One of the most recent cards previewed for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is Grand Master of Flowers, and he looks like the best planeswalker in the set thus far. He slices, he dices and he turns into Bahamut, the Dragon God of good-aligned Dragons in D&D. Let’s take some time to smell the flowers, as it were…
Grand Master of Flowers starts off as a three-loyalty planeswalker, but immediately tells you what the reward is for upping that loyalty. He turns into a Dragon God, which makes him a 7/7 with flying and indestructible. Note that while he’s in god form, he’s no longer is a planeswalker, which leads to some unintuitive rules interactions:
- He cannot be attacked, and damage dealt to him doesn’t remove loyalty counters.
- He can use loyalty abilities still.
- If some effect drops him below seven loyalty, he reverts back into just a planeswalker.
The fact that he can’t be attacked or lose counters via damage is huge, and getting to seven is basically his ultimate. It’s a big reward for protecting him, and I expect Bahamut form to end plenty of games. Luckily, his other two abilities protect himself nicely.
The first +1 ability neutralizes any creature without first strike, double strike or vigilance, which is almost every creature. These abilities will actually become a bit more valuable if the Grand Master sees a lot of play, but as is they aren’t common. This ability works both offensively and defensively, and is a great play to lock down the board.
The second +1 ability fetches a Monk of the Open hand, which is a 1/1 that grows over time.
Of note, this ability also brings back Monks from the graveyard, not just your library, which means that you don’t need four of them to get full value. Since Monk of the Open hand isn’t a card you’d want to play on its own merits, you can get away with playing two or three in order to support the Grand Master. Getting a steady stream of chump blockers or potential attackers is also strong, and both abilities work nicely together.
Between these two abilities and a decent starting loyalty, I like the odds that this survives most games and eventually just takes over. The first place I’d start with Grand Master of Flowers is a deck using sweepers and control elements, as the stalling effects force the opponent to play into something like Doomskar nicely.
You could also add it to White Weenies, as it can put extra power into play and give you a threat that survives a sweeper. It looks like an awesome sideboard card against creatures or decks with too much spot removal, both of which are prevalent in the format.
Grand Master of Flowers is a super sweet design, and a powerful one to boot. I look forward to seeing how he gets used, and anticipate Bahamut coming for a lot of helpless mages. Lore tidbit: the seven little gold canaries flying around the Grand Master are polymorphed Gold Dragons, ready to protect their Dragon God from any harm.