Surge of Salvation – March of the Machine
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Hexproof is such a powerful ability that it changes games even when the card in question can only be used as a one-shot, like Gaea’s Gift. This is often seen more in limited, where deck construction is more amenable to combat tricks and other things that don’t directly defeat the opponent. But some such cards have crossed to constructed play, and Surge of Salvation is a good candidate to join that list. It’s one of the cheapest ways to give hexproof to yourself, which is to say to counter any spell similar to Fireball or Tendrils of Agony, and granting it to all your creatures at once can mess up opponents who plan to make more than one play in a turn. And while the part about preventing damage doesn’t always come up at the same time, it gives the card effectively a second mode which makes it more versatile and potentially more sideboard-worthy than it already is.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5 (certain color combinations rely heavily on red damage-based sweepers)
The art of this card resembles one of the split-second spells at first glance, though it’s far simpler. Mass hexproof for a turn is a solid starting point, and being able to block damage from red ad black sources is also helpful; the former is particularly nice as a way to blunt the preferred way red likes to try and clear out a board, and this can also make combat math into a nice and rude surprise against a deck with toes in those colors. This is sort of a perfect sideboard card, in a way; it’s a good tool against particular decks, and while it’s more versatile than color-hate cards have been in the past, there are still certain decks where you’ll want this and others where this is mostly just there to look pretty.
Multiplayer: 3.5 (you’re likely to see at least one player with black or red if you get to a big enough table)
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
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