Posted on Leave a comment

Card of the Week – Mana Maze

Mana Maze - INV - Banner

Mana Maze is a Blue Enchantment that works as an effective stax piece. Having had Chris play this card against me several times, I can confirm it is effective. This underplayed stax piece can also be used offensively making it the Card of the Week.

Mana Maze - INV
Everybody loves stax… right?

The oracle text can be found here.

The way that Mana Maze is worded makes it fairly unique among stax pieces. This is because it does not affect each player, like other pieces such as Deafening Silence. It effects everyone at the table, resetting at the beginning of each turn. For example, if it is my turn and during my upkeep Chris casts a Brainstorm. This means that no-one can cast a blue spell, or a spell with Blue in it. Until either a spell of a different colour is cast, or the start of the next turn. This can completely hose your opponents if they are playing a mono coloured deck, or at least force them to play around it. If you are playing a control deck it will allow you to make good use of counter spells. All the time ensuring that your counterspells won’t get countered.

The downside of Mana Maze is that it affects you as well. This means you are just as vulnerable to players casting spells in your upkeep as your opponents. Additionally much like other stax pieces this one draws the ire of your opponents. It becomes central to the game and your opponents will want to get rid of it.

Suggested Commanders

Mana Maze is best in decks that are primarily colourless and this provides a loophole, for example Urza, Lord high Artificer. It also works really well in Golos, Tireless Pilgrim decks as once Golos is out they are looking to spin the wheel instead of casting spell. As well as working in stax decks such as Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, or Oloro, Ageless Ascetic.

Posted on

Card of the Week – Darkness

Fog - LEA - Banner

Darkness is a black fog, that was originally printed all the way back in Legends. A fog is a spell that prevents all combat damage this turn. It gets it’s name from the card Fog which has been a part of the game since Alpha. Just like Withering Boon it is a card that is completely unexpected. This is because it is not something that black can traditionally do.

Darkness - Legends printing
It even has a quote from Shakespeare

Darkness has been received an errata it now reads “Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn”. The oracle text can be found here.

Why should you run it?

Just like the original Fog, Darkness only costs a single mana but this time it is Black. If you have ever played magic against someone like me, you know just how devastating the combat step can be. Furthermore combat is an important step for most Boros and Gruul decks, and essential for infect decks. When you are building a Commander deck you want to make sure that you have interaction or answers. Additionally you want to make sure that you can answer a range of different problems, including combat.

Darkness can buy you a turn if your opponent has an overwhelming board state. Or it can cause a massive blowout to your opponent if they have used pumpspells or other combat tricks. It can also be used as a political tool, you can save an opponent in exchange for a later favour.

Suggested Commanders

The downsides to running Darkness are minimal, and you only need to leave a single mana open to cast it. This means that it can go in just about any deck that is running black. For example: K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth; Yawgmoth, Thran Physician or Kaalia of the Vast. It is also good in Thantis, the Warweaver decks as you can get the +1/+1 counters and avoid the combat damage.

Posted on

Card of the Week – Reap and Sow

Reap and Sow -DST-Banner

Reap and Sow is a modal sorcery that gives you the option to grow or to destroy. One of the reasons Commander is such a popular format is the Social Contract. Due to the social contract Land destruction is not often seen in commander pods. However, there are different types of land destruction. Firstly there is mass land destruction, including the classic Armageddon. Secondly there is targeted land destruction such as Stone Rain. Because Land destruction is often seen as taboo, targeted Land destruction is underplayed. Despite the fact it should be a more regular feature in commander decks, making Reap and Sow the Card of the Week.

Reap and Sow - DST
Grow or Destroy… why not both?

The oracle text can be found here.

Why you should be running it?

Reap and Sow is a Sorcery for 3G(reen) that gives you a choice to tutor for a land onto the battlefield or to destroy target land. Lands are a very important part of a commander game, as anyone who has ever been mana screwed will tell you. But with the huge card selection available in EDH there are also some very powerful lands. For example Rouges Passage or a Maze of Ith can control the flow of a game. Then there are the lands like Gaea’s Cradle or the fixed Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun that can provide insane amounts of mana. These are the lands that are ripe for destruction.

