Narcomoeba – Future Sight
Date Reviewed: January 25, 2024
Commander [EDH]: 3.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I was not expecting Narcomoeba to return from Future Sight in a Ravnica set. Then again, I don’t think anybody really expected an entire block based around Iquatana, which was the home plane of the card’s original art – Wizards of the Coast clearly seemed not to have an idea for it at that time, and almost as clearly seemed to have forgotten about the plane later on.
I do remember the initial reactions to the card, where it seemed to have weird semi-abstract rules text that effectively hinted at a strange future of Magic that cared about bizarre things. For about five minutes, until you remembered that dredge was in Standard and Extended when it came out. The Extended version was the more threatening one, capable of dredging and self-milling very fast and using multiple Narcomoebas and Putrid Imps to cast Dread Return on something huge. Even in smaller or less cutthroat formats, it’s essentially a free creature in the right build, and saving that cost to do almost anything you want with it is a deceptively good deal, even for a “mere” 1/1. Don’t let the fact that the anything in question has historically been sacrificing – even if it’s chip damage from Pandemonium, or an extra point or two from Soul Warden, the best things in Magic are often free.
Commander [EDH]: 3
Narcomoeba is very much in the vein of looking cute and playing more viciously than is initially apparent. Narcomoeba’s Future Sight debut so happened to be in a Standard environment with dredge from Ravnica and a little spell called Dread Return from Time Spiral, and it turns out that Narcomoeba was a perfect little catalyst for the dredge strategy. It did actually make a return to Standard in Guilds of Ravnica alongside the new surveil mechanic, and it turns out that surveil and explore (from Ixalan, which was out near the time of Guilds of Ravnica) are both things that help it ooze onto the battlefield more readily.
Narcomoeba is hardly anything special as a creature, but it’s long been a stepping-stone to more rude and degenerate things one can do with it. Getting a free creature just by playing out your normal gameplan is quite potent, and that it’s a 1/1 with flying can sometimes be handy. Don’t look at it as a creature in a pure sense, but more as a stepping-stone to even ruder things, and you’ll find that Narcomoeba more than pulls its weight.
Constructed: 4.25 (not for every deck, but great in its own deck)
Limited: 3.5 (paired well with surveil)
Commander [EDH]: 3
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