– Double Masters
August 4, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Trinisphere was restricted in Vintage very quickly after its original release, which is understandable for a format that relies so much on cheap spells. What isn’t immediately apparent is how dangerous it can also be in other settings. It affects things like cheap madness and flashback costs, the suspend cards with no mana cost, and cascade. That makes it just as devastating in some casual environments as it is in tournaments, so use it with caution!
Trinisphere is probably one of the more unusually notorious artifacts to come from Darksteel, a set with a surfeit of powerful artifacts. It has a unique cost-modification effect: spells cost at least three mana, regardless of how they’re cast or how additional costs factor into the equation, and this is the last modification applied to spell costs as they are put on the stack. This means that pitch spells look a lot worse, and low-to-the-ground decks like Elves are rather sad. It became a notorious Vintage lock card with Mishra’s Workshop enabling a turn 1 Trinisphere, soft-locking most decks out of the game on turn 1, and it even can be ducked around if you can Twiddle it on or off. It’s still played a bit in spite of a restriction in Vintage (making appearances in Legacy, Modern, and Vintage), because it’s a unique and potent effect to make decks play more fairly, though it’s definitely a card you can’t (and shouldn’t) just splash into every deck.
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