Lessons from Pious Interdiction

Pious Interdiction

What Can We Learn from Pious Interdiction?

Often competitive players will look at a card like Pious Interdiction — which has what might be a desirable effect if at a hefty cost — and discard it out of hand.

But when was the last time you asked yourself what drove that kind of thinking? Are there contexts where you would want a card like this? If so, when?

Mike — winner of his Midnight Prerelease — can certainly point to a time!

Pious Interdiction can be a heck of a Limited card

That’s right! Pious Interdiction can certainly get it done in forty card decks!

… That’s actually how Patrick and Mike got into the discussion this week! Mike was lucky enough to open four copies of Pious Interdiction, and they did such a great job of nullifying his opponents’ key flyers or fat green creatures he was almost ready to sign up for Pious Interdiction in Constructed.

Almost.

The problem — part of the problem anyway — with Pious Interdiction is just the cost.

The cost is both the “right answer” and too simple of an answer, though. While this aura is great at interacting with threats like Sealed Deck where so many of an opponent’s cards will be more expensive than in Standard, four mana can be a big ask in sixty card decks.

Patrick is quick to caution that general rules about how much things “should” cost for certain effects can be foolhardy. We must always be mindful of context.

Pious Interdiction v. the World

For the current Standard, at least, Pious Interdiction has plenty of context around it, helping to define is viability (or non-viability).

Cast Out also costs four mana, but has so much flexibility around Flash, Cycling, and the option to exile non-creature permanents. For that matter, Cast Out does a much better job, generally, of interacting with creatures! Cast Out isn’t always better for four mana, as there are times you will want to gain two life… But it’s usually better.

If you’re really in the market for an overcosted Pacifism that gains life, might we suggest a Desert’s Hold?

Desert's Hold
Desert’s Hold doesn’t let you get away with deck building free or anything… You have to build your deck with Deserts — and you have to have Deserts either in play or in the graveyard to get the bonus — but it both costs less mana and gains more life than Pious Interdiction. Yet Desert’s Hold is far from a popular Constructed card.

Join Pro Tour Hall of Famer Patrick Chapin and Michael J Flores in this eye-opening theoretical discussion, plus more — much more — actual Constructed quality cards from Ixalan in this week’s episode!

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