Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath – Theros Beyond Death
January 1, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is amazing.
This card was #1 on my Top Ten list.
Speaking of terrifying giants who come at the end of a cycle to tear down the old world, Uro will be haunting people’s dreams for years to come. He is actually a remarkable card: reading like he has a downside and hoops to jump through, but having all upside in practice. It doesn’t matter that you can’t keep him when you use his main mana cost, because you get three – three! – benefits in the process. I’m not sure there’s any other three-mana card that gives you three benefits on one casting. There is also no card like that which turns into a game-ending threat just by you playing the rest of the game normally. And I know his attack trigger mimics that of M11’s Titan cycle, but the way it’s universally stronger than about four out of five of theirs calls the design process into question again. Perhaps Uro really is the exclamation point on some kind of statement, the seal on a cycle of time.
2020 was a strange year, terrible for many of us; and for all of us, one that makes us look both back and forward with different things in mind. Under other circumstances, I’d be urging you to get excited about Kaldheim and its flavor, but it’s hard to do so when nonsense like Uro and Omnath has been ruling Standard. If that is the kind of thing for which people remember Magic’s viking set, it will be a tragedy.
This card was 2nd on my top 10 list.
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath has certainly had a long pedigree in terms of the damage it’s done to Standard and other formats. On its own, it’s an efficient ramp spell that gets you extra lands and life, and it already had the upshot of having an extant shell that it fit into (the Simic “do rude things” archetype from Guilds of Ravnica-era Standard). And it’s even nice when it comes out as a creature, doing the same thing each turn. It’s effectively a Growth Spiral that gives you life and can, late game, come out to get some smashing in. There’s little cost in running all four copies of Uro that a deck can run, and it provides a massive amount of power and consistency. It was never not a dominant card in the Standard format it was part of pre-ban, and it sees play across every format it’s still legal in; while it’s not conspicuously oppressive, it pushes strong decks into unassailable positions, and the sheer value it can generate makes it a strong play in nearly every situation.
It’s more than deserving of the top spot of 2020, and we can only hope that Kaldheim and the other sets to come in 2021 do not repeat the transgressions of Uro and friends in the Standard to come.
Limited: 4.5 (slightly harder to build around, but there’s little reason to not build with Uro in mind)
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