– Modern Horizons
June 12, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Historically, sets with snow mana have not given it to cards as part of their mana cost, but apparently we’re in Time Spiral II (or perhaps Back to the Future Sight) and all bets are off. Since snow-covered basic lands are arguably the easiest source of the mana, Icehide Golem can basically be a Savannah Lions analogue for colors that don’t ordinarily get that. White and red both often get two-power one-cost creatures with or without a beneficial ability, and green does occasionally (the most recent being Modern Horizons’ Hexdrinker); although blue or black don’t necessarily lend themselves to a style that needs Savannah Lions, maybe now they can. Besides that, it could end up just being a solid early creature for some kind of snow-heavy combat-based deck – or make one look attractive. The Golem is such a simple little card, but either of those could end up being a noteworthy impact.
How to make your opponents go “snow no”…or maybe not, but who cares. A 1-mana 2/2 is not unprecedented, but it definitely is not common. Especially not without a real restriction, downside, or hoop to jump through; this is a one-mana 2/2, and a colorless one at that!
…well, there is a small hoop in the form of the mana cost. Icehide Golem is one of two cards that explicitly ask for snow mana in their casting cost (both printed in Modern Horizons), which means you need either a snow mana creature (like Boreal Druid) or a snow land (like, rather simply, a Snow-Covered Mountain or the like).
While a one-mana 2/2 is interesting, the question becomes how powerful snow as an archetype is; it tends to be a pretty “parasitic” and on-rails archetype, relying on a fairly narrow pool of cards that largely excludes a lot of powerful lands (the only snow dual lands are the ally tap lands from Coldsnap, like Boreal Shelf). If snow does prove to have longevity, or mono-color decks able to slam snow basics rise in popularity, Icehide Golem will have a home. If that is not the case…then this does not look nearly as good. It’s interesting, though, and I think it asks interesting questions that don’t easily provide answers in deck building.
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