– War of the Spark
June 5, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I don’t know for sure that this is the card that prompted them to put Force of Negation into Modern Horizons – to be fair, they were probably being designed at about the same time, but it still wouldn’t surprise me. Neoform is not as open-ended as its famous ancestor, Natural Order, but the simple fact that it costs two mana makes it the most dangerous variant we’ve seen in a very long time. You may have heard about the Modern deck that uses it with Allosaurus Rider and Griselbrand, which can whiff just as spectacularly as it can draw its entire deck. Even a more “restrained” use of Neoform can win games outright, as it is cheap enough to back up with counterspells or to have multiple plays in the same turn: in the mid-game, you can cast a three-mana creature onto an empty table and immediately use Neoform.
The sort-of return of Birthing Pod, just as a one-shot effect. Neoform is probably the most “interesting” uncommon in War of the Spark, thanks to its ability to rapidly ramp up the chain of creatures. It’s inflexible (you need to get a creature card with a CMC exactly 1 more than what you sacrificed), but it’s a powerful effect all the same. I’m not as familiar with how it does weird and unspeakable things in Standard, but it did cause a bit of speculation around Allosaurus Rider for its applications in Modern.
I’m not sure this will resurrect the Birthing Pod-style decks; Neoform is cheaper, but part of what made Birthing Pod so horrifying was that it was (effectively) colorless and repeatable. The mana costs on Neoform are a bit less forgiving, but the effect is powerful enough that I can see this doing a lot in many formats.
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