Fires of Invention
– Throne of Eldraine
March 18, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 2.33
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Anything that enables free spells just begs to be built around – and, yes, broken. Fires of Invention looks like one of the most restricted and least abusable cards of that style. It looks like that, but it’s still capable of doing some very powerful things. It interacts well with any kind of land ramping spells, and it ignores color requirements completely. It’s great with almost anything that gets you more cards; note that you can’t get around its restriction with cascade, though, because you have to cast the spell you reveal from the top of your library.
Remember my foreshadowing of this card when we reviewed Sarkhan the Masterless on Monday? While Fires of Invention limits you to two spells per turn, it doesn’t say you can’t have your planeswalker allies cast their own spells. Getting the Fires in play and jamming planeswalkers turn after turn is, apparently, a pretty good strategy. Similarly, it doesn’t turn off abilities like those on Planar Portal or Elvish Piper, which keep the cards coming or get around the restriction minorly, and for a mana cost that now seems a lot lower.
Fires of Invention is one of those enchantments that’s potentially very dangerous. If you’re willing to abide by its conditions, you get free spells. And we all know free is the most dangerous price for spells, right?
The limitations are that you only get two spells a turn, and only on your turn, but you can cast those spells for free if you control lands equal to that spell’s converted mana cost. This is definitely a card that you’re building around, but a flexible mana cost means that you can enable harder-to-cast spells (like the Core Set 2020 Cavalier cycle) rather nicely, and you even save the mana for activated abilities or for X spells (as you have the option of casting them for free). Keep in mind that this does track across all spells you’ve cast in a turn, so you can get your one freebie if you cast this as your first spell of the turn.
If you’re building with this card, you’re building around it; it’s a powerful effect with sharp limitations. But free spells are the best spells, and Fires of Invention comes as close to balancing that free spell mechanic as we’ve seen in a good while.
Constructed: 4 (not for every deck; you have to build around it to make it work)
Hello everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! Today we’re looking at the Johnnytastic Card that has sparked an archetype in Standard and expanding even into Pioneer and Modern!
There’s a few key words to look for in a Magic Card that Johnnies and Spikes alike will look for, and one phrase is enough to make any designer excited ‘without paying it’s/their mana cost.’ Fires of Invention is the kindling that has spawned it’s own deck archetype in Standard, Fires. So where does this fit in?
In constructed formats like Standard and Pioneer which are slow enough to really get the full use of this card it has been quite a powerhouse. Being able to drop this and another spell on the same turn, usually a powerful planeswalker or one that can gain significant card advantage, is a great way to start off the match. But every land drop means that it increases the range of the spells you cast and one of the new innovations to this deck has been Will Kenrith which allows him to make great use of all that open mana!
In Limited, unfortunately this card is kind of a dud, you really need very consistent deck design to make this thing work which is great for Johnnies in a constructed format where you can make use of card advantage to keep that double casting working, but in Limited this doesn’t do it.
In Commander this can be a pretty big double edged sword, restricted to only two spells a turn is a huge restriction in a format where you want to chain your rocks and spells together. On top of that this is a build around card that you want as many copies of in your deck and in a singleton format your ‘build around’ card is your commander and since this guy isn’t a creature, he’s not going to really make waves here.
In Cube you have the same problem as Limited and Commander, it’s a build around card that doesn’t simply have the chops to work in a mostly singleton format.
Constructed 3.5/5 – A strong card for sure, and if you’re running it you’re jamming at least 4 copies in there.
Limited 1/5 – Dud Rare, not worth picking especially early on in the pack, not even for value.
Commander 1/5 – Too gimmicky for Commander and tuning your deck to this card only to have it blown up by a Knight of Autumn is huge feelbads.
Cube 1/5 – Free Mana is one thing, but you want that for Combo Decks, and unfortunately this card is too vulnerable to the efficient removal available in Cubes.
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