Earlier I said “tutor” for land on to the battlefield and not ramp. This is because the MV of the card is too high to be considered ramp in my opinion. For further information on Ramp in commander please see this article. Reap and Sow can go find any land and put it onto the battlefield. Just as it is useful to get rid of powerful lands it can also be used to go get your Cavern of Souls or Mystifying Maze. This land also also enters the battlefield untapped allowing you to use it immediately.

If you have enough mana you can cast it for it’s entwine cost which is 4GG(reen) allowing you to cast both sides.

Suggested Commanders

Reap and Sow can go is just about any deck that is running Green. It is at it’s best when the deck runs a suite of utility lands that it can go and find. For example if you are running a Golgari Commander you can go get Urborg, Yavimaya, or Cabal Coffers. Additionally it is good in Landfall decks such as Golos, or any of the Onmaths. You can go get lands that can either fix your mana such as Crystal Quarry. Or you go get bounce and repeatedly get landfall triggers. If you are lucky enough to own a Gaea’s cradle it can put it untapped directly onto the battlefield

Posted on

Card of the Week – Graceful Reprieve

Graceful Reprieve -MM3-Banner

Graceful Reprieve is a White Instant that doesn’t feel like a White card. Whether it is your commander or another combo piece their are certain creatures you want to stay on the battlefield. This Instant is a great way to protect your Commander, and is the Card of the Week.

Graceful Reprieve - MM3 Printing
Death is just temporary

The oracle text can be found here.

Commanders are magnets for removal spells, and many decks run ways to protect them such as Swiftfoot Boots. Graceful Reprieve is an Instant that that returns a creature to the battlefield when it dies. This is an ability that is more commonly found on Black spells, making this all the more useful. White utilises creatures which means there is an high chance that you will have a target.

At 1W(hite) this spell can generate you large amounts of value. For example if you are running Roon of the Hidden Realm it can save a creature and trigger their ETB. It’s low MV means that it is easy to hold up mana to cast and it synergies with Sunforger. In addition unlike other protection it can save any Creature on your board as opposed to an equipment.

Conversely the only downside is that if you are running a Voltron deck it will not re-equip the Equipment. However, it will save it from having to go back to the Command Zone. Overall if there are creatures that you would like to save and you are running White you should consider Graceful Reprieve.

Decks that would benefit from Graceful Reprieve should check out previous Card of the Week Gift of Immortality.

Suggested Commanders

The best commander for Graceful Reprieve is Feather, the Redeemed as you can use it continuously. It is also suited to commanders that draw a lot of hate such as Atraxa, Preators’ Voice, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV or Omnath, Locus of Creation. Additionally it works well with Voltron and Aggro strategies, as it helps reduce the Commander Tax.

It also compliments Aristocrat themes as you can cast it on a creature, Sacrifice it, and then it will return to the battlefield. This means that it can be used in Teysa Karlov decks to get death triggers and keep the creature.

Posted on

Card of the Week – Meltdown

Meltdown-USG-Cropped

Meltdown is a sorcery that was printed back in Urza’s Saga and is a perfect answer to troublesome artifacts. Although it hasn’t been printed in over 20 years, it would still be a fine addition to any commander deck. Recommended by fellow Librarian Liam the piece of interaction is the card of the week.

Meltdown - Urza's Saga Printing
Such destruction for so little mana

One of the recent trends in commander is not just the need for more interaction, but efficient interaction. Meltdown is an artifact destroying sorcery that scales with the game. For X and a Red mana, you can destroy each artifact whose Mana Value is X or less. This means that it is closer to a board wipe for artifacts than targeted removal. The potential upside for this card is huge, for a small mana investment you can hit a multitude of artifacts. Casting it where x is equal to 2 would hit multiple mana rocks including sol ring, talismans or signets. Significantly it can be used to slow down decks with access to fast mana.

