Grim Monolith (Foil)
– Urza’s Legacy
April 30, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.63
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Grim Monolith was intended to be a “fixed” version of Basalt Monolith, an infamous card from Magic’s first edition. It was one of the earliest infinite mana combos, alongside Power Artifact. You’ll notice that Grim Monolith still goes infinite with Power Artifact, which raises a lot of questions about the Urza block (as if there weren’t enough already). Of course, you don’t even need to reach that far back, considering how much mana you could generate in that block with Peregrine Drake and similar cards. The problem with the Monolith is that it almost feels weird to play it outside of unfair decks – a burst of three extra mana as early as the third turn is certainly nothing to laugh at, but waiting until you can untap it “fairly” can feel like a long time.
Grim Monolith is one of those particularly degenerate artifacts that does a lot more than is initially apparent. It’s similar to Mana Vault in that it gets you more mana, but the ability to untap it on demand means rather unpleasant things if you couple the Monolith with Power Artifact or just ways to cheat on paying more mana to untap it (such as Voltaic Key). It’s a nifty little engine card that won’t win the game on its own, but being able to get a massive burst of colorless mana can help a lot of decks out. It’s perfectly fine as a fair card (a cheaper Basalt Monolith that costs more to untap), but degenerate combos are always more interesting when you talk about cards, right?
Constructed: 4 (it’s not a Legacy staple by any stretch, but it sees a fair amount of play in the format)
Hello everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! Today we’re taking a look at an artifact that is near and dear to my heart. Grim Monolith.
At first glanced Grim Monolith seems like only a fixed version of the Alpha card Basalt Monolith, however there is one key difference that can really separate these cards. And that’s CMC. Grim Monolith provides a net of 1 CMC if you play it and use it, and it can be dropped a turn earlier, which for a lot of decks can be crucial since you’re probably not going to be using the untap ability all that much unless the game goes late. There’s always the possibility of going infinite with Power Artifact which you’ll find a lot more often in EDH, but the ability to net mana is incredibly powerful in almost any format.
In Constructed Grim Monolith doesn’t appear in a ton of Legacy or Vintage decks but it’s starting to find uses in a very niche Turbo Gyudra deck that can make great use of an extra 3 mana.
However my favorite place to use this card would be in Cube, in Powered Vintage Cube this card is great for the U/x Artifact deck that likes to pump out a ton of mana and drop something like a big ol’ Myr Battlesphere or an Upheaval to reset the game and dropping all those mana producing artifacts once more.
Funny enough Grim Monolith non foils have been rising while the foil versions have been dropping, this is another card I picked up with my Stimulus Bucks and I’m super happy I did!
Constructed 3/5 – Not as strong here but maybe soon again? Grab the foil version!
EDH 5/5 – Fast mana is the name of the game and being able to go infinite mana is pretty awesome too!
Cube 5/5 – An all star, while it’s not a Lotus it definitely lingers in the top pick territory.
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