Fateful Absence – Midnight Hunt
Date Reviewed: October 13, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 2.42
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We already knew white can destroy or exile just about anything and give the opponent something in return, but I’m not sure this is quite what most of us have come to expect! Two mana to destroy any creature is very, very strong – remember, that’s basically how Doom Blade reads in a lot of metagames, except this is printed explicitly on the card. The degree to which the extra Clue token is a drawback is also highly metagame-dependent: for example, if your deck is fast enough, you might kill them before they even get a chance to activate it, seeing as they have to pay mana and presumably have their own game plan to pursue. If that single card they’ll eventually draw is going to bury you, you were probably losing already beforehand. And if they use Animating Faerie’s adventure side on it and beat you to death with the Clue, that’s actually pretty cool and you shouldn’t really be mad about losing games like that! This is basically a Standard version of Swords to Plowshares, and it might even have applications in formats beyond that too.
Fateful Absence is an interesting twist on “efficient white removal spell no.13”: it can now hit planeswalkers, but that permanent’s controller gets a Clue token they can cash in for a card later. Despite that, this is a very good bit of removal because of it hitting planeswalkers for 2 mana, and this even mauls an annoying creature if you need it to. Definitely a card for the Constructed-inclined player, the potential extra card to an opponent is hardly a deal-breaker (since they have to work for it), and an unconditional kill spell with flexibility is a nice place to be. I think this is going to be played a lot.
Limited: 4.5 (“destroy target creature” with no limitations is always good in Limited)
An alright removal card with a more often than not negative drawback. For standard it is fine, playable for sure at least in the 15 card sideboard. If you are running mono-white it is a great removal card but it gives your opponent an artifact to use and the ability to draw a card from it can come back to benefit them later in the game. You could also use this to destroy your creature and you can get the benefit of drawing a card from the clue token which is always nice in a pinch late game. In eternal formats it costs 1 generic more than Swords to Plowshare and Path to Exile but it’s arguably slightly better because you don’t give your opponent a land or life, I don’t see this seeing play just because of that 1 generic cost. In limited it is great, solid removal and if you are passed this or crack it, and you’re playing white, it is a great card to have in the 40, I wouldn’t pass this up in most cases if I was running white. Casual and multiplayer it is a run of the middle removal in a sea full of better alternatives, it is not bad by any means if it is all you have but if your card pull is huge this might not be an auto include. Where this card really suffers is in commander, not worth it in the 99 at all…even in mono white only builds. There are just so many different and better alternatives and a one of, of this card will not change the game for you and help you win in commander. If mono white is your think in standard on arena then this card is something you definitely want to look at but that’s about it…
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