Spawnsire of Ulamog
– Rise of the Eldrazi
November 5, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
One of my biggest problems with Commander is its default ruling that “from outside the game” cards do not work at all. (Unless, of course, your playgroup agrees that they do, but basically none of the playgroups you hear about online hold this viewpoint. If yours does, disregard this paragraph.) Wishes might as well have blank text, and Spawnsire of Ulamog’s biggest selling point effectively doesn’t exist. We know how this class of card works in general casual Magic cases – isn’t Commander supposed to be a casual format?
But more to the point, if you are playing Spawnsire of Ulamog, you are probably looking to use that big activated ability in some way. It has a built-in way for you to do so, but with an investment of mana; it adds up over time to such a level that you might well feel it’s better invested in something else. But there are plenty of other uses for its own Eldrazi Spawn tokens, and plenty of other ways to get to 20 mana and cast one of every Eldrazi card ever printed or whatever. This flexibility makes it a difficult threat for opponents to deal with, not to mention a hilarious endgame for big colorless casual decks.
The obvious eye-catching ability on Spawnsire of Ulamog is that curious 20 mana ability to unload a horde of tentacled abominations upon the board in one swoop. Alas, it doesn’t quite work the way we’d all want it to, thanks to things called sideboards (that do not exist in Commander), and Spawnsire is a bit less intriguing without that little trigger.
Less intriguing doesn’t mean bad, though; annihilator 1 coupled with 11 toughness makes it hard to take out before it devastates an opponent’s board state rather nicely, and you can turn mana into more mana. Or, at least, cute little Eldrazi Spawn that can chump block and make mana. There’s also a fair amount of things this card “goes infinite” with (like Anointed Procession, Training Grounds, and Doubling Season), and anything to benefit from all of those potential death triggers can make this a game-ender once it gets out. It has all of the usual Eldrazi issues of a high mana cost, but given how the deck can ramp once it gets its engines going, that’s rarely much of an impediment towards commencing the re-tentacling.
Constructed: 1.25 (it’s incredibly expensive and not worth cheating out, and other Eldrazi tend to end games in a more efficient manner)
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