– Urza’s Destiny (1999)
May 3, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 4.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Did you know that Urza’s Saga was supposed to have a mechanical theme of enchantments? It’s often lost among the craziness brought by cards like Tolarian Academy, Great Whale, Grim Monolith, and Yawgmoth’s Bargain, but it was. That was why it also contained such craziness as Delusions of Mediocrity, Serra’s Sanctum, Opalescence, and today’s card Academy Rector. It seems like a rather slow way to get any enchantment you want into play, but creatures generally go to the graveyard pretty easily in a lot of settings. It was in the same block as Victimize, after all, and Legacy players have been combining it with cards like Cabal Therapy for years to good effect. Enchantments may never have gotten the full-scale block treatment that artifacts have, but there are still any number of cards you can search out to take over the game on the spot; the fact that you probably sacrificed the Rector for some effect is just the icing on the cake.
Just on that last point, Mark Rosewater used to be fond of saying that it’s not really possible to do an enchantment version of Mirrodin. Now that the structure of blocks and of Standard has changed, I should think that they will reconsider that. There were a bunch of cards in Magic Origins that should have been in Theros, like Starfield of Nyx and Herald of the Pantheon, so that its themes could have been explored completely; but there is still time to redress those mistakes.
It’s from Urza’s Destiny, so it has to be busted, right? Turns out, it is busted. Not bad for a 1/2 for 4.
Of course Academy Rector’s value is not the body; you want its demise to come swiftly and remorselessly. That’s because of what happens after it dies: you tutor out any Enchantment from your library, at the cost of exiling Academy Rector from your graveyard. Lose Rector and get Omniscience? Sure, sounds good. You can swap out any big, crazy, expensive Enchantment for Omniscience and still have the same general effect. It’s stupidly powerful, to say the least; it’s maybe a bit too slow to see Legacy play, but it’s a casual all-star all the same.
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