Silverquill Silencer – Strixhaven
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I think it’s interesting that they decided to make the white-black faction in Strixhaven associated with writing. Writing can be used equally effectively to bring people together, or to achieve your own goals; sometimes both at the same time. And parallel to the differences between Lorehold and Boros, it makes for a great change from how the color pair is characterized in other sets. How many white-black dual lands portray a church or cathedral, even outside of Ravnica?
It never occurred to me just how much white and black share the “choose a card name, then punish your opponent for it” concept until I saw Silverquill Silencer. Instead of denying your opponent the card altogether, it makes your opponent pay a price for using it, which I actually like a lot. Saying the named card can’t be played might prevent the opponent from advancing their game plan, but having them lose three life and you drawing a card advances your game plan. Instead of making a static game state, it makes one that advances but in your favor. That’s very much worth noting, as the traditional version of this effect does sometimes make your opponent unable to win, but then stall out and do nothing.
Commander: 4/5 (The contents of opposing command zones ensure you’ll always know at least one target, and though the three life probably won’t kill them, drawing an extra card here and there can only be a good thing)
This card reminds me a bit of Meddling Mage, though it’s a “softer” answer. You don’t block a spell from being cast, but you can benefit from their spellcasts all the same. A free card and a bit of bleed are both nice effects, and this is also not a lock against you casting the spell, which can be lovely! A 3/2 on turn 2 also isn’t half bad, as this can pummel opponents nicely if you have an opening, though it’s not the main attraction. All the same, there’s a fair amount of fun to be had with this “modern” take on Meddling Mage.
Limited: 3 (likely playing this for the body at first, but it’s good in games 2 and 3)
Commander: 3.75 (commanders are fine targets, and there’s usually Sol Ring to be named)
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