– Urza’s Destiny
January 14, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.33
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
At first reading, this card might seem kind of awkward and perhaps not worth the effort. But there’s a key word in Opposition’s rules text that is missing from a lot of recent cards’ effects: “land”. You can target your opponent’s lands with Opposition, and as long as you have at least as many creatures as they have lands, it’s basically a one-sided Armageddon. It thus lends itself to prison decks (albeit odd creature-based ones), but is definitely effective in aggro decks too, and can even be useful in multiplayer, though there it’s more a matter of using it strategically against major threats from various opponents than locking out one player (which is not only harder to do, but would leave you open to the rest of the table). It also stops or slows down any commander creatures, without giving them a chance to return from the command zone.
Turning your creatures into a bit of a lockdown engine is a deceptively potent effect, and Opposition was a force to be reckoned with back in the days of the Urza’s Saga Standard. The immediate comparison is to Mind Over Matter from Exodus, though Opposition is cheaper and can parley a good board state into an absurd lockdown engine your opponent will struggle to break in cases…doubly so if you have ways to untap your permanents repeatedly, such as via Seedborn Muse. The trade-off is that Opposition requires a board state to work, since you need creatures; blue is unfortunately not as great at it as other colors are, so you’ll need to build carefully to get the most out of it, such as dipping into white or black for token generation.
While Opposition is not a Legacy staple, it’s not completely invisible in the format: it has shown up occasionally in Sultai Control decks as an added tool with which to grind your opponents down. It also has gotten a rather cool-looking Amonkhet Invocation, though that did not make it Modern- or Standard-legal. Still, it’s a potent control weapon in the right hands, and it proves that the best thing you can sometimes do is Nothing.
Hello and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! In honor of Theros being an Enchantment based block we’re going to take a look at some of the most powerful enchantments that have ever been printed in Magic.
Today we’re looking at a card that when seen across the table by many of my cube drafters has caused them to groan because they suddenly know what kind of match they’re in for.
Opposition is another relatively simple enchantment. Tap a creature you control, tap target artifact, creature, or land. While on paper this seems pretty fair, you tap a creature you control and it taps your opponent’s creature and prevents them from attacking. Blue isn’t known for its creatures so obviously this is a kind of wonky enchantment.
Except that while Blue isn’t known for making a bunch of critters, Green is, and putting this with Deranged Hermit can quickly overwhelm the opponent’s ability to swing, let alone have mana available after their upkeep! This works great in Simic Cube decks that also love to play things like Oko and really keep the board locked down until they can find a win condition like Hydroid Krasis or their Earthcraft to go infinite squirrels.
But we’ve been talking mostly about cube so let’s look into Constructed, and that’s where Opposition shows its age. Not a lot decks want to stall out the game as they do win, and investing in a card to do that isn’t really prudent in constructed formats that have this card as an option, mostly Vintage or Legacy.
In Multiplayer and Commander where the wild shenanigans of this card can simply turn off everyone’s ability to play the game can be backbreaking to say the least. Although playing in those formats and tuning your entire deck around 1 enchantment that doesn’t have much way to protect itself, especially against a wide field, isn’t going to let this card shine much.
While this is one of the most powerful blue enchantments they’ve ever printed, there are quite a few that are chomping at the bit to overtake its title (Search for Azcanta to name one!), but while it’s out of favor in the eternal formats I can guarantee you if this card was printed today it would be a monster in Standard and Pioneer, and probably Modern as well. Control Decks that could make 1/1 soldiers with Castle Ardenvale and be able to take out attackers each turn, slowly delaying the game until a finisher hits, or their amassed soldiers can slowly chew through your life total.
How can I make this guarantee? Because even without the ‘Tap a land’ clause on this card, Glare of Subdual was one of the most oppressive cards during its time in Kami Ravnica Standard. Ghazi Glare making tons of dudes and chewing through board stalls in 2005!
And.. if you open this in an Urza’s Destiny Draft, pick it as soon as you can, turning all your creatures into tappers is an awesome way to allow you to set up an alpha strike the next turn during a board stall!
Constructed 1/5 – In Legacy and Vintage this card is too clunky and slow… but maybe that’s a good reason to bring it back in Standard!
Commander 2/5 – There’s better ways to control the board, but this makes a great addition to decks that are artifact and enchantment based already. Looking at you Hanna!
Limited 5/5 – In booster draft clogged boards are commonplace and this helps you squeak out little advantages until it’s time for the Alpha Strike!
Cube 4/5 – In this format there’s plenty of ways to make tokens and Blue partners pretty well with those colors and planeswalkers that allow this Enchantment to shine!
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