Tag: magic-the-gathering

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - December 6, 2022

A Seat at the Table – Mizzix, Replica Rider!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, another legend from the new Jumpstart 2022 product!

Mizzix is back in a new form, but instead of needing experience counters, this new Mizzix just wants you to keep it interesting. For 4R, you get Mizzix, Replica Rider, a 4/5 Flying Goblin Wizard with a textbox right out of my dreams:

“Flying  

Whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, you may pay 1U/R. If you do, copy that spell and you may choose new targets for the copy. If the copy is a permanent spell, it gains haste and “At the beginning of your end step, sacrifice this permanent.” (A copy of a permanent spell becomes a token.)”  

Things to note:

  1. You will need to cast these spells and pay the 1U/R. That’s a lot of mana.
  2. You can copy permanent spells, they just don’t stick around. Even if you use something to keep them around for a turn, at the beginning of your next end step, the sacrifice will trigger again.
  3. You are copying spells you cast – Magecraft loves this.
  4. Mizzix wants you to cast things from anywhere BUT your hand. Cascade, Flashback, bottling aka impulse draw, Hideaway, Etali, Possibility Storm, Knowledge Pool – why am I naming things I’m going to talk about!

Let’s get to seeing some cool stuff in the 99.

  1. Copying is cool

Magecraft is an ability from Strixhaven that is absolutely ridiculous. “Whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell” triggers a few cards that are absolutely buck wild in a spellslinger focused deck (instants and sorceries, for those who don’t know). Archmage Emeritus gives you cards. Storm-Kiln Artist gives you Treasures and gets big for each of your artifacts. Veyran, Voice of Duality lets you trigger Magecraft more. Octavia, Living Thesis makes your team huge. Deekah, Fractal Theorist gives you tokens to swing with and can make them unblockable.

That’s just for Magecraft building around instants and sorceries. Let’s not forget Twinning Staff that copies copies and Harmonic Prodigy that lets you pay twice for another copy with Mizzix. Imagine Veyran, Harmonic Prodigy, Twinning Staff, Storm-Kiln Artist, Archmage Emeritus, Mizzix, and seven mana. You hit a Windfall off of Light Up the Stage last turn. To start the turn, play it for three mana.

Mizzix, Archmage Emeritus, Storm-Kiln Artist, Veyran trigger. This triggers Harmonic Prodigy and Veyran to copy all of them. Because you copy, Twinning Staff triggers. Draw a ton of cards, Windfall a ton, and as long as you have an Eldrazi shuffler titan like Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre in your deck, you’ll escape the mill.

Again, this is for a spellslinger-heavy deck, but wow that is some spicy Magical Christmasland stuff.

  1. Future Sight / One with the Multiverse

This one is simple enough. With Future Sight, you get to play with the top card of your library revealed and you can play it. Land? I can play it. Spell of any kind? I can play it. Is my library my hand? Nope! Mizzix triggers, pay 1U/R? Hell yes!

One with the Multiverse takes this further with the single free cast a turn, meaning you get a spell and a copy for 1U/R. Not to mention this doesn’t reveal your top deck to the table, but rather you can look at it at any time.

  1. Jeska’s Will / Mana Geyser / Dockside Extortionist 

Mizzix can get spicy, but needs the help. You’ll need to be sure not to miss a land drop and also be sure to get these cards copied for the big turns. Jeska’s Will with your commander out is already one of the craziest spells you can cast. Three mana, you likely get seven red and three cards exiled for you to play until end of turn. Anything you cast from exile with it means you can trigger Mizzix. But if you cast Jeska’s Will from “not your hand”, copied with Mizzix, that’s six cards and 14 mana.

One of those cards can be Mana Gyser which routinely hits 20ish mana in my meta. Copied, that’s 40 mana and hopefully the game. Mind’s Desire copied and copy whatever you get from it.

I don’t want to write about Dockside Extortionist, just know that it is the best thing to cast, copy, bounce, flicker, reanimate, whatever – 90% of the time.

  1. Possibility Storm / Knowledge Pool

Possibility Storm turns all your cards into other cards. If you cast a Brainstorm, that can turn into an Etali, Primal Storm! Hey, five mana discount! But the inverse is also true. Cast Etali, Primal Storm, it can turn into Brainstorm.

That said, because you’re casting things from elsewhere, Mizzix will trigger and then you get to copy whatever you get. So if you do cast say an Izzet Signet and you get a Harmonic Prodigy, you get to copy the Prodigy for the turn if you want. Not to mention I’d probably prefer the Prodigy to the Signet!

