Overwhelming Splendor

Posted in Card Preview on June 26, 2017

By Maria Bartholdi

Maria is one half of the podcast Magic the Amateuring. When she's not working on the podcast, she's probably in an improv show, speaking Welsh, or thinking about popcorn. Rakdos is the true nature of her heart.

You know that feeling you get when you look at something so beautiful that it just makes you want to cry? A fluffy kitten playing with a ball of string, for instance. Or maybe you feel it when you see that perfect strawberry-rhubarb pie you just baked, straight out of the oven. Or maybe you feel it when you look at a soul-stirring sunset, sitting next to the one you love.

You know the feeling you get when you realize that newborn baby kitten actually wants to claw your face off? Or maybe that strawberry rhubarb pie you just baked is actually filled with creepy, creepy spiders? Or how about when that soul-stirring sunset is ominously obscured by a giant alien spaceship, ready to destroy the planet and—plot twist—the one you love is actually one of those aliens?!

You're gonna get all those feelings when you see this new card. Everyone, bow reverently in the presence of Overwhelming Splendor.

Yes, indeed. Overwhelming Splendor certainly fills you with a feeling of awe, grandeur, and beauty. It also might fill you with a feeling of impending and unavoidable dread—especially if you're on the receiving end of this curse.

This card is crazy and cool and just asking to be put into a crazy and cool deck. Particularly one that is built to do broken things with enchantments or curses.

At eight mana, Overwhelming Splendor is no joke. It probably isn't the kind of finisher you're looking to put into a Draft or Sealed deck as the ability (while awesome) just doesn't do enough to justify the investment. In a pinch, you might sideboard it in against a green deck full of beefy creatures—but other than that, I'd say this card is better left out of Limited gameplay.

Where Overwhelming Splendor shines is in a Constructed deck created to make the most of its unusual characteristics.

Let's Brew!

There are plenty of cards in Magic that care about enchantments. If you're looking to cheat this mana-intensive card into play, consider building with cards like Academy Rector (legal in Legacy, Vintage, and Commander). Cards like Idyllic Tutor or Plea for Guidance can search it

up and put it into your hand. Cards like Enlightened Tutor go find it and put it on top of your library. And cards like Replenish or Starfield of Nyx can get it out of your graveyard and onto the battlefield if you're able to pitch it.

  • Academy Rector
  • Idyllic Tutor
  • Enlightened Tutor
  • Plea for Guidance
  • Replenish
  • Starfield of Nyx

But Overwhelming Splendor is more than just an enchantment. It's also a Curse! If you're interested in unleashing some spooky shenanigans but think eight mana is too rich for your blood, you've got Bitterheart Witch as your partner in crime.

Let's say you're able to get this card into play using any sort of fair or unfair method of your choosing. Now to really exploit it! If you've turned all of your opponent's creatures into 1/1s, why not kill those creatures while you're at it? That's where sweet combos with cards like Night of Souls' Betrayal come in, which is an enchantment that gives all creatures -1/-1. Sorry, opponent. All of your creatures are dunzo.

Modern

If you're interested in trying out this sweet new mythic rare in an existing shell, this card just might slot nicely into a Modern deck: Enduring Ideal.

Enduring Ideal

Enduring Ideal is what is referred to as a "prison deck." Not because it did anything worthy of being locked up behind bars (although some would disagree), but because its main goal is locking your opponent out of the game. The way it does that is by casting Enduring Ideal (which recasts itself every turn with the epic mechanic), allowing you to search your library for whatever enchantment you need to put into play that turn of the game. I'd be interested to see what adding Overwhelming Splendor and Night of Souls' Betrayal to this deck would do.

Commander

The savvier among you may have already realized that this card is pretty similar to a card that already exists: Humility.

The good news is that with Overwhelming Splendor's increased mana cost, we also get access to shutting down our opponent's activated abilities. The bad news is that if we add this to our Commander builds, we are definitely going to be "that guy." (Look, shrinking all your opponent's creatures is not a nice thing to do!) But if your playgroup is competitive, adding this to your enchantment-based deck could be an excellent way to take home a win.

Overall, this card is weird, flavorful, and just begging to be broken. I'm looking forward to seeing how it sparks the community's creativity. If you have a fun idea for an Overwhelming Splendor build, let me know on Twitter @MtACast.

And remember to keep it humble. Or else.

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