Cracked Exclusive: A New Mythic Commander From Dominaria United, The Latest Magic: The Gathering Set
Magic: The Gathering is the epic card game where players around the world spend hours and hours (and dollars and dollars) battling each other. The most popular version of the game is called Commander. You choose one legendary creature to lead an army of monsters and spells into battle like the interdimensional spell slinger you are. We’ve written about the commanders that break the game, raunchy Easter eggs in card art and how Post Malone rose to prominence in the MTG scene. Basically, we love us some Magic here at Cracked and today we have the privilege and pleasure of debuting an exclusive new legendary card which is going to be an absolute game changer.
The card is premiering as part of the Dominaria United set, the first chapter in a sweeping story arc kicking off the celebration of Magic: The Gathering’s 30th anniversary. The plane of Dominaria is a gorgeous fantasy world full of knights, liches, witches, and heroes of all sorts. It was the original setting when Magic premiered in 1993 and we’re re-visiting the plane again, following the story of the descendants of the characters (and returning immortals) who populated the original story. The sentient construct Karn races against time to fend off the invasion of the body-snatching, borg-like Phyrexians. I mean, all they want to do is turn the totality of organic life into perfect, single minded machines, is that so bad really? Well, the descendent of the famous Captain Sisay certainly thinks so. Shanna Sisay is a mighty warrior who is here to kick some butt and save her planet. Come meet your new favorite commander:
The character first appeared as a major player in 2018's Dominaria set. Shanna joined Captain Jhoira, serving as a crew member of the storied skyship The Weatherlight. She fights to preserve her family legacy and forge her own, hoping to one day create a legend which can shine just as brightly as her famous ancestor Sisay. Sisay was a major hero during the early days of 90’s magic. She was the product of a carefully controlled bloodline project initiated by master wizard Urza to defend Dominaria against the Phyrexian threat. Her powers make her immune to magic, very handy in a world where spells get slung at you like mashed potatoes in a food fight. And she passed that trait onto her progeny. The existence of Sisay’s bloodline is meant to ensure Dominaria’s safety, but the Phyrexian threat is worse than ever. In years long past, Karn was made by Urza to fight the machine army of the Phyrexians as well, and now he’s returned to resume the battle. And he’ll need Shanna’s help to do it.
But enough story, let’s talk about what a freakin’ sweet card this is. Shanna, Purifying Blade is a 3/3 human warrior creature castable for green, white, and blue. A 3/3 body on a three drop is decent, sure. But her abilities will probably make this dope mythic rare an absolute BOMB in Limited. First off she’s got lifelink, a powerful keyword mechanic that means you gain life whenever the creature deals damage. On top of that, the card gives players the option to pay any amount of mana at the end of their turn and draw that many cards. The only caveat is that that amount of mana can’t be more than the life you gained that turn. Which if you’re doing any kind of damage with Shanna means at least three. That’s gonna get pretty spicy pretty quick. Usually casting a card with three different mana symbols is a no-no in Limited, where players construct decks from randomized card packs, but the existence of the very covetable pain lands in this set is a good indicator that Wizards of the Coast wants you to be able to cast this.
As far as Commander goes, fans of lifegain decks are going to have a field day. This three color combo, known as Bant, is a powerful brew. It gives players access to lifegain creatures in white, big stompy creatures in green, and card draw spells to bring it all together in blue. Shanna is a beautiful synthesis of these three colors. Pop Trelasarra, Moon Dancer in there with her scry ability to ensure the cards you’re drawing are the ones you want. Accomplished Alchemist to ramp up into game winning combos before your opponents. And Well of Lost Dreams for some nice redundancy. What makes Commander the best game of all time, in our humble opinion, is the endless possibilities, so we’re sure players around the world are going to build all kinds of tasty Shanna decks. But we’re excited to riff on the classic “Soul Sisters” deck, where cards like Soul Warden and Soul’s Attendant use life as the gas in an engine of lifegain and ultimately victory. This is common enough in white and white/green decks and now those freaks (us) who live to play blue spells have the perfect legendary to get in on the fun.
You’ll have your chance to get your hands (or mouse) on this card soon. Dominaria United debuts in paper magic and the free-to-play online version of the game, Magic: The Gathering Arena. Early Access livestream events pop off on August 30th, with the set coming to MTG Online and Arena the day after. In-store prerelease events will take place starting on September 2nd, with the full release dropping on September 9th. We can’t wait to start brewing around this card and eagerly await our first EDH game where we cast a turn 4 Phantom Nishoba with Shanna, Purifying Blade proudly in play.