Knowledge Pool works similarly, but for everybody. As it enters, it creates a shared pool from the top three cards of each library. Then whatever you cast from your hand actually lets you cast something else from the pool. This creates a different tension and dynamic to casting. You wouldn’t cast Dockside Extortionist if you couldn’t immediately cast something else so that you could actually get your Dockside Extortionist. However, if you cast it from the Pool, Mizzix lets you copy it. That said, if you have Dockside and spy your Jeska’s Will in the Pool, well, that’s an easy line, isn’t it. Cast Dockside, get Jeska’s Will, trigger Mizzix, pay Mizzix, get second Jeska’s Will, 14 mana, 6 cards in exile, cast something from your hand for Dockside, then go to town with the 6 exiled cards you’ll probably copy!

  1. Mind’s Dilation / Sunbird’s Invocation / Wondrous Crucible

These are bombs costed at their rates for a reason. Mind’s Dilation lets you steal a spell for free off the top of an opponent’s library when they cast their first spell a turn.

Is this Mizzix copy eligible? You betcha.

Sunbird’s Invocation turns your big spells into more spells in a pseudo-Cascade way.

Is the spell you get off of Invocation Mizzix copy eligible? You betcha.

Wondrous Crucible from the latest Brothers’ War Commander precon product protects your board and triggers at your end step for you to randomly exile a nonland from your graveyard to cast it for free.

Is this Mizzix copy eligible? You betcha. If you hit a permanent and copy it, will you need to sacrifice it right away since Mizzix says the copy gains “at the beginning of your end step, sacrifice this permanent”? Nope! You get to keep it for a whole turn cycle.

Honourable Mention: Uba Mask

Uba Mask is a card I love very much. I’ve always been a fan. I’ve always loved this card. It turns every draw into a card you can copy with Mizzix as long as it’s not a land. It also puts pressure on players to play the cards as they get them because otherwise, they’re gone.

That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table! If there’s another commander you’d like me to cover, I’m @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram! Let me know!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - November 29, 2022

A Seat at the Table – Kibo, Uktabi Prince!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, a popular little guy from Jumpstart 2022 gets some shine to talk about his 99.

Kibo, Uktabi Prince is a little troublemaker who comes to us directly from the art of Uktabi Orangutan and Uktabi Kong (at least that’s what I believe).

For two and a green, you get a Monkey Noble 2/2 with a stacked textbox. Let’s look at all three sections of it right now.

“{T}: Each player creates a colorless artifact token named Banana with “{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add {R} or {G}. You gain 2 life.”  

Whenever an artifact an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control that’s an Ape or Monkey.  

Whenever Kibo attacks, defending player sacrifices an artifact.”  

Holy Toledo, that’s a lot of words! Let’s do these in reverse order.

“Whenever Kibo attacks, defending player sacrifices an artifact.”

This one is fine, but doesn’t give you the decision. Your opponent can sacrifice an artifact of their own choice, but if you get Kibo out early enough and you swing at the person who only has a Sol Ring as an artifact, that’s pretty great. Just don’t give them a Banana before you do. Not to mention that any artifacts that go to your opponents’ bins gives Kibo and his Ape/ Monkey friends a +1/+1 counter as evidenced by his second ability.

This means that you’ll likely want to have a ton of Monkeys and Apes, and there are a little over 30 eligible Ape and Monkey creatures without Changeling that fall in Gruul colours. They’re not all great, but I’ll go over a few soon.

Finally, that first ability. Tapping Kibo to give everybody a Banana which is like a limited Treasure and a limited Food all in one. This fuels the second ability because for each opponent who cracks a Banana, your Apes and Monkeys get chonky and this will make for some fun political shenanigans in the early game.

Let’s get to some fun cards for the 99.

  1. Silverback Elder

Probably the best Ape printed in a long time, Silverback Elder does it all. It requires you to really like green, but rewards you with a 5/7 whose triggered abilities are amazingly powerful. When you cast a creature, you can destroy an artifact or enchantment, or you can look at the top five cards of your deck and put any land among them into play tapped, or you can gain four life. One of these options is definitely less useful than the others, but in a deck that I am assuming will be packed with other primates, that first mode will be useful to nuke Bananas or Powerstones or Thran Dynamos or whatever you want.

If Kibo’s in play, this 5/7 doesn’t stay at that stat line long. The ramp option is the graviest of the gravy trains. If every creature spell ramped you and then some (maybe you’ve got a Beast Whisperer in play too), it’d be difficult to get used to playing any other way.

