Sword of Forge and Frontier – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Date Reviewed: February 21, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
By my count, there are at least three members of this cycle that could have been named “Sword of Heart and Soul”, but none of them are. The last one will be the one that gives protection from blue and from black, so I don’t think we’re going to get one, either.
You probably know by now what to expect from a mythic Sword – they’re all powerful combat boosters (even the comparatively “nerfed” Sword of Dungeons and Dragons), and protection from any color adds to that. Protection from green was previously considered less useful than from red or black, but now that green has fight effects, it takes on a different light. With that combat consistency, mythic Swords are usually ranked on their damage triggers; Forge and Frontier is probably not the most powerful on that metric, but it is capable of doing some interesting things. For example, you’ll be guaranteed an extra land if you happen to already have one in your hand, regardless of what the Sword exiles when it hits; you’ll also be more likely to ride the odds with the non-land cards if your mana curve is relatively low. That means it might be a good candidate to set up a card-drawing engine in a white aggro deck – don’t be confused into thinking of this as a Gruul-deck-ready (midrange) card just because it’s the “Gruul Sword” in terms of its protection ability!
Limited: 4.5 (ever since Mirrodin, mythic equipment wins drafts)
Commander [EDH]: 4
A return to Mirrodin, another sword. The “Sword of X and Y” giga-ultra-mega cycle has long been both constructed and casual favorites for being efficiently costed and brutal in their application, and while it’s been over a decade since Standard got one, the fourth of the ally Swords comes to Standard in the form of Sword of Forge and Frontier.
While the stats aren’t the most efficient on the sword (either this or the other eight), protection is a subtly powerful ability that can pull its weight in the right match-up. Here. green might be the half that does the most, since green’s creatures are the best of the lot, and being able to win battle against nearly all of them is a good way to go. On top of that, the sword has its combat damage trigger: impulse draw, plus Explore. I’d say this trigger is somewhere in the middle in terms of strength; it’s mostly there to help you set up for your next turn, but it also gives colors that wouldn’t normally have these abilities access to them, and white in particular loves both halves of this (and is the color most inclined towards equipment affinities).
Sword of Forge and Frontier is not an immediately obvious powerhouse, but it’s a subtle pair of abilities that help you inch ahead in a long game, and it’s a more than worthy inclusion for the infamous cycle. I feel like the Sword will be most playable in formats like Modern and Pioneer, which have better Equipment support than Standard does, but this definitely isn’t bad in Standard. It’s going to do a lot of damage and be sought after, both now and post-rotation.
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We would be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