If you are playing at higher power-levels you can cast it where x is equal to zero and hit, Mana Crypt, treasure tokens, Lion’s Eye Diamond or a mox. Additionally casting it just for the red mana and increase the storm count with additional upside.

On the other hand, Meltdown also hits your own artifacts. Therefore you will have to consider what value you play x as when you cast it. It’s largest downside is that is a sorcery and not an instant. Overall Meltdown is a highly flexible card that would fit in most commander decks running Red. An excellent piece of interaction that can be cast at a low MV, and you can read more about why that is important here.

Suggested Commanders

Meltdown is at it’s best in a deck that is looking to cast as many spells as possible. For example it could be mana neutral in Birgi, God of Storytelling, or provide a Prowess trigger in Elsha of the Infinite. Furthermore it work well in Gruul aggro decks as they are unlikely to be dependant on mana rocks for ramp. Finally it can be combined with Darkseel Forge and Mycosynth Lattice to decimate your opponents.

Posted on

Card of the Week – Nighthaze

Nighthaze-ROE-Cropped

Nighthaze is cantrip for a single black mana, and comes recommended by my fellow Librarian Coatsy. A cantrip is a spell that has the line of text “Draw a card” after another effect. Cantrips are highly flexible cards and this one is no exception making it the Card of the Week.

Nighthaze - ROE printing
At worst you draw a card

The potential upside you can get from the single black mana this sorcery costs, can be game ending. Swampwalk is a keyword ability that makes the creature unblockable, as long as the defending player controls a Swamp. Additional information on Landwalk can be found here. This means that casting it on one of your Creatures will allow you to swing for certain damage. You can use this if you are playing Infect or just have a big creature, Nighthaze will allow it to attack for lethal. It has further utility when dealing with Planeswalkers, because Landwalk works on them as well.

The obvious downside is that your opponent needs to control a Swamp for this to be at its most effective. However, this is mitigated by Black’s popularity as a colour. Out of the current 20 top commanders 16 of them contain Black. The real downside is that it has to target a creature to resolve. Although it does not need to be a creature you control. If you just want to cast it as a cantrip and ignore the Swampwalk aspect, cast it on an opponents Creature there is very little downside. So at worst you spent 1 mana to draw a card.

Nighthaze would be a good addition to any deck running black that is looking to deal combat damage. Whether you are looking to punch through with a swole Rat from Marrow-Gnawer or just looking to let Skithiryx smash face.

Posted on

Card of the Week – Instill Energy

Instill Energy - Cropped Image

Instill Energy is a card that was originally printed back in Alpha and arguably it still hasn’t received a full errata. Nevertheless it is still a highly useful card and is the card of the week.

Instill Energy - Alpha printing
Who doesn’t like untappers?

An enchantment aura for a single green mana that enchants a creature. Not necessarily a create you control. It allows the enchanted creature to attack as though it has hate. Additionally it allows the creature to untap one additional time during your turn, the full errata can be found here.

A large number of creature’s activated abilities requites the creature to tap as part of the cost. An untapper such as Instill Energy allows you to activate that ability a second time each turn. This allows you to either generate a large amount of value or Alter the board state to propel you ahead in the game. Enchanting Selvala, Priest of Titiania or even a Birds of Paradise will give you access to a lot of mana. Whereas Yisan or Vannifar would allow you to tutor for two creatures to the battlefield.

Additionally it allows the creature to attack as though it had haste. This is the more underrated aspect of Instill Energy but is very useful. If you are playing a beat-down deck it can enable your big creature to attack immediately. It can also act as pseudo vigilance, as you can attack with the creature and then untap it afterwards.

It can also be used in a political tool as it doesn’t need to enchant a creature you control. The only downsides are that is only provides attacking and not tapping haste, and you must untap the creature on your turn.

Posted on

Card of the Week – Withering Boon

There are five colours in Magic, and each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. They also have certain aspects of the game that they are the strongest in. For example, Green is the colour of ramp, and Blue is the colour of counterspells. Or is it?

