September 10, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
While you probably remember Stoneforge Mystic for Standard decks that were unbeatable (or at least the highest-tier choice), breaking more fundamental rules of Magic than is usually possible for an individual card, and making Umezawa’s Stupid Unfair Jitte even more stupid and unfair than it usually is, she probably deserves to be seen as a little more than that. While the broken plays (turn 3 Batterskull, etc) are the obvious ones to go to in tournaments, you can also adjust the power of her abilities down and use her with things like Bonesplitter, Ensouled Scimitar, and a “friendlier” game-breaker like Behemoth Sledge. It’s really a judgment call on your part, but her abilities are incredibly powerful in the context of Equipment, so use them wisely.
Stoneforge Mystic has cast a long shadow over Magic in her 10 years, managing to get banned out of Standard (alongside Jace, the Mind Sculptor) after utterly ruining the Zendikar-Scars of Mirrodin format and languishing on Modern’s ban list for years (before getting paroled recently). While the effect is seemingly underwhelming, Equipment spells have gotten rather powerful over the years, and an unconditional tutor that can also cheat them into play is quite a potent two-mana investment. Between the Mirrodin swords, the living weapon artifacts (especially Batterskull), Sword of the Meek, and the still-banned-in-Modern Umezawa’s Jitte, there are a lot of brutal targets that she can go digging out, and she’s managed to breathe life into the Modern format without destroying it.
Stoneforge Mystic is not a card to splash into any deck, as you want the specific pieces that make her click, like a decent toolbox of rude Equipment spells. And as a 1/2 with no protection, it’s sometimes possible for her to get reamed before you get to cheat something into play. All the same, though, Stoneforge Mystic is a powerful creature in spite of her limitations, and she’s definitely one to be careful around.
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