Top 9 Hidden Gems from Urza’s Block
How long have you been playing Magic?
Like many of us, I played first in school, then took a big long break, and came back to the game later on. Personally, I rediscovered the game during the orignial Zendikar block. If only I had stocked up on Oracle of Mul Dayas then!
But there’s no sense in dwelling on missed opportunities, so let’s grab an opportunity right now! I totally missed the Urza block, but there’s some undeniably powerful cards in there. And it turns out many of them are very much within budget. Sure, there’s a few cards in that block with hefty price tags, including one over $250!!! (Yeesh, Gaea’s Cradle, relax!) But there are plenty of interesting cards that won’t break the bank.
I’m going to highlight a few that I found while digging through the rares of that block which stood out to me as especially interesting. Let’s begin!
Copper Gnomes is an interesting card that I’d never seen before. It’s no Tinker, but that’s why it only costs the equivalent of a small handful of gumballs. I could certainly see myself running this in an artifact-heavy brew. It can even be activated at instant speed!
Maze of Ith is a bit on the pricey side, but if your deck has white in it, Soul Sculptor is an excellent budget option to remove a creature from combat. Plus, it has the added flexibility of rendering a utility creature useless for a turn.
Tutors are always tricky to navigate in multiplayer Commander. Run too many, and decks become very repetetive. They’re also pretty expensive as cards go, but Citanul Flute is a repeatable creature tutor. Plus, it’s a fantastic mana sink to use when you’ve got nothing better to do with your lands by the end of the player on your right’s turn. Might as well grab another card!
The Urza block also gives us a fantastic big dummy with Multani, Maro-Sorcerer. I would expect the total number of cards in all players’ hands to be twelve or higher. The shroud is a bit unfortunate, since we’ll want to give this thing trample but we can’t enchant or equip it. Another example of why hexproof was invented.
Scrying Glass is fascinating. I don’t think you could expect to draw many cards with it, and even if you did, we should be able to do so for less than three mana. However, peeking at an opponents’ hand can provide lots of very useful information to use against them!
6. Planar Birth
Planar Birth seems like a good way to cheat in a ton of extra mana, but you’d definitely have to jump through quite a few hoops to make it good for you. The best part is that it’s likely that your opponents won’t benefit too much from this, while you ought to reap the real rewards.
Abundance has been reprinted in the most recent Commander decks, so I don’t get to say I “discovered” this one, but I am grateful it’ll be in more people’s decks from now on. Of course it’s great to be able to draw what you need for that stage of the game, or to never have to draw lands again, but let’s also note that you get to choose the order the cards go back to the bottom in. I’m inclined to brew up a deck that would remove all of the lands so we can use this to stack our entire deck.
Urza must have been a big fan of music, since there are plenty of cards from this block that use Verse counters as a way to track things. Serra’s Liturgy is certainly on the slower side of artifact/enchantment destruction, but if you can hold up one Plains, as the game goes on a bit, you can really punish a couple opponents when it’s time to crack this one open.
Speaking of punishing our opponents, I really like Rumbling Crescendo. I love any card that has some political power built right into it. All you’d need are three counters before you can start to leverage an opponents lands in your favour. Plus, if your opponents let you get to six or more counters, nobody will dare cross you for as long as you keep one Mountain untapped. It’s like Red Propaganda, only way scarier. It’s mutually assured destruction if anyone steps over your line.
So there are a few cards from Urza’s block that catch my interest. Hopefully they’ve inspired you to try a few new things, or perhaps you’ve already got the perfect deck already to put one of them in. And if you’ve got your share of very easily frustrated players in your meta, we could always run Sowing Salt in honour of their attitude.