The Toolbox - Broken Fall

(Broken Fall | Art by Zina Saunders)

Breaking Out of Winter

Welcome back to The Toolbox, where we take a look at underutilized cards and evaluate new ways to play them. Today, we’re discussing a protection enchantment that I think is very underplayed in Commander: Broken Fall!

Broken Fall is an enchantment all the way from Weatherlight that returns itself to its owner's hand as the cost of its activated ability, similar to cards like Attunement (which you can read more about here). The ability itself regenerates a creature, which means the card is a great way to protect your favorite critters from interaction, or even to help ensure they won't die in combat (for instance, if you really want an attack trigger from your creature, but don't want to lose it to big blockers). The effect is cool, but the cost is interesting. There's a lot we could do with an enchantment that goes back to hand!

Our resident Challenge the Stats writer, Jevin, is the one that originally brought Broken Fall and Molting Skin to my attention as cards that have underutilized potential. I'm going to focus on Broken Fall for the purposes of this article, but both enchantments offer a lot for EDH players, and could use more love!

Let's briefly examine the commanders that are already making a little use out of Broken Fall, according to their EDHREC data. Hans Eriksson from Commander Legends currently plays Broken Fall at a rate of about 10%, the highest adoption rate for this little Aura so far. To me, Hans is a weird mix of Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded, Ilharg, the Raze-Boar, and Gargos, Vicious Watcher: he aims to cheat big creatures into play, but he also constantly fights them. Broken Fall helps protect Hans from his own downside; it's nice to cheat out a Kodama of the East Tree and keep Hans alive to tell the tale!

Next, the great Wurm commander, Grothama, All-Devouring also plays Broken Fall in about 9% of decks. Grothama's usual play pattern involves fighting huge creatures, like Cultivator Colossus, to draw a million cards. The thing is, opponents can also try to take down Grothama for that reward first. Broken Fall saves Grothama from fights you didn't want it to get into, making sure opponents don't get the raid-boss rewards, because Grothama won't actually die from those combats, so that you get to keep the benefits all to yourself. While I'm not entirely sold on this, I can still understand the utility, and the reasons why Broken Fall would appear more for this commander than others.

Finally, our little enchantment shows up in about 6% of Eutropia the Twice-Favored decks. Eutropia is one of my favorite newer aggressive enchantment commanders, one who grows from a bunch of Constellation triggers and forces damage through enemy lines by giving things flying. Broken Fall fits well in a package like this, both to repeat Constellation triggers and to protect her against big flying enemies!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Now that we have a good baseline of applications for Broken Fall, let's find some other places where it could do some work!

Getting Sun-LIT

Starting off, we have Tuvasa the Sunlit. She's an Enchantress commander with a pretty aggressive slant. You could also make a strong case to play this enchantment more in Sythis, Harvest's Hand, too! Like we saw with Eutropia, Enchantress decks love these effects.

For Tuvasa the Sunlit specifically, she's kind of like a Commander version of Kor Spiritdancer in Modern Bogles. Even though she only draws a card off the first enchantment each turn, she grows and grows with each enchantment we play, which can become a very heavy advantage.

Broken Fall, at worst, can trigger Tuvasa once each turn. If you have Leyline of Anticipation in play, you might even be able to do it multiple times per round! Remember, the enchanted creature doesn't have to be about to die for us to regenerate them. Regeneration just means we're placing a shield around the creature to protect them if they would die later that turn. This turns Broken Fall into protection and card advantage, and it protects our primary engine in the early game, while we're still setting up a wall of Propaganda effects! Paired with other Enchantress's Presence, Eidolon of Blossoms, and Argothian Enchantress effects, that repeatable card draw can really pop off, and all the while, it keeps our commander safe from random Blasphemous Acts and Vanquish the Hordes.

Oh, and if you pair it with cost-reducers like Herald of the Pantheon, you can just spam-cast Broken Fall over and over to let those Enchantresses churn through your entire deck!

With all that, I think it's time to take a look at the decklist:


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Commander (1)
Enchantments (34)
Creatures (17)
Instants (6)
Sorceries (5)
Artifacts (2)
Planeswalkers (1)
Lands (34)

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"Rada Rada" - Schnitzel

Next up, we have a commander that I would personally love to see more often at EDH tables: Grand Warlord Radha! In my opinion, she's just the absolute coolest Elf, because she has this super-interesting ability to make tons of mana from combat.

Broken Fall in a Radha deck might look like an odd inclusion, but I prefer to think of it as spicy! Broken Fall is a great way to let important creatures attack with no regard for the size of blockers. Cast Broken Fall and immediately re-bounce it to give a regeneration bubble to your important creatures, such as Radha, Tilonalli's Summoner, or Beast Whisperer, then go to combat and generate a bunch of mana with no fear about the blockers. Then, in your second main phase you have all the mana you could ever need from Radha - including re-casting Broken Fall to secure her safety in combat again next turn!

I especially like how this can set Radha up for one-sided board wipes. By generating a ton of mana and using Broken Fall on our important creatures, we can clear the field with our own Blasphemous Act! It might be a niche interaction, but that's the kind of thing that can steal games out of nowhere.

Broken Fall may be a bit of a meta call, but it's definitely worth taking a look. Let's get into the decklist!

Commander (1)
Creatures (34)
Instants (7)
Sorceries (10)
Artifacts (5)
Enchantments (9)
Planeswalkers (1)
Lands (33)

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The Vicious, Villainous Voltron

For whatever reason, a deck idea I've never been able to get out of my head is Gargos, Vicious Watcher with an Auras twist. Using Gargos as an engine to clear out blockers while also getting beefier from all the Auras is just *chef's kiss*.

Gargos faces a similar issue as Hans Eriksson and Grothama, All-Devouring: they just can't stop fighting. There's definitely a cost there, particularly when your commander is six mana, because losing a fight is a major setback in mana, and can put a huge damper on your plans. This is already mitigated somewhat with popular Gargos cards like Snake Umbra, Rancor, and Spider Umbra, which give the Hydra some longevity, but we could always use more of it.

Therefore - you guessed it - we could also supplement Gargos with Broken Fall! We can dump a bunch of cheap Auras onto our commander, while Broken Fall helps make sure it survives from fight to fight, and that it won't perish in combat, too! It also works well with the Enchantress's Presence, and Eidolon of Blossomss of the deck if you need to really dig for more cards.

I think Broken Fall is well worth the inclusion here, so check it out in the decklist below!

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Breaking My Fall

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this installment of The Toolbox and that Broken Fall has found a place in your toolbox. What other ways would you use Broken Fall? Do you think that I’m overvaluing this card, or do you agree that it’s highly underrated? What other cards do you think are missing from players’ toolboxes? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

If you have any suggestions for the series or things you’d like to see in the future, I would love to hear them as well. Thank you all once again, and please stay safe!

Elijah is a mildly obsessive EDH player from Georgia. He started playing during Battle for Zendikar with Green/Black Eldrazi Aristocrats and still pays tribute to the plane with his Omnath, Locus of Rage storm brew. He is always excited to innovate and try new things in Magic and Life. Elijah is currently a full time student looking to go into Computer Engineering but also has a bit of an artistic streak.

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