– War of the Spark
May 14, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Vivien’s Arkbow recalls the Spellshaper designs from the Mercadian Masques and Time Spiral blocks, and it’s quite a powerful effect. Despite the inherent tension of being a non-creature card that wants to be in a deck of mostly creatures, it can hit almost every turn under some circumstances and put you far ahead on value, if not mana. It also makes every creature it sees basically uncounterable, which can come up some of the time. You might even take advantage of the fact that it sends a card to your graveyard: Vengevine and Wonder are still capable of breaking games wide open, although the Arkbow is slower than some of the cards that have been used as enablers for those two. It’s still a fun effect with lots of possible interactions which will undoubtedly find a role, particularly in large formats with lots of creature-based combinations and interactions.
Vivien’s Arkbow is one of those cards that straddles the line between “cute” and “dear god this is broken”. While you’re not technically cheating a creature into play, you’re effectively flashing it in and filtering through your library in the meantime. This is an artifact that shines more brightly as the game goes on; it’s pretty useless on turn 2, but being able to turn an excess of lands into creatures is always a good fall-back option as the game goes late. This is a card where you’ll want to build around a heavy density of creatures (similar to the old Collected Company decks), but the payoff is pretty promising.
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