Dig Up – Crimson Vow
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.92
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Cleave is based on an ability that appeared on one of the Mystery Booster playtest cards. It does indeed seem like something that you would have seen in an Un-set not that long ago (and only about one step away from caring about flavor text. I think that could work in a regular set if done right).
Mechanically, though, it seems pretty good for the same reasons that modal spells or kicker are good. It’s like having two cards in one, and each option is useful at different times in the game. Four mana is not quite fast enough to really compete with the sorts of universal tutors you get in the largest formats, but it’s more than good enough for midrange or synergy-focused decks in Standard and similar formats. I like how an early casting can set up your colors for a second casting later on – it’s easy to overlook because there are so many dual lands and color fixing options, but it’s still a real concern.
Diabolic Tutor is very much not a good card unless you need critical masses of tutors, but Dig Up circumvents the main downside of the tutoring spell by letting you cast it as Lay of the Land if you need to dig out a land early and a more color-heavy Diabolic Tutor later. For decks that need to guarantee they have their colors early, this is a pretty flexible little spell with late-game upside, though there always is the issue of spending four mana to find the card you need. Its flexibility is potent, which will give it a home in a lot of decks, but I feel like this is the kind of card where your main focus should be its base mode, using the cleave as late-game insurance.
Also, keep in mind that cleave is an alternative cost, which means that this plays poorly with flashback and other effects that let you cheat on mana costs. I suppose it’s not terrible to dig out another land, but do keep that in mind.
Constructed: 3.25 (seems like a bit player; it’s better than Diabolic Tutor, but that’s a low bar)
Limited: 3.5 (color fixing is always nice in Limited)
Commander: 3.75 (can’t be played in shells without black and green, and while it’s nice to have, there are both better tutors and better land tutors, like Traverse the Ulvenwald)
This card is a TON of fun and very good, one of the better utility cards of the set without question. It utilizes the cleave mechanic and I like it a lot, for one G you get to search for a basic land and put it into your hand which is awesome by itself for ramp decks. But if you’re playing black…it’s a late game and you need one card to take it home and you draw this card…under normal circumstances it would be a bust but you can play it for the cleave cost to search for any card and put it into your hand! Your opponent doesn’t have to see the card and will wonder what kind of scheme you are planning. I absolutely love this card, it makes you want to play green black in draft and constructed for the utility alone. Great card, pick up a playset because it will go up in price over the years!
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