The power of planeswalkers have been steadily increasing throughout the years, but that doesn’t mean they’re all good. Every now and then, Magic: The Gathering gives us some god-awful planeswalkers that are only useful in very niche, unrealistic scenarios. In this article, I’ll be going over the top 5 worst planeswalkers ever to be printed.
I’ll only be including planeswalkers that were printed in actual sets. The intro deck planeswalkers are obviously weak, because they weren’t intended for competitive play. They were made to help introduce newer players to the game, so it’d be unfair if I included them on to this list.
Anyways, let’s get into it.
The 5 worst planeswalkers ever printed in Magic: The Gathering
Tibalt, the Fiend Blooded
Sure, at first he seems okay because of his extremely low mana cost. However, anyone who’s played Magic: The Gathering since the inception of Tibalt, the Fiend Blooded should know that no other planeswalker after him has ever been this bad. People quickly discover that the only good thing you can do with Tibalt is potentially discarding other Tibalts. No joke.
Several players have tried time and time again to build around Tibalt’s discard theme. However, it was concluded in each attempt that Tibalt still ended up being the worst card in those decks. The randomness of his +1 loyalty ended up being too costly and created incredibly inconsistent deck results.
I wish his +1 ability was reworked so that players could choose which card was discarded. His other two abilities are actually decent considering he only costs 2 mana. However, if a change like this was actually implemented, Tibalt could actually become overpowered.
Wow, I can’t believe I just said that.
Jace, the Living Guildpact
Take a second to compare this Jace to Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Which one do you think better?
Unfortunately, Jace, the Living Guildpact is strictly worse. Way worse. He has mediocre abilities and is way too slow to be included in any deck. The best thing you can do when he enters the battlefield is to put a creature back to your opponent’s hand. On top of that, the ability causes Jace, the Living Guildpact to lose 3 loyalty in the process. This is not an effect you want to be doing for 4 mana.
His other loyalty abilities aren’t amazing either. The +1 loyalty ability smoothens out your future draws, but offers no real card advantage whatsoever. While his ultimate ability does draw you a bunch of cards, it’s almost impossible to consistently use it.
Sarkhan the Mad
I’d be mad at anyone who runs this card in their deck. The loyalty abilities on this card just aren’t worth the 5-mana investment.
His 0 cost loyalty ability is just a horrible draw spell at sorcery speed. His -2 loyalty ability can get rid of an opponent’s threat, but it also just creates another threat you have to deal with. Sure, you could just turn your own units into a 5/5 flying dragon, but that requires a lot of set up. I’d prefer to just simply include more threats into my deck instead of trying to use this loyalty ability.
Finally, his -4 can potentially present lethal damage, but requires a full board of dragons on the battlefield. If I had a full board of dragons on my battlefield, I feel like I should already be in a winning position. This makes Sarkhan the Mad an unnecessary win-more card for most decks.
To top it all off, none of his abilities actually increase his loyalty count. I would never want to run an extremely fragile planeswalker unless they could consistently give me a card advantage or win me the game. Sarkhan the Mad does neither.
Alright, I understand why Nissa Revane might not be a horrible planeswalker. She was relevant in a mono-green token deck back in the day, and actually helped win many games.
However, at the time of this writing, she just has no place in any constructed format. Elf decks nowadays need to play extremely fast, and Nissa Revane is just too slow. Her +1 loyalty can develop a board for you really well, but requires a few turns to set up. Although her ultimate ability is actually bonkers, her initial loyalty is so low that your opponent can easily deal with her before she gets to that point.
On the bright side, Nissa Revane is still a great commander card. Her abilities are good in Elf decks, as she can gain an incredible amount of life extremely fast. But since Commander is a singleton format, keep in mind that her +1 ability becomes a lot worse.
Okay, I’ll be honest, it did hurt my soul a bit when I included Chandra Nalaar on to the list of worst Magic: The Gathering planeswalkers. She was one of the original planeswalkers, back when they were rares instead of mythics. Plus, at the time, she was legitimately viable in some red decks. Chandra Nalaar protected herself, threatened a legitimate win condition, and could help ping down weaker units.
With that said, she currently has no place in any deck or format. It’s not her fault, she just couldn’t compete with the power creep. There have just been way too many other variations of Chandra, and this version just happened to be the weakest. Take Chandra, Torch of Defiance, for example. This iteration of Chandra is just blatantly stronger and has more use cases.
Usually, when planeswalkers become bad in constructed formats, you want them to be playable in Commander. Unfortunately, having “each opponent” in the text is very important in Commander, and Chandra Nalaars just doesn’t have those words.
Wrapping it all up
Anyways, that about wraps it up for my thoughts on the top 5 worst planeswalkers ever to be printed in Magic: The Gathering. I’m sure there are a few plansewalkers that I missed, but these were the main ones that came into my mind.
I doubt that this list will change drastically throughout the next few years. The game has been steadily pumping out more and more overturned cards at such a rate, that new planeswalkers only stand to earn the title of best planeswalker ever, or receive the ban hammer instantly. I mean, come on. Just look at Oko, Thief of Crowns.
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