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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Sylvan Library
Image from Wizards.com

 Sylvan Library
- Eternal Masters

Reviewed July 1, 2016

Constructed: 3.25
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3.75
Commander [EDH]: 4.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Sylvan Library
 
I mentioned Brainstorm yesterday, but well before Brainstorm was printed, Sylvan Library was doing much the same thing - and Brainstorm is sort of a nerf of the effect in the context of 1995, especially when you consider that when Legends was new, pretty much the only cards that could get a Sylvan Library off the table were Disenchant, Tranquility, and Chaos Orb. At least the Library only does it once each turn cycle and so doesn't have the time-wasting issue, but the card selection power can still put its controller well ahead of their opponents. This was crucial in helping the early Zoo decks fight against Weissman control in the 1990s, and the Library still adds value to almost any deck that has space for it even now.
 
I'm glad that its new art portrays the same place that the original Harold McNeill piece from Legends did, too. It's good to know that no matter where Magic may roam, some things don't change.
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
EDH/Commander: 4/5
James H. Sylvan Library
 
Sylvan Library is one of those cards that hails from an era when the color pie was more experimental and less rigid. Green does get card draw today, but not anything like what this card provides.​
 
The effect of the Library, basically, is to give you the best card out of the top three of your library. If you're desperate, you can take more cards at a steep payment of four life a pop...in 60 card constructed formats, a heavy price, but a drop in the bucket in a format like Commander. It's a splashable card, thanks to its mana cost, but it also has the issue in
Legacy and other formats of being an unnecessary effect; the major green decks in Legacy, Infect and Elves, would rather be vomiting their hands onto the board instead of spending their mana on a card that doesn't impact the board in any way.
 
It's a powerful card, but being in green is ironically a major hindrance to it outside of Commander and more casual formats, where it's a unique card in a color that rarely gets effects like it.
 
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 4.5

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