– Rise of the Eldrazi
October 15, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Eldrazi Temple is the kind of narrow but powerful card that some people love, and some people love to hate. It’s nearly essential in a lot of decks, even casual ones, that want to actually cast Eldrazi creatures in any kind of timely manner. Green ramp spells only go so far when you’re talking about numbers like 15 (remember, the statistics tell us that the “distance” even from four lands to five lands is much more than between three and four). Of course, you may know it from Modern, where it is most commonly seen paying for the colorless mana costs of Oath of the Gatewatch creatures and putting the game out of reach on turn two or three. Regardless of which style of deck you do, I think everybody should at least try playing an Eldrazi deck at some point: either kind is quite different from “normal” Magic and thus of interest to connoisseurs of the game’s diversity.
Eldrazi Temple is an interesting story of how a card can change in power with the right support. Back in 2010, with Rise of the Eldrazi, the cheapest card that Eldrazi Temple was able to draw its double mana for was seven mana, and so the actual benefit of the Temple, while not necessarily zero, was not as big as it could be. With more universal ramp available, Eldrazi Temple wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was a weird, nigh-unfetchable curiosity that didn’t do a whole lot on its own.
Of course, Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch both happened, and they brought a spate of colorless Eldrazi that were a lot cheaper. So instead of needing all four copies of Eldrazi Temple to cheat on a tentacled abomination, you could just use one Temple to turbo out a tentacled abomination that can snowball out of control. Jumping from two to four mana is better than jumping from six to eight mana (except in corner cases), and the Temple was one of the main pieces that made Eldrazi a deck in Modern (even after the eventual ban of Eye of Ugin).
Eldrazi Temple is not the most flashy card, but it’s a good land for a deck that sometimes likes having a lot of mana at its disposal. And, honestly, that’s all you sometimes need.
Constructed: 4 (it only goes in one deck, but it’s a powerful deck)
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