Urza’s Sylex – The Brother’s War
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Urza’s Sylex is a card that should make everyone sit up and take notice: for the first time in years, there’s a way to destroy a massive number of lands in a Standard-legal set. It involves an large amount of mana investment and lets people keep a large number of them too, but if your opponent’s plan revolved around having twelve lands (or infinite), they’ll notice. The sheer scale of its destruction of the table actually reminds me of Shards of Alara‘s Scourglass, and I’m sure it’ll have many of the same applications. It also has a cool, lore-based way around the traditional downside of sweepers: the way they often cause nothing to happen, and force everyone to sit around and wait to draw something that actually wins the game. I’m not sure that’ll be enough to spare you from the Commander format’s stigma against mass land destruction, but it’s something. The only thing that would have been better is if they had somehow found a way to simulate the way the blast plunged Dominaria into a ice age.
Commander [EDH]: 4
A way to make sure things go out with a bang, Urza’s Sylex is an interesting bit of a board sweeper. Seven mana, potentially split over two turns, lets you take out everything, which is favorable enough to a card like Oblivion Stone (though demanding colored mana), and hitting lands can be surprisingly useful against decks that aim to ramp in obscene amounts. The planeswalker tutor half of the card is a bit less exciting, but being able to set up for the next set of plays is nice, and it’s a decent bit of upside if you can wait to crack this…or compensation if someone exiles it prematurely. It’ll likely be played, though, as an artifact-based board nuke that hits everything, and that’s where it shines brightest.
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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