It's pretty great to discard two cards just to cast a spell.
Cathartic Reunion is a bittersweet moment in the Kaladesh story. While the heartwarming moment of Chandra reuniting with her mother Pia Nalaar certainly makes it dusty in here, the applications of the card are exciting.
But don't take our word for it.
"It's great!" said Andrew Cuneo, longtime player continuing to find success at the game's highest levels. "I think it's one of the best cards in the set. I always liked Tormenting Voice. I played that in back-to-back Constructed decks: The Sphinx's Tutelage deck, then Dark Jeskai. Cathartic Reunion is just way better since it's an additional effect for the same mana cost."
Cathartic Reunion has proven to be a critical part to a couple of decks this weekend for its graveyard synergies as well as its sheer power at digging deeper into your deck.
Nathan Holiday, another player with plenty of premier event success, had his eye on Cathartic Reunion from the start. "When the card was previewed, I thought it was really good," he said. "Tormenting Voice saw play in Modern. In Limited, Cathartic Reunion is not as good as Voice, but in Constructed, that's what you want to do. It's quite strong."
Cathartic Reunion led to one of the larger decks at Pro Tour Kaladesh: Black-Red Madness. "I'm playing the Haunted Dead-Prized Amalgam deck," Cuneo explained. "It's very important to get stuff in the graveyard, and you need to see a bigger volume of cards. The more Prized Amalgams you find, the better. It's extremely good for your deck."
"The problem with the deck is if you get the wrong pieces," Holiday echoed. "You can't actually cast Prized Amalgam. If you don't have Prized Amalgams, then Haunted Dead isn't exciting. Cathartic Reunion lets you rip through your deck to find the pieces you need."
Cuneo went a step further exploring what Cathartic Reunion could do. "I have Alms of the Vein in my deck. Bloodhall Priest too," he said. "I spent a lot of time after Kaladesh came out looking over every madness card. The enablers are so good, every card is on the table."
"Pitching Lighting Axes or extra creatures, it's still just value as was Tormenting Voice," Holiday added. "You just look at these cards and they're the ones you want to discard, even if it's just random creatures to exile to Scrapheap Scrounger."
That potential to be both a place to start graveyard shenanigans and a value-add for a deck that need to dig puts Cathartic Reunion into more than just the Black-Red Madness decks here this weekend.
"Enabling madness and filling the graveyard is good, but in Aetherworks Marvel decks that use it, it gets Emrakul, the Promised End and other cards out of your hand," Cuneo said. "You just get to see more cards from your deck."
"I'm stoked to play it in Modern with Dredge," said Holiday. "It may or may not be a good deck, but this card certainly makes it better."
Whether you're digging up Zombies or digging through trash for your deck's treasure, Cathartic Reunion will live up to its name. And it's definitely great.