Immortal Servitude – Gatecrash
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
To paraphrase Epic Rap Battles of History, everything New Capenna’s gangs did, the Orzhov are the ones who invented it (at least if you go by Magic’s release schedule!). Immortal Servitude is a card that has actually been imitated a lot recently, although we don’t always recognize it at first glance: it’s an ancestor of the very specific reanimation spells we’ve seen in some recent sets, the ones which are cheap but limited in what they can bring back. However, few of those descendants have quite the same punch as a combo card. There are plenty of viable decks based on getting a bunch of creatures into your graveyard – either ones with sacrifice abilities like Mogg Fanatic or comes-into-play abilities like Elderfang Disciple – and then repeating. It’s even decent as a value card for returning smaller creatures, though some of its descendants are better at that because they have easier mana costs.
Limited: 4/5 (in longer games, you’ll have more time to set up bigger castings and/or change combat with larger numbers)
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
In a sense, Immortal Servitude is a scaling reanimation spell with upside; three mana on top of your desired target’s mana value gets it back, and you can naturally use this to get a lot more than just one creature. This is very much a spell you have to build around and plan around to get the most out of, though it does turn out that X=1 and X=2 are values that tend to be well-populated, and this can very much be a massive blowout if you make a deck suited to its unique talents. The caveat is that any graveyard deck can be interrupted by a competent opponent, and this definitely looks a bit weaker if you’re not able to turn one spell into a swarm of friends. It can be a potent tool, but it’s not a “mana sink” weapon, more of a sort of combo extender with massive blowout potential.
Constructed: 2.5 (has always been just too fiddly to work, and it’s too slow in deeper formats)
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
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