Finale of Eternity
– War of the Spark
June 7, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I like that Finale of Eternity’s ten-or-greater mode references Liliana Vess’ ultimate, from her Lorwyn version. It’s a nice element of continuity, and it even sets up pretty spectacular moments, like an even less restricted Patriarch’s Bidding. It’s a very long way to go in terms of mana, perhaps too far for most competitive decks; those kinds of decks are also more likely to feel bad about having to use it “just” to kill a couple of smaller creatures for four mana or so. Fortunately, there are plenty of Cabal Coffers and Courser of Kruphix decks in casual formats where twelve mana is basically the early midgame.
Finale of Eternity is a pretty interesting spell, thanks to that alternate casting mode if X winds up being 10 or greater. But even if it’s not, the base version can be pretty nifty, killing up to three creatures if their toughness is low. The “best” value case is paying 1BB and nuking three creatures…but, as long as you have mana to spend, this is a pretty flexible kill spell all the same. It’s more flexible than a spell like Hex (which needs six different targets to cast), but there are ways to push a creature out of kill range for Finale of Eternity (like pump spells).
If you dump 12+ mana, though, you get a mass reanimation spell on top of the kill. And that’s where things get weird and interesting, because black has ways to load up its own graveyard (and graveyards can get pretty full as games go on). This one seems better suited for long games, as 12 mana is a lot for any format…that said, if a game stalls out, this can be a good way to threaten to break the stall.
As a kill spell, Finale of Eternity is pretty passable, though sorcery speed makes it less impressive than it could be. That mass-reanimation mode is pretty spicy, though it’s unlikely to matter outside of formats like EDH. It’s a nice failsafe, though.
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