Carpet of Flowers – Urza’s Saga
Date Reviewed: October 26, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
People sometimes ask whether cards like this were really proportionate to the threat of the color or deck they were facing. As a group, they definitely were not – very few decks can beat a card like Chill, especially not when their peak two-drop is Ironclaw Orcs. But in a certain sense, some of them paradoxically were proportionate. Remember, around the time this card was released, Randy Buehler won a Pro Tour playing a deck with 28 counterspells. Not long after this card was released, “End of turn, Fact or Fiction, you lose” was a thing. That style of play is not to my taste and I don’t enable it in cubes or casual decks, but if it’s going to be a thing, then other colors need to have comparable things. And from the point of view of green, extra mana every turn that scales to the length of the game is comparable. That’s one additional huge spell, or two or three additional small to medium spells, more than enough to make anyone feel like they have a real chance against the big blue wall.
Constructed: 4 (I have to rate this highly even as a sideboard card, because it really is devastating against blue decks)
Commander [EDH]: 4 (there’s a hint of the insanity of 2000-ish blue decks in some of this format’s decks)
Back in the era of hate cards being especially pointed, Carpet of Flowers turns the blue player’s lands into a massive liability; it allows a green player to vault massively ahead, and just for a single green mana. Unlike some hate cards, this actually works fine enough if drawn later, as you can activate it once per turn regardless of how long you’ve controlled it, and even one or two Islands can springboard you ahead nicely. This has long been a potent weapon for teaching the audacious blue mage where their place is (read: begging for mercy), and it’s an extremely potent sideboard card in Legacy for that reason.
Note, though, that this is strictly a sideboard card. Carpet of Flowers needs to see Islands on the other side to come online, and it only adds mana. It’s certainly a potent punisher, and it can break a back if played carefully, but it definitely is a card that only comes out in the most particular circumstances.
Constructed: 3.75 (vicious coming out of the sideboard, but don’t run this in the mainboard unless your meta is very blue)
Limited: 2 (hard to maximize use of, though it’s an uncommon, so it won’t wreck your deck to take it)
Multiplayer: 4 (odds are good that someone is in blue)
Commander [EDH]: 4 (same deal: someone’s probably in blue)
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