Card Review: Echo of Eons

Echo of Eons

Echo of Eons


Each player shuffles their hand and graveyard into their library, then draws seven cards.

Flashback (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its Flashback cost. Then exile it.)

Initial Thoughts

Force Of Will
Lions Eye Diamond
Rest in Peace

Right off the bat, it’s very obvious that Echo of Eons has a great synergy with Lion’s Eye Diamond; which discards your hand (including Echo of Eons) adds exactly enough mana to Flashback the blue sorcery. It’s crucial to remember that you are not passing priority with Lion’s Eye Diamond as it’s a mana ability, once you discard your hand you are able to Flashback Echo of Eons.

I think it’s important to consider the fact that with Echo of Eons that the effect is symmetrical compared to other common Storm engines that are currently seeing play — Ad Nauseam and Past in Flames. “Well, why does this matter?” It’s fairly simple, Legacy is a format defined by one card in particular — Force of Will. If you’re lucky enough to not be facing the 52% of decks that play Force of Will (statistic from mtgtop8), that’s fantastic! But sadly, this isn’t always the case.

Let’s imagine that you’re lucky enough to resolve your first copy of Echo of Eons, sweet. But now you just gave your opponent a fresh new seven cards, this is another opportunity for them to have drawn Force of Will or another type of disruption piece such as the newly printed Force of Negation. Your seven card hand has the resources to go for the win, but should you? The correct answer is “yes”, but now the odds are not as good for you.

The symmetrical aspect has a real downside, this is also assuming that this was turn one. If it’s not, your opponents could also draw into Flusterstorm, Spell Pierce, Stifle, and so many other instant speed effects that could rain on your parade. From a non-blue perspective, there’s also Surgical Extraction, Pyroblast, and Mindbreak Trap.

But let’s not only focus on the negatives, let’s look at a few positives. Echo of Eons is the first Legacy legal Storm engine that is three mana (through Flashback) and playable (sorry Doomsday)! This is exciting for match-ups such as Death & Taxes, Moon Stompy, and opposing combo where you want to be as fast as possible. Opening up quicker lines can often mean not losing the game before their hate piece comes down or just being combo’d out.

Another positive for The EPIC Storm is that Echo of Eons is a sorcery, which means that it’s able to be retrieved via Burning Wish! This makes hands that can’t quite cast Empty the Warrens on turn one a little more explosive. Now keep in mind, most hands that contain Lion’s Eye Diamond and Burning Wish are typically very good already and I’m not convinced at how much better another engine improves these hands. Then there’s the sad non-synergy with Infernal Tutor, which is that you often want to use Infernal Tutor in conjunction with Lion’s Eye Diamond to empty your hand. Which means that when you’re searching up Echo of Eons, you would need a second Lion’s Eye Diamond or something like a Faithless Looting in your graveyard in order to Flashback Echo of Eons. The issue I see with this, is if you have this much mana, Ad Nauseam or Past in Flames would also win the game without providing the opportunity cost to not lose the game for your opponent.

Something to consider is that Echo of Eons is very weak to dedicated graveyard hate as the up-front cost of the card is very expensive for its effect. Cards such as Rest in Peace or Leyline of the Void will be back-breaking for decks based around the card.

How does it compare to previous engines?

Past In Flames
Ad Nauseam
Diminishing Returns

Ad Nauseam and Past in Flames are the current preferred Storm engines, but why? It comes down to the fact that they’re asymmetrical and almost a guaranteed win when built around correctly. Past in Flames is a mathematically clean kill (as long as you can count) in Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT) and Ad Nauseam is a highly probable kill in The EPIC Storm (TES), so in order to push these cards aside, whatever it is will have to be very good.

“But Echo of Eons is very good!” Is it though? Are you sure? We’re very fortunate to have two new Storm engines printed so closely together, with the other being Bolas’s Citadel. Like Echo of Eons, many people thought Bolas’s Citadel would be very degenerate for combo decks. Yet, it sees very little play. The reason being that these cards most likely require the decks to be built around them, very similarly to Ad Nauseam and Past in Flames. But the problem ends up being that these newer card decks are neither faster or more consistent than the current iteration of our combo decks.

Ad Nauseam often draws anywhere between twenty to twenty-five cards from a life-total above seventeen in The EPIC Storm and in Ad Nauseam Tendrils, anywhere between ten to twelve cards. For the additional few mana, you get a much more reliable kill as you’ve drawn plenty more cards. Sometimes seven cards just isn’t good enough, it’s part of the reason these decks moved away from Diminishing Returns when Ad Nauseam was printed in Shards of Alara.

