Card Spotlight: Peregrination

1. A travel or journey, especially by foot, notably by a pilgrim.

Sorcery, 3G
Search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal those cards, and put one onto the battlefield tapped and the other into your hand. Shuffle your library, then scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)

Peregrination is the latest ramp card, this time from Born of the Gods. The question here is pretty obvious: Is the higher mana cost really worth one more mana?

In a word: No.

… but I guess going deeper into this would be a good idea so that this doesn’t just become a stupid joke.

First, some classic green ramp spells, not including creatures, which we’ll leave out. Also, I’ve limited these to cards which both let you search for a land or lands and give you extra land drop or drops.

First, obviously the value of each of these is greatly varied based on the context. Makihito Mihara was probably happy with Kodama’s Reach in his Modern Masters draft double Rude Awakening deck of the Super Sunday Series finals, but that doesn’t mean three mana ramp is the optimal choice.

Generally in sixty card constructed, you’ll see only two cmc ramp. Farseek was pretty popular (best card in standard back then according to Travis Woo) before rotation (when it was legal) because of the shock lands (you know, the lands that can come into play untapped, if you pay two life) in the format. However, in other standard formats, Rampant Growth might very well be better, since you don’t have the options you need to make Farseek good. There have been times when the three cmc ramp has been good, such as with Titans and Scapeshift decks of the past, but this is generally not the case.

In limited, since you don’t have the fixing you want in dual lands, you might want more fixing then just retrieving one card, so three cmc ramp, which gives you two lands and a land drop seems very good. This can also ensure you can cast your bomb rare early. Since limited, especially sealed, is generally slower than constructed, you can also probably benefit more from them. In constructed, you won’t use those high drops that much, so going from three to five isn’t that usable, whereas in limited, its great.

In EDH, if you are playing the usual battlecruiser Commander, you want more land drops, so you’ll definitely find a place in your deck for the higher costing cards. Despite being strictly worse than Skyshroud Claim, Explosive Vegetation sees a lot of play and for a reason. Jumping from four to seven mana equals turn five Sheoldred, the Whispering One, or turn three if you were lucky with your Sol Ring.

Now, in all these cases there’s the fixing, but getting to something big faster is the main purpose of the spells. This is where the spotlight card falters. Peregrination costs more, but doesn’t help more with ramp than its three mana cousins. In effect, you are moving from four to six instead of three to five, or from four to five instead of four to six. In terms of development, this is a big loss. Is the scry really worth it? No.

Should you use it? Well, I guess there are cases where you should. If you are playing limited and make a go at five-color green in a BTT draft, you’ll definitely want this card. Also, if you really, really need the ramp in EDH, why not? There’s plenty of ramp out there, but since the games take longer, you might not want it anymore. In that case, this one at least thins out the deck more than Rampant Growth and the scry might actually have value, if you can ship an unwanted land on the bottom of the deck.

So, don’t use it, unless you can justify the extra mana. Its not worth it in most cases.

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