Rielle, the Unwise
Ikoria is a commander player's dream. There are so many things to do along with new mechanics, really cool artwork and game breaking cards. We've seen 1 card banned already with [Lutri, the Spellchaser] and cards like [[Basalt Monolith]] allow you to combo out infinite colorless mana with [Zirda, the Dawnwaker] and [Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy]. Then there's [Rielle, the Everwise] who's second ability is "Whenever you discard one or more cards for the first time each turn, draw that many cards." I'm an Izzet player so I recognize the strengths and weaknesses very well. When I read this card while recording the podcast I was shocked as this is an insane game breaking ability. The problem I have is that the amount you discard is also the amount to draw. If it was just draw 1 card that would still be a powerful ability but, would not break the game. The fact that I can get so much card advantage for such a small drawback is what's devastating. [Rites of Refusal] says I counter your spell unless you pay what I discard times 3, allowing me to get rid of dead cards and draw more helpful ones. [Firestorm] costs a single red mana that allows you to wipe out the board and, oh yeah, you also get to draw a new hand. [Mind Bomb] was the first janky card I thought of as, for a single blue mana, I can discard 3, draw 3 and have my opponents either discard or take damage. We haven't even gotten to cards that wheel your hand. You only have 2 cards in hand and an opponent has 5 you say? [Windfall] to get 7 total! Doubling your hand size with [Laquatus's Creativity] as you draw cards equal to your hand, then discard that many, finally draw that many cards again. The discard should be a drawback and instead it has become a huge advantage. How about just free card draw without using mana or losing life? [Murderer's Axe] lets me do this, if I have two creatures and I can move it around once a turn to discard a card then draw a card if I want to save my resources. We can also cycle lands and spells which allows us to draw 2 cards on our opponents turns. Imagine land cycling an [Ash Barren] on your opponents turn to fetch that basic you need and drawing a card. One of my favorite cards is [Oath of Scholars] and if at anytime one of my opponents gets more cards in hand I can discard my hand, draw a new hand, draw an additional 3 cards and I still have my draw step. How is this even fair? Want to guess how many players will win with a [Laboratory Maniac]? Watch as they get there even faster with [Grafted Skullcap]. That's what's going to happen for the majority of games with this commander as it's not difficult to dig through your library at an incredible speed now. There are too many cards in both red and blue that allow you to discard a large amount of cards as well. Maybe you'll run into that player that refuses to add that creature in but will still put in cards like [Enigma Drake] or [Spellheart Chimera] which can be hard to deal with early on as they have flying and mass discard will make them hurt. Most spells have the discard as an effect as well which makes cards like [Library of Leng] strong as you can discard to the top of your library, draw the same cards plus the amount you discarded (won't work if you discard as a cost like with [Tormenting Voice]). I understand they want to have new powerful cards and trying to draw players from different formats into new ones but, when cards like this are created it's hard not to worry what comes out in future sets and if we will see a power reset soon or see another card join the ban list.