Darksteel Monolith – Commander Masters
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Darksteel Monolith is another card that reminds me very much of the sort of build-around random rares you used to see in casual deckbuilding articles in the 2000s. It does more or less nothing on its own, until you have the right things in your hand – at which point it becomes absolutely broken. As James rightly points out, it’s paired with Eldrazi and their cast triggers in the context of Commander Masters, and this is the biggest cost reduction they’ve ever seen. Jodah has a minimum of five mana, and the Eye of Ugin / Eldrazi Temple route requires multiple cards. Note also that if you combine it with some of those other ways, you can cast Emrakul and Kozilek on the same turn, which is nigh-impossible otherwise. It’s a turbo-charged update to aforementioned style of deck, but it might end up being more than that: I can’t help but notice that this benefits from artifact synergies in bigger formats, and while I’m not sure that Tinkering for this and then throwing Emrakul at the opponent is a viable strategy, I’m also not sure it isn’t.
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
The new cards of Commander Masters are not part of the draftable set, appearing in non-draft boosters and in the precon decks, so I’m going to omit limited scores for them.
Darksteel Monolith is one of those cards that feels like it could be a problem. An indestructible artifact that lets you cast a colorless spell for free each turn is quite a tantalizing ability, and that’s before you add in things to grant flash. While you could do things like bring in a Blightsteel Colossus with this, the intended use is to bring in the massive, tentacled abominations that are the Eldrazi without paying for them…and with getting their cast triggers, which is a nice upside.
Eight mana is an issue, to a point, but being an artifact means that you have ways to cheat this in without paying for it and ways to accelerate your mana so that this can come in on turn three or four. I think there’s a chance this makes some Legacy waves…I’m not sold on it being a force, but there’s a lot of very rude things you can do with this card, and it has promise. There are plenty of homes for it in Commander, though, and so here we are.
Limited: N/A (probably a 2 or so, as you need to have a very specific tranche of cards to justify this and the means to get this out reliably)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (has a clear home: tentacle horror decks)
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