Isperia 2.0

What is the most obvious thing you can do with it?

Play it in conjunction with Alluring Siren and Fog effects?

How does it compare to previous generals?

For what it’s worth, Isperia 2.0 is the highest power White/Blue general ever printed.  Does this excite you?  White/Blue is traditionally bad-to-awful at going aggro, although both Sygg and Bruna have offered some Voltron opportunities.  Isperia 2.0 theoretically offers more of a possibility of going aggro, although a flying Craw Wurm is not exactly terrifying.  Its passive ability allows you some room to rattlesnake away attacks, although White/Blue already has plenty of these (Propaganda, Ghostly Prison, etc) and in order to really maximize this ability, you actually want people to attack you.  Awkward.

What is the most interesting thing you can do with it?

Play it in conjunction with things like Alluring Siren and Fog effects?  Wait, no.  Ummmmmm…play  Retaliate and a bunch of bad life gain effects?  Play Moat? Honestly, I have no idea.

Flavor?

I’m older and fatter!  I’m bigger than you! You’re dumb for attacking me!

Niv-Mizzet 2.0

What is the most obvious thing you can do with it?

Combine it with Viridian Longbow and Mind Over Matter to recreate the effect you could get with the original version, except with more cards.  This doesn’t seem optimal.

How does it compare to previous generals?

Blue/Red really hurt for generals; including this, your options are Niv 1.0, Niv 2.0, Jhoira, Nin, and  Tibor n’ Lumia.  Niv and Jhoira both suffer from the fact that it’s hard to make a “fair” deck around either of them, and no one will believe that your deck is fair even if you try to make it that way.  This sort of applies to Nin as well, who also suffers from the one-toughness disease.  Tibor ‘n Lumia is pretty spectacularly awful, which makes it mostly useful for building a Blue/Red deck that is not Niv-Mizzet or Jhoira.  That is not an endorsement.

So how does the new Niv compare? Well, it’s clearly less obviously combotastic than the original, which seems good.  At the same time, from a functionality standpoint it seems almost identical to the previous version, which is a little disappointing; it’s not like this general opens up any particularly new design space.

What is the most interesting thing you can do with it?

Build a Blue/Red deck that isn’t combo, Jhoira, or Wizards tribal.  The spoiling of Hypersonic Dragon, and the existence of Spellbound Dragon suggest some sort of Blue/Red “Dragons and Spells!” thing, which sounds suspiciously like Blue/Red GoodStuff.  Then again, so does pretty much everything in these colors.
On the other hand, maybe this is your chance to finally establish Minotaur Tribal dominance!  Labyrinth Minotaur FTL!

Flavor?

Hey look, I’m older, fatter, and worse! (just like you!)

Jarad

What is the most obvious thing you can do with it?

Lord of Extinction.

How does it compare to previous generals?

Black/Green is another color combination that was lacking for generals; you’ve got Glissa, Savra, Sisters of Stone Death, Nath, Skullbriar, and Vhati il-Dal.  Glissa’s release roughly aligns with the time when EDH began spiking in popularity, meaning you’ve probably played against (or played your own) Glissa  decks roughly 6 billion times.  (Since this card is already available, prepare to have that experience again, with this.)  Glissa also suggests the really obvious theme of “play lots of artifacts,” which is clearly very different territory than this thing.

In terms of how Jarad compares to the others, you’re really playing this almost strictly for the sacrifice ability.   The possibility of coming in the play as a huge creature for four mana can’t be discounted, which probably makes it more aggressive than Sisters of Stone Death by virtue of the fact that it costs four less.  Still, Black green isnt exactly lacking for huge creatures; the real appeal here is the possibility of sacrificing one of those huge creatures and just killing everyone.  This makes this a creature that is likely to end games quickly, and often in a way that is frustrating for other players; in terms of similarity, it seems closest to Kresh in terms of function, minus all the Red stuff that gave it haste. 

Does the world need another Kresh? You tell me.

What is the most interesting thing you can do with it?

Run it in a deck with no other creatures, just things that make tokens.  Illogical extremes FTW!

