Asinine Antics – Wilds of Eldraine
Date Reviewed: October 3, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The YouTuber Spice8Rack has a very interesting video about the Un-sets, in which they argue that Magic’s mainline sets have learned way more lessons from Unglued and friends than most of us realize. Think about this: if you travelled back in time to 2002 and asked someone to guess whether the card named “Asinine Antics” was from 2023’s most recent mainline expansion, or 2023’s most recent Un-set, at least nine out of ten people would have picked the latter. If you’d asked in 2004, after Unhinged and its donkeyfolk, it would have been even more unequivocal. But don’t get me wrong – Magic is far better for having the whimsy and humor. It makes the serious parts more meaningful, and one of the reasons looking back on sets like Mercadian Masques or Invasion is harder than you expect is because most of the cards are trying so hard to be weighty.
Asinine Antics reminds me a lot of Polymorphist’s Jest from M15, which many players enjoy leveraging into a sometimes one-sided board sweeper in casual play. I expect the same thing from this card: while a lot of competitive creatures have abilities that the Cursed Role won’t turn off, there is a similar type of flexibility and ability to deploy it during combat or even after the end of combat (if you really need to). You can also use it as an odd sort of blue Overrun, if you have creatures that are notably bigger than 1/1 and need to discourage blocking. It is also a good way to get a whole bunch of enchantments coming into play at once – this is, of course, a theme of Wilds of Eldraine and another popular casual strategy.
Commander [EDH]: 4
It wouldn’t be a fairy tale without someone getting turned into a donkey, right? Asinine Antics, joking aside, is a pretty solid bit of removal in all…it’s not perfect, but it can do an excellent job at nullifying a lot of board presence on your opponents by tagging all creatures with a Cursed Role to make them 1/1. It doesn’t completely neuter them, but shrinking them is a good way to nullify the threat they present and if you’re willing to pay six mana, this can be done as a combat trick to really throw things into chaos. But when you consider that four mana is the going rate for mass removal, and blue usually doesn’t get it, this is a sneakily effective way to thumb the scales in your favor. It won’t completely stop all creatures or all board states, but sometimes you just need a nudge, and this is that nudge.
Constructed: 3.75 (I think it might be a bit slow for most decks, but it’s a one-sided trick that can lead to massive blowouts, and so it’ll probably see some play)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
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