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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Ashnod's Altar
Image from Wizards.com

Ashnod's Altar
- Antiquities

Reviewed November 17, 2015

Constructed: 2.75
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 2.25
Multiplayer: 2.75
Commander [EDH]: 3.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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David Fanany

Player since 1995

Ashnod's Altar
Historically, artifacts have always been among the most powerful cards in Magic. There may no longer be new cards in the style of Black Lotus, but modern artifacts still define formats surprisingly often, even if that "format" is casual play. You may be surprised at some of the things we're reviewing for the first time this week, but when it comes to artifacts, Magic players have always been spoiled for choice.
Someone I knew from my old, old, incredibly old-school play group got a Chronicles Ashnod's Altar in a booster. Nobody knew exactly what it was good for, but there was something eye-catching about the effect to the point that he jammed it in something that we would now call a midrange deck. He'd sacrifice a two-cost creature to help cast a four-cost creature, and things of that type, and for some reason we never put it in a deck with Ornithopter and Fireball, even though we probably owned about twelve of each card between us. That's the funny thing about Ashnod's Altar, and indeed a lot of combo cards: once you see the "unfair" use of it, it seems obvious, like when someone tells you the answer to a riddle, and then you see it every time you look at the card. But until you do, it could be almost anything.
To be fair, Ashnod's Altar is distinguished not only for being one of the first "engine" combo cards. It's distinguished because it remains a significant member of that set after so many years: more and more Magic sets have brought more and more cards that care when something dies, and more and more cards that want you to have lots of mana, whether those are X spells or other types of thing. 
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 2/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
EDH/Commander: 3/5


Ashnod's Altar
Mana ramp for sack decks. Neat for commander, Not much use for it where's legal otherwise.
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 2.5
EDH: 4

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