I'm reading the text of Caged Sun carefully and comparing it to Gauntlet of Might/Power.

Gauntlet of Might (cost 4)

Red creatures get +1/+1. Whenever a Mountain is tapped for mana, its controller adds R to his or her mana pool (in addition to the mana the land produces).

Gauntlet of Power (cost 5)

As Gauntlet of Power enters the battlefield, choose a color. Creatures of the chosen color get +1/+1. Whenever a basic land is tapped for mana of the chosen color, its controller adds one mana of that color to his or her mana pool (in addition to the mana the land produces).

Caged Sun (cost 6):

As Caged Sun enters the battlefield, choose a color. Creatures you control of the chosen color get +1/+1. Whenever a land's ability adds one or more mana of the chosen color to your mana pool, add one additional mana of that color to your mana pool.

It seems that the Caged Sun's ability prevents my opponents from benefiting, while providing the benefits of either of the Gauntlets. Further, it seems like Caged Sun could be interpreted to work with lands of any sort, including non-basic.

Given the cost of this card is $1-$2 and the other two command moderate to large premiums, is there a drawback to this card that I am overlooking? Surely the 2 mana difference cannot be the overriding factor here, can it?

  • 3
    I was confused when you listed the casting costs -- U usually means blue. Could be that you're using a convention I'm not familiar with.
    – warbaker
    Oct 11, 2011 at 18:22
  • Sorry, I meant colourless, I'll remove the U's
    – Stephen
    Oct 11, 2011 at 19:08

3 Answers 3


I think the big drawback is simply the cost. If you hit Gauntlet of Might on turn 4, you can play 8/10-cost cards on turn 5. That's pretty strong, and much stronger than getting 12/14-cost cards on turn 7, at least in non-multiplayer games.

In general, you want your mana acceleration to be as cheap as possible, else by the time you can play it you don't need it. That said, Rise of the Eldrazi does bend that rule.

  • The non-multiplayer game comment is important. This card is much more viable in Commander because: A. The asymmetry benefit ratio is much higher, in other words if it were symmetrical there would be 3 other people who could utilize it against you vs only 1 and B. The games tend to go on much longer and there are more opponents to target so there is more time to use that immense mana and more need to do so. I would still say 6 is pretty expensive for a "do nothing" card Dec 23, 2023 at 6:26

For Gauntlet of Might there is a component of simple raw rarity adding in. It's one of the cards that was cut from Unlimited to Revised, so there are just plain very few of them out there. From Gauntlet of Power to Caged Sun, I would say for one thing you probably are underestimating the impact of +1 mana cost. For a long time 6 would have been considered basically unplayable and casting something for 5 was only considered if it was going to win the game! (In recent years WOTC R&D has been building more and more powerful cards pushing up what people will play in constructed decks, on the (correct it seems) belief that players find it a lot more fun to play big stompy creatures than to go back and forth with Counterspell and Sinkhole all day.)

Another factor is Caged Sun is from a recent set that sold well, there are lots of Caged Suns. Gauntlet of Power isn't all that old, but it's from a set that sold poorly and was generally considered a flop by wizards.

And finally, the primary market for all of them at this time is EDH. So they're not exactly straight substitutes. Lots of players would happily run both!

  • 1
    If I had them, I would happily run all 3 in an EDH deck that could use massive amounts of mana. If you had all 3, and got quite lucky, by turn 7 be tapping for 21 mana. You could hit that sooner with the right combos, but having 21 available by turn 7 gives you a quick win, even in EDH (which is rarely quick)
    – cdeszaq
    Oct 11, 2011 at 19:35
  • 1
    @cdeszaq Needs moar Doubling Cube!
    – Alex P
    Nov 30, 2011 at 1:38
  • And even in EDH, even though Gauntlet is a must-have for mono-red decks, it's only for the anthem ability. The mana fixing is only helpful if you have a lot of card draw, which is tough to get in red.
    – corsiKa
    Sep 21, 2012 at 18:00
  • @cdeszaq: Actually, if you cast GoM on turn 4, you only need to tap 3 lands in order to cast GoP on turn 5, leaving you with one mana in the pool and you can tap the remaining two lands for 3 mana each so that you can also cast CS. So if you untap in turn 6, you will have 24 mana available. On turn 7 it will be 28 (4 per Mountain)
    – M.Herzkamp
    May 3, 2019 at 15:18

I agree with the above answers that your "mere" 2cc difference is not "mere" at all, but actually huge. Consider what kind of creatures you would expect to be able to cast for 4 mana, and what kind of creatures you want for 6 (Titans anyone?), and you'll realise power-to-casting-cost is not a linear progression, but a dramatically steepening curve.

Another thing that no one else seems to have mentioned yet is that Magic cards have been getting slowly but steadily more powerful with every passing year. Back in the early days, Juzam Djinn (a 5/5 creature for 2BB, that deals its controller 1 point of damage per turn) was considered an incredible bomb. Nowadays, a 5/5 creature for 4 without any downside probably wouldn't even be considered a bargain. It's not surprising that other types of cards have sustained a bit of power creep too.

Also, Wizards seems to be allergic to printing cards with situational downsides (apparently, having your own cards capable of turning against you is "un-fun"). In the old days cards like Crusade gave +1/+1 to all white creatures, so if you played against another mono-white deck it was practically a dead card. Apparently cards like Honor of the Pure, that only provide the bonus to your own creatures, leave a much less bitter taste in some players' mouths; so it's not surprising that Caged Sun would follow suit in this regard also.

  • 6
    One caveat: power creep hasn't necessarily been universal. Early magic cards had creatures overcosted compared to spells. Pure dual lands and moxes won't be coming back. Wizards learned that this was detrimental, as red burn decks, blue denial, and black discard made the combat phase virtually obsolete. So yes, creatures generally have gotten more powerful per mana, but cards like Counterspell are put on the shelf.
    – ghoppe
    Oct 11, 2011 at 22:14
  • 1
    @ghoppe: obviously power creep hasn't just gone in one direction, there's been a consistent drive to balance the game and as such, some broken cards have been retired. I would strongly maintain, though, that playing with the 90% of least powerful cards today and with the 90% of least broken cards from Alpha, today's cards would absolutely steamroll the original set into oblivion. Oct 12, 2011 at 9:15
  • 1
    I agree, take out the top 10%, and new would trounce the old. Just pointing out the reasons for power creep and why it isn't universal. The concept of card advantage and tempo still hadn't been fully discovered yet; and they realized that most of the strategy, interaction and fun came from the combat phase of the game. It's best to strengthen cards which encourage beating up each other with huge sticks.
    – ghoppe
    Oct 12, 2011 at 17:58
  • The reason why there's been an upturn of all-upside cards recently is because they feel better for less experienced players. More learned players appreciate downsides on cards (like symmetry or plain ol' detrimental effects) because they know it's possible to play/build around them in such a fashion that it mitigates the downside. But newer players don't know that, and R&D probably believes all-upside cards appeal to them more, even if they are more expensive mana-wise.
    – adamjford
    Oct 13, 2011 at 15:17

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