– Arabian Nights
August 6, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Oubliette is effectively black’s version of Banishing Light, though with a bit of a different take: the most recent errata of Oubliette causes the creature to phase out instead of leaving play. While there are definitely a lot of kill spells available to the color, Oubliette enables you to tuck a creature out of sight and mind, and sometimes keeping a creature out of the graveyard is better than letting its triggers go off. At three mana, it is a slightly pricey answer, particularly as an answer that can be removed, but the use of phasing makes it a lot nastier in Commander, because commanders can’t change zones in response to phasing out.
Speaking of that, this is the first reprint of the infamous Oubliette since Arabian Nights! It’s been brought up to uncommon for Double Masters, but it remains legal in Pauper and a lot easier to get for decks. I think this might be a borderline staple in black Commander decks, to be frank, and it’s a nice addition to black’s toolkit.
I’m not sure what’s crazier: the fact that Magic’s designers accidentally invented a mechanic that nearly duplicates Oubliette’s printed abilities just a couple of years after its original release, or the fact that it took twenty years after the invention of phasing to get a printed version of Oubliette that says what it now does. The card’s blend of flavor and mechanics might be one that isn’t used in modern sets, but it gives black an effect it usually doesn’t have access to – the one way it usually doesn’t like to kill creatures – and that’s going to be useful for something along the line. Not only does it help with some of the crazier creatures in formats like Commander, you can even use it on your own cards to take advantage of phasing’s unique operation.
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