Alhammaret, High Arbiter

Alhammarret, High Arbiter

  • Color: Blue
  • Type: Legendary Creature - Sphinx
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Set:

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As Alhammaret, High Arbiter enters the battlefield, each opponent reveals his or her hand. You choose the name of a nonland card revealed this way.

Your opponent can’t cast spells with the chosen name (As long as this creature is on the battlefield.)

  • Leonardo Duarte

    WAY too costy. If he was one cost less he might’ve seen some constructed play – as sideboard -. If he was 3/4, flying cmc 5 that would be possibile. 2/4, flying, cmc 4, same ability then we would’ve a powerhouse.

    • Melissa Juice

      Probably meant to be hilarious in Commander.

      • Leonardo Duarte

        It can only target in the hand. Won’t target a card anywhere else.

      • BalthasarH

        Unlikely. In a typical 4 person Commander game he can target at most 3 out of 297 enemy cards (if every opponent runs one of the chosen card). And he can’t target the commanders themself! There are better Sphinxes for the cardslot.

        He obviously can’t be played in Standard, Mordern or Legacy.
        And even in Limited he isn’t a very good pick. You usually don’t have 4 of a good card and removal protection is better served with hexproof/shroud. Unless you unsummoned your opponents bomb or otherwise know that he has a very good card in his hand this is only a 5/5 flyer for 7 with temporary virtual card-advantage.

        • Melissa Juice

          Seems like he’d be just fine to secure a sneaky win, as he could gather tons of info. and then prevent the worst of it from happening.

          • Leonardo Duarte

            There are many other way to achieve this. Not only blue, but also black.

          • Melissa Juice

            Well, duh. It’s commander. There’s a million ways to do anything. This one would be fun.

        • Kameenook

          It’s very hilarious in commander, simply getting everyone to reveal their hands is enough to start the inevitable bloodbath, then you’ve got politics involved, because you can only take out one thing, and you know that that person will come after you.

  • Aarhg

    The art’s pretty fancy though.

  • Matthew de Witte

    it would suck to hard cast this and then find out your opponent only has lands in their hand.

    • Happy The Cat

      well now you have a 5/5 that they don’t have removal for
      it does a good job of making the coast clear

  • Eric Barton

    If only it was a 5-6 drop. :(

    • Melissa Juice

      Obscene at five.

  • Melissa Juice


  • BlahBlahBlahBla

    I’m so confused why they keep making unplayable cards like this. I’ll never understand. Even in EDH this is a waste of a card slot. Bleh.

    • BlahBlahBlahBla

      At 7 mana this should say “Your opponents cant cast any cards with the same name as any of the cards revealed this way.” In EDH you’ve only got 1 of anything in your deck so this is essentially a very, very soft counterspell for 1/200 cards if you have two opponents.

      • Kameenook

        Or the occasional 2 for 1 when you name a staple or other shared card between the decks.

    • Mario Migelini

      Because they’re obsessed with limited. Hence why their previous set was Limited Masters 2015

      • Melissa Juice

        They’re hardly obsessed. They just wisely know that people *love* playing limited.

    • Melissa Juice

      This would be fun and is quite playable in Commander.
      So, good design overall, if warily costed.

      • BlahBlahBlahBla

        I mean, i suppose if you’re talking super casual EDH. I build all my EDH decks to be super tight and there is no room for a 7 drop that might be able to stop one opponent from casting one spell for like a turn or two until they or the next opponent wrath’s the board or just forces you to chump block with this because they’re swinging at your dome with 21 lethal commander damage because they didn’t muck about with silly 7 drops.

        Maybe i’ve gotten too competitive with EDH though. Probably the case since my first thought about this card was “Not as good as Palinchron so it’s a joke.”

        • BlahBlahBlahBla

          My second thought was, “Why is this worse than Voidstone Gargoyle but it costs 2 cmc more?”

          Voidstone i will put in any EDH control deck as it shuts down cards on the field and in the yard as well as preventing your opponent from casting their commander or cards that aren’t in their hand yet. All of this and it costs 2 less.

          That’s essentially why i complained about this card so much. That and i absolutely love sphinx’s and i get butt hurt every time i see one that i know i won’t end up using.

          • Kameenook

            The other 2 mana gives more P/T, moves it into blue, and lets you peek at everyone’s hands.

        • Melissa Juice

          It indeed DOES sound like you’ve gotten too competitive in EDH. Not my style, friend. I’d have to leave your playgroup. haha
          I like relaxed games with friends.

  • Happy The Cat

    oh, hey, you know that removal spell you’re holding onto?
    yeah, you cant cast that
    also new poor mans pearl lake? ignores removal and eats up health super fast
    plus stacks WAY better than pearl lake

    • Kameenook

      Hmm, firstly, Pearl Lake Ancient is a house in control mirrors. They likely have more than one removal spell, with a different name of course. It’s a good poor man’s control card methinks, but just as a general creature, not to win you the control mirror, it’s not ignoring removal so much as acting like a tidehollow sculler for it.

      Also, what do you mean stacks better than pearl lake?

