Expanded Anatomy – Strixhaven
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 2.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I did a surprising amount of anatomy and physiology as an undergraduate – the subjects accounted for up to half of my classes in four different semesters. One lecturer taught the exact same content about the endocrine system in two of those semesters. I guess it worked out okay, though, because nobody other than me seemed to notice.
Expanded Anatomy has stats that don’t look too great for constructed, at least on the first reading. But when you consider that you can use it as basically part of a “wish” sideboard, it feels a little better. There was a time when wishes were a force to be reckoned with in tournaments – look up the old Gifts Rock and Cunning Wish storm decks – and though the learn mechanic isn’t quite on that level on paper, a lot will depend on how things settle in the Strixhaven Standard meta. Its effects certainly help out aggro decks that feel themselves beginning to stall, and the fact that it uses +1/+1 counters gives it a lot of things to interact with.
Commander: 2/5 (I’m a little surprised the official Commander rules still don’t recognize an out-of-game area for wish effects)
Expanded Anatomy feels like a payoff for learn, letting you fetch a colorless buff spell that empowers a creature permanently. For three mana, it’s slightly inefficient, but not bad at all. Its value comes from it being effectively tutorable with learn spells, though it’s not completely hopeless as a mainboarded option. Still, it’s a nice part of a learn-board sideboard and might have a niche application or two in decks.
Constructed: 2.5 (not sold on it doing enough, but I could be wrong)
Limited: 4 (the buff is big if you have a worthy body)
Commander: 2 (without the ability to fetch it with learn, this has to earn a spot in your 99, and I’m not quite convinced that it does)
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