Inquisition of Kozilek – Rise of the Eldrazi
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 2.42
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
In a lot of casual metagames, a restriction to low mana costs looks like a disadvantage – Commander players love their bombs, and kitchen table players love their midrange decks. (Though I’ll point out that taking a mana elf or a Lightning Bolt can throw a deck entirely off its game plan, sometimes.) But there are places where a mana value of three or less covers almost every card in the format (plus Tiny Leaders, but I haven’t heard anyone talk about that in a long time), and Inquisition of Kozilek is a format-defining monster in such settings. Duress is already strong enough to be worthy of fear in most constructed formats; Inquisition of Kozilek is at least two notches stronger.
Limited: 2/5 (Rise of the Eldrazi draft and sealed are a real trip if you’re used to more recent sets!)
That Inquisition of Kozilek is arguably the most-played card out of its original set, Rise of the Eldrazi, may or may not be surprising to someone, based on their knowledge of constructed formats. At first glance, it looks similar to the vein of cards like Duress and Despise (and Thoughtseize), but the twist is that it hits a card based on their mana cost, going for spells costing 3 mana or less.
Conveniently, most decks in Modern (and Legacy) tend to focus very heavily on spells in the 3 mana or less cost range, which turns out is perfect for Inquisition to hit from. It’s never played as the sole discard spell, though there are often arguments for it to be played alongside or above Thoughtseize, and decks like to mix and match based on the threats. 2 life is always a fair price, but not paying 2 life is (usually) better than paying 2 life, and Inquisition has its place as the second-best of the one-mana black discard spells.
Limited: 2.25 (tended to not be great in Limited, since decks are less fine-tuned, and it was abysmal in its Limited debut because of the nature of Rise of the Eldrazi)
Inquisition of Kozilek
Great card, solid staple in anything running black and a definite auto include in eternal formats. For one black you can look at your opponent’s hand on turn one without the drawback of Thoughtseize’s life loss and see what they are playing and how you can alter your game, instant advantage at the start of the game. On top of that you can choose a card with mana value 3 or less and put it in the graveyard…bye bye Goyf! Even in late game, just to know what your opponent is doing or planning on doing for one black mana is crucial if the game is close and you need an advantage and you might get the added bonus of removing a piece of their combo or a late game Goyf bomb in modern. Not bad at all if you ask me. If you somehow are drafting Rise of the Eldrazi and you get passed this card, you definitely take it if you are playing mono black or splashing black there’s few alternatives and being uncommon there’s a higher likelihood of it showing up in additional packs. Casual and multiplayer it is a solid utility card that is fun to use and gives the feeling to the player that they did something to their opponent and made their day slightly more difficult. Commander it has purposes as well, in a discard based deck or graveyard deck it will certainly work and help the strategy along, it’s not an auto include but if you’re playing a discard strategy you could certainly add this card and almost always get value out of it. One of the best uncommons ever printed in my opinion.
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