#3 – Assassin’s Trophy
– Guilds of Ravnica
December 27, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card was 2nd on my Top 11 list.
In certain ways, colors overlap in strange and often unpredictable ways. We’ve discussed before how Lightning Helix’s text can just as easily appear on mono-black cards, and Assassin’s Trophy has a lot of overlap with the longtime white staple Path to Exile. Of course, the word “permanent” makes a whole lot of difference, and it’s one we see less and less in new sets without a qualification of some kind. The list of cards that answer creatures, lands, and planeswalkers together is very, very short indeed. There’s no denying the risks involved with giving someone a land, but there are just as many times when it doesn’t even matter because the opponent is now behind on the table or doesn’t have anything more threatening to cast. And in eternal formats, there are decks that don’t even have basic lands to find!
This card was 2nd on my top 11 list.
Much like Fatal Push last year, we got a hyper-powerful piece of removal to headline new cards from the year. Unlike Fatal Push, Assassin’s Trophy is a bit more universal. If an opponent controls it, it dies (unless it has a protection ability, shroud/hexproof, or indestructible). Two mana and instant speed is very good, as is the ability to hit lands! Given that lands anymore tend to be resistant to removal (removal spells for them are bad and expensive), the ability to answer lands like a flipped Azcanta is nice.
The downside is real of letting your opponent search out an untapped basic land; while the basic land is usually worth less than the card you blew up, it does present the chance for them to profit off of your proactive move…and they get the land even if their permanent survives. Ramping some decks is also a risky move, because you might be staring down something worse than what you blew up with Assassin’s Trophy.
That said, this card is absurdly powerful and, pound for pound, the most potent spell in Guilds of Ravnica. If you’re in black/green, run four copies. Being able to answer anything is usually worth giving them a land.
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