Friday, May 20, 2011

Jesper Myfors Spotlight: Basalt Monolith

Well, I've been drawing pretty heavy from the well o' New Phyrexia lately.

So you know what time it is…

Exhibit A, Basalt Monolith!

Basalt Monolith is a card that went from being a very boring never-run to having a much more useful second life in the EDH scene.

Back in the high school cafeteria days, Basalt Monolith looked BAD. There's no getting around it. Revised had a lot of "strickly worse" cards just to develop the new magic-playing community's then-infantile card appraisal powers. In the case of the Monolith, this guy had to square off against Mana Vault, Sol Ring and even the occasional Mana Crypt. We knew the difference. 

True, Basalt Monolith provided a big 3-mana bump…next turn! The others gave you instant mana acceleration which was far more powerful. And in a world where originally a deck with 4 Sol Rings was not uncommon, there was just no room.

Now, lets look at EDH. The other mana sources I mention are still pretty good, and they are all perfectly legal in EDH. But the power curve in most 100-card decks definitely leans further upward toward the "6-and-above" range, which make Basalt Monolith MUCH more attractive. You will love it the first time you are able to slide your General right back into play after he gets slapped by some miscreant's poorly-aimed removal.

And they can easily be found! Unlike Sol Rings which you have to fight bears over, if you know anyone who played in the revised era they likely have 6 of these and don't even know it. Just take a look through the shoeboxes in the back of their closet.

And also unlike Sol Ring, Basalt Monolith's art was the responsibility of one Jesper Myfors. It showcases his ability to paint jungle trees (they are happy trees!), two different shades of sky, and even a large grey object. It may not look like much, but as far as Magic: the Gathering is concerned this was the first attempt to depict a large mana-producing object in a clearing.

Once Myfors broke the ground, the fresh, rich soil he churned quickly sprouted other more amazing Artifacts. Who still, by the way, don't hold a candle to simply tapping for a massive 3 colorless mana.

And it generates infinite colorless mana with Rings of Brighthearth.

You're welcome.

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