The card we’ve picked for September’s Card of the Month is Xira Arien
Xira Arien is one of the most fashionable cards in all of magic, she has an assortment of different apparel that causes even royalty to become green with envy. However, fashion isn’t the only thing that Xira Arien is good at. Her color combination of black, red, and green and her September appearance is much more than a simple reminder to not wear white after labor day. The Jund color pie allows Xira Arien to have access to powerful tutors, burn spells, and massive amounts of mana production which can allow her to win games with ease.
Moving on to her abilities, Xira Arien is a 1/2 with flying for three mana. Her body is mediocre at best, and she won’t be seeing major combat any time soon. Also, she has problems with burn spells as she instantly dies from almost every single one of them. If another create breaks wind in her general direction, she’ll inevitably crumble to the ground. Her flying ability allows her to avoid being hit, but it’s not recommended that you use her for blocking and attacking. Her other ability is what makes her really useful, for the same cost as casting her, you get to draw another card. This can be helpful for when you draw a land when you need a creature or an artifact when you need an enchantment. Green and red lack reliable card advantage, and black’s card advantage usually requires you to lose life or have to pay lots of mana, so Xira Arien’s drawing ability can be incredibly useful.
Lastly, Xira Arien’s color combination allows her to be the commander of a unique deck that sacrifices lands in order to use certain spells and creature abilities. The deck mainly focuses on cards like The Gitrog Monster and Army Ants in order to limit what other players can do, while also playing cards, such as Ramunap Excavator and Splendid Reclamation in order to recover sacrificed lands. Cards with landfall or abilities that increase their power and toughness based on how many lands are on the field work wonderfully in this deck. Xira Arien, as a commander, pulls all the cards together and allows you to draw multiple cards per turn in order to gain access to more lands or certain creature cards.
Overall, Xira Arien is a weak commander. She has a unique niche going for her, and her ability to command the deck previously mentioned is wonderful; however, her horribly weak body causes her usefulness to drop. Sure, she has a cheap mana cost, but that cost will rise and rise every time she falls. If she just had a bit better of a body, then she would most likely be played more often; but until then, Xira Arien will be better known for ballroom dancing than actual fighting.
What do you think about Xira Arien? Do you enjoy playing with her as a commander, what about just in general? Do you think she’s a viable commander and has some sort of untapped potential? What card do you think we should cover next month? Make sure to leave a comment with your opinion below, and check back next month for October’s pick.