  1. Viridian Revel

One of the best anti-Treasure cards out there, Viridian Revel, is a card I have been hyping up for some time now. “Whenever an artifact is put into an opponent’s graveyard from the battlefield, you may draw a card.” What a clean textbox that says, “hey, crack all the Treasures you want, I’m about to go off with 17 cards next turn”, or in the case of Kibo’s Bananas, “Hey, I help you, you help me! We’re all friends!”

Viridian Revel deserves a slot in any of your green decks these days. That’s how strong it is. The Treasures alone, not to mention Blood tokens, or Powerstone tokens, or Clues! Sardian Avenger is on track to being one of the sneakiest best cards in The Brothers’ War set, as is Brotherhood’s End, and for good reason – Treasures are out there and they are powerful. Viridian Revel turns each cracked Treasure or Banana across from you into an optional card for you. Isn’t that beautiful?

  1. Parallel Lives / Doubling Season

You give everybody Bananas, but you get more because you did all the work, after all! Parallel Lives and Doubling Season will double up your tokens and give Kibo and friends all the potassium he desires.

But Doubling Season also cares about counters and that means that one artifact hitting the graveyard while Doubling Season and Kibo are in play means that you’ll be getting TWO +1/+1 counters for each of your chest-beating friends.

  1. Taurean Mauler / Chameleon Colossus / Masked Vandal

These are the best of the Changeling creatures for your Kibo deck. Masked Vandal doesn’t destroy artifacts or enchantments, it exiles them, but then benefits from breaking them when Kibo is around. Say bye-bye to your opponent’s Darksteel Forge and start wrecking the rest of the artifacts with your Silverback Elder triggers.

Chameleon Colossus gets huge already with two activations of its ability alone bringing it to 16/16 with protection from black. If you have Kibo out and kill an artifact, those same two activations make this a 20/20 and you can activate at your own discretion! You don’t need to do it before combat, you can do it during! After blockers are declared.

“But the activation is costly!” First of all, you’re in green. Secondly, if you stocked up on Bananas, you can feed this Colossus enough to kill somebody outright. Then FLING at someone else!

Taurean Mauler already gets huge because of your opponents’ spells, but add to that Kibo’s second ability and you’ve got a huge beater that demands attention, drawing removal away from more important pieces.

  1. Titania’s Song + Vicious Shadows

With Titania’s Song turning all artifacts into creatures with power and toughness equal to their mana value, that means all the Bananas you make go bye-bye, therefore netting four death triggers. And what card really loves death triggers in red? Vicious Shadows.

Every time you tap Kibo with Titania’s Song and Vicious Shadows, you get four instances of damage to an opponent equal to their hand size, three rounds of +1/+1 counters for your Apes and Monkeys, and the satisfaction of knowing that a “gift” just blew up in your enemies faces.

Honorable Mention: The Stations

If you feel like getting a little silly, the Darksteel Stations – Blasting Station, Grinding Station, Salvaging Station, and Summoning Station – seem like a fun inclusion. Pairing them with Titania’s Song feels wacky and there seems to be a bunch to be done with the artifact tokens that are created

That does it for this week! Let me know what Commander you want covered on A Seat at the Table! @mikecarrozza on Twitter, Instagram, and Hive.

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - November 22, 2022

Best of The Brothers’ War – Commander Exclusives!

Welcome to my set review where I will pick my five favourite cards of each colour from The Brothers’ War booster set!

I’ve covered the main set already. What I haven’t covered yet are the set booster Commander exclusives. Those will be included with these cards if they’re any good! If not, you might see them in the honourable mentions section. Given that I’ll cover all the cards, I’ll be more brief with my thoughts in this article.

  1. Ashnod the Uncaring

I have wanted an Ashnod card since I understood the power of Ashnod’s Altar. With Ashnod the Uncaring, you get a Grixis powerhouse that makes me, the aristocrats player, very excited. Your activated abilities on artifacts and creatures are doubled if they sacrifice a permanent as long as they aren’t mana abilities. Is it silly that Ashnod doesn’t work with her Altar? Yes. But does that matter when you’re cracking a Clue token for two cards? Turning all your Blood tokens in to one mana Thrill of Possibility?

Blow up two lands with Army Ants. Bounce two creatures with Barrin, Master Wizard. Professional Face-Breaker turns one Treasure into two impulse draws. Razaketh, the Foulblooded gets you two Demonic Tutors.

There is so much to love about a deck that can come together like this and the engine that it creates. I look forward to the days of missing triggers out of sheer overvalue and taking a win after stitching together the mess of cards you weave in and out of the graveyard.

