– Modern Horizons
June 26, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card’s name seems to be a play on the word “tantalize”, and that is pretty much what its game text does. It may be a new twist on Moxes, but it uses an old mechanic from Time Spiral, so what can we conclude that we may have learned from that block? For one thing, the Tantalite is clearly strongest when you suspend it on turn one or at best turn two, and much less powerful any time after that (though there may be a reason to want to hit it with a cascade trigger now and then). Much like Time Spiral‘s Lotus Bloom, it might be usable in storm decks. You’ll want to be careful about telegraphing which turn you’re going to try and go off – much less setting a countdown you may not end up being able to meet – but when it works, it’ll be spectacular.
Another interesting and different take on a Mox, the newest member of the Moxen sort of straddles the line between the multi-colored mana rocks and Lotus Bloom; it has no conventional mana cost, but it needs a three-turn wait (under normal circumstances) to come out to play. It’s also not legendary, which means it’s entirely possible to suspend four of these on turn 1 and have a bunch of Mox Tantalites to play with on turn 4.
The problem with Mox Tantalite is that it’s too slow to work as a “fair” Mox and too weak to work as an “unfair” Mox. An extra one mana of any color is nice, but trying to cascade into it is generally overshadowed by Lotus Bloom (and the same goes for spells like As Foretold). It sort of falls into the twilight of being more “cute” than “good”; there are ways to make it work, but it’s a bit too underwhelming and weak to function as any more than a nice little mana rock for more casual games. It might work well in Commander, but my gut tells me that it’s nowhere near busted enough to work in Modern or Legacy; waiting three turns for one more mana is a fairly weak payoff.
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