Arcane Proxy – The Brother’s War
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The prototype ability is a variant on the “two cards in one” concept that they usually use double-faced cards to represent. Instead of choosing a face, like with the similar concepts from Zendikar Rising, Strixhaven, and Kaldheim, you choose a cost, which both simplifies and complicates things. For example, a card like Arcane Proxy is colorless if you choose its colorless mana cost, which in turn affects how people play against it – we’re not used to cards like this being destroyed by Red Elemental Blast and the like.
In Arcane Proxy’s case, I feel like both of its modes are good in casual play, and its cheaper mode is good for constructed. The biggest tournament formats are very fast, but a three-mana second casting is comparable to existing plays with Snapcaster Mage, and there might be a use for a version where the creature part is an artifact. It’s also going to be relevant for singleton formats, and anyone who generates a lot of mana will obviously find the “bigger” mode appealing. It’s too bad in a way that Commander’s default rules limit Arcane Proxy to (part-)blue decks, but perhaps it’s just as well – Scapeshift is already devastating enough when you only cast it once!
Commander [EDH]: 4
A bit reminiscent of Torrential Gearhulk, but with its own twists. Arcane Proxy is a good way to get a second use out of a spell; while casting it as a three-mana creature will often be more economical, seven mana to reuse anything in your graveyard that costs four mana or less is doable. That said, this must be cast to get the spell, which does rule out one of the ways that this might be really potent. I think this is the kind of card that plays better than it looks, thanks to Powerstones and all sorts of artifact creature buffs, but this may well be a step too clunky at seven mana. For three mana, though, this is a surprisingly solid deal and will likely see plenty of play in that capacity, because getting a 2/1 body and a second cast of a spell you already used is a good deal.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5 (Wizard is neat, but this being blue does limit it a bit)
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