  1. Machine God’s Effigy

Wizards of the Coast clearly decided this was the year to break Devoted Druid. Machine God’s Effigy is a clone that turns any creature into an artifact. Cinderhaze Wretch is also in the Devoted Druid cycle, but now you can keep your opponents’ hands empty. There are bunch of creatures worth copying. See a Dockside Extortionist? Now you have one that taps for mana. Ever wanted a Pitiless Plunderer that won’t get swept away by creature board wipes? Enjoy! Why not have an artifact version of Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant, copying it too. Of course, you need a Sakashima of a Thousand Faces or Mirror Box out, but the  possibilities that open up with this card making a creature an artifact are great. Echo Storm your Machine God Effigy-fied Dockside Extortionist and you’ll get a ton of treasures and Docksides that tap for blue.

  1. Wreck Hunter

Black’s answer to Dockside Extortionist is a bit of a whimper in comparison to it, but if you blow out a token player and follow up with Wreck Hunter, you’ve got yourself a whole lot of Powerstones. Ghirapur Aether Grid allows you to tap them when you’re not able to use activated abilities or cast artifacts. Reckless Fireweaver and Ingenious Artillerist love when these come in. What about Altar of the Brood which sees all the Powerstones and mills each of your opponents. Let’s not forget that the newest Karn that we mocked, Karn, Living Legacy, creates an emblem allowing you to tap artifacts to ping anything at all. When you have something like Wreck Hunter creating such a glut of artifacts, that emblem speeds up the clock considerably.

  1. Staff of Titania

What a cool and strange card. It makes Forest Dryad tokens so you get a sort of Sword of the Animist trigger on attack that doesn’t colour fix, but you also get a huge buff. This is cool, this is good. This also does not have green in its colour identity and means that mono white decks can use this as ramp. I really like this card. As a matter of fact, this wasn’t originally in my top five, and as I was writing up this blurb I realized the non-green applications of this is pretty warped and wild. Thalisse, Reverent Medium gets more to play with. Boros aggro Voltron, go off, baby!

  1. Sardian Avenger

This Goblin wants to attack. It’s a 1/1 first striking trampler, so it must get buff somehow. How about +X/+0 where X is ALL of your opponents artifacts. You attack somebody, this is miserable to block unless you sacrifice a ton of those Treasure tokens you’ve been saving up to make the Avenger weaker. But whenever an artifact an opponent controls goes to the graveyard (tokens go to the graveyard before they stop existing, FYI) that player takes one damage. Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph decks, Mechanized Warfare, Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, they all make your opponents think twice about their artifacts going to the bin.

