Inscription of Ruin
– Zendikar Rising
September 21, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Zendikar Rising‘s Inscriptions are going to get two kinds of (contradictory) assessment: how powerful each mode is for the regular cost, and how powerful all three of them are together when they’re kicked. In this case, the modes are fairly limited in general and can be had for more efficient costs in other cards; I should point out, though, that you often get more in a reanimated three-mana creature than you would have in a previous decade of Magic’s existence. I think it’ll find the most use in slower formats where you can get up to those high mana costs more reliably and use the all-three mode to break a game or make a big comeback. That’ll matter a lot in draft and sealed, and Commander decks can ramp into it surprisingly early.
Mind Rot, a mini Unearth (or the “Claim” half of Claim//Fame), or an approximation of Smother…the latest modal spell offers a fair bit of flexibility, if you’re fine overpaying on the last two modes slightly. The trade-off is that kicking it gives you all of the modes of the spell (if you want them), and that’s a fair bit to accomplish just off of one card. The question then becomes if it’s worth it, and my inclination (right now) is that it’s not. Flexibility is often nice, but sorcery speed is a bit of a knock, as well as the modes generally being underpowered at three mana (outside of Mind Rot, though that’s not a particularly potent card on its own) and even at seven mana.
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