How does The Wandering Emperor work in Magic: The Gathering?
Planeswalkers are among the most powerful cards in Magic: The Gathering, allowing players to use a variety of abilities each turn. Some can easily destroy enemy creatures, while others can provide other benefits like drawing cards or gaining life. Kamigawa: The Neon Dynasty introduces The Wandering Emperor, a powerful planeswalker with unique perks.
Let’s break down the wandering emperor text box and each of the card’s loyalty abilities to understand how it works.
The Wandering Emperor has Flash, which means it can be played anytime you can cast an instant spell. You can also activate one of his loyalty abilities any time you could cast an instant spell, which gives him a ton of flexibility.
Planeswalker’s plus-one lets players put a +1/+1 counter on target creature, which gains first strike until end of turn. Adding a counter to a creature with instant speed can be deadly, especially when the Wandering Emperor enters the battlefield after your opponent has declared attackers. The +1/+1 counter with initiative can help creatures easily take out attackers before they can deal damage.
The minus one ability lets players create a 2/2 Samurai creature token with Vigilance. This is another option if you need a blocker in a pinch or want to add another creature onto the battlefield to stall another turn.
Wandering Emperor’s minus-two ability allows players to exile a target tapped creature and gain two life. This is another way to deal with attackers at instant speed and knock them out of play before doing any real damage. The life gain is also a nice perk and can help maintain a healthy life total.
The only downside to The Wandering Emperor is its four mana cost. Aggro White decks generally avoid leaving so much mana open, but control decks can easily use this card to their advantage.