– Mercadian Masques
March 14, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Everyone always forgets about this card, just because it’s from Mercadian Masques. That really seems kind of unfair. The card’s gameplay doesn’t necessarily have to do with the block, and vice versa. In some cases, the card’s concept and flavor don’t even have anything to do with the block, for those who pick cards based on those criteria.
For example, I remember when Food Chain had a role in some Vintage Goblin decks, fueling a series of creatures that generated card advantage with Goblin Matron and ended the game with things like Siege-Gang Commander. It’s an engine that requires a specific type of removal to truly stop – note the lack of an activation cost, and the instant speed – and is capable of doing powerful things even in relatively “mundane” decks. Some of these are probably obvious, but I’d be interested in someone combining it with Scornful Egotist to get nine mana on turn four or so.
An innocuous-looking card that enables a degenerate loop…sounds about right.
Food Chain looks reasonable at first: exile a creature you control, get more mana to cast another creature. If nothing else, you can use this to power out creatures turns before you might normally get them on board, and it even lets you turn tokens into a large and in charge beast (since tokens usually have a CMC of zero, so you get 1 mana off of exiling them with Food Chain).
Of course, that’s not the main reason Food Chain is busted. It all started with Misthollow Griffin from Avacyn Restored, a creature that can be cast from exile. This means that Food Chain lets you generate infinite mana to cast creature spells if you have Misthollow Griffin on board. In conjunction with something like…say, Glimpse of Nature, and you have an infinite loop with which you can kill your opponent. Squee, the Immortal also works a similar way: keep recasting it to gain infinite mana.
It’s definitely a combo piece, but a degenerate one. Use with care.
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