– Double Masters
August 25, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This general style of effect is now seen somewhat regularly (see also Reality Shift, Cavalier of Dawn, etc), so it’s easy to forget that it actually started its life as part of Planar Chaos‘ alternate reality. Apparently it wasn’t so alternate after all; or, it might have been a card that actually entered the alternate timeline from its equivalent of Future Sight, and then the Mending changed the progression of time so that our universe partly converged with that one. Time travel storylines are weird.
If you’ve been deep enough in the Magic internet, you may have seen Commander players complaining about this card: in a format devoted to ramping super hard and casting creatures with enormous text boxes, replacing such a threat with a vanilla 3/3 is sometimes almost as good as Swords to Plowshares. In any other format, such a creature is a not-insignificant threat and so it’s less impressive, but you can occasionally find a use for it. For example, using it on your own creature and then recurring the dead one somehow leaves you with the ability to duplicate comes-into-play abilities and the like.
Turning a creature into a prime ape is a pretty good way to either eke value out of a weak creature of your own or make an opponent’s creature less threatening, and being a one-mana blue instant makes this especially potent, given that blue sometimes can have trouble dealing with creatures permanently. It’s not an outstanding card in all, because a 3/3 replacement is a notable downside and it blanks against indestructible creatures, but it gives blue answers it might not normally have. It has a near-functional reprint in Rapid Hybridization, so Commander players have two shots of the effect they know and love.
Constructed: 2.25 (it’s oft just better to hit them with Path to Exile or a related card)
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