In our review, we found that there is plenty of potential for Bring to Light. This is especially the case in Commander, and in 4 and 5-color decks where its true power can be realized. Considering the amount of interest this particular card has, we’ve decided to go into greater depth into how Bring to Light can be used most effectively.
As far as Constructed goes, it will take quite a specific brew that doesn’t mind waiting to have 4 or 5 colors of mana to seek out a specific creature and/or combo piece. There was a lot of fun during the early days of Battle for Zendikar Standard when people were cheating Siege Rhinos into play. It wasn't a bad deck and could win some games, although it wasn't going to win any major tournaments.
The one deck that I had in mind which seemed a natural fit was Scapeshift in Modern. Scapeshift decks already run four colors and has access to five. The sorcery Scapeshift itself costs 4 mana, so barring counter-magic, you could tutor up Scapeshift and win the game. I just don’t know what you’d cut from the deck to play a 5 mana sorcery that isn’t an optimal draw a good chunk of the time. People have definitely been trying, though, with varied success.
One interesting theme that has been discussed surrounding Bring to Light is using it cast the 0 CMC casting cost spells from Time Spiral: Ancestral Vision, Hypergenesis, Living End, Restore Balance, and Wheel of Fate. These spells have some powerful effects, but can’t ordinarily be cast unless they are Suspended with the costs on the card or cast for free by a Cascade Spell. In fact, Cascade cards have been used to great effect with Living End in the infamous Modern combo deck and has been also done at times with Restore Balance. Bring to Light gives you another way to play these cards for free without investing any extra colored mana. But is it worth ramping up to 5 mana just to have a chance to tutor them out?
The most important aspect to consider in Modern is how rampant counter-magic is in the format, especially Remand. Who wants to Bring to Light a Living End only to have it countered, or worse, put into their hand where you then have to suspend it? Granted, this is the same deal as with Cascade, which requires you to still cast the spell, even if it is for free. But with Cascade, you typically get the 3 or 4 mana to cast them far more quickly than you would with Bring to Light.
The chance of your opponent essentially countering 2 cards at once feels bad. With the Cascade spells, you typically will just have an opponent counter that and not simply wait for you to tutor the card you really want before actually casting a counterspell. A 5 mana card just seems a bit too slow to jam into Constructed if all it does is set you up to potentially waste one of your combo cards and possibly a whole turn.
Bring to Light makes it so that you can play Hypergenesis when you actually want to play it. This should help the card’s playability a bit. The only requirements are that you play blue and green, and there are plenty of Blue/Green commanders happy to oblige. But often Hypergenesis will be the best target, especially in a two-color deck. Getting a Birds of Paradise or another 1 or 2 mana creature doesn’t feel so powerful for 3UG.
The true power of Bring to Light will be in five-color Commander decks. This card’s true power comes from being able to simultaneously tutor and cast 4-5 CMC spells from the deck. The question is what spells are there for Bring to Light to get and how powerful is it as one of the 99. Underwhelmed by its Constructed prospects, it seems that there is real potential for this 5-mana Converging sorcery in Commander. Let’s take a look.
Imagine a tutor that could go get a Dragon and put it directly onto the battlefield without having to pay its mana cost! True, Sarkhan Unbroken can help you do that in a big way. So how can Bring to Light help the 5-color Dragon deck? Most of your best Dragons are 6 or more mana, but there are some targets that this tutor can find you in a pinch.
One particular card that Bring to Light is good at getting is Crux of Fate, which is a 5-drop Black board wipe that can destroy all Dragons or all non-Dragons. In a dedicated Dragon deck, this is a sweet boardwipe. Being able to tutor it up and play it all for five mana is pretty sweet, providing you can tap WUBRG.
Creatures you could get with Bring to Light include Dragonlord’s Servant (1R to let you cast Dragon spells for 1 less), Dragonspeaker Shaman (1RR to let you cast Dragon spells for 2 less), Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon (who can kill opponents out of nowhere with Infect, and Thunderbreak Regent (which makes it painful for opponents to use targeted removal on your dragons). Kaalia of the Vast and Stormbreath Dragon are other creatures you tend to see in Scion that would be Brought into the Light easily.
Sorceries you may want to tutor up with Bring to Light include Fearsome Awakening (reanimate a Dragon with +2/+2) and Living Death (awesome with lots of Dragons in the grave). For instants, you have Sarkhan’s Triumph for 2R to tutor up any Dragon to your hand - which probably doesn’t seem like the most cost-effective way to do so, but it works in a pinch. You also have access to a suite of removal spells in Utter End, Putrefy, and Mortify. These cost 4, 3, and 3 respectively, but in the right spot, paying 5 with 3 or 4 different colored mana could be the difference in a game.
Verdict: B in this deck. There are enough solid target for Bring to Light to rarely be a dead card once you get to 3 out of 5 colors of mana. It gives you access to a bomb like Living Death, a one-sided boardwipe like Crux of Fate, and a few of your utility creatures. Grabbing a removal spell in a pinch isn’t bad, either, since otherwise you’d spend a Demonic Tutor or even Diabolic Tutor seeking them out sometimes.
