Tetravus – Antiquities
Date Reviewed: January 12, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 2.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
There might be easier ways to cause artifacts to repeatedly come into and out of play, but arguably none of them would exist if Tetravus hadn’t kicked off the concept. Of course, in its original contexts, and those modern ones that imitate its original contexts, that wasn’t its real point. It was supposed to be either a big flier for decks that might not otherwise have one, or a swarm of small fliers for decks that might not otherwise have one. For things like Old School it’s not as scary as the top-tier creatures like Serra Angel or Mahamoti Djinn, and there are few situations where it’s truly essential to split it up, but it’s a decent hedge against artifact destruction and can get the job done when it has to.
I’ve never seen it confirmed, but I always suspected that the Tetravite tokens can’t be enchanted because they thought people would either be using dice or coins or things that are much smaller than an Aura spell when you slip it under them, or using face-down cards from their collection which might get confusing. I mean, that’s what people I played with in the 90s used as tokens. But Wizards of the Coast clearly underestimated people’s love for tokens and desire to use them in all the same ways they use regular cards. Just ask Claire D’Loon.
Constructed: 1 (for modern formats; it’s probably about a 3 in Old School constructed)
Limited: 3.5 – though it’s never been in a set that was drafted, I’ve seen it do this in Old School cube (and Magic Online once had it in a Masters Edition)
Commander [EDH]: 2.5
The original iteration of the “modular” effect that would sometimes pop up down the road with Pentavus and Hexavus, Tetravus lets you slough off Tetravites from the main body and call them back. The idea is cute in theory: you can use a bunch of counters to get a bunch of Tetravites, and anthem effects let you go wide. The main issue is that Tetravus is quite slow to get going, Tetravites are affected by summoning sickness, and costing six mana means you’re more likely to want to cheat this in. But as far as cheating in targets go, you can do a lot better than Tetravus; there are plenty of ways to make this fun, but you’re just using this to have fun.
Constructed: 1 (way too cumbersome for Legacy)
Casual: 3.5 (takes a bit of set-up, but you can sometimes get this to pay off)
Limited: 4 (an evasive flier is always threatening; while this was last in Fourth Edition, it could still do a lot of damage)
Commander [EDH]: 3
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