Slice of Pie – Akroma Unarmed

Oh, you just happened to find this? Yeah, take it, I have no use for it.

Editor’s Note: I’m going to try these shorter pieces a little more frequently. They’re not enough information to fill several thousand words, but enough for food for thought.

Aaron Forsythe tweeted this:

Akroma Without Her Sword – 5WWW – Legendary Creature – Angel – 4/6 – Flying, protection from black and from red

That was later changed to 2WWW when it was pointed out that it would cause 3 to equip. Confused? Look at the card to the right. This is basically Akroma’s sword (look at the handle and compare it to this). It’s pretty easy to see that this sword is what makes Akroma so powerful. If you take off the text that this sword provides, then you get the creature mentioned above. I stuck my nose in:

@mtgaaron Well, it should be her sword that’s Legendary, not her.

My thinking was this: is a 2WWW, flying, Pro Red/Black angel Legendary?

There are two ways of thinking about making a creature Legendary: 1) For design reasons for power and EDH thinking and 2) story-wise. Since EDH wasn’t really a factor for a huge part of early design (I talk about the Legend progression here) Akroma was created, and used, for story reasons. It only made sense to create something so absurdly powerful for the story that of course it was going to be Legendary. Even a 2/1 for R who does absolutely nothing can be a Legend if put in a storyline. So at this point in time, if you take away the story aspect of Sword-less Akroma, would she still be Legendary?

Mr. Forsythe shot back:

@mtgcolorpie Is Commander Eesha “legendary?” I think 5-mana Akroma is a perfectly reasonable Legend.

Again, that’s more of a storyline Legend, I could see the argument that Aaron is making. The ability “Protection from Creatures” was only seen on one creature before and since. However it was an uncommon from earlier in the block. So while it’s a cool idea, shouldn’t Iridescent Angel also be considered a Legend as well since it has a unique line of text as well?

But that’s what I argued back:

@mtgaaron If she’s named, then sure. I was talking about just an angel, un-storylined. Baneslayer would make sense as a Legend but isn’t.

And that’s where the real rub comes in. Which of these cards do you find to be more “Legendary” if you take away the story aspect:

You take away her sword, you take away her power. Just like He-Man.

Baneslayer is a little bit more impressive at the same casting cost. While she can be Doom Bladed and Combusted, Baneslayer gains you life, and has first strike, and can protect against Red and Black’s two large iconic races. Giving a creature protection from its enemy color’s two iconic creatures seems much more epic and legendary than just the colors in general; it’s as if she’s going into battle trying to defend and defeat them. With “Angel of Wrath”, she just seems like a pretty good angel but enough for Legendary status. I mean, Stoic Angel seemed Legendary, but having more than 1 in play is a dumb idea so there’s no need to make her Legendary.

If the sword is what made her special, then make the sword special. Multiple swords don’t make sense in this application, it’s only going to add +2/+0. It could be a Voltron idea, where this object and that character meet up to create a Legend which would kinda make sense but seem to be a little wordy. In fact, Mr. Forsythe came up with an idea I loved:

@mtgcolorpie “As long as CARDNAME is equipped, it is Legendary and is named ‘Akroma’s Heir’.”

That just drips with flavor and makes more sense in the Legendary department. It makes the card kind of have a “chosen one” aspect that feels really cool. Suddenly that elf you equipped is now the chosen one to lead us all into battle. That is until it meets a Doom Blade and another one is anointed, kinda like how it always works out in films and movies until the right one comes along. The idea of the “Heir” equipment mimics the “Children” cycle from Future Sight. It’s kinda cool to see things like this. GatheringMagic chimed in with an awesome idea:

@mtgaaron I’d like to see a cycle of Planeswalker equipment.. Ajani’s Axe, Jace’s Cloak, Chandra’s Goggles, Garruks Helmet, Liliana’

@JayBoosh Ahh… yeah Liliana’s Veil!

While we most likely won’t see this idea soon, it would be interesting since they’re pushing Planeswalkers as over arching storylines (Something that’s in my queue of posts I’m working on). They’ve already included spells/creatures, maybe something like objects they’re known for would be a great way to add even more flavor to the game while giving equipment a great boost in power.

Of course, that takes us down the slippery slope of turning it into other card games where those sacred objects become the sought after pieces that are usually broken and unbalanced. That tends to happen when you have character’s objects as powerful cards. And we all know how that turns out.

A step up from Urza's Glasses

You like Sword of Vengeance and Planeswalker/Legendary creatures getting their own equipment? Share you thoughts below.

6 thoughts on “Slice of Pie – Akroma Unarmed”

  1. While you touch upon some interesting thoughts, I don’t feel like the premise your article is entirely accurate.

    I could be entirely off-base here, but I think the intent of the design was a sword that was empowered by Akroma, not vice-versa. I think the joke about Akroma without her sword is just that, a joke, and should not be taken as design gospel.

    I may be putting words into Aaron’s mouth, but I think when he defended a the 2WWW 4/6 flying pro black/red as a “reasonable” legend, he was saying that it was something powerful enough to be printed as a legend if it fit the storyline, not that those stats were “legendary” in and of themselves.

    As a side note, legendary creatures have equipment spells is fun and flavorful, but literal equipment that belongs to planeswalkers is not. The fact that Garruk could not carry “Garruk’s Axe” would make the whole thing silly. Trademark artifacts, maybe, but not equipment.

  2. I like the idea, but I also love that Umezawa’s Jitte exists.

    Garruk’s Helm 3
    Equip 2
    Equipped creature has trample and “Untap two lands: 2/ 2 until end of turn.”

    Liliana’s Veil 3
    Equip 2
    Equipped creature has fear.
    Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, you may search your library for a card and put it on top of your library.

    Just some ideas. 😉

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