CardName – Lost Caverns of Ixalan
Date Reviewed: November 14, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
For a while, Wizards of the Coast shied away from putting serious Phyrexian Arena-style effects in mainline/Standard sets. Now we’ve got a new one, and it’s actually pretty strong. Its mana cost, as an artifact that gets you an extra card each turn, is commensurate with the perennial casual roleplayer Staff of Nin; but the discover ability giving you the option of casting the card right away is a big step up in power. It also moves the game towards a real conclusion, which I honestly like more and more as time goes on. In a carefully constructed deck, you can guarantee casting a spell for free every turn, and even in a deck where you’re going “blind”, the effect is often worth including. Honestly, I know a lot of people are tired of Modern Horizons 2‘s evoke elementals, but I think they would go well with this card – they can give you a high density of cards to hit with the Inner Sun that have major effects, while also giving you an early-game option.
Making spells uncounterable is arguably the less-relevant part of its game text, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s a deck in a bigger format somewhere that wants to use that in some way. It doesn’t seem superficially backbreaking enough for Tinker or Workshop archetypes, but strange things have found a niche in Vintage over the years – and ways to force your spells through your own Chalice of the Void are not unknown in that format.
Commander [EDH]: 4
Chimil, the Inner Sun is certainly flashy, protecting your spells from being countered and getting you either a free spell or a free card each turn. The second half is obviously the primary point of appeal, and you even get it during your end step…which is both a pro and a con, but I’d generally say it helps you avoid losing most things when this removal magnet gets removed.
Six mana is a bit of an ask, but Chimil strikes me as being a bit more overt in being a threat…it’s not just an extra card draw, but usually better in most cases. It’s definitely a bit of a force multiplier n that it’ll make a good deck better if they can play in a later game, and while the first effect is situational, it’s not a bad bonus on top of an interesting card. suspect this may see a lot more play than you’d expect…free spells snowball hard, particularly one each turn, and this even can help claw back unless it immediately gets popped.
Commander [EDH]: 4
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