Break the Ice – Modern Horizons 2
Date Reviewed: June 28, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We’ve mentioned some of the forgotten or hidden sides to Champions of Kamigawa-Ravnica Standard in the past, but the first thing I thought of with Break the Ice was a particularly obscure one. In the part of that season that included Coldsnap, some people used to argue that you should always play snow-covered basic lands, regardless of what your deck was actually doing. They had no downside and you could use them to bluff cards like Skred or Mouth of Ronom. As it happens, they now do have a minor downside (see also: Reidane, God of the Worthy).
There’s probably a good reason to have a card like this in a format, since the most impactful snow land is in fact Dark Depths and it seems right to have an answer to what for some decks is an outlandish threat. Its unique wording also makes it pretty amazing against Tron – when cast on curve, it’s literally Sinkhole against them and given the nature of Tron, it denies them even more mana than its famous ancestor would. Indeed, Modern Horizons 2 has somewhat of a “WOW F*$% TRON” theme (if you’re familiar with that meme), but this card in particular might shake up some surprising decks.
Given the ubiquity of snow lands in formats like Commander, thanks to cards like Extraplanar Lens, a card like Break the Ice is an interesting tweak to the formula. Priced the same as the infamous Sinkhole for its regular cost, but also able to hit things like the Tron lands in the process, an overloaded Break the Ice can be a massive blow-out if your deck doesn’t mind it and can even be a nice bit of pinpoint land destruction otherwise. This is definitely a card people will complain about a fair bit, but Break the Ice is a card that can blank against decks built with it in mind, and there is now reason to consider not using snow lands in a deck.
Constructed: 3.5 (I think this is largely a sideboard card, but 2-mana land destruction is very potent, and this hits a lot of targets in Modern and Legacy that would need to be hit)
Limited: 1.25 (this hits exactly four cards in the entire set: two of which are reprints, one of which blows itself up after a couple of turns)
Commander: 3.5 (you will be very popular if you cast this, but there are definitely decks where this won’t do much of anything)
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