5, Jul, 23

LOTR Flavor Win Becomes Multi-Format Threat!

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Article at a Glance

The Lord of the Rings set was a hot commodity from the start. Between the hunt for the serialized copy of the One Ring and the power level of cards like the One Ring and Orcish Bowmasters in general, Lord of the Rings product has been in high demand. The set is extremely flavorful, and it’s clear this set was designed with flavor as a top priority.

Every now and again, though, the flavor and gameplay of certain cards mesh well together, even in Constructed formats. The card Cast into the Fire is accomplishing just this. The card has become a multi-format staple for multiple reasons, including one very flavorful interaction with another Lord of the Rings card. What makes Cast into the Fire such a strong card?


Cast Into the Fire

Cast into the Fire is very similar to Abrade in how the card functions. Against decks with Creatures, the card can be utilized as a removal spell. Against decks with Artifacts, this card can effectively answer any Artifact that is problematic. The card isn’t the most efficient answer possible, but its versatility allows you to put copies of Cast into the Fire into your sideboard to bring in in multiple scenarios.

In some cases, both modes of the card can be effective in the same matchup. For example, against Mono-Blue Faeries in Pauper, Cast into the Fire can be a solid two-for-one, hitting two one-toughness Creatures. In addition, the ability to exile an Artifact can be relevant if they land a copy of Spire Golem, which can be tough to remove otherwise with four toughness.

Still, it’s interesting to see Cast into the Fire take over Abrade in these spots. After all, three damage to one Creature deals with a much wider range of threats, so unless you are killing multiple Creatures with the first ability, Abrade may seem better. As it turns out, there are enough one toughness Creatures in Pauper to make this card a solid two-for-one in a lot of scenarios, but there’s one other major difference that gives Cast into the Fire a big nod.

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Exile Versus Destroy


Perhaps the biggest distinction between Abrade and Cast into the Fire is that Cast into the Fire specifically exiles opposing Artifacts. At first glance, this may seem like a minor upgrade, but it comes up a lot, especially in Pauper and Modern. In Pauper, one of the most successful archetypes in the format is Affinity. Affinity has been extremely strong ever since Modern Horizons Two came out with the release of Indestructible Artifact Lands. These Indestructible Artifact Lands changed the landscape of Pauper and made Affinity a lot harder to hate out.

Before them, cards like Gorilla Shaman were often completely unbeatable when they hit the board. Not only do the new Artifact Lands help with fixing, but they also help protect against some of the best sideboard cards against Affinity. This is where Cast into the Fire comes into play. The ability to exile these Artifact Lands is a huge deal, especially given how popular Kenku Artificer is becoming in the Affinity shell. Kenku Artificer can turn one of these Lands into a three-power Flying, Indestructible threat, which may otherwise be tough to deal with.

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A Big Upgrade

Shattering Blow

While there are cards like Shattering Blow that have existed in Pauper that can do the same thing, Cast into the Fire’s versatility allows you to safely run a bunch of copies in the sideboard or even some maindeck, knowing either mode will be strong in a decent chunk of matchups. The first mode is great against Faeries and various Squadron Hawk decks, and the second mode is great against Affinity and decks with Cleansing Wildfire.

This means that, by running Cast into the Fire with lots of matchups in mind, it frees up sideboard slots to deal with other top decks in the format. The combination of versatility and the exile clause of the second mode makes Cast into the Fire a lot better than it appears on the surface, and this translates even to Modern and Legacy.

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A Modern Flavor Win?

The One Ring

Cast into the Fire was clearly designed with flavor in mind. The idea behind the exile clause is that it can remove The One Ring, despite The One Ring having Indestructible. This references the “ring to rule them all” being thrown into Mount Doom. While interactions like these rarely come to fruition in a Constructed environment, The One Ring is so powerful in Modern that players need answers to the card. While the best way to deal with the One Ring is to simply counter it and therefore prevent the opponent from gaining protection from everything for a turn, the opponent often won’t make things that easy.

The One Ring is often run in conjunction with cards like Delighted Halfling or Teferi, Time Raveler, which can make it difficult to interact with the One Ring on the stack. While letting the opponent gain protection from everything for a turn is frustrating, Cast into the Fire is still a reasonable answer to the card. This interaction has caused the card to pop up in sideboards, even in a format with cards like Wear//Tear that would otherwise be better options. Of course, the One Ring is still a thriving force even in the face of Cast into the Fire, but it’s cool to see this flavorful interaction showcased in a competitive environment, nonetheless.

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Additional Interactions

Orcish Bowmasters

Cast into the Fire clearly has a lot going for it, and just like in Pauper, can come in in a variety of matchups due to its versatility. In addition to being strong against the One Ring, the card is also a clean answer to Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and even Orcish Bowmasters, which has been a dominant threat in Modern and especially Legacy since its release. At two mana, Cast into the Fire even answers a Chalice of the Void with one counter. All of these cards can be extremely problematic if not answered correctly.

Just like Abrade, Cast into the Fire is good against Creatures and Artifacts alike. With the popularity of Indestructible Artifacts like the One Ring and the Artifact lands from Modern Horizons Two, it makes sense why Cast into the Fire took a big leap. While the card still isn’t super popular in Modern and Legacy, the rise in numbers of the One Ring and Orcish Bowmasters definitely should put this underrated card in players’ radars.

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