Three Visits – Commander Legends
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
There’s a special moment that every player of green decks experiences sooner or later, when they grasp the distinction between Three Visits (or Nature’s Lore) and Rampant Growth. Rampant Growth is a five-color fixer in the most literal way, but it doesn’t obsolete Three Visits because the latter gives you the land untapped. This is obviously very good in the late game, and has some other applications when you want to play a Llanowar Elves or similar cheap card right away. In decks with more extensive sets of rare lands (read: shocklands), it also becomes a five-color fixer, and there are even a couple of lands with abilities but also basic land types out there.
The Eldraine-themed art for the Commander Legends version really got me thinking about whether it would be too good for Standard. If it were me, I would have put it either in Throne of Eldraine (to use that aforementioned art) or in Kaldheim. Recall that three and nine are the most important numbers in Norse mythology – just for starters, Odin and his two brothers who cast down Ymir and shaped the Nine Worlds.
Three Visits, fundamentally, is a Chinese-flavored Nature’s Lore. Printed in Portal: Three Kingdoms in its first (and, until recently, only) printing, it’s an additional copy of a fairly powerful ramp spell. What makes it powerful is that it searches out lands with the Forest typeline and brings them in untapped…and it, of course, needn’t be a basic Forest. It can fetch out the original dual lands, the shock lands, Murmuring Bosk, Dryad Arbor, and anything of its ilk since then if it has “Forest” as a type. While Nature’s Lore is a bit slow for Legacy (as is Three Visits, by extension), the spell is a Commander staple because of how it eases mana fixing for decks with at least a toe in green, and having two copies of the Nature’s Lore effect is markedly better than just having one copy.
Of course, Three Visits had the issue of being comically scarce before Commander Legends; with a sole printing in the scarce Portal: Three Kingdoms and a strongly-desired effect, the little common soared to above $100 on the secondhand market. Reprinted at uncommon in Commander Legends, it’s finally available to more people in a more affordable form, which can only help green decks achieve peak green mana ramp.
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