Withering Boon is fast becoming a pet card of mine because the only thing your opponent expects less than a hard counterspell in black is the Spanish Inquisition. Which is what makes it the card of the week.

Mirage printing 
Instant 
As an additional cost to cast this spell, pay 3 life.
Counter target creature spell.
Nobody will see it coming

Withering Boon is an Interrupt for 1B and 3 life that counters a summon spell. Back in 1996 when it received its only printing to date this made sense. However, it has since received an errata and the oracle text can be found here on Gatherer. It is now an Instant that counters a creature spell, essentially it is a black Essence Scatter.

Counterspells are always worth running as they allow you to deal with a problematic card before it even hits the battlefield. You can spend 2 mana to counter a spell that cost your opponent any amount of mana. Paying 3 life is hardly a downside, life is a resource and you start with 40 of it in commander.

The downside of the Spanish Inquisition… I mean Withering Boon is that it can only counter creature spells. In commander this is less of an issue as at least one deck at the table will be running creatures. Additionally the the vast majority of decks run a creature as the commander.

Withering Boon is a highly flexible card that can go in almost any deck that is running black and not running blue. It is worth running if for no other reason than the look on your opponent’s face because no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Posted on

A Guide To Land Ramp

Ramp is something that appears in just about every Commander deck, and is something all decks want to do. This is because Commander is a game of resource management, accumulating more resources will put you in a stronger position. Ramping will allow you to play your spells ahead of curve, and play more spells per turn in the late game. There are many different types of ramp and this article will look specifically at Land Ramp. I will be defining Land Ramp as “an effect that puts one or more lands from your library onto the battlefield, increasing your overall number of lands”.

Ideally when you are ramping you want to ramp equal to half the amount of mana you spent. Taking Rampant Growth as a baseline, you get 1 land for 2 mana. This gives it an efficiency of 0.5 [Efficiency = net land change / total mana spent].

However, the efficiency of a piece of ramp is just a guideline and should be considered in combination with other factors such as synergy, or what lands you run.

For example, if you only run basic lands in a multi-coloured deck Nature’s Lore is not as useful as cultivate, or if you are running an Enchantress build you might run Omen of the Hunt over Kodama’s Reach. It is important to make your ramp work for you.

Jump to CMC: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Honorable Mentions

0 CMC

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Blighted Woodland– Can function as a land until cracked
– Can be used to find any basic land types
– Only finds basic lands0.2
Krosan Verge– Can function as a land until cracked
– Can be used to find non basic lands with Forest and Plains land types (such as shock lands)
– Enters the battlefield tapped0.3
Myriad Landscape– Can function as a land until cracked
– Requires generic mana to activate
– Can be used to find any basic land types
– Enters the battlefield tapped
– Only finds basic lands
– Both lands must be the same type
0.3

1 CMC

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Animist’s Awakening– Can hit any land
– Spell mastery could allow land(s) to come in untapped
– Potential to get a large number of lands
– High variation in results N/A
Diligent Farmhand– Only costs 1 mana initially allowing you to ramp on turn 2
– Can be activated at instant speed, so you can block with and activate it before damage is dealt
– Can find any kind of basic land
– Synergy for Aristocrat themed decks
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Font of Fertility– Only costs 1 mana initially allowing you to ramp on turn 2
– Can find any kind of basic land
– Can be activated at instant speed
– Synergy for Enchantment themed decks
– Only finds basic lands 0.3
Oashra Cultivator– Synergy for Aristocrat themed decks– Only finds basic lands
– Cannot be activated the turn you play it
0.25
Veteran Explorer– Can find any type of basic land
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Only finds basic lands
– Only triggers on death
– Also ramps your opponents
2
Embodiment of Spring– Synergy for Aristocrat themed decks
– Synergy for Elemental tribal Decks
– Only finds basic lands
– Cannot be activated the turn you play it
0.3
Explorer’s Scope– Only requires generic mana to cast and equip
– Can get any land
– Reusable
– It only looks at the top card of your library
– Lacks consistency
– Requires a creature to attack
N/A
Wayfarer’s Bauble– Only costs 1 mana initially allowing you to ramp on turn 2
– Only requires generic mana to cast and activate
– Can find any type of basic land
– Only finds basic lands0.3

