Thousand-Year Elixir – Strixhaven
Date Reviewed: May 20, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I always enjoy cards that make you search for unusual things on Gatherer or Scryfall, and it may take you a little time to find a creature with an ability that both requires it to tap, and is big enough for you to want to set it off right away. The first thing I thought of was Jaya Ballard, Task Mage, but that’s just off the top of my head: there are plenty of others. In competitive formats, there’s often little advantage to be gained from building around those kinds of abilities as opposed to just attacking for the win, but you can do some pretty hilarious things in other settings. Its untap effect is also pretty reasonably costed, and does all of the things that effects of that type always do, mainly a partly-overlapping set of combos. The first thing I thought of was Elvish Archdruid, as you can invest one of the mana he generated to get back way more; but it’s pretty wide open!
Thousand-Year Elixir is interesting as a combo enabler, both in that it lets tap abilities happen immediately and can allow for you to get a second shot of those abilities. There are plenty of rude things this pairs well with, such as Kiki-Jiki, and there are a lot of convoluted pathways to infinite combos that Thousand-Year Elixir can help enable if you’re enterprising enough. It’s never made it in Constructed, owing to how the things it pairs best with tend to either be cheaper (mana dorks) or quite convoluted, but it’s a Commander and casual staple for all of the rude things it can do.
Limited: 3 (probably best for untapping creatures, as it’s never been part of a Limited format that enables its full degeneracy)
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