  • Ryū

    My god, finally, another legendary sphinx, and he’s so awesome.

  • Dr. Burn Crow


    • Ryū

      I’m slightly disappointed as well, after having reread his ability.

    • Kameenook

      I can see why you would be, it costs 5 mana more than a storm crow, has unnecessary text, has unnecessary power and toughness, and does not instill the same kind of fear a storm crow does.

      • Dr. Burn Crow

        It doesn’t stop fun well enough.

  • djAMPnz

    Anyone else notice that this is the first ‘name a card’ (of sorts) card in Magic that is playable in a console game, namely Duels of the Planeswalkers (soon to be Duels Origins) because you don’t have to type in the name of the card but instead can just choose one. Seems, seeing as Duels Origins will be update with each paper set, they are making cards that will work there.

  • Fakeromon .

    Every one is talking bad about this card, i am one of those also. But then I look back at all the awsome blue cards origins already has. It would only be logical for them to print a meh card as well.

    • Melissa Juice

      Seems fun in Commander to me.

  • Ryx

    Well this is stupid good in edh.

  • Dustin Weeks

    I would run this in an isperia edh. Its a heavy hitting flyer. It lets you look at your opponents hand which helps trigger isperia’s effect. especially if you dont have a telepathy or it was destroyed. And he is a sphinx so you know a sphinx edh deck has always been something i wanted to mess around with. Though pretty much in anything else its useless.

    • Marvin Sürig

      First thing I read which actually makes sense to me, because by naming the card you choosen you can always search. Nice!

      • Dustin Weeks

        Its a pretty decent combination. It plays well into that kind of deck. Still need more cardds to finish it though.

  • Artheties

    People, people you’re all missing the point. Alhammaret is like the best name ever.

  • Permafrost

    If I’m reading this right, even if you are playing in, say, a 4 person game, you can only name 1 card. That’s a bit disappointing, especially in commander, but I wouldn’t go so far as calling him useless as much as a card that needs a special deck.

    • Ryū

      Yes, I believe that’s correct, since it doesn’t say choose the name of a nonland card for each opponent. I misread the first time, but it’s still an interesting card in my opinion. I’d be willing to use him as a commander simply for the fact that he’s the first-ever legendary sphinx that’s actually mono-blue.

  • Chaospyke

    Not the best card ever, but certainly playable in Limited.
    A 7 drop 5/5 that lets you know if its safe to swing. Not bad

  • Zombie

    Incoming EDH staple for Blue/X decks.

    I know I’ll be picking up a foil for my Momir Vig combo EDH deck for sure.

    • MustveBumpedYoHead

      Staple? You’re trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrippin’ hard. Save the 95 cents you were gonna spend for the foil version of this card and buy yourself a pair of Foil Fog.

      • Zombie

        Or I can play it in my Momir Combo deck as another soft-lock control card via bouncing it multiple times every turn.

        Bounce their Commander to their hand, cheat in Alhammaret, name their Commander, they can’t play their Commander.

        Bounce him over and over to devour your opponents’ hands down to where only their lands remain.

        I’ll still be buying a foil. Alhammaret is abusable and I play a deck that abuse him.

        • XC

          …except every time you bounce him you lose the previous card you banned, so they can then just play that.

          • Guest

            He’s right, sadly. Your opponents only can’t cast spells with the chosen name as long as Alhammarret stays on the battlefield.

            (You really have to get into the habit of reading the whole card, not just the best part of it)

          • Zombie

            I’m not talking about literal hand desctruction.

            Alhammaret can be repeatedly abused every turn to deny specific cards from being cast when you don’t want them to be cast.

            Repeatable Flicker/Bounce effects and Alhammaret is a soft-lock on your opponent(s).

            It’s an absolutely disgusting denial effect in a 1v1 EDH match, but the effect is diluted greatly for each additional player added to the game.

            In the standard 1v1v1v1, Alhammaret can still play a fantastic diplomacy role in your deck.

            You can stop someone from casting a spell that would prevent another player from doing what they want, you could stop a player from playing their General that you bounced, etc..

            Alhammaret with a way to juggle him in and out of play isn’t hand destruction, it’s a soft-lock.

            It lets you dictate how the game is played.

          • Guest

            …yeah, you’re right. Now I see what you meant. You are not denying them multiple cards simultaneously, but exactly the most important one in a current situation. And with instant speed flicker you are not giving them an open window to react. That’s a neat little trick indeed.

            Now only out of curiosity: How would such a board state look like? What cards would you be using?

            (and sorry for assuming earlier that you didn’t read the whole card. Guess I was the one who didn’t think far enough)

          • Zombie

            Anything with a ‘Flicker’ or Bounce effect on a stick.

            Isochron Scepter with Flicker, Momentary Blink, Otherworldly Journey, Unsummon (and the like).

            Roon of the Hidden Realm, etc..

            Cold Storage is another repeatable way to do this.

            As for a deck like my Momir Vig, the idea will be to cheat him into play, bounce him with various effects like with Cold Storage, Roaring Primadox juggling, Flicker/Bounce effect on Isochron Scepter, etc.

