As has been stated numerous times before – and likely will be again – 100 cards is never nearly as much deck space as it first sounds. Just coming up with a singular deck idea usually provides well over the century mark of possible cards to include, giving you a plethora of mechanical and / or flavorful options to choose from. Regardless of whether you’re the type of person who likes to construct their deck from the ground up or those who prefer to take a pile of cards and whittle them down, the same frustrations and limitations affect your ability to reach the final 100 card threshold.
Inevitably, no matter what you do, you’re probably going to feel like you’re leaving something out that probably would be fun to include. It’s just the nature of building Magic decks.
Your best hope is to therefore fit in thematic relevance or strategic advantage wherever you can. Every little tool you can squeeze into your deck gives you one more potential edge. At least, in the right circumstances.
It sort of goes to the old Kafka line that it’s better to have and not need than to need and not have. The more prepared you can be, the better off your chances at surviving. And one of the best locations to squeeze those in are with utility lands.
Last week’s article may have highlighted a great way to disrupt such an approach. This week, though, we’re championing it.
Today we have: Sea Gate Wreckage
Name: Sea Gate Wreckage
Edition: Oath of the Gatewatch
Focus: Card Draw
Highlights: Sea Gate Wreckage is yet another example (particularly of late) that requires almost no explanation as to how the card functions. This land affords you the ability to draw a card so long as you have an empty hand, and that low-key ability can be leveraged just about anywhere you have a spare land slot.
The more telling question one may have is: why is it card worthwhile in a Commander setting at all?
Well, on the plus side, this utility ability is on a colorless land, meaning that it can be used in any deck you want without restrictions or requirements.
But yes, the biggest downside to the card is, ironically, how often you’ll likely get to use its effect. Barring certain deck styles (or simply playing a Red deck for that matter), it’s not incredibly common to have an empty hand in EDH due to the enduring forces of table politics and not wanting to over-commit unnecessary resources.
However, in the right circumstances, this card could be your salvation.
Is Sea gate Wreckage going to single-handedly win you games? No. But not every card in your decks is going to have that trait. Some cards empower your ability to win. Others are there as infrastructure to make the deck function the way you want it to. And then there are cards like this one, whose goal isn’t to secure victory, but to help stave off defeat.
In Magic, having an empty hand is often dangerous, both because it significantly limits your options on what you can do and because it alerts your opponent to that same fact.
The last thing you want to do is stall out while facing multiple fronts. More importantly, if you know there’s nothing your enemy can do to stop you, it makes you that much bolder in your actions. Without having to worry about a surprise defensive play, there’s little incentive to hold back when attacking or otherwise going after them.
It is in those instances where Sea Gate Wreckage is most useful, giving you the option to draw a card at your most vulnerable.
That is, assuming you have it…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org