This is the Treasure hate piece I’ve wanted for a while and I believe that popping a Brotherhood’s End after dropping this in the later game means you’ll be expecting some crack back, but it’ll be worth it and manageable.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Urza, Chief Artificer – I already covered this one more in depth here: https://www.thebagofloot.com/a-seat-at-the-table-urza-chief-artificer/
  • Mishra, Eminent One – Solid commander but people are talking about him elsewhere already with a lot of cool stuff like infinite combat combos and wins. Mishra, Eminent One is very cool, but I’ll probably be writing him up another time. And if I don’t, there’s plenty out there.
  • Tawnos, Solemn Survivor – You’re going to need a lot of artifact tokens to get anything good here. Cards like Echo Storm and Liquimetal Torque are going to matter. The textbox seems complicated and confusing, so be sure to really understand it. This feels like it’ll be rewarding if you can build it well.
  • Sanwell, Avenger Ace – If you attack with a Thopter, this can attack basically from free and you dig for an artifact creature. It’s pretty narrow, but if it’s your thing, enjoy. Vehicles commanders might want this in the 99. He triggers when he crews, too.
  • Scholar of New Horizons – Probably a card that should be in the top five. It doesn’t specify basic Plains and either you’re ramping or you’re drawing a card. This in +1/+1 counter decks or in Brokers decks like Falco Spara, Pactweaver will be really cool.
  • Glint Raker – If you control a Metalwork Colossus, you’re hitting for 12 in the air and digging that much if you connect with a player. The crazy part is that this puts an artifact in hand and the rest in the graveyard. That’s crazy self-mill. I’ll be considering this for my Araumi of the Dead Tide list.
  • March of ProgressBiotransference, Mycosynth Lattice, Liquimetal Torque, and Liquimetal Coating make this way more playable, but needing your targets to be artifact creatures specifically makes me like this less.
  • Terisiare’s Devastation – In a Treasure filled world, you can probably cast this and sacrifice the Treasures so that it misses some of your own creatures. If you need the Powerstones, you can pay more into it. Flexible and strange board wipe. Definitely worth a look in artifact control decks.
  • Wire Surgeons – Encore is a fun mechanic and I love seeing it. Six mana for an effect that still requires you to pay for such a narrow subset of creatures is rough. You need to be building around this already for it to pop off. Necron deck upgrades galore this set!
  • Blast-Furnace Hellkite – The surprise factor here is fun and cool. Tap Gilded Lotus and sacrifice it and this only costs one mana at flash speed and gives attackers double strike if they’re headed away from you. Think of the politics you can turn on their heads. If an opponent is offering to take a swing for a trigger from another opponent, you can double it out of nowhere  making the deal a lot worse.
  • Farid, Enterprising Salvager – This one doesn’t inspire me. It’s funny that Scrap tokens do absolutely nothing but exist.
  • Hexavus – Remember Pentavus? Remember the last time you saw that in play? Me neither. Next.
  • Kayla’s Music Box – This being in white is upsetting to me, a Prosper, Tome-Bound player. It also being gated behind two tap symbols is tough. I think this is a cool way to have white card advantage in a control deck. Having a Clock of Omens or Unwinding Clock here is clutch.
  • Scavenged Brawler – Cute reference to the Scavenge mechanic. Upgrade a creature with a bunch of counters and keywords. Not crazy impressive, but cool!
  • Smelting Vat – Read this one carefully, I’ve already seen it misplayed twice on streams. You only get TWO noncreature – NONCREATURE – artifacts with TOTAL mana value less than or equal to the sacrificed artifact’s mana value. Meaning don’t sacrifice tokens unless you know you’ve got eggs in the top eight of your deck. This is good! I like the design, but the  requirements are hoops that mean you need to build around it.
  • Thopter Shop – Artifact creature deck? Have some card draw and artifact creature production. I’d consider this in decks like Thalisse, Reverent Medium even. Create a Thopter surprise blocker, it dies, draw a card, end step, make a Spirit. That’s pretty great. I’m much higher on this than I thought.
  • Wondrous Crucible – The protection of your permanents with Ward 2 is pretty great. End step trigger forces not only mill but randomized exile for a free cast. I embrace chaos and will be testing this in a number of decks but I understand if seven mana is off-putting.
  • Disciple of Caelus Nin – Screw you, Teferi’s Protection player. Very cool card. Interesting removal, a hell of a “board wipe”. Awesome card, undeniably powerful. You will get groans. Especially if you have phasing removal with conditional returns get removed while this is out. If you Oubliette something, play Disciple, and Oubliette gets destroyed before Disciple, the  permanent phased out by Oubliette does not return. Pretty crazy, right?
  • The Brothers’ War – I love when they make cards named after the set. Beautiful storytelling in this card. It’s breathtaking design. The forced goad between two opponents is fantastic and likely will make sure opponents either hold back their creatures in hand they don’t want to die or play their beefier stuff because they’re locked in a fight with another player by your next draw step. Very interesting tension here.
  • Rootpath Purifier – You’re going to see a lot of people talk about this like it should be banned. The truth is that this will largely be overrated except in land decks and even then those decks running basic land tutor cards have to have enough basics to bother with them in the deck. Once you have it out, of course Kodama’s Reach going to get Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers is a huge swing, as would be Gaea’s Cradle or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx or Field of the Dead. Ultimately, it is a creature that can be removed and will either impact games immensely or just kind of be whatever. Traverse the Outlands with this is pretty sweet though.
  • Titania, Nature’s Force – A Crucible of Worlds specifically for Forests isn’t bad! Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth means all of your lands with this out makes a 5/3 Elemental creature token. Milling three cards when Elementals die can make this a turbo Splendid Reclamation deck or just a solid addition to Landfall decks that love Elementals and grabbing lands out of the yard.
  • The Archimandrite – What a weirdo! Ivory Tower on legs with a life gain payoff anthem for Advisors, Artificers, and Monks like Monastery Mentor and their tokens. The baked in card draw when you go wide is fantastic and you can activate it in the end step before your upkeep, so your life gain gets higher. This is also a Persistent Petitioners shell nobody saw coming!
  • Urza’s Workshop – Cool callback to Tron lands. Urza’s Factory, Urza’s Mine, Urza’s Power Plant, Urza’s Saga, and Urza’s Tower are the only other legal Urza’s lands besides Urza’s Workshop, meaning you can tap for six mana with Workshop if you control them all. If you’re at a fun table that says yes to Acorn/silver border cards you also get Urza’s Fun House and  Nearby Planet. It’s a cool callback. I can’t tell if it’s powerful. If you have two Urza’s lands and three artifacts, Workshop is essentially a Sol Ring for a land drop which is pretty good. I don’t anticipate this coming up in our format too much.

