Date Reviewed: November 2, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Macabre Waltz is basically Samhain in card form. It has some of the scariest pre-New Phyrexia art, because there is literally no good explanation for what is going on in that shot. I kind of like, too, how it returns some of the horror to undeath and raising from the graveyard; Magic players can get so used to thinking of the graveyard as basically a secondary hand that we can be taken aback when we think about some of the concepts involved.
The ideal case with this card is, of course, that you get back two valuable creatures and discard something that’s not relevant to you. It won’t always set up like that in a random scenario, but in constructed, it’s generally not too hard to construct a deck with a high enough density of creatures that you can do that later in the game. If you’re waiting that long, it’s often a safer and faster bet to use something like Dread Return or Reveillark to just put the creature/s back into play, but there’s definitely some deckbuilding space relating to creatures with abilities that work from your hand, like cycling or forecast. In an emergency, you can even cast it with no creatures in your graveyard when you want to discard something; it’s not super-efficient at that either (compare Smallpox or Breakthrough), but it works.
Macabre Waltz is a rather efficient way to recur creatures. Two mana for two creatures? Pretty good deal, even if you have to discard a card afterwards. The discard is rarely downside and more opportunity to set up for fun combos, be it with discard triggers (as were common in Amonkhet block) or madness spells…or loading up your graveyard with dredge cards. It’s maybe a bit slow to get rolling and do things, and it’s definitely not going to be a spell you want to cast on turn 2 in most games. But getting creatures back as cheaply as this offers is good, and it can be a decent role player in a graveyard-heavy deck.
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