Exchange of Words – Unfinity
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This is another Unfinity card that kind of confuses me about why it’s legal in tournaments. The memory issue is perhaps manageable, since you leave Exchange of Words itself on the table as a sort of visual reminder. But I suspect that switching text boxes wholesale has crazier implications than we might guess. For example, stealing an effect that sets power and toughness based on its controller’s graveyard, hand, or battlefield will set the victim’s to zero (I think). Stealing one that cares about the opponent’s side of the table suddenly brings the former controller’s things into play, and thus needs to be timed properly. If you turn an enchantment or planeswalker into a creature, you can use this to give a creature loyalty abilities or the game text from Humility. Even without any of that, it can do things like steal a Grand Abolisher‘s effect for its controller, which is both effective and incredibly demoralizing. The only thing I’d be careful of for tournaments is that competitive decks tend to run creatures with abilities universally considered good, and you would often have to give your opponent something meaningful in exchange.
In casual play, though, there’s probably a theme deck to be made where you play all vanilla creatures and steal opposing abilities with this. You can build your own 7/7 Dark Confidant, or a Merfolk Akroma, which should put a smile on anyone’s face. And in the vein of what I opened with, I wouldn’t rule out some kind of combination of present or future cards that creates a truly game-breaking situation when you move their text around.
Commander [EDH]: 3
A bit of a funky card in form and function, Exchange of Words is a fascinating little curio that can make for some really fun board states, either by “stealing” a powerful suite of effects on an opponent’s creature or just enabling shenanigans on yours. There definitely is some interesting potential, like swapping your small vanilla creature’s flavor text with…say, an Eldrazi titan’s suite of board-nomming effects, but the reliance on both this being out (with no protection of its own) and also getting stuffed by carious protective effetcs will make sure this is more of a cute trick than a format-shattering weapon. All the same, this is a scary effect with endless possibilities, and those are sometimes the spells that have the longest legs.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
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