Commander Spotlight: Mystic Remora

This week we’re going to start off by playing a little game, as an exercise on the power of groupthink. This segment’s goal is to avoid cementing the idea of staple cards. So, let’s show an example of this at work. You’re going to guess the card in question. Ready?


I want to you think of a Blue enchantment that is useful for drawing cards…


It has a low mana cost to cast…


And it’s fairly easy to come by…


Do you have it?

[spoiler show=”Click here to see if you were right.”]
Ta da!
The fact is, most of us probably had Rhystic Study in mind fairly quickly. It’s not because Rhystic is a bad card – quite the opposite. No one would really try to dispute that. It’s a common, so there’s quite a few in circulation, it got reprint attention in Commander’s Arsenal, and it works so elegantly by itself.
It’s also become ubiquitous in the Commander format. You can cast a Rhystic Study in just about any EDH group and almost everyone is aware of what it does.


Whether you guessed correctly or not, this quick test underlines one of the pillars that makes EDH fun: getting creative. One of the most alluring parts of Commander is to not follow the beaten path – this is not a Constructed format by any stretch. It’s encouraged to think outside the box. Always opting for the same cards in decks drives actually does Commander a disservice for a few reasons. Namely, it raises the cost of cards, it discourages diversity, and it drives the format closer to the ideology that efficiency should be the principal factor. If your idea of an EDH game is to win in single digit rounds, you’re missing out on what makes it so unique to so many people. Instead you’re injecting a duelist’s philosophy where it isn’t warranted.

Everyone plays for different reasons, and our hope is that variety is part of what drives Commander players. For those who seek the world of forgotten, overlooked, and neglected cards – step on up. The choice this week is an example of a card that works as an alternate to (or in addition to), it’s more well-known cousin.

Today we have: Mystic Remora

Name: Mystic Remora

Edition: Ice Age

Rarity: Common

Focus: Card Draw

Highlights: If players have to make the decision to pay an additional 1 mana for Rhystic Study (which you should always do if you can), Mystic Remora takes the idea to the next level. While only affecting non-creature spells, this enchantment requires a player pay 4. Four! Chances are then that if the timing is right, you will get to draw cards, right?

The elephant in the room, is of course, the prohibitive Cumulative Upkeep cost. If you have the Remora out early in the game, players may opt to only cast creatures until the upkeep cost on your end is no longer worth it. Objectively, the early game is where Rhystic Study has the slight advantage.

Conversely, as the game progresses, a fact often brushed under the carpet is that Rhystic Study’s usefulness drops as players end up with mana pools that can easily swing the extra 1 cost. Paying 4, however, is not as easy of a sell. Additionally, you’ll be able to pay for the Cumulative Upkeep easier as the game progresses.

Better yet, pair the Remora with cards like Power Conduit, Hex Parasite or Eon Hub to really let the card’s magical fish powers shine unabated. Granted, the longer a game goes, the more access you have to other powerful card-drawing enchantments, creatures, and artifacts, but don’t let this card fool you. In larger games, a well-situated Mystic Remora can be quite lucrative to have out.

And as always, there’s nothing saying you can’t run similar cards in your deck at the same time. “Rhystic and Remora” has a nice real ring to it, don’t you think?


Keep an eye out for us to be regularly featuring other more accessible-but-worth-it Commander cards going forward. In the meantime, we’ll keep the light on for you.

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Do you have a particular Commander card to suggest for us to shine a future Spotlight on? You can send suggestions to