September 19, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Opt has been consistently underestimated by numerous players since it came out. That includes Wizards of the Coast, by the way – in the years following Lorwyn, they seemingly thought it was a little on the weak or at least boring side, and tried some powered-up versions in Ponder and Preordain. Both of those ended up banned and restricted in various tournament formats, so you can imagine how well that went.
Variance is an intrinsic part of Magic and it should be, but Opt is a good addition to any card pool and almost any blue deck. It gives just enough of an advantage to make unusual gameplans more consistent and to be an incentive to play blue, but has a marked enough difference from cards that do “actual” things to make an interesting trade-off in deck construction.
Opt might have been the most interesting reprint of Ixalan, having not seen Standard since Invasion rolled out of rotation, but it might be one of the most impactful spells. Scry 1, draw 1 for 1 blue is a deceptively powerful effect (especially at instant speed!), though it’s not so powerful as to be warping. It’s not completely free, but it’s card filtering that replaces itself, and that sort of card selection is a really solid thing for blue to have at its disposal. I believe it is a four-of in most blue decks, and Throne of Eldraine looks to have another printing of Opt (following its Dominaria appearance).
Opt will never be the star of a deck, but it’s a strong option for blue decks to get to what they need without harming their deck’s overall construction. There’s a reason it’s a Standard staple at the present, and it’s a good card to cobble together a playset of.
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