Cephalid Coliseum Odyssey
Cephalid Coliseum Odyssey

Cephalid Coliseum – Odyssey (2001)

Date Reviewed:  May 30, 2024

Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.75
Multiplayer: 3.25
Commander [EDH]: 3.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 

 James H. 


Odyssey, and the block it belonged to, was fairly notorious for its weirdness, but it also was known for providing some very powerful cards to the game. Cephalid Coliseum is one of those; part of a cycle of “pain lands” that turned on an ability once threshold was met, it turns out that being able to dig three cards deeper in one go is pretty potent.

Being able to dig three cards deeper in one go is a pretty nice thing to have on a card that also functions as a land normally, and the main attraction of Cephalid Coliseum has always been how it interacts with dredge decks. Those decks usually tend to have graveyards that are pretty full to begin with, and so the threshold is going to be on more than it isn’t…and, of course, proccing dredge thrice at once is pretty nice. There are also other places where the Coliseum can shine; it’s maybe not phenomenal just as a pure land, but it can extend a good bit of value to you even if you’re not looking to abuse it, and there are also plenty of avenues with the “target player” wording that you can use.

I will say that Cephalid Coliseum probably should not be an auto-include in a blue deck just because; while the card filtering is nice, the damage can tend to add up over a long game, and if you’re going to suffer to tap your lands, more versatile ones will usually do the job. That said, Cephalid Coliseum is going to make its Modern debut in a fortnight or so, a format that does have several potent graveyard decks in it, and I feel like there’s definitely going to be a home for it all the same.

Constructed: 4 (not for every deck, but good in the decks that can abuse it)
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.75 (was decent in Odyssey, but I don’t know how good it’ll be here)
Multiplayer: 3.25
Commander [EDH]: 3.75


Cephalid Coliseum’s threshold ability is awfully similar to Bazaar of Baghdad, albeit as a one-shot rather than a repeatable effect. Of course, in the right deck, one activation of the Bazaar is enough to win, and the same has been kind of true of Cephalid Coliseum. It did get some play in Standard as a redundancy effect, as Odyssey was full of ways to get things in your graveyard and otherwise care about it, and Psychatog decks could cound cards in their graveyard as extra damage once they were ready to go on offense. It also got a boost in Extended once the dredge mechanic was released. The original dredge decks weren’t as blazingly fast as we saw later on, and often had some use for a land that could get them a couple of extra dredges on one of their later turns. It has arguably never been the most spectacular card in any of its decks, but it has always been good at what it does (and helped Odyssey‘s general foreshadowing of how some future Magic decks would use graveyards as nearly everything except a discard pile!).

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

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