Nissa Revane is an elf planeswalker who hails from the exciting world of Zendikar, home of the mighty Eldrazi and a place of sudden, unexpected death. Nissa’s self appointed role is to protect the elves of Zendikar from the land itself.
Nissa Revane costs four mana to cast, two of which must be green. She enters the battlefield with two loyalty counters and has three abilities. As a planeswalker her abilities revolve very much around elves. This provides her with a clear support role at the cost of any flexibility.
As with Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Nissa’s first and second ability each add a loyalty counter. Only the last ability requires you to remove counters from Nissa.
Nissa’s first ability allows you to search your library for a card named Nissa’a Chosen, and put that card onto the battlefield. Nissa’s Chosen is a two mana 2/3 elf warrior. This is a very interesting ability, through it comes with the necessity of including one or more copies of Nissa’s Chosen in any deck featuring Nissa Revane.
The second ability, which also adds one loyalty counter, gives you 2 life for each elf you control. You get a nice balance between Nissa’s first two abilities.
Should you cast Nissa early, before you have too many other creatures, then using her first ability builds your army, and also provides some defence for Nissa. Should you cast Nissa later in the game, you can use her second ability to give yourself a life boost from your existing elf army.
Nissa’s third and final ability costs the removal of seven loyalty counters. Given that Nissa only has two loyalty counters to start with, it will take some time to reach this ability. The final ability allows you to search your library for any number of elf creature cards, and put them onto the battlefield. Any number. You can use this to swarm your opponents with elves, or even just keep it in reserve for immediate recovery from mass creature removal spells.
At the melee table Nissa Revane’s abilities are narrow, but useful within that narrowness. You won’t build a deck around her, but would rather fit her in to an existing elf deck. The trick is finding the space in an existing elf deck to fit Nissa Revane and Nissa’s chosen in, without losing more than you gain from those two cards. That is easier said than done.
Verdict: Weak. A deck built around Nissa Revane is unlikely to do well at the melee table, but this card is useful is certain other decks. Namely elf decks with spare slots at the two and four mana cost level.