That does it for me! Thanks for sticking around for the whole deal.

Catch me next time talking about any commander you want! @mikecarrozza on social media, message me a commander you’d like covered!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - November 21, 2022

Best of The Brothers’ War – Artifacts/Lands!

Welcome to my set review where I will pick my five favourite cards of each colour from The Brothers’ War booster set!

Given that The Brothers’ War also comes out with a pair of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. I also won’t be touching on reprints in either review.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Artifacts and Lands!

  1. Portal to Phyrexia

I think it’s pretty clear that there are many ways to cheat Portal of Phyrexia into play. Goblin Welder comes to mind. Goblin Engineer gets it into your graveyard for Daretti, Scrap Savant or Trash for Treasure to bring it to play. It’s an artifact, which means Panharmonicon also doubles that ETB, meaning a Hex for each opponent and that upkeep ability can be copied with Lithoform Engine and Strionic Resonator. Get any creature from any graveyard at the beginning of the turn!

Nine mana is a lot but there are no colour requirements, there are a ton of ways to reduce the cost of artifacts, and as I mentioned, you can cheat it in.

Don’t even get me started on Phyrexian Metamorph, Clever Impersonator, or Mirrormade. You play Portal to Phyrexia, knock your opponents back three creatures, next turn play one or more of these clones, and enjoy the groans. Yes, three Fleshbag Marauders for the same price is fine, it doesn’t break the game, it takes a while to get to nine mana, but man, oh man, what a bomb if this sticks around.

Osgir, the Reconstructor can make two copies of this from the graveyard and if Anointed Procession is out, that’s four copies. Suddenly, the game feels a little harder for your opponents to close out. You might be wondering, won’t nine mana be an expensive deterrent for playing this card?

Sure, don’t play it! But I will and I’ll love it. It’s big, it’s splashy, and it reanimates. There are Treasures and Powerstones and ramp and rituals. You’ll be fine! Live a little! Play the Portal!

  1. Liberator, Urza’s Battlethopter

Liberator, Urza’s Battlethopter is one of the coolest cards I’ve seen. It looks ridiculous with Urza’s face so big and prominent, but it’s very powerful. Flash, flying, and it gets buffer for every spell you cast higher than its power – beautiful. Not to mention the most important part: you can cast colourless and artifact spells as though they had flash.

As a commander, it’s going to be a simple deck: Artifacts and Eldrazi. Easy peasy, play Ulamog at instant speed, attack to exile the top 20, good game.

The ability to sneak some stuff in at flash speed is powerful. There’s a reason Leyline of Anticipation and Vedalken Orrery are beloved. The narrow scope to be colourless or artifact isn’t as limiting as it seems at first. Noxious Gearhulk, Bolas’s Citadel, Nevinyrral’s Disk – only some of the cards you can sneak in. At its worst, Liberator is a legendary Shimmer Myr with flying and added upside of counters and colourless spells being included. Shimmer Myr might have been reprinted into the ground, but it was a powerful expensive card. In the 99, Liberator plays really nicely with Fain, the Broker, Ghave, Guru of Spores, Hopeful Initiate, Jetfire, Ingenious Scientist, Power Conduit, Retribution of the Ancients, Sage of Fables, Sanctuary Warden, Soul Diviner, and Tayam, Luminous Enigma to name a few. Have fun!

  1. The Mightstone and Weakstone

Yes, this is one of the cards that melds with Urza to make Urza, Planeswalker, but it is technically colourless. You can include it in any deck!

The ETB choices are beautiful. Two cards or probably killing something important? Sign me up. It triggers Panharmonicon, it plays well with blink strategies like Aminatou, the Fateshifter and Brago, King Eternal, and it’s a mana rock for your mana rocks or activated abilities. Is it phenomenal once it’s in play? Not really. But the prospect of blinking this over and over is very tempting. Plus, when melded with Urza, Lord Protector, you get one of the nuttiest planeswalkers ever printed.

  1. The Stasis Coffin

This is an annoying card that is going to do more work just staying put than being activated. The threat of activating and nullifying game actions is very frustrating, especially in a format poised to take advantage of copying artifacts and where the legendary rule rarely matters. Even just having this in a deck where Karn, the Great Creator is protected and ready to -2, you’ll have a soft lock on being taken out. This also wrecks spells that target a player for other effects like Settle the Wreckage.

Where Inkshield is the ‘surprise, gotcha, payback’s a b!tch’ card, The Stasis Coffin is the scene in a martial arts movie where the master leans into the pose and dares his enemies to attack him.

