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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Phalanx Leader
Image from Wizards.com

 Phalanx Leader
- Theros

Reviewed November 5, 2013

Constructed: 3.00
Casual: 3.62
Limited: 3.62
Multiplayer: 3.12

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Phalanx Leader

One of the strongest Heroic cards, the Leader pumps up your entire team (including himself) with every spell that targets him. This creates a situation where you want the Leader to be one of the last creatures you play, but you want to target him with spells early and often. All this despite the fact that the Leader starts out as an underwhelming 1/1 for WW. Sure, you can throw an Aura on him and make him a force to be reckoned with, but he seems to want a lot of resources devoted to him. What if you want to use your Gods Willing to save a different creature? What if that Titan's Strength might force a better trade for you somewhere else NOW, but you want the +1/+1 counters because they last longer? You really have to be good at combat math to make the most of a card like this, but the payoff can be glorious.

Sadly, this kind of strategy really only pays off in Limited, where combat is what wins games. In tournament constructed, you roll over to control decks who can dismantle an army like this with a single Supreme Verdict. In casual, this may be an interesting addition to a Selesnya token swarm deck, but combat tricks in casual tend to pale in comparison to infinite combos and 20/20 beatsticks.

Constructed- 2
Casual- 3
Limited- 4
Multiplayer- 2.5

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Phalanx Leader
 
I think of creatures with the heroic ability word as being something like Zendikar's Ally tribe - almost any ability they have can be devastating when used at the right time and underwhelming at the wrong time. The difference, of course, is that heroic cards' "tribal" affiliation is broader while their trigger condition is narrower. A card like Phalanx Leader is, however, a strong example among heroic cards, as it comes down early enough to put pressure on an opponent and works well with the sorts of cards that are usually played alongside two-mana aggressive creatures anyway (Gods Willing, Giant Growth, et al).
 
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Phalanx Leader which is a two mana White 1/1 with a Heroic ability that puts a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.  This is a very powerful effect in a mono-White swarm or token based deck, particularly as it has both the soldier and human types which are well supported.  The double White hurts it a bit for Boros or other multicolor builds, but with auras and combat tricks this is a solid basis for a deck that can quickly ramp up to multiple large threats.  Overall it requires a fairly dedicated deck of low cost creatures and beneficial effects to target it, which may keep it out of the higher competitive levels, though it will certainly be played in Casual settings.
 
For Limited the double White is a bit of a drawback and it requires other creatures or multiple triggers to be efficient, but either or both are quite possible and it excels in those situations.  In Booster this is a solid second or third pick towards a mono or mostly White deck that is relatively easy to draft support for.  In Sealed it depends on the pool, as many such effects do, and benefits from a primarily White build to reliably cast it early.
 
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.5


Skid Rambo

Phalanx Leader is a gritty uncommon that is obviously meant for mono-white agro. I’ve played with this card a few times and I realized that Phalanx Leader is good in the early game but amazing in late game situations. I found myself holding this card in my hand until I had enough creatures on the board to take full advantage of Phalanx Leader. In Limited play Phalanx Leader can be very dangerous even if you only get to use his ability a few times. To me, Phalanx Leader opens a different door for white weenie players. There are definitely a lot players out there that are intrigued by this little +1+1 counter machine!
 
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3.5


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