Echo of Eons in Legacy
- Robert Swiecki
It looked like an overpowered card during spoiler season and caused an outcry among some players. But what has happened to Echo of Eons now, half a year after the release of Modern Horizons? What Legacy decks has it enabled, where has it found a home? It's time to take inventory!
It Isn't Timetwister
The people at Wizards revisit older, more powerful cards from time to time and print weakened versions of them—with more or less success. Cards such as Treasure Cruise dominated an entire metagame, while Ancestral Vision seems to hit that sweet spot between raw drawing power and playability. One thing is clear though: Echo of Eons is not Timetwister, which already was the weakest of the Power 9 cards.
The real misunderstanding or let us say misinterpretation was that Echo's casting cost demands a certain deck built around it. Of course, it looks quite easy to just play it alongside Lion's Eye Diamond for the super speed twisters, to discard it with Careful Study or to mill it with Thought Scour, but what does such a combo achieve?
Comparing it to other combo enablers like ANT's Past in Flames, Sneak and Show's Show and Tell and Sneak Attack, or Reanimator's Entomb, Echo of Eons looks like a pretty Belcheresque spell that lets one go all in with no advance knowledge of its outcome.
Building Around It
Echo of Eons reminds me of Diminishing Returns, Ill-Gotten Gains, and Time Spiral; maybe even Doomsday. Being quite different in their nature, they all share one thing: They almost see no play anymore these days. Doomsday was hit hard by the bans of Gitaxian Probe and Sensei's Divining Top, Ill-Gotten Gains and Diminishing Returns were pushed out by Past in Flames and unsurprisingly Echo of Eons, while Time Spiral has a hard time finding enough players who want to play Spiral Tide.
The most obvious place for Echo of Eons is TES, The Epic Storm. The deck did not have to change much to use Echo of Eons as a one-of in its sideboard. Most recent TES lists include a full set of Wishclaw Talisman to support Mox Opal and use Veil of Summer as their primary protection.
|TES by Bryant Cook|
Echo of Eons works well with all the mana rocks that TES is able to deploy relatively quickly, but it is not its main route to victory but serves as an alternative business spell that is backed up by Veil of Summer. Since TES is currently in a state of transformation it is unclear how it is going to end up looking. But Echo of Eons will surely take a spot in TES's 75.
Another stormy option is to play the full set and try to maximise Echo's consistency.
|Esper Echo by Robert Swiecki|
While similar lists have been around for a while, Teferi has taken the main-deck spot of Monastery Mentor now. The planeswalker provides protection against counter spells and therefore works great with Echo of Eons. Being able to remove problematic permanents is a neat upside.
This deck's play pattern can be somewhat tricky because casting Echo does not lead to a deterministic kill. It needs to hit certain cards in order to win on the spot. There are many other possibilities to build the sideboard because Narset and Teferi represent a strong line-up that can support various control plans with creatures like Thing in the Ice / Awoken Horror or Dark Confidant.
Adding More Spice
There is so much more one can do with a Legacy-legal Timetwister. How about a combo deck that disguises itself as a monoblue Stompy pile, but in fact reached 85th place at GP Bologna. There are so many synergies in Testa's deck that I do not know where to start. Obviously Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Lion's Eye Diamond work great together making tons of mana, whereas Karn, Urza, and Sai form the backbone of the deck.
|Artifact Echo by Paolo Testa, 85th at GP Bologna|
And if that is not enough, you might want to look at MartinMedMitten's recent 5-0 deck featuring Ovalchase Daredevil and Riddlesmith. It really looks like a Belcher-Stompy hybrid that tries to combo off using Echo as its main enabler and then killing via Grapeshot.
|Oval Riddle of Eons by MartinMedMitten, 5-0 in MTGO League|
Echo of Eons may not have lived up to the initial hype. But it has carved out some space for itself and spawned some interesting designs. A successful update to an iconic piece of Magic history.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.