History, Restapled - More Doctor Who Picks
What, The Flux?
Welcome back for another History, Restapled, a Commander-focused column that attempts to validate a newer card’s status as a staple by looking at how cards that are similar, synergistic, or competing have fared in the past financially.
Who’s ready for some dinosaurs? Not me! It was only a week or two ago that the
Modal cards are fantastic in Commander, and this one offers two strong options that scale with the game (and one option that’s decent, but quite situational). Countering a spell for three mana is awful, and a spell that reads, “: Creatures can’t be blocked this turn” is borderline unplayable. Together, however, they provide a level of utility that can be game-breaking. The ability to counter all spells holds the potential for a blowout. And note the other line reads that creatures can’t be blocked, not specifically your creatures, meaning a tapped-out alpha strike by an opponent against another opponent might kill two birds with one stone. As a bonus, the card can also switch the power and toughness of all creatures until end of turn, an ability that ranges in helpfulness from 0% to maybe a few zero-power creatures dying.
At $2, Reverse the Polarity is a steal. It’s cheaper than a bunch of other modal counterspells like
Reverse the Polarity isn’t going to beat out
STATUS: Mono-blue budget staple
|Reverse the Polarity
|Reverse the Polarity (Extended Art)
When I wrote about
The biggest issue with these cards is that they don’t do anything when they enter the battlefield. Not so with The Flux. Four damage is a meaningful enough amount to kill a threat, but then it sticks around for four Outpost Siege activations, which is plenty considering you’re lucky to get two or three activations off an actual Outpost Siege before it’s removed or the game ends.
The Flux retains value in the late game, and if you happen to get it on the board early, you’re rewarded with a decent amount of mana to forgive the lack of a fifth impulse draw. Anecdotally, I’ve also found that Sagas feel less threatening to players, as they have a finite, unambiguous shelf life, and can be easily overlooked.
STATUS: Mono-red staple in lower power games
This addition to the already stellar white removal suite has the strength of
Everyone’s losing their artifacts and enchantments, too, so it’s not like making a creature type concession to an opponent is going to render the card obsolete, or anything.
Everything Comes to Dust feels like a card that could fit outside the Doctor Who universe, so this may not be the last we see of it; but when the spell catches on, the price it’s at now might be the lowest it hits for a while.
STATUS: White removal staple
|Everything Comes to Dust
|Everything Comes to Dust (Extended Art)
Tune in two weeks from now for some thoughts on Lost Caverns of Ixalan, once we see the full set and the prices begin settling on something remotely resembling their launch price.
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Steve Heisler is a writer and pop culture journalist covering comedy, games, television, film and the tech industry. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, GQ, Variety, The AV Club, Fast Company and the Chicago Sun-Times. He began collecting Magic cards during Fourth Edition and plays Commander and Modern primarily. He also enjoys tennis, the Dark Souls family of video games and supporting live comedy. He lives in Chicago with his cat, Rosie.