Sliver Overlord / Sliver Queen / Sliver Hivelord / Sliver Legion
If there were any archetype that appreciated Bring to Light, it would be Slivers. There are very few Slivers that even cost more than 5 mana. Those would be Battering Sliver (5R), Fury Sliver (5R), Megantic Sliver (5G), and Groundshaker Sliver (6G). Groundshaker and Battering Sliver both give trample, but Battering Sliver helps all Slivers, while Groundshaker only helps yours. Horned Sliver gives all Slivers trample for only 2G, however, so you can live without those two in play. Megantic Sliver gives all your Sliver +3/+3 and Fury Sliver gives all Slivers (including those you don’t control) double strike. Those would be the only 4 that you would care about that can’t be tutored up by Bring to Light.
The coolest thing about Bring to Light in Slivers is that you can get any of the WUBRG Slivers into play with it. Whichever one you’re not playing as your Commander can be almost essentially be cast from the deck! Slivers have such a toolbox to draw from that Bring to Light is essentially: WUBRG: Cast target Sliver with converted mana cost 5 or less from your deck. That’s extremely good and can probably be a game-winning play in some circumstances.
Beyond that, Bring to Light can tutor up Distant Melody (to draw you a bunch of cards) or Patriarch’s Bidding (to bring back a ton of Slivers). It also can tutor up Utter End to exile any nonland permanent that’s bugging you and/or preventing you from winning the game outright.
Yes, Demonic Tutor, Diabolic Tutor and company can get you the card you need when you need it, but getting 2 cards out of 1 is always cool and with Slivers, the synergy is there to make tutoring up the right guy super strong.
Verdict: A- in this deck. It doesn’t get every Sliver ever, but besides Megantic Sliver and Fury Sliver, it can get pretty much anyone you need. Plus tutoring up Distant Melody or Patriarch's Bidding under certain circumstances feels pretty good.
Top Commanders: General Tazri, Karona, the False God and Reaper King
With Battle for Zendikar, Allies have been a big deal. While only a handful became Standard playable, Allies got plenty of good cards for 5-color Ally tribal commander. Best of all, the ones you care about are 5 mana or less, so hurray.
While there weren't any 5 color Legendary Allies printed in Battle for Zendikar, there was one in Oath of the Gatewatch, General Tazri. Because of her 5 color ability, this makes her eligible to play every color Ally in a Commander deck led by her. So can she and the other two 5-color Legends commonly seen with Allies use Bring to Light to their advantage?
Karona, the False God gives all creatures of a chosen type +3/+3 until end of turn whenever she attacks. The downside is that Karona gets to run around the table as each player gets control of her during each upkeep. There are ways around this, like equipping her with Assault Suit or attaching any of the Vow Auras to her, which all prevent her from being able to attack you. Then she can get really fun.
Reaper King is another option, and by using Enchantments like Conspiracy and Xenograft to make all your creatures Scarecrows in addition to their other types, each creature that enters play basically says: destroy target permanent. Ouch.
General Tazri can tutor up any Ally from your deck when she enters the battlefield. While Bring to Light isn't 100 percent necessary, pretty much any Ally you'll want will be CMC 5 or less.
For purposes of Bring to Light, Reaper King is probably the one who can use it the best. With Reaper King, you can tutor up lots of Changeling creatures, which count as both Allies and Scarecrows without any outside assistance. Karona prefers to be more of an Enchantment-happy deck, something that Bring to Light doesn’t really like unless you’re playing all of the Theros block Gods. More on that later.
The best allies you can tutor up? Turntimber Ranger is the most obvious choice, as he costs 5 mana (3GG) and can overrun the board with Wolf tokens. Hagra Diabolist costs 4B and can make opponents lose life rather quickly. Kabira Evangel offers your Allies protection from the color of your choice each time he or another Ally enters battle. Seascape Aerialist costs 4U and gives all your Allies flying when he or another Ally enters.
From Battle of Zendikar? The only one I’d bother to tutor up is Drana, Liberator of Malakir. Her ability to quickly pump your team is pretty awesome when you’re going for an alpha strike. There’s another one I like, Tajuru Warcaller, who costs 3GG, and has a Rally trigger that gives all your creatures +2/+2 until end of turn. He’s stupidly fragile as a 2/1, though. None of the others seem like considerable enough threats to warrant being pulled out by Bring to Light.
Verdict: C. You can get some nice advantage by tutoring out Changelings and the right Ally when you need one, but it’s not really best suited in the 99 when it comes to Allies. In a more typical Reaper King deck, though, it’s going to be fine for grabbing any Changeling or Scarecrow you want, as most are 5 or less CMC. But even in that build it’s barely a C card choice.
Because of the fact that Karona works best with the five Vows (and Assault Suit) being played on her to make her downside into an upside, it makes sense that she’ll want lots of Enchantments surrounding her. While she makes an interesting Tribal commander, which is why some Ally players like her, the real cool thing she can do is play God Tribal.
