There are a lot of hidden gems to find in Magic’s newest Standard legal set. Between some incredible reprints and favored themes being highlighted, there is a lot to Explore (pun is very intended) in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan.
One particular card that caught my eye that I haven’t seen many talking about, however, looks quite powerful. Magic already has a ton of powerful options for boardwipe effects, but very few of those will both clean up a board and serve as a threat itself. This is one reason why Sunfall is quite popular. Not only does Sunfall Exile all creatures, but the Incubator token Sunfall creates helps you get ahead on a fresh boardstate.
Well, a new boardwipe from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan doubles as both a board wipe and an incredible pillowfort threat. If you’re trying to clean up your opponent’s board and prevent them from attacking you afterwards, Unstable Glyphbridge looks incredibly powerful.
For five mana, Unstable Glyphbridge, if cast, makes you choose a creature with power two or less on each player’s battlefield. Everything else gets wiped.
As far as boardwipes go, Unstable Glyphbridge is underwhelming. That said, if there is a value-oriented creature with low stats that you want to keep around, Unstable Glyphbridge does just that. As underwhelming as this card is, the Craft ability on Unsatable Glyphbridge is seriously powerful, and is the real reason to play this card.
After wiping the board, by paying five mana and Crafting with another artifact, you gain access to Sandswirl Wanderglyph. Sandswirl Wanderglyph allows opponents to cast spells or attack you, but they cannot do both.
The ability for this boardwipe to become a threat should not be understated. The card could do some serious work in the right archetypes. Besides Commander having some obvious applications to a card like this, there are a few Pioneer decks that may be interested in the Unstable Glyphbridge.
Azorius 80-card Artifacts
This unique MTG deck top eighted a Pioneer challenge this past Sunday. Utilizing a unique combination of artifacts to make the game go long, this deck can navigate slower scenarios with precision. That said, aside from Yorion, Sky Nomad and Karn, the Great Creator, there isn’t much to close the game out with. This deck already runs Supreme Verdict, but aggressive decks with counterspells aren’t very popular in the metagame at the moment. The Lost Caverns of Ixalan could lead to Merfolk having a resurgence, but Azorius Spirits is not in a great spot right now because of how proficient Rakdos Sacrifice is.
For that reason, the upside of playing Supreme Verdict is not too important at the moment. In comparison, Unstable Glyphbridge can easily meet its Craft requirements in this deck, is searchable via Karn, the Great Creator’s -2 ability, can synergize with cards like Metallic Rebuke, and can easily win the game after utilizing its Craft ability. Seems like a great deal to me!
Budget Metalworker Colossus
One unique MTG deck, despite just being $9 on Magic online, had a 5-2 performance in the same recent Magic Online challenge. There are a ton of artifacts coming out of the new set that, potentially, just serve as strict upgrades to the Metalworker Colossus strategy.
Not only will Unstable Glyphbridge reduce the cost of Metalworker Colossus by an incredible five mana, but the artifact can clean up aggressive boards and serve as a threat itself. With the sheer number of artifacts present in this build, crafting Unstable Glyphbridge to shut out faster aggressive strategies should be simple.
I play a ton of this deck, and I personally see some potential for Unstable Glyphbridge to see play in a transformational sideboard-variant of the deck. Not everyone is running Zacama to turn into big mana control against faster matchups anymore, but I believe this card excels in that setting. Pictured above is the second place decklist for the same Pioneer Challenge that all of these lists came from.
Unstable Glyphbridge is uniquely primed to see play as an alternate win condition in Lotus. It’s rather common to side into Voyaging Satyr for a majority of quick matchups. Voyaging Satyr lines up the deck for early turn three kills if it comes out turn two. The downside is the card is easy to remove, and is a dead draw past turn three.
Unstable Glyphbridge can be ramped to, wipe a scary early board from the opponent, and your Voyaging Satyr, Arboreal Grazer, and other early game creatures can survive. Sandswirl Wanderglyph also buys Lotus Field Combo an incredible amount of time. Opponents cannot cast spells and attack on the same turn. Heck, the Wanderglyph may be able to just win the game on its own if it manages to slow down the opponent enough.
The challenge that comes with Unstable Glyphbridge for Lotus Field Combo is that this card is going to be difficult to Craft. There are no artifacts in the core build of Lotus Field Combo, meaning anyone that wants to try and abuse Unstable Glyphbridge in the deck is going to need a plan to Craft with it. If you cannot Craft with this card consistently, there are much better board wipes available.
Playing Propaganda? Play this Card!
As for Commander, pillowfort strategies are all over the place. If you’re trying to discourage your opponents from attacking you, you should probably be playing Unstable Glyphbridge.
Sandswirl Wanderglyph does a great job of fitting into Commander politics as well. The Wanderglyph only discourages opponents from attacking you, meaning that its unlikely to earn the ire of the table unless they really want to reduce your life total. If this card shut down spells or attacking anybody, players may be more eager to get it off the table.
Either way, Unstable Glyphbridge is a unique blend of a board wipe, a creature that can stabilize your board state extremely quickly and even win the game when left to its devices. Efficient win conditions are a favorite in controlling strategies, so expect to see, at least, some experimentation with this card in multiple formats.