Search for Azcanta / Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
November 3, 2017
Commander [EDH]: 4.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If the card-filtering effect on Search for Azcanta reads a little underwhelming in a vacuum, the effect on Azcanta itself is absolutely spectacular. Even at only once a turn, the best of the top four cards in your library will put you so far ahead no-one will ever catch up. I also like how both sides of the card support combo decks in different ways, and how the Search can be used to set up graveyard interactions in a constant and cost-free manner.
And on top of that, I like how the name manages to reference both Aztlan and Atlantis at the same time!
Azcanta has exploded in popularity in standard, but is it just the flavor of the week? The first ability, essentially a Scry, is a powerful tool to avoid mana problems or finding board answers. Although most of the time you will be discarding lands, any creatures or spells discarded can be brought back with The Scarab God or Torrential Gearhulk.
If you’re playing a control deck then you are going to transform this card pretty easily. It should be noted it transforms at the beginning of your turn, which is a nice bonus. As soon as The Sunken Ruin enters play, you can start to corner your opponent with a flood of card advantage and answers. The Second Sun approaches really quickly thanks to Azcanta.
The 2 mana cost is deceptive because even though you can play it on turn 2, it is usually better to save that mana for an instant. Leyline of Anticipation has made a new best friend. Not exactly a problem with the card itself per se, but Field of Ruin is rapidly becoming more common so The Sunken Ruin probably wont be on the field for very long. Although not a fit for every deck, the majority of blue players will greatly enjoy a trip to Azcanta.
Impulse on a stick? It’s certainly more likely than you think. Search for Azcanta, pre-flip, offers card filtering that can ease your way into the late game by letting you keep or trash the top card of your library. Once it flips into Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin (which is a fairly attainable condition), the fun starts.
Repeatable effects, particularly on a land card, are among the most potent effects; with land destruction neutered to the point of near-uselessness, you can count on Azcanta to stick around. And on turns when you have nothing to do, it segues extremely well into your next turn’s play.
This is easily control’s favorite new toy that Ixalan granted it. It’s cheap, consistent card advantage that’s resistant to removal, and it even taps for blue if you need it to. Expect to see Search for Azcanta a good bit in Standard and Modern, I suspect.
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