The Great Henge
– Throne of Eldraine
October 28, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I love that we’re now getting more colored artifacts, but once again I’m puzzled by how long it’s taken for them to make the shift. It seems to solve a lot of the problems they cause for tournament settings, and it still makes sense from a flavor and lore point of view. Is it credible to assume a device or object created by someone with a strong color alignment wouldn’t reflect that in some way? I suppose old habits are hard to break, though.
Regardless, I quite like what this card does. When any creatures that come down after it get not just a power boost but an extra card draw, you have a desirable card for midrange and combo decks alike. I’d love to see it in a creature-based engine along the lines of Modern’s old Elves Combo decks, although it might not be a very good fit for that exact deck. Having built-in cost reduction (acceleration) for something your deck wants to do anyway is also a huge deal. It’s easy enough to power this out in the early midgame in Standard, much less in a setting where people play with Lingering Souls and Summoning Trap into baloths and such.
This is the kind of combo card I prefer and hope to see more of in future sets, not stuff like Tendrils of Agony.
The mythic rare colored artifact cycle was definitely meant to be somewhat pushed, and The Great Henge is probably the one that’s the farthest over the line in terms of power level. It generates mana, turns all of your creature spells into cantrips and makes them bigger out of the gate, and it even passively gives you more life to work with. For decks that run lots of creatures, this is definitely a big one, and you can eke a lot of incremental (and less-incremental) advantages out of this artifact.
It’s pretty nuts when it comes down (and can even get to work right away, thanks to giving back two green mana with its tap ability). So that poses the question: how easy is it to get The Great Henge out? Turns out, not too challenging for most decks (so long as they aren’t getting all of their creatures instagibbed when they’re coming out). The casting cost reduction of The Great Henge hinges on the biggest creature you have on board…the earliest you can reliably bring it to the board should be turn 4, with turn 5 more likely (presuming a four power creature to make this cost a total of 5 mana). This is right around when you’re going to start pumping out the massive beaters, and giving them extra power is a good way to smooth out the transition to late game.
I will point out that Oko, Thief of Crowns might be a thorn in this card’s side, thanks to it being an artifact and Oko loving artifacts. This is not ideal in a format where Oko is probably the most dominant card running around! But there’s still a lot to like about The Great Henge: it rarely costs its full price, it offers a lot if it can stick around for even one turn, and it gives green a way to run away with the game.
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