– Commander 2019
August 27, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Control-trading effects of this type have appeared numerous times throughout Magic, but this is the only one that does so when one is on the stack. It’s worded pretty strangely as a result, and does some unusual things. For example, if you target a Fireball effect with it, it allows you (or whoever you give the spell to) to kill whatever they think is most suitable. It might prompt people to re-negotiate a casting of the Commander cards with the tempting offer mechanic, the join forces mechanic, or Conspiracy‘s voting cards. It’s also a great way to experience playing with a planeswalker you weren’t lucky enough to get in a booster, if you have enough creature tokens lying around! It’s a card that fits very well with Commander’s reputation for big plays and crazy stories, and I hope it’s the start of blue getting an image makeover in that format. If people associate blue with preventing big plays and crazy stories from happening, Wizards of the Coast has a lot of power to do something about that.
Now this is a very unusual and nifty spell. For four mana, you can swap a creature for an opponent’s spell…or, I suppose, trade your weak spell for their big and snuggly creature. That alone would make this worth a look, but split second is a mechanic worth multiple looks, as spells with split second are nigh-impossible to answer. (They are not impossible to respond to; triggered abilities can still stop them, and you can unmorph creatures to maybe take advantage of their triggers.)
Being able to take an opponent’s spell for four mana (or, alternately, take their creature…or just mess around with two different players) is a nice deal, especially if you can shackle someone with a downside. Steel Golem is one that comes to mind, but there are lots of ways to mess with people. This also is a nice way to answer spells that can be trickier to stop or to turn something like an overloaded Cyclonic Rift against its owner.
I think there are enough things this does to be worth a look; I don’t know how good it’ll ultimately be, but blue Commander decks will have reason to investigate this, and it might make a small splash in Legacy as a way to rattle combo decks. It’s a bit expensive as an answer, unfortunately, but the effect is powerful enough to maybe make it worth looking at.
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