“Is it better than sideboard engines?” Most likely in The EPIC Storm, especially when you compare it to Diminishing Returns, Reforge the Soul, and Past in Flames (in the TES sideboard). In general, I think the closest comparison to Echo of Eons is Diminishing Returns. Diminishing Returns is only one more mana than the Flashback on Echo of Eons, while being two less on the front end. I’ve seen some posts in Storm groups or Reddit claiming the exiling the top 10 cards of your deck drawback to be a huge difference between these two, I think that’s incorrect as in 99% of the time in casting Diminishing Returns you’re not exiling the other three copies of Burning Wish and the main deck win-condition. I think these cards are very close in playability, but suffer the same flaw in being symmetrical. The big difference to me is the possibility of being a three mana engine on turn one in those Prison and opposing Combo match-ups.

Reforge the Soul is sort of similar as both cards have alternate ways of casting them, but how often are you going to Miracle it? Not very often. Another way it resembles Echo of Eons is that it’s best when you pair it with another four of in your deck, here it would be Brainstorm instead of Lion’s Eye Diamond. The sad truth with Past in Flames is, for how good it is in ANT, it’s very underwhelming in TES. It’s why we’ve been running Mizzix’s Mastery in the sideboard over Past in Flames.

Overall, I think the playability of Echo of Eons is likely greater than Mizzix’s Mastery. Time will tell.

Building around Echo of Eons

Faithless Looting
Chrome Mox
Defense Grid

Whenever a new potential Storm engine is printed, most people say the same thing that I don’t necessarily agree with, “but THIS card should be built around and not slotted into the pre-existing decks.” I mean, sure. That could be true, but the current decks are fine tuned and proven machines — they work for a reason, they’re very good. What’s to say that this new deck is theoretically better or more effective at doing something unique. Of course, people should do their due-diligence and test new things/try things out but that takes a lot of time and effort for something that is most likely worse than what we currently have. Which means, these new cards are often slotted into the two existing Storm decks, but that can’t always work due to deck building restrictions.

For example, Ad Nauseam requires a lower average converted mana cost (which is why it isn’t as effective in ANT, with their Dark Petition, two copies of Past in Flames, and Tendrils of Agony) and Past in Flames is a graveyard centric card that relies on instant and sorcery cards (part of the reason it isn’t great in TES is that TES plays Chrome Mox in addition to other artifacts instead of additional “Ritual” effects). Well, this is a little awkward for Echo of Eons. It’s both very expensive mana-wise and isn’t synergistic with the deck trying to fill it’s graveyard for Past in Flames. The mana cost on the front end is actually very difficult to cast and if you have the mana to do so, you could likely win in another fashion. Meaning, you realistically only ever want to cast Echo of Eons for its flashback cost.

What this means is Echo of Eons isn’t likely to see much play in ANT, but due to Burning Wish in TES it could be the next Dark Petition in the sideboard (a permanent sideboard staple).

Due to not playing well with the big two primary engines, where do you go?

If you’re dead set on playing Echo of Eons, I think it would need to be the primary engine. The first thing you need to do is look at ways other than Lion’s Eye Diamond that you can get Echo of Eons to the graveyard. Faithless Looting is a very safe choice, other options include Careful Study, Gamble, and Entomb. I personally feel like if you’re casting Entomb, due to there being so few other viable targets (Past in Flames, but we’ve already discussed the anti-synergy there) that you should just be putting Griselbrands into play instead. That said, I think Echo of Eons is exactly the kind of card one of the seventeen Tin-Fins decks with weird names wants — how competitive are these decks? Eh.

Gamble is interesting to me, but let’s be honest, the last thing these combo decks need is more variance being built in. You can remove some of it by playing Gamble with no cards in hand with enough mana to flashback Echo of Eons, but how often are these situations happening? I think the most likely scenario is searching up Lion’s Eye Diamond more often than not and praying it doesn’t get discarded.

One thing that may go unnoticed is that Cabal Ritual and Echo of Eons don’t play well together, you’re unlikely to have Threshold most of the time and it’s not easy to cast off of a new seven card hand; instead you should look at initial mana sources such as Chrome Mox, Mox Opal, and if you’re feeling wild — Simian Spirit Guide. These effects are a lot more useful for when you’re just trying to empty your hand and draw seven new cards repeatedly.

Due to graveyard hate, you most likely need a back-up plan other than just Echo of Eons. Ad Nauseam, Past in Flames, and Bolas’s Citadel all won’t likely work. What does this leave you with? Not a whole lot for engines, but Empty the Warrens does naturally work with all of the fast mana we previously mentioned, while not using the same resource as Echo of Eons.