2 CMC

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Knight of the White Orchid– Its ramp in White
– Can find a non basic land
– Passes the Value test
– The creature’s body is impressive 2/2 with first strike
– Can be used to find non basic lands with the Plains land types (such as shock lands)
– Requires an opponent to control more lands than you do
– Lacks consistency
0 // 0.5
Dreamscape Artist– Can find any kind of basic land
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Only finds basic lands
– You have to discard a card as part of the cost
– Cannot be activated the turn you play it
1st Land: 0.2
2nd Land: 0.25
Dawntreader Elk– Can be activated at instant speed, so you can block with and activate it before damage is dealt
– Can find any kind of basic land
– Synergy for Aristocrat themed decks
– Only finds basic lands
0.3
Edge of Autumn – Can find any kind of basic land
– Cycling provides additional utility in the mid-late game
– Can only be cast if you have 4 or fewer lands
– Only finds basic lands
0.5
Emergent Sequence– Can find any kind of basic land
– Synergy with +1/+1 counters decks
– Land becomes a creature
– Only finds basic lands
– Land becomes a creature
0.5
Farseek– Can be used to find non basic lands with the Plains, Island, Swap or Mountain land types (such as shock lands)– Cannot find Forests0.5
Into the North– Can be used to find any snow land
– Synergy for Snow themed decks
– Lack of good Snow lands
– Can only be used for Snow lands
0.5
Khalni Heart Expedition – Finds 2 lands for 2 mana
– Can be used to find any kind of basic land
– Synergy for Enchantment themed decks
– Only finds basic lands
– Slow to activate, as it requires 3 landfall triggers before
1
Nature’s Lore– Can be used to find non basic lands with the Forest type (such as shock lands)
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Can only find Forests0.5
Rampant Growth– Can find any kind of basic land– Only finds basic lands 0.5
Sakura-Tribe Elder– Can be activated at instant speed, so you can block with and activate it before damage is dealt
– Can find any kind of basic land
– Synergy with Aristocrat themed style decks
– Only finds basic lands0.5
Three Visits – Can be used to find non basic lands with the Forest type (such as shock lands)
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Can only find Forests0.5
Viridian Emissary– Can find any kind of basic land
– Can be used as a blocker
– Synergy for Elf tribal Decks
– Only triggers on death
– Only finds basic lands
0.5
Surveyor’s Scope– Potential for high efficiency
– It is still has good efficiency if only one opponent has 2 more lands than you
– Only requires generic mana to cast
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Can be activated at instant speed
– High variation in results
– Requires you to be 2 lands behind each opponent
– Only finds basic lands
– Exiles itself on resolution
1st Land: 0.5
2nd Land: 1
3rd Land: 1.5
Sword of the Animist– Only requires generic mana to cast and equip
– Can find any type of basic land
– Provides a stat line boost
– Repeatable
– Requires you to attack with equipped creature
– Only finds basic lands
1st Land: 0.25
2nd Land: 0.5 (if equipped to the same creature)

