Everybody Lives! – Doctor Who
Date Reviewed: October 16, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
As somebody who is an un-fan of Phyrexia and an actual fan of the new noblebright Mortal Kombat game, I think I’m going to enjoy casting a card named Everybody Lives! I actually like exclamation points, too.
And as it happens, I think there’s plenty of good reasons to use Everybody Lives!, even beyond having an excuse to type exclamation points. Yes, it’s shockingly symmetrical and the ways to break its symmetry aren’t as obvious as for cards like Wrath of God. But you don’t notice that when you really need to survive this one turn, or when you manage to recur it and do so as much as you want to (note that it doesn’t exile itself like some recent big-effect spells do). In multiplayer settings, sometimes you also want it to affect things beyond your part of the table: maybe you’re not done benefitting from player B’s Kami of the Crescent Moon which player C has taken an exception to. And getting back to applications that match less well with its upbeat flavor text, I would like to see people figure out how this interacts with cards like Dark Confidant. It seems like if you can’t lose life, you might get the card for free, but I haven’t been able to confirm that at the time of writing.
Commander [EDH]: 4
It seems like every one of the Universes Beyond products has given one card with ripples of intrigue for deeper formats, and we may well have that with Everybody Lives! I do apologize about my inability to provide context here like I was able to for The Lord of the Rings, but here we are, and the card is pretty good.
A two-mana instant that protects you and your board for one turn from most things is quite a potent little trick, even if the downside (of sorts) is that it does the same for your opponents. The board protection, though, is what makes this a bit situationally better than Angel’s Grace, as you’re not just delaying the inevitable to get blown out on the following turn…you’re maybe buying one more turn with the tools you have to open the game up. Two mana is a flexible cost that also opens up Isochron Scepter abuse, so that’s fun!
There are things this won’t protect and won’t protect against, though: non-creature permanents can’t die and can still accordingly be obliterated, you can still accumulate poison counters (which will prove fatal when the current turn expires), and creatures can still die from toughness reduction and mass exile effects. Those are far less common (outside of popping non-creature things), but they do merit mention…you can make it a lot harder for your other things to die, and you’ll at least live to see the end of that turn, but it won’t stop everything.
Everybody Lives! has, I believe, gotten some intrigue in Legacy, a function of its cheap cost and just outdoing most protective spells of its ilk. This doesn’t outclass all of them, as it does cost two mana and lacks the most defining feature of Angel’s Grace (split second), but this will give your board a fighting chance to see the next turn, and that’s honestly massive when Legacy is a format generally hostile to creature strategies outside of very particular approaches. Besides that, though, it’s a tantalizing Commander card because it gives you that one turn and can make sure you have the tools to capitalize on that next turn.
Casual: 4 (be mindful of its symmetricity and the ways to break it)
Multiplayer: 4.25 (politics can be fun)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (a pretty good “break glass in case of emergency” option)
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