Vesuva – Time Spiral Remastered
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Few parts of Magic lore have garnered as much popularity from as few cards as Vesuva and its people. For many years, it was only represented by Alpha’s Vesuvan Doppelganger, but the Doppelganger is very appealing and surprisingly powerful in Old School formats and variants. Even after Time Spiral and Dominaria, about all we know is that it’s a kingdom of shapeshifters, but the land is more than popular enough to make up for it. After all, it breaks the singleton rule in such formats and doubles up on creature lands and dual lands alike, makes Desert tribal much easier in casual settings, and makes obscene amounts of mana in Tron and Cloudpost decks. And remember, when Vesuva was new, you could use it to copy an opponent’s legendary land and destroy both: Vesuva minus a powerful interaction is still very strong. Perhaps we’ll visit there in the next Dominaria set . . .
A copy of any other land, so long as you don’t mind it being tapped at the outset, gives Vesuva a fair amount of intrigue. But despite that seeming flexibility, it’s more a combo piece than something to splash into any deck with space for it. Coming in tapped is a downside that’s not a huge impediment if the land is good enough…but what is a downside is that you need to play this after all of the other lands you want on board. It can copy your lands or an opponent’s lands, both of which are potentially powerful options, but there is a massive amount of variance baked into Vesuva.
With that said, Vesuva does see a healthy amount of play. There are two specific decks that this sees in: “Amulet Titan” decks based around exploiting Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle; and the amusingly-named 12-Post decks based around using Cloudpost and its obscene mana capabilities. Since Vesuva is always a copy of the offending land you mean to copy, you can use this as copies 5-8 of those critical lands in your deck, and having additional copies of key cards can smooth out consistency rather nicely. This is not a piece that combos with Dark Depths at all, though, so don’t get excited that way; since it’s always a copy of the land, it still sees Dark Depths’ 10 ice counters entry limitation as it enters play.
In all, Vesuva is an inconsistent card that has some use in combo builds that could use additional copies of key cards. It’s fun in more casual settings, don’t get me wrong, but its wild variance makes it hard to maximize unless you’re really pushing your deck to the limit that way.
Constructed: 4 (it’s key in the decks it belongs to, but it’s not good enough for other decka)
Limited: 2 (it’s never been great in any Limited it’s been in, as it’s just a slow land without appealing targets to copy)
Commander: 4 (the toolbox nature of Vesuva helps here, since there are sure to be decks with lands you want to copy, and a second copy of key lands only killed the people you wanted dead to begin with)
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