Elspeth returns in Streets of New Capenna, bringing with her a low-costed piece of equipment. Kristen explores the possibilities Luxior opens up!
Streets of New Capenna brings with it the latest in a line of cheap and efficient equipment. Shadowspear made waves when it arrived with Theros: Beyond Death, and Luxior is Elspeth’s latest new weapon. Will it become a mainstay, or is it legendary loot that she doesn’t really need?
Luxior, Giada’s Gift
Well, it’s definitely not something that goes straight into your inventory to be forgotten about, that’s for sure. Luxior is a brand new effect on an equipment, and one sure to set brewing minds wandering. The equipped creature gets +1/+1 for each counter on it – which includes +1/+1, ability counters, and any other type of counter. That means both loyalty counters and -1/-1 counters.
It’s a good job creatures with counters get buffs, because the second ability is that the equipped permanent isn’t a planeswalker and is a creature in addition to its other types.
That’s pretty wild, but let’s wind back a second; -1/-1 counters?
Finally, a Way to Combo with Devoted Druid
I say that with tongue firmly in cheek, because Devoted Druid is as liable to combust as Ashnod’s Altar or Reveillark. Vizier of Remedies was arguably the breakthrough combo piece for this elf, but you need a Collected Company deck to really make it work.
We’ve had two combo pieces that work with Druid recently, the first being the NEC Swift Reconfiguration, which turns the elf into a vehicle, bypassing summoning sickness, and allowing infinite counter placement while it remains a vehicle that hasn’t been crewed.
Swift Reconfiguration exists for Commander and Legacy players, sure, but not for Modern. That’s where Luxior, Giada’s Gift comes in. Because Druid will get +1/+1 for each counter on it, it’ll always evade death from -1/-1 counters. Dropping Luxior turn 1, Druid turn 2, and equipping turn 3 is a pretty simple line, and one made easier with the various tutors in Modern.
Urza’s Saga, incidentally, will be able to tutor up Luxior when it hits the final mode, and this gives Druid combo decks an additional consistency boost. Whether the metagame will be welcoming of this new style of Druid deck, or whether it’ll adapt, is anyone’s guess – but it’s really cool nonetheless, and gives Commander players a certain amount of redundancy too.
Make it Count
Devoted Druid might be the only combo piece that springs to mind, but there are many more ways to have fun with this elegant rapier. In a Commander build, Barrenton Medic is a fantastic creature to attach this too – it’s essentially a forever-Fog, which could be neat in planeswalker-focused brews that want to use this equipment.
Meanwhile, Standard players can have some fun too. Elspeth Resplendent places two counters on a target creature with her +1 ability, which also sets her at 6 loyalty. With Luxior equipped, that sets her at a mighty high power and toughness when she attacks. Provided you untap with her, she could have as many as two +1/+1 counters, two ability counters, and 7 loyalty. With the buff of +11/+11 from Luxior… that’s a lot of damage. It’s also unfortunately damage to the wallet, given these are both mythic rare!
What makes Luxior, Giada’s Gift so enticing is that it can effectively protect your planeswalkers while they are building up loyalty for an ultimate ability. Luxior states they are no longer a planeswalker when equipped, which means that any damage dealt to them will not remove loyalty counters. They also cannot be attacked, which means that they are weak now to the same removal creatures are weak to – single target or board wipes.
Depending on your deck, the interaction and protection you run, and how you fare against wipes? This could be a way to more easily fire off ultimate abilities.
Speaking of which, that also brings The Ozolith into consideration. If a planeswalker equipped with Luxior leaves the battlefield, its loyalty counters will be moved to the Ozolith. By playing another planeswalker, equipping it with Luxior, and moving through combat, you can move the loyalty counters – and any other counters – to the new walker, getting you comfortably into ultimate territory.
Deploy the Gatewatch
Of course, the main thing Luxior can do in 60-card formats (and to a lesser extent Commander) is to allow you to attack and deal damage with control pieces. Converting UW walkers like Teferi into damage is a tempting proposition.
Luxior also lets us suit up Elspeth for battle, giving her both Shadowspear and Godsend. I’m imagining a world where we can equip Elspeth, Knight-Errant, and then she can target herself with the +3/+3 and flying buff. It’s pretty cool, you have to admit.
You might not know this, but it’s possible to mutate onto a planeswalker that is a creature. The effect it leaves you with is not dissimilar to what Luxior offers – a creature with loyalty abilities. It’s a neat trick, and one that is now available to more decks than those wholly in this niche.
A long time favorite of both mutate decks and combat focused decks, Helm of the Host is a great way to use this new tool. If you’d like multiple of the same planeswalker in play, and you’re not in blue for Spark Double, you can use Luxior and Helm of the Host. The copied walker will not be a creature – as Luxior is granting that condition – but will be otherwise an exact copy which will enter at the same starting loyalty as it would otherwise.
Luxior, Giada’s Gift is a truly interesting Magic card, and perhaps the most interesting thing it can do is give a new win condition to a dozen or so Commanders that previously struggled to achieve it: Commander Damage.
From Daretti to Teferi, and from Saheeli to Tevesh Szat, the planeswalkers that can be your Commander now have a sweet new way to avoid being attacked, and to convert their loyalty into Commander damage. Making a Voltron deck with one of these might be a stretch, but stranger things have happened.
Luxior is an equipment that changes the rules. It gives new vectors to work on, and for that, I’m pretty excited. It shows that we might see more strange equipment as time goes on.
If you’re worried about your planeswalker eating a Doom Blade, there are a few options you can look at. Tower of the Magistrate hoses Voltron, but also turns your creature back into a planeswalker. Giver of Runes can also give a creature you control protection from colorless – both can be fine options, though Leonin Shikari might well end up being a better choice.
Let me know what you’re most hyped about from Streets of New Capenna on Twitter.
Kristen is Card Kingdom’s Head Writer, and member of the Commander Advisory Group. Formerly a competitive Pokémon TCG grinder, she has been playing Magic since Shadows Over Innistrad, which in her opinion, was a great set to start with. When she’s not taking names with Equipment and Aggro strategies in Commander, she loves to play any form of Limited.