While the official spoilers are yet to come, a leaked card has revealed what most fans already knew: Gideon returns as a brand new Planeswalker in Magic: The Gathering’s War of the Spark! Armed with the legendary Blackblade Reforged, he’s more than prepared to take on the infamous Nicol Bolas! Let’s talk about Gideon Blackblade.
It seems this Mythic rarity card was leaked from a Spanish-language prerelease pack. It sucks that people have decided to leak these cards out of sequence, as Wizards have carefully planned each reveal to this point to tell a very captivating story. Now that the card is out there though, we may as well talk about it.
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- As long as it’s your turn, Gideon Blackblade is a 4/4 Human Soldier creature with indestructible that’s still a Planeswalker. Prevent all damage directed to Gideon Blackblade during your turn.
- [+1]: Up to one other target creature you control gains your choice of vigilance, lifelink, or indestructible until end of turn.
- [-6]: Exile target non-land permanent.
Gideon’s static ability makes him a 4/4 indestructible beater, which is nothing new for Gideon Planeswalkers. All previous versions of this character have had this ability. However, this Gideon is always a creature on your turn. Unlike the others, you do not have to use his loyalty abilities to make him a Planeswalker. This is a solid deal on its own for just 3 mana, but it’s important to keep in mind that he is not “unkillable” by any stretch. Vraska’s Contempt, Plaguecrafter, and many other cards in Standard are clear answers to him.
His +1 ability is interesting. It grants you your choice of vigilance, lifelink, or indestructible for a turn to a creature you control. It should be noted that Gideon cannot target himself with this ability, nor does it protect him from being attacked by your opponent. Therefore, Gideon is most at home in an aggressive to midrange creature deck where his ability can be taken the most advantage of.
His last ability, -6, is fairly underwhelming for a Planeswalker ultimate. However, Gideon Planeswalkers have traditionally not always had ultimate abilities, so him having one is notable in itself. If anything, removal of any non-land permanent is flavorful, hinting at his ability to take down Nicol Bolas with his newly acquired weapon.
Gideon Blackblade of War of the Spark is likely to find a home in Standard in an aggressive creature deck. One deck that immediately comes to mind is mono-white aggro. With plenty of smaller creatures to boost, a low mana cost, and being a fine attacker himself, he could serve as a way to close out games.
As far as Eternal formats go, he could see play in Modern in a Gideon tribal deck. With the ability to give heavy hitters like Gideon Jura or Gideon of the Trials lifelink, he could be right at home in the deck. He also functions as another 3 mana Planeswalker, helping to fill out the earlier parts of the curve.