– Theros Beyond Death
January 6, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
My first reading of Underworld Breach gives me a similar feeling to my first reading of Once Upon a Time. It’d be hard for an efficiently-costed mass-recursion effect not to make an impact. If you’re concerned about the fact that escape demands an additional non-mana cost, remember that red is fond of discarding before it draws cards, and that fetchlands and Dredge exist in older formats. Even a relatively simple use like recycling cheap direct damage spells will be devastating. A dedicated combo deck that uses it could be extremely hard to stop.
Do us all a favor: if you’re the guy who invents a Dredge variant that uses this, give it a real name like “Masque of the Red Death” or something. Let’s use 2020 to Make Deck Names Great Like They Rarely Have Been But Absolutely Should Be.
I’ll get it out of the way: this card is very, very scary. Underworld Breach is the kind of card that can end games if it gets the chance to resolve, as being able to cast everything out of your graveyard is a very brutal effect. Escape is a bit of a balancing valve, as it won’t let you play everything without cost (exiling three cards isn’t the biggest expense, but exiling it for each spell cast can add up). Another thing to be wary of is that escape leaves the card in the graveyard if it’s an instant or sorcery, enabling you to recast the spells you just paid for. Imagine this in conjunction with any number of rituals, enabling some massive turns.
I will say that Underworld Breach is a card you need to build around; it’s a fair bit harder to splash for, in spite of its flexible mana cost, because you need fuel to go off and propel your onslaught. It’s only good for one turn as well, thanks to that self-sacrifice clause, and it can be popped by enchantment hate. But when you resemble the infamous Yawgmoth’s Will, you have a good bit going for you! Not to say this is necessarily on-par with its heavily-banned forebear, but Underworld Breach can do a lot in the right hands. Definitely one to build around in formats where you can get it to work.
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