A taste of Siege-Gang Commander mixed with rusty artifact smell.
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Everyone’s initial thoughts when trying to evaluate a new card is to find something similar that has existed in the past, this one is no exception. In fact, it’s very close to Goblin Lackey’s best buddy.
Comparing with Siege-Gang Commander
The card advantage provided as soon as it hits the battlefield made it a reasonably playable Standard card back in Tenth Edition and Magic 2010. This theory has not changed—if your creature costs more than 3, it better have an enters-the-battlefield ability, a “When-X-dies” trigger, or insane stats. Once one of those conditions is met, it’s worth exploring.
5 mana versus 4 mana gives Pia and Kiran a strong appeal, however, it feels like they made its activated ability 1 mana more expensive to balance that.
Both of these cards read as if they need to be in a Goblin or artifact deck, respectively. That’s not the case—they are both powerful enough on their own, and the latest example we have of a build-an-army card is Goblin Rabblemaster.
Being legendary is a minor issue, but should not be ignored. Unless your deck is centered around the card, I would recommend playing 2 or 3 copies.
It produces two tokens rather than three, but they have flying, which is a big upgrade.
The Synergy Approach
Wizards of the Coast tried to introduce an artifact theme—cards like Ensoul Artifact and Shrapnel Blast the most Constructed-worthy of those cards. Ghostfire Blade from Khans of Tarkir pushed the strategy, yet not quite enough for consistent competitive results.
I’m willing to give it a try again with the cards we know as of today, hopefully we have even more options once the set if fully spoiled.
Pia and Kiran Nalaar is at its best in this deck—sacrificing useless Ornithopter, Springleaf Drum and Darksteel Citadel in the late game is definitely great, the two Thopters produced are sweet with Ghostfire Blade, not to mention an almost-free Stoke the Flames when convoking the whole family.
The Power Approach
It strikes me as a replacement for Outpost Siege in all the midrange/aggressive RW decks, possibly Mardu as well. They are obviously very close in raw power as 4-drops, but Pia affects the board right away.
This card is fantastic against opposing small creatures. It’s also great as a reach option when facing bigger creatures.
Happy spoiler season everyone, and thanks for reading.