            My Momir Vig is basically just U/G “Goodstuffs”, so Alhammaret will fit right in since I already have multiple other soft lock combos and game winning combos in the deck already, and the tools to support Alhammaret as well.

            Worst case scenario I can always bounce him with my Jace, the Mind Sculptor, as well.

          • Alex Egertsen

            ah, I see what you did there? Nice flavor text.

          • Anonymous

            Except every time you ban another card, they can play the other one that just got un-banned. And in your case of locking out a counter-spell, they can just counter him, and there goes your so-called “hand-destruction”. And the problem with locking them out of their commander, is they still have the choice to put their commander in the command zone, granted most people wouldn’t do that since they’d have to pay at least two extra mana. You’re trying to make a card good that just has little-to-no playability. It can’t be abused as easily as you believe it can, and you have to flicker it just about every turn to know exactly what the “most important” card you “have” to ban is, at which point he can easily be thrown out with a counter spell. What you’re going to say, “But! Wait! They’re wasting a counter spell that would be better used on something else!” I say, “There’s definitely going to be more than one counter-spell in their deck if they have even one.” It’s a 5/5 flier with a terrible ability, for 7 mana. In the end, just not worth it. At. All.

          • Zombie

            That’s not the point, though.

            The goal of the card is repeatable and flexible card denial.

            When used with a repeatable flicker or bounce effect, Alhammeret becomes a multiple-use scalpel of hand denial.

            You bounce him multiple times to prevent your opponent from casting something each time, if they have cards that you don’t want them reacting with. You can even use him to completely prevent a player from playing their General, given you’ve relocated their General to their hand.

            Say they have a counter spell in your hand but you need to get a card to resolve. Flicker Alhammaret, name their counter, your card will resolve.

            Flicker Alhammaret again and name something else you don’t want them to play during your turn, then him again during their drawstep to name something you don’t want them to play during their turn.

            Unless your opponent is running Stifle or ability denial spells/effects like Torpor Orb, you can repeatedly deny your opponent’s usage of spells when they want to cast them and they can’t interact with it.

            And you can do this with every opponent every turn. Alhammaret with a repeatable bounce/flicker effect gives you a soft-lock on every opponent in your game given they’re running similar cards, and most EDH decks run a bunch of universal staples that you can completely deny passivley with Alhammaret on the board.

            It’s a disgustingly strong ability that’s easy and simple to abuse, and I’m BAFFLED that you can’t see that.

  • …Legacy Reanimator?

  • LOR

    nephalia smuggler + Alhammaret, High Arbiter slowly shut down a deck

    • Marvin Sürig

      Well i think you didn’t read the card. It works just like oblivion Ring if he’s not in play he don’t work.

  • Aejann

    Nice! I’ve been looking for a new bookmark!

    Seriously though, this card is bad. It’s a legendary that costs seven, so my immediate thought is Commander or multiplayer, but Commander is a singleton format, so I’m only banning one card from that player’s deck, and MAYBE my other opponent’s decks IF they’re running the same card. Other formats are WAY too fast for a seven CMC card. Even from a flavor standpoint, this guy’s supposed to be a master telepath, and he can read only my enemies’ minds once, and stop a single idea? It would have been fantastic if he had a way to let you choose a new card to ban, or instead of banning, punish opponents for playing that card (perhaps, “Name a nonland card revealed this way. Whenever an opponent plays a card with that name, that player discards their hand.”)

    To me, it seems like I’m paying five extra mana to pin a double Mighty Leap onto Brain Maggot. I’d rather play Telepathy.

  • Guest

    Has one of you read his story on uncharted realms?

    I really don’t like the fact that Jace made him forget how to breath… Breathing is not a memory, thus cannot be wiped out. You also can’t forget how to digest or how to make your heart beat. These are parts of the autonomic nervous system, and absolutely separated from your consciousness!

    I really liked the story, but this part just bugged me enormously, GAAAAAH!!!

    (I know, this is fantasy and doesn’t have to be scientifically accurate, but still…)

    • Kameenook

      Your concscious memory may not include anything on how to breathe, but somewhere in your brain, there’s wiring, coding, for breathing, now given that telepathy is not an exact science, I bet you could attack this part of the brain.

      • Alex Egertsen

        Actually, to even help this further. Telepathy, let alone mind control can force the mind to stop performing all functions. Forget is a loose term here. However, everything that the body does on it’s own deals with your central nervous system(aka the brain) besides in recent studies there has been evidence that the brain does not rely on just the frontal cortex where most of the memory that is used for reasoning(A particular memory that interacts with the 5 senses) while the fact of someone’s memory can be traced throughout the entire system itself not in just one place. So yes, back to the fictional side of telepathy this does make sense.

  • Kameenook

    Is that a human face? It’s seriously creeping me out.

    • Happy The Cat

      it’s a sphinx that’s what they do
      look up the ambassador if you and a different creepy

      • Kameenook

        I don’t know why I did it, hopefully I don’t remember any of the nightmares I know I’ll have now.

  • Happy The Cat

    I wish that this was not legendary so that rite of replication could lock out people