Lathril, Blade of the Elves – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

Kaldheim has given Magic the Gathering players plenty of new Elves cards to play with, but none may be as truly impactful as Lathril, Blade of the Elves. As the lead card in one of the two Commander decks being released with Kaldheim, the four mana Legendary creature may be an obvious choice to lead a new breed of Elf deck in Green and Black. But, despite Lathril looking like a monster in multiplayer, she could well be a monster in one-on-one, too.

Lathril costs 2 colorless mana, 1 Green, and Black mana to cast. She has menace, meaning she can only be blocked by two or more creatures. When she deals combat damage to a player, you create a 1/1 Green Elf Warrior token for each point of damage. Also, Lathril has a tap ability where you tap ten untapped Elves to deal 10 damage to each opponent and you gain 10 life.

Kaldheim introduced three new cards that look to be strong allies for Lathril. The first is Canopy Tactician, a super mana dork that taps for 3 Green mana and also pumps Elves by +1/+1. The second is Elvish Ambush, an instant speed Elf token generator for 4 mana. The third is not technically an Elf at all, but rather a Changeling that counts as an Elf (and every other creature type at once for that matter) in Realmwalker.

In particular, Realmwalker helps the Lathril plan by allowing you to cast Elf creatures from the top of your deck. An Elf deck that doesn’t need to play creatures from the hand is pretty scary, and getting to that ten Elves that you can tap for Lathril’s incredibly powerful drain ability (a twenty point life swing!) is a major win condition.

Without a doubt, many Elf players will be living the Lathril dream in Standard, and perhaps also in Historic on Magic Online – where Elves also have access to Allosaurus Shepherd. Even Modern Elves may find a way to incorporate Lathril. Of course, the most popular home for Lathril will be the very format she was designed for, which is Commander. 

With all of the token doublers and creators available to Lathril, Blade of the Elves in Commander, that would seem to be the most potent build of the deck. Of course, we know how creative Commander deck builders get with building around their favorite Legendary Creatures, so who knows what a Lathril deck will end up looking like? Also, while Brawl hasn’t become as popular as Commander, as it includes only cards legal in the current Standard environment, the 60-card variant may see a huge boost in popularity with Lathril being released.

How would you play Lathril, Blade of the Elves?

More to come on this powerful Elf Legendary!

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