That’s right. Karona is typically built with the Theros Gods in mind. All 15 are played in some Karona lists. Best of all, all of the Theros block gods cost 5 CMC or less. So any of these can be solid targets with Bring to Light. Karametra, God of Harvests perhaps isn’t the best in this deck, but she’s almost always going to get you at least a land or two (her ability to grab Forests and Plains aren’t limited to basic lands). Having between 10-15 realistic targets for Bring to Light seems a decent plan.
You can go get Chromanticore, too, but you can’t use its alternate casting cost to Bestow it on another creature, which is probably the best thing about it in the first place, so that’s not really going to ever be a realistic target unless it happens to be your only remaining target for Bring to Light or something.
Verdict: B-, while not necessary as one of the 99, Bring to Light can seek out any of the Theros Gods you want or need at any given time. It’s otherwise pretty weak in an Enchantress deck, unless you’re using it to cast Demonic Tutor or Diabolic Tutor from your deck, which isn’t really that great.
The best targets in Child of Alara aren’t really that wonderful. It’s typically a control deck based around planeswalkers. That said, Theros Gods appear in quite a few Child lists, as their being indestructible is really good with Child’s effect of blowing up all non-lands. You can also get any wraths, such as Supreme Verdict or Wrath of God with Bring to Light. Other than that, though, there’s nothing else exciting to get.
Verdict: C-, it has decent targets but Bring to Light is a bit of an awkward choice for this deck’s 99.
Here we have another Commander that loves Planeswalkers, but also really likes the Theros gods. Also, Child of Alara being able to be in the 99 gives Bring to Light a saucy target. Maelstrom Archangel, which is also seen in some Child builds, is also lots of fun to play with, cheating any nonland card into play whenever she deals combat damage to a player. Grabbing boardwipes is okay, too.
Verdict: C. Not sure I’d play it in my 99, but it can tutor up Child of Alara, which bumps it up a few points.
Tutoring up Mulldrifter and Shriekmaw at CMC 5 feels OK to me. Getting Torrent Elemental at 4U, a card really only playable in Elemental Tribal EDH, seems OK, too. Tutoring Incandescent Soulstoke, the Elemental lord who can let you cheat Elementals from your hand into play for 1R is less exciting, but fine. Soulstoke forces you to sacrifice those Elementals, but Horde of Notions can always get them back. Ingot Chewer and Wispmare are fine for value plays, but don’t seem worth casting Bring to Light. Grabbing Reveillark seems fine to reanimate a couple of little guys seems fine though.
There are a bunch of other cool Elementals you can get. Animar, Soul of Elements would be my favorite target. Forgotten Ancient can rack up quite a few +1/+1 counters for you to share with the rest of your army. Lord of Extinction is one of the most powerful Elementals ever, and he’s only 3BG. You could also bring in Fusion Elemental, an 8/8 for WUBRG - just to say you did it.
While not quite as exciting as what you can do with Slivers, Bring to Light does go get you your value creatures, although in the case of the Evoke creatures, you’re probably better off naturally drawing them and Evoking them to naturally reuse with Horde of Notions, anyway.
Verdict: B+. You get a pretty sweet variety of value with Elementals as you do with Slivers. Being able to tutor out Animar is pretty sweet, too.
Typically, Cromat is a “Super Friends” Commander, in that the deck plays all the Planeswalkers you can stuff into a deck. Other players just build 5-color good stuff decks. Basically, anything that you’d want to get in Child of Alara or Progenitus decks you can and would get here.
Verdict: C-, you’ll want to focus on the Planeswalkers, probably, and this doesn’t feel like an optimal use of a slot in your 99.
Atog tribal is a cute deck, but besides grabbing Living Death or Patriarch’s Bidding (which are good in Slivers, too) and the usual suspects like Eternal Witness, this is probably the worst of the 5-color decks to play this
Verdict: D+. I wouldn’t play it in here. It would work, but it’s sub-optimal.
Could Bring to Light be good in other Commander decks that aren’t 5-color? I wouldn’t suggest it in Maelstrom Wanderer, as Cascading into it means you can only get 0 CMC spells. But there are plenty of Blue/Green/X decks that want certain creatures, instants or sorceries, so I definitely wouldn’t count it out. However, as we’ve seen, the real power is getting that full 5 CMC value out of the card you tutor, so in 2 or 3 color decks you’re definitely getting diminished returns. U/G/x decks have some decent targets, but most of them are 4 or 5 mana, so Bring to Light is pretty useless.
With the Commander 2016 decks came 4-color Legendary Creatures, along with the Partner Commanders which also allow for 4-color EDH decks. Bring to Light seems pretty solid in these decks, seeking out key spells at various points in the game. That's a whole other article, though.
I’d really love to see someone make Bring to Light a way to find the final piece of an unbeatable combo. I’m fairly certain that won’t happen outside of some crazy fringe Friday Night Magic deck or in casual play. What I am certain of is that Bring to Light will see some play in 5-color and other decks in Commander, which should keep it from ever falling to true bulk status.
How would you use Bring to Light in Commander? Or if you dare, how would you use it in Constructed?