Flavor?

I like dead things! They make me fat! Tasty!  I hate you!

Trostani


What is the most obvious thing you can do with it?

Make a tokens deck! What a novel idea!  Make a life gain deck! What a terrible idea! Make a tokens and life gain deck!  Oh dang!

This plus Rhox Faithmender plus Angelic Chorus plus Celestial Mantle plus Boon(ulk Rare)flection plus Serra Avatar= SuperTimmy.dec, FTW!

How does it compare to previous generals?

Honestly, pretty poorly. White/Green is already saddled with the fact that it contains Rhys the Redeemed, one of the easiest and most obvious token deck generals of all time.  Considering that Rhys already has “pay 6, super populate”, this is fighting a bit of an uphill battle, especially considering how easy Rhys is to cast.  If you want to go aggro this also is pretty terrible, due to the fact that it is extremely nonaggressive, although it is probably bonkers in a Doran deck, especially one that wants to dig out Reach Of Branches for the gosh darn win.  From an aggro standpoint, it’s probably strictly worse than Krond, although it’s going to anchor some terrible life-gain decks, I’m sure.  Prepare to face down a huge Ageless Entity!

What is the most interesting thing you can do with it?

Sadly, the number of effects in these colors that can make token copies of other people’s creatures is like zero.  This plus Dance Of Many sounds like good times.

Therefore, the most interesting thing to do with this card is run it as the general of a deck that wants to deck everyone by gaining tons of life and playing Arbiter of Knollridge, all while leveraging every Howling Mine effect possible. 

That sounds kinda awesome, actually…

Flavor?

We loves everyone! We hates winning! Oh, and we have a gigantic butt!

Rakdos

What is the most obvious thing you can do with it?

Snap jam it into your stupid Kaalia deck.  If there were an award for “Most Linear General Ever Printed”, I can’t tell you what would lose to Kaalia, but I can tell you it wouldn’t be close.  Good lord.

How does it compare to previous generals?

Pretty well, actually.  The default Black/Red general is typically Kaervek, who suffers from the problem that he is just “not fun” in any way shape or form.  Your other Black/Red options are Rakdos The First OneLyzolda the Tutor for Marsh Flitter FTWWort Boggart Hey I’m Playing Tribal Goblins, Tsabo Tavoc (winner of the “General that will get you killed the fastest while actually being kinda awful” award), and a bunch of stuff from Legends that would be better if it were just a blank card.  The single best thing about Axelrod Gunnarson is that he gives us a pretty good reference ponint for just how far we’ve come in terms of willingness on the part of Wizards to print playable creatures.

Rakdos 2.0 definitely suggests playing an aggressive deck, and his low mana cost means that he will be (relatively) easy to cast even after he is been killed a few times.  He also wants to be in a deck that attacks every turn, which is by far the most fun strategy in EDH.  Clearly he moves you in a different direction than Lyzolda, although both share a desire to run creatures that can give them value.

Interestingly, Rakdos’s second ability suggests running a lot of artifact creatures, which is an interesting new territory; while mono-Red has a decent suite of generals that interact positively with artifacts (Bosh, Slobad, etc), Black/Red Metalcraft is fairly uncharted thus far.  Unfortunately it is probably far more likely that people will be using him to get a discount on their stupid Eldrazi creatures. 

Welcome back to “not fun” land!

What is the most interesting thing you can do with it?

The release of Innistrad got us to critical mass on Devils and Demons, and I proceeded to build a “Hell” theme deck; if I cared at all about my decks being competitive, I would probably switch him in as the general (sorry, Boris Devilboon!  Good thing I don’t care about being competitive!)  He also has some weird variant on Bloodthirst, so running him in a “Bloodthirst plus haste and extra attack steps” deck could be an interesting  (bad) thing to do. 

What, you sold all your Furyborn Hellkitten to a dealer for $.07 each? Bummer, dude!

Flavor?

Boy am I mad about how bad I sucked last time!  We bites you!  RAWR!

XO,
Mr. P