Boseiju, Who Shelters All – Champions of Kamigawa
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.08
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Boseiju is one of those cards that really only does one thing, but does it very, very well indeed. When there’s a spell you absolutely need to have resolve, this is the card you reach for. At Champions of Kamigawa‘s debut in Standard, there was a mono-blue control deck of the old-school type, which you’ve probably heard horror stories about. I’m not even sure how many counterspells it had, but it was a lot. Yet its main adversary had a gameplan that revolved around casting a nine-mana sorcery, and this could be the case because of Boseiju. People also used it to force cards like Cranial Extraction onto the stack against combo and control decks.
Boseiju’s prospects obviously only expanded as more cards came out (and should really continue to do so). The only downside, if you can call it that, is that it only produces colorless mana, so you’ll need to be sure your deck (and the spells you’re casting) can make use of that.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
At first glance, Boseiju, Who Shelters All looks terrible. It comes into play tapped, and you have to pay life to even draw mana from it! Of course, the devil’s in the details, and the detail here is that the colorless mana drawn by this ability makes an instant or sorcery cast with it unable to be countered. For two life, this is a surprisingly good deal, and when you need to make sure that spell gets through at any cost, this suddenly looks a lot better. It’s not completely without answer, of course, but a spell empowered by Boseiju is a lot harder to stop, and Boseiju has long been a solid card in both Modern and Legacy for its ability to give key spells that extra layer of protection.
That said, it’s not a staple in every deck for a reason: it only extends its protection to instants and sorceries, and so the decks that want to use this land’s protection are combo decks reliant on that one spell resolving. It’s definitely a unique land with a solid niche, though you always want to make sure that niche is what you need before you go slamming this card into every deck, as it has enough drawbacks to make it a question worth asking.
Constructed: 4 (irreplaceable in the decks that want it, but those decks tend to be narrower)
Limited: 2 (countermagic in Kamigawa wasn’t the strongest, and the upsides are definitely a lot less noticeable outside of corner cases)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
I always thought this was a bad card, I never understood why it was on the pricier side for something that comes into play tapped and you have to pay life for colorless mana. It wasn’t until more experienced players, who were Pro Tour regulars, showed me just how good this card actually is. The key here is the phrase “can’t be countered” so if you’re in an instant/sorcery heavy deck, or you just need that kill spell against U/W control to not be countered, you take the two life on the chin and tap Boseju for mana. This one land could decide the game if you really think about it. A very well designed card that really captures the beauty and complexity that is Magic the Gathering oh so well. Don’t sleep on this card!
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
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