The release of Commander 2013 is just under a month away, and everyone in the Magic rumor community is excited for the fifteen new legends to be printed among the five decks. MTGCommander.net, the official site of the format, has another preview card - another of the shard-color commanders, and he's a versatile, hard-to-kill flyer that has potential to be a supremely good engine. Say hello to Derevi, Empyrial Tactician:
Derevi, Empyrial Tactician GWU
Legendary Creature - Bird Wizard (Mythic)
Whenever Derevi, Empyrial Tactician enters the battlefield or a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, you may tap or untap target permanent.
1GWU: Put Derevi onto the battlefield from the command zone.
It's unclear where Derevi is from - he could be an Otarian Aven, but his colors and the appearance of his armor/scenery suggest Bant. His body - a 2/3 flyer for three mana - is no slouch either offensively or defensively. And then there's that triggered ability; a Twiddle when he hits the battlefield and whenever one of your guys gets through on the attack. That's minor as a single shot (though untapping a land when he ETBs makes him effectively cost one mana less), but absolutely crazy en masse. He can either churn out an insane amount of mana through land untaps with unblocked hits, grant your unstopped attackers pseudo-vigilance, or abuse various tap-related activated abilities of artifacts and creatures, in addition to disabling opposing permanents (though this is obviously the weaker option, as it only triggers after combat on your turn). In short, the versatility of that ability will allow green-white-blue decks in EDH to become very, well, tactical, with a ton of combat options at their disposal.
The most interesting part of this card, however, is quite possibly the activated ability - For a measly four mana, this is flash and uncounterability from the command zone that also, incidentally, avoids the commander tax, making Derevi probably the easiest-to-recur commander of all time. This Bird is going to be the word in a lot of playgroups - he's very powerful and unique, and one combo with him, which also works with Pestermite, has already come to light: Deadeye Navigator plus Gilded Lotus plus Derezi equals infinite blue mana.
What do you think of this cunning Bird Wizard? Let me know in the comments.