Quest for the Holy Relic
September 27, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
“Quest for the Holy Relic” is another name that wouldn’t be at all out of place in an Arthurian block. Apart from the Grail – which new evidence suggests may currently be in a medieval church in Spain – there’s Excalibur, the Round Table, the Siege Perilous, and more besides. The story in Throne of Eldraine doesn’t focus so much on the style of quest that looks for a specific object; without giving too much away, it’s more about Will and Rowan’s family situation, which was the focus of their first adventure as knights. But that, of course, may be yet to come: after all, the grand endeavor of The Quest of the Holy Grail is kicked off by an unexpected vision, and there’s no more likely place to encounter unexpected visions than the Magic multiverse.
There were white decks focused on equipment before the printing of Quest for the Holy Relic; there were white decks focused on cheap creatures long before the ones focused on equipment. Quest for the Holy Relic is thus evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but the power it adds to a properly-constructed deck is considerable. It’s easy to work towards, and you can do it quickly or slowly, in the service of an aggro rush or a big finish alike. It adds value to low-cost creatures that you draw late, and the fact that you can use it as a combat trick is just crazy – even a simple Trusty Machete can turn the tide in your favor, much less “I accidentally Sword of Vengeance”. It’s even good in singleton formats as a supplement and redundant effect for Stoneforge Mystic. It’s just a good reason to play with equipment of any form, at any time.
Until next week, stay low on the mana curve, and ride on to Corbenic.
While Archmage Ascension was slow and ponderous, Quest for the Holy Relic is a lot faster to bring online. It’s a cheap spell, is in the color with a lot of cheap creatures, and offers a powerful effect if you can get it to pop; being able to tutor out any Equipment at instant speed is pretty insane, and it even attaches it to a creature as it comes in! It’s not impossible to, on curve, have this online as soon as turn 3 or 4, though that would be one heck of an opening salvo if that is the case.
Quest for the Holy Relic is a spell that relies on a specific deck build and needs enough payoffs to make it pop. I can see it being part of an insane combo with something like Elbrus, the Binding Blade, but it’s a fragile combo that can be easily disrupted all the same. It was a Standard powerhouse in the Caw Blade-era, since it played well with Squadron Hawk; it has yet to have the same impact in Modern, but there’s plenty you can do with the various Swords from the Mirrodin giga-cycle, to name one application.
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