Undergrowth Recon
Undergrowth Recon

Undergrowth Recon – Murders at Karlov Manor

Date Reviewed:  February 27, 2024

Constructed: 3.00
Casual: 3.50
Limited: 1.50
Multiplayer: 3.00
Commander [EDH]: 3.37

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


“At the beginning of your upkeep, [do something good]” is a well-known template for cards, and especially for enchantments. Note that the mana cost recalls Phyrexian Arena, once a constructed powerhouse and still a player in casual and Premodern. Of course, it’s much more conditional, and requires specific kinds of setup. Many casual black decks can toss in a Phyrexian Arena and benefit; the same is not true of Undergrowth Recon. It’s not a huge loss to build around it – there is already reason to play green’s graveyard-stocking cards in various decks – but you do have to do so. Additionally, while the extra land each turn is obviously good and escalates surprisingly fast, it does tempt you to add lands with sacrifice abilities that then become repeatable, which might affect the strategy and focus of your deck again.  

Constructed: 3
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 1.5
Multiplayer: 3
Commander [EDH]: 3

 James H. 


Undergrowth Recon is a pretty intriguing spell…but intriguing isn’t necessarily good, and I have a lot of reservations. It’s my “favorite” kind of enchantment (the “do nothing” kind), and while it brings lands in, it does bring them in tapped if they’re in your graveyard. A tapped land is still better than no land, but this is definitely a limitation on how good it can be…and it also only starts triggering on upkeeps, so this needs a full turn cycle to turn on.

The obvious synergy is with landfall effects or as a way to offset anything that forces land sacrifice as part of a cost…but land sacrifice is generally pretty rare anymore, and even land destruction tends to be limited. Fetch lands are another use, but that they come in tapped is usually going to be a downside too steep to be useful (unless you’re using the Streets of New Capenna basic fetchers) in most decks. I will mention that decks like Amulet Titan may make use of this still, since it’s a way to get back any land and it doesn’t necessarily mind them returning to play tapped (usually).

There is probably a home for Undergrowth Recon, but I think it’s overall worse than it looks. It does a very narrow set of things that will only appeal to specific decks; it will fit flawlessly into those decks, but I definitely am not optimistic for it doing much overall.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 1.5 (this does not seem like the Limited for this card to shine)
Multiplayer: 3
Commander [EDH]: 3.75 (free land recursion can pay off in a long game)

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