Is Skybind a Good Enchantment in Magic the Gathering?

Blinking things is pretty good in Magic the Gathering. Back in their heyday, Momentary Blink decks were very powerful. When the planeswalker Venser, the Sojourner was kicking around Standard, Blue/White control was definitely a real deck.

Venser had a blink ability that helped abuse many enter the battlefield effects. After a few turns, he was able to use his ultimate loyalty ability very easily. That ultimate ability gave you an emblem which allowed you to exile a permanent whenever you cast a spell. That’s pretty nasty, and so powerful that Venser, the Sojourner still occasionally sees play in Modern!

Skybind Magic the Gathering

Skybind is an Enchantment that lets you blink a non-Enchantment card you control every time you play it or another Enchantment while it’s on the battlefield. This allows you to get some extra value out of enter the battlefield effects, and most especially, other cards with the Constellation ability. While it’s not going to help you build up to an ability like Venser’s, there’s still quite a bit of value to be generated here.

However, 5 mana is a high casting cost in Constructed for a card that doesn’t have much of an immediate effect on the battlefield – besides blinking one thing when it enters. Still, what’s interesting about this is that it’s a Constellation ability. Consider that those Enchantments can be tokens entering the battlefield that are considered Enchantments (a la Heliod, God of the Sun tokens). There are also tons of very playable Enchantment creatures and Auras. So with the right type of support, Skybind can offer you a lot of value. It can blink a lot of stuff.

Ideally, most of the time, you’d be using this to “blink” your tapped lands. This will make them come back untapped for your opponent’s turn. That’s not a bad idea in a control shell. But is it worth the five mana investment to throw down for an effect that doesn’t necessarily win you any games?

There was a time in Standard where people tried to make Skybind work, especially when Khans of Tarkir was first released. In particular, Ashen Rider, Siege Rhino and Wingmate Roc were perfect targets with powerful enter the battlefield abilities. The Rhino would be able to gain you 3 life while draining your opponent for 3 pretty much on every turn. The Roc would bring along a 3 / 4 flying Bird friend as long as you attacked during that turn. The Rider was a greater finisher, which can exile a permanent every time it enters the battlefield or dies. But that sort of deck was a bit too slow to gain any competitive momentum.

Where this card can shine is in Commander. In the Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) format, blink effects are much more powerful than in anywhere else in MTG. Being able to reuse powerful enter the battlefield effects is why Conjurer’s Closetis so popular in the format. The Closet only lets you blink creatures, though. Skybind doesn’t let you blink your Enchantment Creatures, but it does let you do other things, such as blink other important creatures and artifacts. Also, blinking lands isn’t a terrible thing to do, either, especially after they’re already tapped.

For Skybind to be worth a slot in the deck, though, you have to have a pretty substantial number of Enchantments for its Constellation effect to trigger. One Commander that it works quite well with would be the aforementioned Heliod, God of the Sun. He can trigger Constellation abilities every time he creates one of his Cleric tokens that’s also an Enchantment. His deck also has a number of creatures that you can take advantage of their enter the battlefield abilities. These include Angel of Serenity, Archon of Justice, Auramancer, Fiend Hunter, Heliod’s Pilgrim, Knight of the White Orchid, Kor Cartographer, and more.

The other Commander who can utilize Skybind, and to even greater effect, is Daxos the Returned. Since he is both White and Black, there are even more powerful Enchantments to go around. Daxos plays many of the same creatures as Heliod, including the God of the Sun himself. But Daxos has a few additional targets, commonly playing such creatures as Ashen Rider, Monk Idealist, Oreskos Explorer, Solemn Simulacrum, and best of all, Sun Titan.

Other Commanders that can make some use out of Skybind include Brago, King Eternal, Bruna, Light of Alabaster, and Roon of the Hidden Realm. Brago and Roon utilize “blink” effects on a regular basis and are among the top Commanders in MTG. It doesn’t have the greatest synergy with Bruna, but some players opt to include it in their builds.

Skybind never turned any heads in Constructed. It’s far from being one of the best enchantments in Magic the Gathering, for sure. But, in the few Commander decks that can best utilize it, the Constellation ability can provide a good deal of value for the investment.

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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