Magic: The Gathering Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths spoilers are more than halfway over, and Wizards of the Coast has given us a nifty new Planeswalker. Players were expecting Kiora to be the third Planeswalker of Ikoria, so they might be surprised to see Narset of the Ancient Way join the set.
Narset is back in Ikoria spoilers
Narset of the Ancient Way comes fully loaded with three activated abilities, which is pretty standard for a mythic Planeswalker. She is also back to her original Jeskia colors after a mono-blue stint in War of the Spark. Narset’s kit still focuses on noncreature spells, but it feels a little out of place in a set with a heavy focus on creatures.
Narset’s first ability has a little life gain and a little ramp. Players can only use this mana for noncreature spells, which is a little restricting. This ability doesn’t do anything to protect Narset, and there likely isn’t much players can do with the mana on turn four. The Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths version of Narset might require some extra setup to make sure she is protected. Using some of the new Crystal artifacts to ramp out a removal spell like Fire Prophecy will help keep your opponent’s creatures off the board.
The -2 ability is great, allowing players to draw a card and deal damage if needed. Players can use this ability to protect Narset the turn she comes down. She can also potentially add fuel to a graveyard-based strategy. If you are feeling ambitious, a five-color reanimate deck using Brokkos, Apex of Forever or one of the new ultimatums could work well. It might not be great, but when it works it would be hilarious.
Narset of the Ancient Way’s ultimate ability gives players an emblem that deals two damage to any target when you cast a noncreature spell. This emblem isn’t bad, but it’s certainly a win-more effect. Ikoria is also a very creature-heavy set, despite some very powerful spells. Narset might have some issues finding a deck with so many creatures with powerful abilities. A lot of Narset’s versatility comes in her draw ability and her mid-to-late-game ramp. Getting a powerful spell out quicker or protecting Narset of the Ancient Way and controlling the board is where she excels.
Whether or not Narset of the Ancient Way will find a place in the new Standard season is uncertain. She certainly has some powerful abilities, and in the right deck, she could be great! Players will just have to wait and see how the new meta plays out before saying for sure.
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