The last deckbuilding constraint I would like to address is the symmetric nature of Echo of Eons, you can fix this with non-discard based disruption. I’m talking about cards such as Defense Grid, Hope of Ghirapur, Xantid Swarm, and even Silence.

These suggestions aside, I’m still going to start with adapting TES to fit Echo of Eons.

Deck Lists

The flex spot has varied a lot ever since the banning of Gitaxian Probe and Deathrite Shaman. We’ve seen Preordain, Cabal Ritual, Cabal Therapy, Mox Opal, and even a main deck Chain of Vapor. I’ll be honest, the TES crew hasn’t really loved any of these options. In my eyes, that’s why it’s easy to add in a copy of Faithless Looting there. The other slot I’m less confident on, which is cutting the fourteenth land for a second copy of Faithless Looting — this could end up switching back.

What I like about the copies of Faithless Looting is they provide a non-Lion’s Eye Diamond way of getting Echo of Eons to the graveyard, they can also smooth out clunky hands with too many copies of Chrome Mox, Rite of Flame (there’s also situations where you can cast Faithless Looting post-Rite of Flame if mana is tight), or redundant “tutor effects”. These things said, it’s entirely possible that another piece of card disadvantage won’t work in a resource intensive Storm deck. But if Faithless Looting doesn’t work out, there’s always Thoughtseize and Cabal Therapy, people often forget that these cards can target either player. They’re secretly a back-up plan for when we can’t find a Lion’s Eye Diamond, in these scenarios, it just turns Echo of Eons into a pseudo Diminishing Returns (same casting cost effectively)!

It may seem weird to continue running copies of Duress when they can’t target ourselves to discard Echo of Eons, but let’s face it, the deck isn’t built around a Burning Wish target. You still need the most effective seventy-five cards for the metagame and right now with Karn, The Great Creator and Narset, Parter of Veils decks everywhere, you can’t afford to be wrong with a card like Cabal Therapy.

A protection spell that works very well with Echo of Eons, is Hope of Ghirapur. This is mostly because the metal bug shuts off the symmetry of Echo of Eons for a full turn cycle, meaning that even if your opponent draws a way to stop you with their fresh seven card hand and you’re forced to pass the turn, you don’t have to worry about anything like Counterbalance hitting the table.

The math behind the engine

Mana Floating/Win Percentage
  • None: 18%
  • : 38%
  • : 42%
  • : 42%
  • : 54%
  • : 66%
  • : 66%
  • : 54%
  • : 66%
  • : 60%
  • (//): 48%
  • (//) (//): 70%
  • (//): 66%
  • (//): 70%
  • (//): 70%

Surgical Extraction

Surgical Extraction
Lions Eye Diamond

I know I mentioned it in the beginning of this article, but it’s important enough to repeat: Everyone should know is that Lion’s Eye Diamond is a mana ability, which means discarding your hand and adding three mana to cast Echo of Eons doesn’t pass priority. This avoids Surgical Extraction on Echo of Eons, which is nice, but the opponent can still exile all of your copies of Lion’s Eye Diamond which can be very scary.

With Faithless Looting you need to be cautious of sequencing, if you use Faithess Looting to get Echo of Eons in your graveyard but don’t have enough mana to cast it without playing a spell or using a fetchland… Surgical Extraction is going to get you. Instead, cast your mana sources pre-Faithless Looting and have your ready!

Pros & Cons

  • Playable three mana Storm engine.
  • Doesn’t rely on life-total.
  • Sorcery for Burning Wish.
  • Perfect Flashback cost for Lion’s Eye Diamond.
  • Doesn’t exile the top ten cards of your library.
  • Pretty sweet art by Terese Neilsen.
  • Symmetrical.
  • Doesn’t work well with other Storm engines.
  • Weak to graveyard hate.
  • Can be countered by Pyroblast.
  • Converted Mana Cost is very high for it’s effect.
  • Requires going to the graveyard (in most instances).

Final thoughts

I think Echo of Eons is likely fine, it’s certainly not ban-worthy like some people online seem to think. It’s a better Diminishing Returns in my opinion, but it’s just that, a new tertiary plan for the second most popular storm deck. I think building around it is possible, but likely worse than the pre-existing options. Will see some play as a Burning Wish target most likely.

I do think it’s slightly funny as a fear tactic to get your opponent to not cast Hymn to Tourach on you to put Echo of Eons into your graveyard.

Well, that’s it! These are all speculations and I could be wrong, but these are my initial thoughts. Thanks for reading and keep storming!