Solitude – Modern Horizons 2
Date Reviewed: December 21, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale: 1 is bad; 3 is average; 5 is great.
You could write a whole article just about the historical references in Modern Horizons 2‘s Elemental Incarnations and how they’re almost a Rorschach blot test for longtime Magic players. Do you see them as references to the Lorwyn block’s greater elementals? Do you see them as references to Alliances‘ pitch spells? Do you see them as references to the age of comes-into-play abilities headlined by M11’s Titans? Regardless of how you answer questions like these, it’s hard to deny that Solitude is one of the best creatures we’ve seen in recent years. While Swords to Plowshares is perhaps less dominating at five mana or the Force of Will alternate cost, being part of a creature is a big deal. Plenty of FNMs in the Lorwyn era were won by flickering or reanimating evoke creatures, and doing so with Solitude will make it hard for creature-based opponents to keep up any kind of offense. And the nature of its evoke cost is a big deal for its intended format – Modern decks can do what they do with frightening speed, and the ability to remove a key creature while tapped out is arguably almost necessary.
This card was ranked 4th on my Top 10 List of 2021.
Oddly enough, the pitch elementals from Modern Horizons 2 were completely unreviewed on Pojo, which probably is because we forgot to add them to our slate and had other shinier things catching our eye. All five have left their mark and would have made for reasonable top 10 inclusions, but Solitude is probably the one that has had the widest impact, which is why it made the list for me.
The tagline for Solitude almost writes itself: enters-the-battlefield Swords to Plowshares. An enters-the-battlefield Swords to Plowshares that can come in for free and plays well with blink effects, as well. While that 3/2 body won’t win many awards, flashing it in to eviscerate a creature when least expected isn’t so bad, and lifelink is a subtly powerful ability when it’s paired with a good effect already. Being able to cast Solitude for free is certainly what makes this even more of a house, and since the sacrifice part of its evoke trigger can be responded to, spells like Ephemerate let you double-dip on the powerful effect at the cost of one other white card from your hand.
There’s a lot of ways to use and abuse Solitude; it being a creature opens up a lot of avenues, and Swords to Plowshares has long been considered one of the strongest removal spells ever printed. The cost isn’t negligible, but I’d say being a potent and abusable removal spell stapled to a decent body is more than playable, and it’s managed to make waves in Modern and Legacy both. In all, Solitude is pretty good, I’d say.
Commander: 4.5 (pitch spells are underratedly powerful, and Commander lets you take full advantage of all of Solitude’s particular advantages, like its types and its abilities)
Brilliant design that can have multiple functions and can come in handy in a pinch. If this didn’t have evoke it would still be good because you have a flash creature with a Swords to Plowshares ability. The evoke mechanic is just gravy on top because you only have to remove a white card from your hand into exile. There’s a reason this is being used a ton in modern right now! With power and toughness being a 3/2 it is within lightning bolt range making this a fair card that should get around the ban hammer any time soon. Flying and Lifelink are great add ons too since this costs five mana to play, it’s a very well balanced card for both early and late game. Cards like Solitude are what is making white a relevant color again and a better color to use in recent years. Creatures your opponent controls need to be afraid…very afraid!
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