– War of the Spark
May 3, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Anything involving cost reduction just begs for use in some kind of combo – and Bolas’s Citadel is not so much cost reduction as cost elimination. People have been paying life equal to things’ converted mana cost for years, just to draw the card (Dark Confidant, Dark Tutelage, Pain Seer, etc). The same rate to actually cast it is amazing. In a properly constructed deck, you just win as soon as you get this into play: it burns through your library, and then burns through the opponent. Six mana is a lot for the Suicide Black and Burn style of archetypes, but just right for other decks. It’s even decent in a conventional midrange deck as extra value, and kind of hilarious as the payoff to any infinite life combo.
It is a known fact that an Evil dragon needs a suitable citadel to control his conquests from, and this does the job. It’s a bit of a twisted Future Sight: you can play the top card of your library, but by paying life instead of paying mana. Since you usually have more life than mana, this is a really potent exchange, and this is more than worth it. For example, playing God-Eternal Bontu is usually worth 5 life, which makes this a rare bomb that can actually matter the turn it drops.
Being able to turn your permanents into a spirit bomb is less the immediate draw, but 10 life is large, and this can help you finish off an opponent in a stalled-out board. I think this is a nifty card; while it’s susceptible to artifact removal, you still can get immediate value out of it, and it’s a value engine that also can end the game if you need it to. (You can also sacrifice Bolas’s Citadel to its own effect, which is pretty legit.)
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