Why don't we see more Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on March 24, 2020, 12:01 a.m. by TypicalTimmy

Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper is a card that might not seem impressive in EDH, but consider this:

Many decks run multiple legendary creatures.

Untaidake is not restricted to legendary creatures. Planeswalkers, who are legendary, as well as artifacts, enchantments, and legendary sorceries are all viable sinks for this.

It effectively pays for 1 portion of Commander tax. Similarly, so does Sol Ring, Mana Crypt and a slew of others. So as the game progresses, tapping a single land for sounds like a good value play to me. The longer the game goes, the more value the card has.

So why don't we see more play with it?

enpc says... #2

It comes into play tapped, it has restrictions on what you can spend the mana on, it only produces colourless mana and it costs life.

Temple of the False God fills the role better in casual decks and Ancient Tomb fills the role better in more compettiive decks.

March 24, 2020 12:12 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #3

When evaluating utility lands, I like to think of them as artifacts that cost (seeing as you are giving up your land drop for the turn), then determining if I would run that artifact.

So, for Untaidake, we get:

Untaidake Artifact

~ comes into play tapped.

: Add . Spend this mana only to cast legendary spells.


The above is better than Untaidake actually is--the land you would tap to pay the artifacts' casting cost would still be unencumbered by restrictions or producing colorless mana.

Overall, I would say Untaidake fails the artifact test, and thus is not really worth running.

March 24, 2020 12:21 a.m.

manbearpig90 says... #4

Caerwyn should be "tap: add 2 colorless", not one, because thats what the land produces. the artifact would actually be worse than the land.

March 24, 2020 12:28 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #5

manbearpig90 - That wouldn't account for the fact that you still could have played a land drop for turn, and thus your net gain of mana for that turn is two. If it added two mana, your net gain for the turn would be 3, which wouldn't be half bad.

Sure, the analogy falls apart a little when you get to the later game; but illustrations are obviously only that--demonstrative thought experiments.

March 24, 2020 12:37 a.m. Edited.

manbearpig90 says... #6

Caerwyn you already accounted for the land drop with the cost of the artifact. you can't "add 2" to "net gain 3". thats mathematically impossible.

March 24, 2020 12:39 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #7

You’re only looking at the turn the land is played. Your gain for both the actual land and the example artifact is 0 for turn - the net gain is the ability to generate two.

Again, net gain, not turn gain. Your modification results in a turn gain of 0, but a net gain of 3 (one from land you played and tapped for the artifact, which is an additional two).

March 24, 2020 12:42 a.m. Edited.

triproberts12 says... #8

I think it's 99% the ETB tapped ability. It's why Coldsteel Heart only sees play in 3% of decks, but Prismatic Lens shows up in 4%, and virtually every non-green deck plays Signets and Talismans.

March 24, 2020 11:34 a.m.

Boza says... #9

The Legend of Saskia is the only deck that could play that card. I really need to maintain it, but it has 40 legendary cards.

March 24, 2020 11:57 a.m.

shadow63 says... #10

Outside of legendary tribal it's not very good

March 25, 2020 6:09 p.m.

enpc says... #11

shadow63: Inside of legend tribal it's still pretty bad :P

The other big issue with Untaidake is that it's not really a relevant land. And what I mean by that is:

  • it comes into play tapped, making it slower

  • in the early game, your focus is generally ramp. There are very few good (and I stress good) legendary permanents that actually help you ramp. Most of what you're wanting to play is mana dorks, artifacts and land fetch spells. And of the few good legends, a decent chunk of them either have zero or only one generic maan as a part of their cost. So Untaidake doesn't really help here.

  • In the late game, the benefit of one extra colourless mana really isn't that good. Once your deck has enough mana on board to do its thing, just hitting a land drop is more than enough gas as you're typically A) more focused on drawing win conditions than lands and B) you will most likely be proiritising coloured mana over colourless since you will want to play multiple spells that turn. Not to mention that any deck which wants to run Untaidake will have a large legendary count and most legendary creatures at least are notorious for having harder mana costs.

So the problem with the card is that it really isn't relevant except for maybe the first time you want to play your commander, assuming your commander costs about 6 mana (and you're playing them on turn 5). And that just makes it not good enough.

March 25, 2020 11:26 p.m.

Comes into play tapped...

Unable to use it on Instants and Sorceries, unless you for some reason are playing the "not-so-great" ones from Dominaria(?)....

And most decks only run 4-8 Legendary Spells (outside of Sisay)...

Ancient Tomb is just far superior...

March 26, 2020 10:30 p.m.

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