GLARING SPOTLIGHT is a Magic the Gathering™ column featuring a card that may have gone over-looked during the the building of your EDH Commander deck. Today we discuss Reito Lantern.
CARD: Reito Lantern
EXPANSION: Champions of Kamigawa / Conspiracy – Uncommon
: Put target card from a graveyard on the bottom of its owner’s library.
Not This Again, Cailtis
It seems that a lot of my personal underrated tech for EDH happens to be graveyard hate, and that’s exactly what initially drew me to Reito Lantern. For the measly cost of we can respond to potentially any reanimation effect by putting that card being targeted at the bottom of that player’s library, shielding it from being reanimated by your opponent but also burying it deep within the player’s library, requiring a tutor for the particular card to be found again in any reasonable amount of time.
Versatility — Did You Expect Any Less From Me?
Again, one of the reasons I chose this card over many other instant-speed graveyard-hate effects was the fact that it was versatile. In addition to it being repeatable and on-demand, I could even tuck some of my own spells back into my deck, ready to use again if I didn’t have any plan to Regrowth-effect them up to my hand or reanimate/flashback them. I’d much rather have my spells back in the comforts of my library confines any day over having them splayed about in my graveyard, provided they weren’t there for any motive of my own.
The Costs and Some Application
A limitation of this card, like for other single-target graveyard hate cards, is that it only interacts with cards in the graveyard, and not cards now on the stack that were cast from the graveyard. With the growing popularity of diverse recursion in EDH and the return of flashback-oriented strategies from Innistrad block, it’s become a boon of the reanimator EDH planeswalker to include many diverse ways to play things from the graveyard, may it be by putting it back into hand, tossing it back onto the battlefield, or even just casting it again from the graveyard. Simply put, timing is important, and you do not want to be caught with trying to exile a card that isn’t any longer in the graveyard. Luckily for us, most of the cards that try to do this to us will simply have the “can be cast from the graveyard” clause already pasted onto them, like Gravecrawler, so you’ll know what’s coming. Similarly, abilities need to be activated on the battlefield or a preliminary spell cast sometimes in order to cast things from the graveyard, like Havengul Lich or Yawgmoth’s Will — provided you have the mana open, you can simply tuck the potential headaches away as a response to the activation of the ability or the casting of the spell, as the stack’s permission grants us (right out in the open for you to see again, it feels great responding to Havengul’s activation with a Reito activation pointed at Havengul’s target).
In addition to timing being a constraint, the lantern faces the same ill fate as our friend Quest for Ancient Secrets does: it’s a permanent, and its effect is written down on the battlefield for your opponents from the minute the spell touches the stack. Unlike Quest, the lantern is colorless and can be played in any deck, but still screams “graveyard denial” from a mile away. Reanimator players faced with this across the table can simply hold their cards and wait for it to be removed in an artifact boardwipe (which actually happen quite frequently now I’d imagine, with all the artifact-friendly commander products and power levels of artifact-combo generals). That, or they can simply play around it as best as possible, like only filling the bin and using it as a resource when we don’t have the mana open to take care of the/all threat(s) in the bin. The mana sink of the card is also a glaring weakness, but that surely didn’t warrant an in-depth explanation of why.
In summary, I really enjoy Reito Lantern. Despite its weaknesses, it is versatile in benefiting both the player using it and controlling the user’s opponents. It is a repeatable ability on an artifact to hate aggressive graveyard strategies that is difficult to interact with except for playing around it. It is easily fetchable, being an artifact with a cost of , and can be recurred easily by cool tech like Sun Titan. Lastly, it is a perfect extra-mana outlet for control players to use before their next upkeep — it can refuel their own libraries or even just take care of some creatures in graveyards they know will inevitably be picked up by an ill-timed Puppeteer Clique or Sepulchral Primordial. I currently use this card in my Oloro control deck as graveyard hate and library-restorer all in one, alongside obvious inclusions like Bojuka Bog and Elixir of Immortality. I would recommend this card for any deck that needs help with either of its two uses and would prefer its effect as an activated ability that can be repeated as much as necessary — the large qualifying characteristic being large land counts and being able to use its ability reasonably even at a cost of . I’ve been testing it as an essential second Mistveil Plains in Sunforger-containing decks, as our ‘forger targets don’t mind being placed at the very bottom of our library. However, I doubt this little nifty artifact has much room in WallyD’s monstrous Kaalia Sunforger deck as it’d still be a nonland choice in the deck, and Mistveil Plains dodges taking up a nonland slot quite nicely.
Thanks for reading again and feel free to leave your thoughts on Reito Lantern below! Until next time!