  1. Demolition Field

This is a fixed Field of Ruin that doesn’t put two other players up on you. I know this description is reductive and short and sweet, but this is literally an upgraded version of a card we have that players have been asking for.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Hall of Tagsin – Powerstones are more useful than I expected them to be. Playing control means being able to hold mana up and then make a Powerstone, which fuels activated abilities and artifact spells without spending your control mana.
  • The Stone Brain – Not for our format really, but good for 60 cards and might see Modern play if people talking about it online were right.
  • Thran Spider – Eight-legged group hug that helps you dig for more artifacts. Best paired with Powerstone generation such as…
  • Slagstone Refinery – This is begging to be broken. It doesn’t have any restriction for timing or how many times this happens. If you can untap your Goblin Welder a bunch and do that graveyard trinket dance a bunch, you’ll be swimming in Powerstones.
  • Spectrum Sentinel – Reverse landfall is neat!
  • Su-Chi Cave Guard – Great for decks that find ways to cheat creatures/artifacts out and get them in and out of the graveyard. Torment of Hailfire anyone?
  • Symmetry MatrixMana Echoes + mass token generation = you’re welcome.
  • Thran Power Suit – Equipment/Aura/Voltron decks, enjoy, but remember it only counts what’s attached to it, which makes it less good, so be careful.
  • Energy Refractor – ETBs to draw a care, filters Powerstone mana. It’s no Gemstone Array, but it’s not the worst I’ve seen!
  • Goblin FirebombUniversal Solvent is power crept.
  • Tocasia’s Dig Site – Four mana to surveil one is expensive, but if you’re a Powerstone deck or a Zirda, the Dawnwaker deck or a control deck, you could do worse than this land.
  • Fortified Beachhead – Soldiers in WU? Okay, Tribal Tribal decks, enjoy this new one.

There you have it! I’ll be back with my thoughts on the new cards in the Commander precons next!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - November 18, 2022

Best of The Brothers’ War – Multicolour!

Welcome to my set review where I will pick my five favourite cards of each colour from The Brothers’ War booster set!

Given that The Brothers’ War also comes out with a pair of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. I also won’t be touching on reprints in either review.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Multicolour cards from the set and the accompanying Commander sets.

  1. Mishra, Claimed by Gix + Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia

I love Rakdos decks. It should come as no surprise that Mishra, Claimed by Gix and Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa are getting my brewing gears turning. I’ve already written an A Seat at the Table for Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa for thebagofloot.com, so check that out.

Tombstone Stairwell is one of the meld creatures paired with Phyrexian Dragon Engine to make Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia. Before we get to that unbelievable card, let’s talk about Mishra on his own.

For four mana, a 3/5 who drains your opponents for one when it attacks alone is just fine. The moment you add three attacking creatures like Goblin or Zombie tokens, then you’re swinging for the combat damage, but also draining each opponent for four life. Cards like Tombstone Stairwell, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, Hanweir Garrison, Legion Warboss, or even Delina, Wild Mage all impact the board in their own way and put the pressure on ALL of your opponents. While Delina can make copies of Mishra, the attack trigger does not happen because the copies are already tapped and attacking, so I’d focus on copying stuff like Liliana’s Reaver or Misfortune Teller for them to get their own damage triggers. Or even Professional Face-Breaker or Grim Hireling since they don’t need to be attacking creatures to be copied, then you’ll get the treasures for the hits for each of your copies.

We haven’t even touched on all the life gain! You can use life as a resource and put it into Necropotence so you can find your Phyrexian Dragon Engine!

The moment you get to attack with Mishra and the Phyrexian Dragon Engine, you get three of Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia’s effects. Granted, you can’t pick a single ability more than once per trigger. No matter what, this makes your combat step even scarier. I can’t get over there being six choices!

  • Make an opponent discard two cards
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Destroy target artifact or planeswalker
  • Creatures you control gain menace and trample until end of turn
  • Creatures you don’t control get -1/-1 until end of turn
  • Create two Powerstone tokens

No matter your decision, picking any of these three is going to be massive. Protect Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia because it is absolutely going to get targeted.

I would also consider Mishra, Claimed by Gix in your Mardu Humans lists, as those go wide and go hard. Any go wide strategy in the colours is going to benefit from Mishra in the 99. That said, I can’t wait to brew a deck around him.