3 CMC

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Beanstalk Giant (Fertile Footsteps)– Can find any type of basic land
– Whilst it is on an adventure it is difficult to interact with
– Can be cast as a creature later in the game
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Only finds basic lands
0.3
Beneath the Sands– Can find any type of basic land
– Cycling gives it additional functionality in the late game
– Only finds basic lands
0.3
Cultivate– Can find any type of basic land
– Ensures your next land drop
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Deep Reconnaissance – Can find any type of basic land
– Flashback allows it to be cast twice
– Synergy for Graveyard themed decks
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Flashback: 0.2
Total: 0.25
Far Wanderings– If Threshold is reached it provides 3 basic lands
– Synergy for Graveyard themed decks
– Only finds basic lands
0.3
Threshold: 1
Farhaven Elf– Leaves behind a body
– Additional synergy for ETB decks
– Synergy for Elf tribal Decks
– Only finds basic lands
0.3
Fertilid– Can find any basic land type
– Useful politics tool as you can ramp other players
– Additional synergy with +1/+1 counters decks
– Only finds basic lands1st Land: 0.2
2nd Land: 0.28
3rd Land: 0.3
Field Trip– Learn (rummage only in Commander) gives it additional functionality – Only finds basic Forests 0.3
Grow from the Ashes– Can be used to find any type of basic lands
– Its kicker costs means it has additional functionality late game
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Kicker: 0.4
Growth Spasm– Can be used to find any type of basic
– Also creates an Eldrazi Spawn which can be sacrificed for mana
– Synergy for Aristocrat themed decks
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Harrow– Instant Speed
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Harvest Season– Potential to get a large number of lands – Only finds basic lands
– High variation in results
0.3 per Land
Kodama’s Reach– Can find any type of basic land
– Ensures your next land drop
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Map the Wastes– Can be used to find any type of basic lands
– Additional Synergy for +1/+1 counters themed decks
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Natural connection– Instant Speed
– Can find any type of basic land
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Omen of the Hunt– Instant Speed
– Can be used to find any type of basic land
– Has additional functionality later in the game providing scry
– Synergy for Enchantment themed decks
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Primal Growth– Can be used to find any type of basic land
– Can provide additional ramp if a creature is sacrificed
– Synergy for Aristocrat themed decks
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Kicker: 0.6
Recross the Paths– Land(s) enter untapped
– Potential to recast it if you win the Clash
– Can hit any land
– High variation in results0.3
Roiling Regrowth – Instant Speed– Only finds basic lands
0.3
Search for Tomorrow – Land(s) enter untapped
– Can be used to find any type of basic
– Can be cast for its Suspend cost
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Suspend: 1
Spoils of Victory– Can find any land with the colored land types
– Land(s) enter untapped
0.3
Springbloom Druid– Can be used to find any type of basic lands
– Leaves behind a body
– Synergy for Elf tribal Decks
– Synergy for ETB decks
– Synergy for Aristocrat themed decks
– Only finds basic lands
0.3
Untamed WildsUntamed Wilds -4th Edition – Land(s) enter untapped
– Can be used to find any type of basic
– Only finds basic lands0.3
Wood Elves– Can be used to find non-basic Forests
– Leaves behind a body
– Synergy for ETB decks
– Synergy for Elf tribal Decks
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Can only be used for Forests
0.3
Yavimaya Dryad– Leaves behind a body
– Forestwalk
– Can be used to find non-basic Forests
– Synergy for ETB decks
– Can only be used for Forests0.3
Raider’s Karve– Only requires generic mana to cast
– Can get any land
– Reusable
– It only looks at the top card of your library
– Lacks consistency
– Requires additional Crew cost to activate
– Has to attack to trigger
N/A

4 CMC

At this point in your curve the ramp cards should be used for synergy (for example Landfall decks), or for specific land tutors (for example, using Reap and Sow to find a Gaea’s Cradle, or Rouges Passage) as opposed to early game ramp.

