This incarnation of Elspeth seemed realistic enough, but even then, it was the third-best of the three Elspeth planeswalkers even if it was truly real. We would later discover that Elspeth Ascended was actually fake. But what if she had been real?
Fake or not, Elspeth Ascended is not a bad card. First of all, a planeswalker for only three mana (1WW) that starts with four loyalty counters is pretty darn good. Let’s take a look at her abilities.
+1: Target permanent you control gains protection from the color of your choice until your next turn.
Her +1 is very similar to the ability of Legacy and Commander favorite Mother of Runes. Protection of this sort is quite helpful in a number of ways. You can make one of your creatures unblockable for a turn. She can sort of protect herself, as well, to give herself protection from opposing spells of certain colors. It’s pretty good for a +1 ability.
-2: The owner of target permanent shuffles it into his or her library, then draws two cards.
Her -2 is straight up the same effect as Oblation, shuffling a card into the deck to have the owner draw 2 cards. This is a nifty little effect, since you can use it on your own permanents, as well as your opponents. The fact that she could essentially use the effect of Oblation twice for only three mana is pretty strong.
-7: Put a 6/6 white Spirit creature token with flying, lifelink, and protection from all colors onto the battlefield.
Her ultimate is quite nice, making a token that’s basically a better version of Iridescent Angel. Played early enough in the game, this ultimate could potentially make this Elspeth a four-turn clock.
Honestly, this card was definitely good enough that it could see play. Also, the -2 ability alone would make her a staple in many White-based Commander decks for her ability to tuck away annoying cards. It would still be able to provide more value than a simple Oblation would. Also, tucking away a creature with an Enter-the-Battlefield effect away to draw two new cards is even more helpful in Commander than it is in Constructed. The EDH player in me wanted this Elspeth to be real.
Of course, we didn’t get Elspeth Ascended. Someone did a good job in creating a fake Elspeth planeswalker, choosing three abilities that made sense on a three-mana planeswalker. Of course, there would be an Elspeth planeswalker in Theros: Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. While she was six-mana with very different abilities, she would become one of the best cards in Standard for a long time and a Commander staple for years to come.