted for arguably the game’s most popular format – EDH.
EDH, which means “Elder Dragon Highlander” – more commonly known as Commander, is a format in Magic that emphasizes on a more casual approach in the game that is geared towards multiplayer, shady negotiations and the eventual betrayal. What’s even more unique about Commander is that, like in the Highlander series, “there can be only one” as in one copy of each creature or spell in your 100-card deck. The “one” rule makes deck brewing unique and can really bring out the theme and creativity in a level that isn’t really seen in other formats which are usually defined by the current meta.
Commander is considered an eternal format – you can use almost all the cards throughout Magic’s history. This means that the level of customizing decks is shot through the roof and since the format is mainly played with groups of 4, even though you would think that your deck is tuned at its optimum, it still would not guarantee that you’ll come out on top as the meta is defined by the players at that specific table , usually by cooperation, threat assessment and some sneaky shenanigans! This is why the format has grown into popularity in the last years.
It has grown large enough that we are getting a lot of products aimed at the Commander format. Gone are the days of annual preconstructed EDH theme decks which are usually 4 or 5 boxes a year. Now, almost every expansion set that Wizards of the Coast rolls out will certainly have a supplementary Commander set attached to it. The increase in popularity then translated to this game variant having their own product line now with Commander Legends back in 2020, followed by Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate and now, a more reprint-centered approach with their upcoming set – Commander Masters
What do we know about Commander Masters?
First off, here are the relevant dates that you should look out for:
- Debut and previews of all the cards: July 11-20
- Commander deck specific previews: July 17–20
- WPN Premium Store Preview Events: July 28–30
- Global Tabletop Release: August 4
Since Commander Masters is considered as an all-reprint set, it means that you won’t see any new cards that will shake the format. What we can expect though is to see some cards that were previously out of circulation and hard to come by due to it being out-of-print and general scarcity. Concerning the market, reprints will mean a good thing since more copies of a particular card will be out in the wild, driving down the prices. Additionally, we can also expect some card art variants of some popular cards. Take a look at The Ur-Dragon above, for example. To those who missed out on this legendary creature before, now’s your chance to get him!
Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow
Now that spoiler season for Commander Masters is well underway, the good folks over at Wizard’s of the Coast kindly shared to us this preview card for the set – Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow. This legendary “Human Ninja” creature from the plane of Kamigawa is no stranger to the EDH table as she’s is arguably the game’s most popular Ninja commander, sitting pretty at rank #4 in edhrec.com as of this post (Satoru Umezawa might have a say in this though).
Yuriko fittingly sports the Dimir colors (Blue-Black) with the unique Commander ninjutsu ability which gives a payoff to unblocked attackers, fliers and other evasive creatures – replacing it with Yuriko on the table. Can somebody say Kawarimi no Jutsu? (Body replacement technique). The moment combat damage resolves, Yuriko’s ability triggers letting you reveal the top card in your deck and putting it in your hand. The card draw is nice but the second sentence is what players are mostly after, having ALL OPPONENTS losing life equal the to total casting cost of the card. With Dimir, there are a lot of scrying and tutoring easily available for the players which can allow top-card manipulation. Yes, I’ll gladly take that Blightsteel Colossus to my hand and deal everyone 12 points of life, thank you very much!
With Yuriko back on the commander’s arsenal, are we seeing a resurgence in ninja decks on the table? Regardless, when we her see slammed on the table, it might be too late.
Magic: The Gathering’s Commander Master officially releases worldwide on August 4, 2023. Check out this store locator to find a gaming area near you. Thank you once again to Wizards of the Coast for sharing this preview card with Ungeek!