Mystic Remora – Dominaria Remastered
Date Reviewed: January 18, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Mystic Remora is one of those oddities from Magic’s early years. For one thing, a remora is a fish, but the card is an enchantment rather than a creature – you’d rarely see that nowadays. But more than that, cumulative upkeep taxes you almost as much as it does the opponent, meaning that you have to be careful about when and how you play this. It’s not the sort of card you expect to lock the opponent out for the entire game, but rather get a good couple of turns out of and then shift gears. Your opponent may not have any choice but to play through it, and even one or two extra cards make a lot of difference in the constructed formats where it’s legal. In Commander, there are more consistent ways to draw a whole bunch of cards at once, so the value might be more in slowing people down while you do your thing.
Mystic Remora used to be played quite a lot in Vintage, where it was very much facilitated by another popular card from its same block, which helped when your mana was tied up. I’m talking, of course, about the legendary and feared Force of Will. I have to think that synergy was planned; although, a lot of things in early Magic weren’t!
Commander [EDH]: 4
Long a casual favorite, Mystic Remora is one of those interesting little spells that aims to do as many Rude Things as possible in a single turn or two. It’s immediately comparable to a spell like the infamous Rhystic Study, but with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It doesn’t trigger on creature spells, it has a much higher payment to get out of letting you get a card, and cumulative upkeep means it’s going to be around for a couple of turns before you decide that it’s crimping your style too much. The main upshot is that it costs one mana, so in a sometimes more ponderous format like Commander, you can keep it on board for a few turns before letting it go.
The main issue is that it’s a reactive spell reliant on opponents doing specific Things to eke advantage out of, and while it’s marginally better than Rhystic Study is in Constructed, that’s mostly a product of the nature of the formats it belongs to. It’s actually not completely unviable there, but it’s a card that needs to come down on turn 1 to actually appreciably impact the board. This is definitely a popular blue tool for making sure you get resources out of the early game, and it can still draw you cards late, but this is certainly a poor top deck when things get crazy.
Limited: 3.25 (if you can draw a few cards, that’s ideal, but Limited is not an optimal place for this card)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We would be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