I don’t know what to call them or if there is already a commonly used name for them, so I’m calling them that, double legendaries. I have a lot to say about them. Not much of that is positive. Note that I’m not criticizing their playability. I’m here to talk about them from flavor point of view.
Let’s get the positives out first: The idea is kind of fun. Bring back characters that we have enjoyed in the past and put them into a new situation, where they have to find unlikely partners in order to save their world from an existential threat. That’s it. That’s the positive. I guess it’s nice to see some characters I really like, like Hazoret, Surrak, Drana, Kari Zev and, everyone’s favorite, Yargle, return.
First, the whole thing feels like a game for them. In the set there are 10 two-color pairings, 5 three color-pairings and 1 (for some reason) one-color pairing or Surrak and Goreclaw, which doesn’t fit the pattern. So, they had to come up with fifteen different planes and for each of those planes they had to find two legendaries, which they had to fit either into a two color or three color pair. (That one green one shares a plane with one of the mythic three-colored ones.)
What did they do? They approached this with the enthusiasm of high-school homework and just filled the assignment with whatever they had. I mean, yes, Hazoret paired with… Djeru? I did remember there being a card with Djeru’s (Djeru's Resolvename on it, but I did not remember the character itself at all.
For some reason this guy even gets the higher billing. He definitely isn’t the only creature I just had no recollection of or just felt otherwise out of place in this context. Why would Ojutai partner with Zurgo? Sure, those might be the most played legendaries to combine into a Jeskai creatures, but somehow they just seem to have forgotten that while Zurgo did see a lot of Standard play, he was still just a coward, with no standing within the army. So, Ojutai just happened to meet this covering orc and decided that I’m going to let this guy ride on me? What is wrong with these people behind this decision?
Otherwise, we have Zimone and Dina, because I guess they didn’t really know who would be liked enough from Strixhaven, because it is still kind of new, but was there a reason to believe these two would be it? Rankle and Torbran? Is there a reason for them to work together? Sure, they probably complement each other, but you wouldn’t actually see them in the same part of the army, as Rankle would be in some sort of skirmishing role and Torbran would be leading the troops. So many of them have this same flaw. And who decided Kari Zev and Ragavan are on different cards? Just feels very inappropriate.
I guess my biggest problem is that there are precedents to this. There are cards from the past, where we have two legendary figures in one card, but they are very different from these new ones.
Can you see a pattern here? These are characters very close to each other. Four of them are actually married, two are in a relationship, one is brother and sister finally joining together, and the final one is just two animals, but they are apparently known to work together. (There are three others, but I don’t know anything about those pairings, so I left them out.) They are not just random people thrown together.
These also mean that this set probably sets another record for number of words. They should be working to make the game more beginner friendly, but instead they are just trying to put more and more stuff onto each card, while begging people on Twitter to tell them why no-one is playing Standard.
There is also the partner-mechanism. What does that mean now? These new cards feel like they should have had the characters separated and given the partner keyword, but that doesn’t really work in a Standard set, so they couldn’t do that.
I understand that they have limited number of slots in the set to portray everything, which probably forced their hand as well, but the whole idea of this event is just bad and seems to have been handled very poorly. There is even an additional card that tells you so much of how they just messed up. Wrenn and Realmbreaker. This isn’t just two random characters together in the same card. They are the same entity.
So, there used to be power in using these pairings in one card, but instead of understanding that power or utilising it, Wizards just decided to make it into a cheap novelty thing, because thye didn’t really have the ability to write something interesting or tell their story in a meaningful way.