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Lord Xander, the Collector May Revive A Standard Archetype That Hasn’t Seen Competitive Play In Years

Hello everyone!

So far, we’ve already highlighted a bunch of sweet cards with Elspeth Resplendent, Ob Nixilis, the Adversary, Luxior, Giada’s Gift, Vivien on the Hunt, and Shadow of Mortality, but we still have more! While Ob Nixilis is one of the premiere cards of the set, we can’t forget about the guy that Ob killed! Lord Xander, the Collector was the former head of the Maestros and despite their strength, they stood no chance against Ob Nixilis.

Ironically enough, Ob Nixilis, the Adversary, as a card, is also much stronger than Lord Xander, the Collector so it works out thematically as well! That said, I think Lord Xander, the Collector has an amazing application that many players are missing and they may be able to bring back an archetype which would be super exciting! First, let’s break Xander down.

First off, Lord Xander is a 7 mana 6/6, which is a pretty stock rate for 7 drops, but it is unfortunate that it doesn’t have any keywords on top of that. Nevertheless, that’s hardly what we’d be playing Lord Xander for.

So Lord Xander, the Collector’s first ability is that when it enters the battlefield, target opponent loses half the cards in their hand rounded down. This is obviously quite the powerful ability as you’re almost always guaranteed to hit one card, but can potentially hit more. I think this easily could’ve said half their hand rounded up and been fine, but we have to work with what we got. Nevertheless, this should still ensure that you’ll be coming out ahead in the resource exchange.

The second ability is that whenever Lord Xander, the Collector attacks, the opponent has to mill half their library rounded down! Yet another powerful ability that’s going to put a pretty substantial clock on any player. If we presume that the opponent has 45 cards in their library on attack, we’d mill them to 23. The second attack would put them to 11, and then a third would put them to 5. Realistically, they have to get this off the board in pretty short order to avoid dying to the milling (or the damage itself).

However, as the venerable Billy Mays once said “But wait, there’s more!” Removing Lord Xander, the Collector is pretty much mandatory, but if you kill it, the opponent loses half of their nonland permanents rounded down! This is an extremely back breaking ability that, like the ETB trigger, should nab at least a few cards out of the exchange.

So Lord Xander, the Collector gets value on entry, value on death, and presents a fast clock that most decks won’t want to kill? Sign me up! Although I’m gushing over this card, there’s one huge limitation to it: the mana cost. Getting to 7 mana in Standard isn’t easy, especially when this can just be countered unlike something like Koma, Cosmos Serpent. Despite it being powerful, is there any hope for it to see competitive play? I think so!

Obviously the mana cost is tough to navigate, but what if we’re not looking to put it into play fairly? What archetype could accomplish that? Obviously, we have to look towards Reanimator!

4 Color Reanimator
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $241.07
best of 1
8 mythic
27 rare
20 uncommon
5 common
Planeswalkers (2)
Wrenn and Seven
Instants (7)
Infernal Grasp
Sorceries (11)
Artifacts (4)
Lands (24)
Darkbore Pathway
Shipwreck Marsh
Deathcap Glade
60 Cards

With this build of Reanimator, you have multiple powerful game plans occurring simultaneously. Obviously you can have the dream start of a ramp creature on two, getting a fatty in the graveyard on 3, and reanimating on 4, but you also have strong midrange cards like Esika's Chariot, or you can simply cast the bombs in the late game as well! There’s a lot of directions this deck can go as well, but now that we have a host of really good reanimator targets, Lord Xander may be the shot in the arm the deck needed.


Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Lord Xander, the Collector may very well be great in Reanimator, but because of the cost, it’s applications are going to be relatively limited. If a Grixis Control deck emerges I could see Xander potentially getting a spot, but it’ll be tough to compete with other powerful options like Goldspan Dragon or Hullbreaker Horror. Nevertheless, with how much value Xander accrues, I do like the odds of it seeing play whether it’s now or with the new Standard rotation.

Thank you for reading!

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Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
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