Tolsimir Wolfblood returns in War of the Spark as Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves. Is this Tolsimir better or worse than the original? The original Tolsimir Wolfblood acted as a sort of lord for your green and white creatures and had a tap ability create a legendary 2/2 Wolf token named Voja. Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves provides instant on-field value.
We actually saw Tolsimir Wolfblood again quite recently when he was reprinted in the Guilds of Ravnica Guild Kits at pre-release. For five mana (2 colorless, 2 Green, 1 White), Tolsimir Wolfblood is a 3/3 Legendary Elf Scout that brings a 3/3 Legendary Wolf token called Voja, Friend to Elves when he enters the battlefield. Then, whenever a Wolf enters the battlefield, you gain 3 life and can have that Wolf fight a creature your opponent controls. So, for five mana, you get 6 power across two bodies, 3 life, and potentially a removal spell. Even if your token simply trades with another creature, you’re already ahead.
Tolsimir Wolfblood was a 6 mana 3 / 4 Legendary Elf Warrior that gave other green and white creatures you control +1/+1. He could also create a Legendary Wolf token, but it was only a 2/2. The great thing is that if these two were in the same deck, the two Voja tokens wouldn’t clash, so you could have both in play at the same time.
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves and Arlinn, Voice of the Pack
There’s an obvious synergy between the new Tolsimir and War of the Spark’s uncommon planeswalker Arlinn, Voice of the Pack. The uncommon Arlinn planeswalker costs 6 mana (4 colorless, 2 Green) to cast and comes into play with 7 loyalty counters. That’s important because her -2 loyalty ability creates a 2/2 Wolf token. So, it’s very conceivable that she can create up to three Wolf tokens. Better yet, Voice of the Pack has a static ability to give any Wolf or Werewolf that enters your side of the battlefield with an addition +1/+1 counter on it. This means that her Wolf tokens are realistically 3/3 tokens and she can be well protected by them.
Being that Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves is five mana and Arlinn, Voice of the Pack is six mana, these two cards can be played on curve. Also, being that green has pretty of mana ramp, these two can come down much earlier than turn five and turn six, respectively. But, as of this writing, there aren’t too many Wolves in Standard. So, Wolf Tribal, at this time, isn’t really workable in Standard. You could build a pretty fun Wolves deck in Modern, though.
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves in Standard
While Wolf Tribal isn’t really a deck in Standard right now, Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves is generically powerful enough to see play. He wouldn’t need too much support to become a “build-around-me” card. While he’s not as splash-able as former Standard staple Thragtusk was, it seems to me that he could fill a similar role in Standard. He offers similar card advantage (perhaps even better if your Wolf wins a fight) and gives you added tempo with the 3 life. If Wolves become more of a theme in future Standard sets, then Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves will become a very relevant card.
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves in EDH / Commander
As a Commander, Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves will have many fans. It may not be the most competitive deck, but it can create enough Wolf tokens – and now gain enough life – to be formidable. This Tolsimir should also find his way into some builds of Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice and Rhys the Redeemed decks. He’ll also likely see play alongside his previous incarnation, Tolsimir Wolfblood, since the two complement one another. Because the Wolfblood can continue to tap to create additional tokens, Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves’ ability becomes even more important.
If you’re a fan of Wolves and Werewolves, Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves is a card for you. But, he was also designed to be Standard-playable, as well. How would you play Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves?