– War of the Spark
May 29, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If I correctly recall what I was reading before War of the Spark‘s release, this card depicts Niv-Mizzet basically becoming the new Guildpact. I think he’ll end up being a much better bet than Jace – for one thing, he’s actually from Ravnica!
As befits someone who is literally an embodiment of a magical planetwide treaty, he has a spectacular effect when he comes into play. That is indeed one card for each of the guilds, and although it takes an awful lot of setup to draw exactly ten cards (but note that Soothsaying is a thing), it feels good when you consider how many powerful cards over the years it can find you. Vindicate and Pernicious Deed are evergreen; Casualties of War and Debt to the Deathless are newer rising stars. It even triggers when you flicker him, which drastically increases the chance of it hitting relevant cards!
It’s somehow fitting that the most vain dragon on Ravnica assumes the mantle of “Guildpact” (long story). Miv-Mizzet Reborn sheds merely being the Izzet guildleader and aims to embody all of Ravnica in his new incarnation…with a rather powerful draw ability.
In theory, Niv-Mizzet can get you 10 cards, but that seems unlikely. He encourages a lot of weird deckbuilding, as he can get you one card of each color pair (or guild, if it helps to think that way), but the odds of getting exactly those 10 cards is pretty slim. Ideally, you’re getting a solid return on investment with three or four cards; more than that is a nice bonus, of course. So this encourages a weird mishmash of colored cards to try to get them out from Niv-Mizzet, potentially eschewing some of the stronger cards that might be three or more colors. Hybrid might help bridge the gap, since hybrid cards are flexible and a bit splashier, but still.
And besides that, he’s a 6/6 with flying for 5 mana. Five colored mana, with no protection otherwise, but who cares. There are ways to solve the puzzles Niv-Mizzet poses, but I doubt Standard is where they’ll be solved; Commander seems more likely a home for him.
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