– Core Set 2020
September 13, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I can’t help but feel like they intentionally named this card “Mystic Forge” to encourage people to use it in concert with Stoneforge Mystic, or perhaps in opposition to it. Most likely the latter, as their themes don’t really overlap. The effect is one we’ve seen a few times, most recently on Experimental Frenzy from Guilds of Ravnica, and while the Forge is superficially very restrictive, it adds up to a lot of advantage in properly constructed decks. You might not have realized if you’re more familiar with development philosophies from recent sets, but low-cost artifacts have historically been one of the most powerful card types in all of Magic. There are Eggs-style cards in Modern (Chromatic Star and the like), not to mention Moxes and Sol Rings and artifact lands.
The first place our collective mind goes for tournaments might be stuff like that, but there might even be a deck out there that uses it on Eldrazi. It’s a little more fragile than the traditional Eldrazi enablers, but it’s not banned in Modern and Legacy (yet . . .).
Every once in a while, a new set gives a card strong enough to make waves in even the most powerful formats. Mystic Forge might be from the newest Standard-legal format, but it’s already caused plenty of problems in Vintage, the format of mega-busted cards and weird artifact interactions.
On the surface, Mystic Forge is a cute card for artifact decks or for decks with a surfeit of tentacles, giving you information and allowing you to dig past cards that aren’t particularly useful at the time; you can exile the top card of your library to hopefully get to the juicy bits of your deck, like all of the artifacts. This is mostly more cute than a massive oppressing force…unless you’re talking about Vintage, of course, a format where degenerate things are normal.
In particular, Mystic Forge pairs well with the fast, zero-cost artifact mana of Vintage (think Moxen with a side of Lotuses) and even with Sensei’s Divining Top to dig down to the key piece of the deck: Karn, the Great Creator. Karn’s a brutal piece to a lot of combo decks in conjunction with cards like Time Vault and Mycosynth Lattice, and you can use Mystic Forge to turbo through the deck to the pieces that allow for you to go off (such as Karn, which can be cast using Mystic Forge’s ability). The deck is an offshoot of the infamous Mishra’s Workshop decks of Vintage, that rely on the imbalanced Antiquities land to do degenerate things.
Mystic Forge was at the confluence of being too oppressive in a format where zero-cost artifacts rule the roost and having one of the most powerful colorless planeswalkers available to it. It managed to draw a restriction in Vintage, which slows down the strategy (but possibly still allows it to work, since it is powerful); I doubt Mystic Forge does much outside of that one format, but it’s still impressive that a card in 2019 can rattle one of the longest-running formats.
Constructed: 4 (Vintage only; it’s probably closer to a 2 in Standard)
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