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Keeper of the Accord– Repeatable – Reliant on your opponents
– High variation in results
– Only finds basic Plains
0.25 per Land
Circuitous Route– Can be used to find any gates
– Can find any type of basic land
– Only non-basics it finds are gates 0.5
Explosive Vegetation – Can find any type of basic land– Only finds basic lands0.5
Migration Path – Cycling gives it additional functionality later in the game
– Can find any type of basic land
– Only finds basic lands0.5
Migratory Greathorn– Leaves behind a body
– Synergy for Mutate decks
– Can find any type of basic land
– Only finds basic lands
– Mutate options are limited
0.3
Ondu Giant– Can find any type of basic land
– Leaves behind a body
– Synergy for ETB decks
– Only finds basic lands0.25
Peregrination– Can find any type of basic land
– Ensures your next land drop
– Scry provides additional value
– Only finds basic lands0.25
Reap and Sow– Can find any land
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Modal card with entwine option
0.25
Skyshroud Claim– Can find non-basic Forests
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Only finds Forests 0.5
Tempt with Discovery– Can find any land
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Dependent on your opponents
– High variation in results
0.25 per Land
Vastwood Surge– Kicker allows it to have additional functionality later in the game
– Synergy for +1/+1 counters themed decks
– Only finds basic lands0.5
Kicked: 0.25
Wild Wanderer– Leaves behind a body
– Synergy for ETB decks
– Synergy for Elf tribal Decks
– Only finds basic lands0.25
Exploding Borders– Domain provides additional functionality – Only finds basic lands0.25
Quandrix Cultivator– Leaves behind a body
– Synergy for ETB decks
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Only finds basic Forests and Islands0.25
Solemn Simulacrum– Only requires generic mana to cast
– Finds any type of basic land
– Draws a card when it dies
– Synergy for ETB decks
– Synergy for Aristocrat themed decks
– Only finds basic lands
– Fails the Value test
0.25

5 CMC

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Hour of Promise– Finds any land
– Potential to create a 2/2 Black Zombie token
0.4
Silverglade Elemental– Leaves behind a body
– Can be used to find non-basic Forests
– Synergy for ETB decks
– Synergy for Elemental tribal Decks
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Can only be used for Forests0.2
Traverse the Outlands– Can find any type of basic land
– Potential to get a large number of lands
– Only finds basic lands
– High variation in results
0.2 per Land

6 CMC

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Verdant Mastery– Can find any type of basic land
– Ensures your next land drop
– You can ramp an opponent
– Only finds basic lands0
0.5

7 CMC

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Boundless Realms– Can find any type of basic land
– Potential to get a large number of lands
– Only finds basic lands
– High variation in results
0.14 per Land

Honorable mentions

NameImageAdvantagesDisadvantagesEfficiency
Crop Rotation – Can find any land
– Instant
– Land(s) enter untapped
– Does not increase your number of lands 0
Courser of Kruphix– Synergy for Life Gain decks – You play with the top card of your library revealed
– Does not allow you to play additional lands
N/A
Oracle of Mul Daya– Allows you to play an additional land each turn
– Synergy for Elf tribal Decks
– You play with the top card of your library revealedN/A
Splendid Reclamation – Potential to get a large number of lands
– Gets all lands
– Synergy for Graveyard Decks
– Requires set up
– Situational
– Lacks consistency
N/A

Posted on

Card of the Week – Blood Pet

Blood Pet - Cropped

The card of the week is Blood Pet, a ritual on a stick. Rituals are a one time effect that will add mana to your mana pool. This can help you get your commander out early. Or you can have an explosive early turn that your opponents just won’t be able to catch-up to.

Blood Pet - Tempest Printing
It’s a creature, it’s a ritual, it’s a Thrull

Blood Pet has several advantages going for it including its creature type and it can be activated at instant speed. Being a creature allows you to store mana into Blood Pet on one turn and redeem it on another. In addition Black has a number of ways of recurring creatures. In addition having an activated ability that gets around summoning sickness and can be done at instant speed makes this very flexible. You can cast it, and immediately sacrifice it to get a death or sacrifice trigger.

As both a ritual and a creature it is rather unimpressive. Creatures are not only the easiest permanent type to deal with its stat line of 1/1 means it won’t be surviving combat. As a ritual you only get back the mana that you put in.

The downsides of this Thrull are outweighed by its Advantages, and ultimately its flexibility.

Blood Pet is most effective in Aristocrat themed decks including; Tessa Karlov; Meren of Clan Nel Toth; Korvold, Fae-Cursed King or Mazirek, Kraul Deth Priest. As well as being an an effective ritual in any deck that runs Black.