– Throne of Eldraine
November 12, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
One thing to look for in any new set is any card that has some kind of open-ended game text – referring to any creature, any land, or in this case any instant or sorcery. These are the kinds of cards whose potential power multiplies as more and more sets come out, and card pools get bigger and bigger. Mystic Sanctuary also has the advantage of interacting with classes of cards that have tended, historically, to have very powerful effects. Your opponent might manage to survive one Supreme Verdict, but can they survive the same one cast multiple times? It’s generally a late-game card and is really only at its peak in either (close to) mono-blue decks or shockland formats, although I should note that there are turbo-ramp decks that can hit its untap requirement surprisingly early or get around it in some way. It’s not the sort of synergy card that wins the game on the spot; rather, it’s the kind that makes a deck more consistent and more resistant to the inevitable misfortunes of a Magic game like being milled or counterspelled.
Mystic Sanctuary is one of the Throne of Eldraine commons with a lot of promise to it in Constructed formats. It has a basic land type, which pairs well with the Onslaught/Zendikar fetch lands, and it has a powerful triggered ability: get an instant or sorcery back to the top of your library if you control three or more other Islands when you play it. Considering blue is the color of instants and sorceries, being able to get a spell back when you play it is pretty nice.
What makes this especially nice is the potential infinite loop with Time Warp and an effect to bounce Mystic Sanctuary; the two main ones are Trade Routes and Meloku the Clouded Mirror, as you can keep looping Time Warp by playing Mystic Sanctuary and bouncing it. This actually has some applications in Modern, in the Extra Turns deck of the format, though it tends to have the same issues it usually has (being too slow to really wreak enough havoc in the format).
Even still, Mystic Sanctuary is a card with a fair bit of promise in formats. You can definitely wreak a lot of havoc with it, and it has a lot of power if you can unlock it somehow.
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