Settle the Wreckage
November 7, 2017
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It’s not quite the second coming of Wrath of God. At this point, I doubt we’re going to really get that in a Standard set (but you could always take up 93/94. It’s fun!). Settle the Wreckage has an awful lot of conditions attached to it – having to wait to be attacked can be tough when you’re facing a creature with a powerful activated ability, and a lot of players will be concerned about ramping the opponent into something scary. It definitely has a niche, though, since exiling is disproportionately good against certain strategies and it’s much cheaper than Carnage Tyrant. (Why is everyone so afraid of Carnage Tyrant right now, anyway? Standard doesn’t have near enough mana ramp to get it out on turn 3.)
I refuse to call this card anything except for “Wrath to Exile.” Lets look at the positives. With all the graveyard shenanigans and Gods in standard, exiling is an important tool. Assuming you cast this in the mid or late game, your opponent ramping isn’t as devastating as it is in the early game. Unless you are pulling some shenanigans, you’re creatures are left unharmed. Four mana for a light board wipe is really good. This is a bit of an odd opinion, but this card also feels more “fair” than Path or Wrath and matches White’s flavor.
Now for the negatives. Unless you are also trying to Mill your opponent, filtering their deck late game can backfire. Sometimes the creature you want dead isn’t attacking. For the sake of nitpicking, unless I stretch my imagination, I don’t see the correlation between the card’s ability and the card’s name and art. This card is good, but situational. Although I don’t believe this card lives up to its predecessors, it can still let you make a huge comeback.
First thought: this is a mega-Path to Exile.
Settle the Wreckage is a nice way to turn an alpha strike into anything but, wiping out your opponent’s field. And the downside is usually not a huge downside in Constructed; decks rarely run a surfeit of basic lands, so even clearing out 7 or 8 creatures (the pipe dream) will only result in, probably, a 2 or 3 land swing. It exiles, so it makes indestructible less effective, and it’s four mana (the old price for board sweepers).
The major downside is that it only hits their attacking creatures. While some opponents do like to charge in every turn with all their board, there may be some creatures you don’t get rid of (thanks to summoning sickness or tactical withholding). It requires you hold up four mana, which telegraphs some kind of combat trickery (which white is known for). And the mana ramp makes this a slight liability in the early game; while the difference between 8 and 10 mana is mostly academic, the difference between 4 and 6 mana is a bit more pronounced.
I do think Settle the Wreckage will have a home. It’s a powerful effect all the same, even with its weaknesses. But don’t make it your only source of removal.
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