Chandra, Torch of Defiance

4 versions

"The Red Jace"

After the Kaladesh (September 2016) spoiler for Chandra, Torch of Defiance came out, the Magic community wondered if this version of the fiery planeswaler would be akin to the red version of Jace, the Mind Sculptor. The comparisons were striking. Both cards are four-mana Planeswalkers with four powerful abilities. Chandra's first plus ability provides card advantage; her second plus ability provides mana to play a spell after casting Chandra or to ramp; her minus ability removes threats; and her ultimate can easily close out games. In spite of these high expectations, however, Chandra didn't go on to break any formats like Jace, the Mind Sculptor did. The card did carve out a niche for itself in Modern though and to a much lesser extent in Legacy. Even in Standard, the card performs well in midrange decks, various red decks, and Temur midrange lists. Chandra, Torch of Defiance is currently regarded as a powerful – yet fair – planeswalker for the formats she's legal in.

A Weapon for Ramp Strategies

Chandra, Torch of Defiance has found a home in the Red-Green Ramp strategies of Modern. In Titanshift, she's the go-to planeswalker in a slower, grindy metagame. Ponza, the land destruction deck that ramps up using Arbot Elf, plays one or two copies of Chandra in the main deck as an important way to generate card advantage and provide interaction.

In Legacy, Mono-Red Stompy, a prison deck that "ramps" via cards such as Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors, plays three to four copies of the red planeswalker. In this archetype, her mana-producing ability is particularly useful due to the low land-count of the deck. Although the card sees fringe play as a sideboard option for midrange decks that play red, a rules change in March 2018 regarding how spells and abilities damage players and planeswalkers nerfed Chandra's first plus ability. No longer being able to redirect damage to opposing planeswalkers pushed midrange decks to utilize other, more powerful threats instead.

SDCC Promos and the Future of Chandra, Torch of Defiance

In spite of the card seeing relatively minor play, Chandra, Torch of Defiance has received quite a bit of attention due to her status as one of the game's most iconic planeswalkers – and the popularity of the Kaladesh artwork done by artist Magali Villeneuve. Chandra was even printed as one of the select few in San Diego Comic Con 2017 Promos, wherein her portrait was carved on a wall in the Ancient Egypt profile style. Then printed again in San Diego Comic Con 2018 Promos, this time Chandra is portrayed next to a stained-glass window of her mentor, Jaya Ballard. Its promotional painting by Terese Nielsen was even sold as the highest at $ 35,000 – more than Liliana, Untouched by Death (sold at $ 22,950) and Nissa, Vital Force (sold at $ 25,600).

Partly due to her following and partly due to her status as a key card in established decks, Chandra, Torch of Defiance now sells for around 11,00 € (Near Mint). While this card is currently the best version of a Chandra planeswalker card in existence, there's no telling what her popularity might bring about.

Comments (8)

Closed-Cardmarket-Account-780996(2018-09-19 12:49)

It will settle around 6-8

alvio(2018-04-22 12:40)

Will this go down after rotation in your opinion?

tekbart(2016-10-12 14:28)

This card will be below 10 after the Pro Tour as it will not be played, for a while.

Varonos1988(2016-09-28 09:42)

It's just a very good planeswalker for Standard. The fact that is a 4drop with 4 abilities is reminscing of Jace TmS and that's why the price is so high. Proffesional sellers had lost a lot of money back then, by selling Jace at +/-20$. As a result every new playable planeswalker is overpriced as a countermeasure into a potential increase in it's price. Just calm down and wait before buy. It's propably a 15-20 euro card not a 30-40.

Razeklol(2016-09-12 05:21)

Why would this ever go to the ban list, though? This card is not broken, just expensive atm...

espartaco(2016-09-09 14:49)

STOMPER!!! But if Price don't Stop Chandra will be banned instead :(

Radip(2016-09-08 23:30)

Definately superb in standard in every deck which uses red. I don't think she will be loved in modern though.

dreamcrawler(2016-09-07 20:27)

120 to 160€ per playset since spoiled.
People will get really really upset if this goes to the modern ban list with reason.

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