  1. Third Path Iconoclast

Young Pyromancer is a format defining card. For each instant or sorcery you cast, you get a 1/1 Elemental. Then came Monastery Mentor and instant/sorcery became noncreature, meaning artifacts, enchantments, and planeswalkers also triggered the Mentor, making Monks with Prowess. It’s no mistake that Third Path Iconoclast is a Monk. For UR, you get a Young Pyro/Monastery Mentor mix in that you get creatures for noncreature spells, but they don’t have Prowess.

Have you heard of eggs? Eggs is the colloquialism for artifacts that cost 0 mana. In a deck that runs a bunch of eggs and Paradoxical Outcome with Third Path Iconoclast, this is going to draw a ton of cards and make that many more 1/1s.

This will be the chase uncommon of the set. If you open any, hold onto them if you see yourself hoping to use one. That said, if they’re cheap, pick some up if this is in your colours!

  1. Battery Bearer

Battery Bearer turns itself and all your other creatures into Powerstones without the subtype. Cryptolith Rite is an expensive and popular card because an effect like turning your whole board of creatures into potential mana generation is extremely powerful. The cherry on top is if you’ve got an artifact to cast with all of these creatures, if it’s six or more mana, you get to draw a card. Spine of Ish Sah just needs a Krark-Clan Ironworks to bring it back to your hand before you play it a bunch and draw cards for it.

Battery Bearer is a card to consider for your GUx decks that make a bunch of creatures and have activated abilities. Keep an eye open for somewhere to slot this in.

  1. Saheeli, Filigree Master

Quelle surprise, a mythic planeswalker is on the list. Saheeli, Filigree Master makes me want to keep my Saheeli, the Gifted deck together instead of using it as the base of my Mishra, Eminent One deck. All the Saheeli cards synergize well together!

Going through Saheeli, Filigree Master’s abilities in regards to the set, it’s easy to see that the “untapped artifact you control” is likely a Powerstone token for you to tap to draw a card. The original Saheeli Rai +1 was also a Scry 1 ability, but instead of allowing you to draw a card, you dealt a damage to the table. I like both! Especially if I have The Temporal Anchor!

The -2 on Saheeli is situational, but with token doublers or artifact/creature ETB synergies out there, it could be the move, but rarely will be.

The -4 ability on this three starting loyalty planeswalker with a +1 ability (paging Nissa, Vital Force) means you’ll get it in two turns if you want to cash in Saheeli. If you don’t and you have ways to get more counters on her, the -4 ability stacks! Imagine having two emblems? Your 1/1 Thopters are now 3/3s and your Arcane Signet is free! Did somebody say Deepglow Skate?

Maybe I do need to keep Saheeli, the Gifted together…

  1. Urza, Prince of Kroog

Of course I had to talk about Urza. Urza, Lord Protector (Urza, Planeswalker backside) is also great, but I think Prince of Kroog is more interesting.

As a player of Azorius clones, I love being able to copy stuff. For six mana, Urza makes a copy of one of your artifacts, but makes it a 1/1 creature which is actually a 3/3 if Urza’s still around. Powerstones make this ability easy to reach and you’re in Training Grounds colours.

That said, maybe you want to copy something that isn’t an artifact. Liquimetal Torque is one of the best cards printed in the last couple of years. It and Liquimetal Coating can turn your Smothering Tithe into an artifact and Urza can make a token of it.

I have a Sakashima of a Thousand Faces/Livio, Oathsworn Sentinel deck that clones everything and anything. If I play Urza, I can also clone Urza a few times, getting Tempered Steel anthems for every copy so my Gilded Lotus copies can tap for three or swing for 7 if I’ve got enough Urzas around.

Honorable Mentions:

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - November 17, 2022

Best of The Brothers’ War – Green!

Welcome to my set review where I will pick my five favourite cards of each colour from The Brothers’ War booster set!

Given that The Brothers’ War also comes out with a pair of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. I also won’t be touching on reprints in either review.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Green cards from the set and the accompanying Commander sets.

  1. Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea

Green has no shortage of mana dorks. There are even a bunch of solid commanders who are mana dorks like Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood or the popular elf ball enabler Marwyn, the Nurturer. What we see with Gwenna is slightly different. Instead of scaling with her power, she consistently gives you two mana of any colour to cast on creatures or activate their abilities.

Casting creatures with power five or greater buffs Gwenna with a +1/+1 counter and untaps it. Casting these creatures does not require you to use mana made by Gwenna, although it’s likely you will.

With a slew of cheap creatures that have power five or higher, a Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea deck might be a sneaky ramp/Voltron deck you never knew you could build. Phyrexian Dreadnought costs you one mana, untaps Gwenna and leaves you up a mana. Myr Superion can only be cast using mana from creatures and untaps Gwenna – it’s a free pump and untap essentially costing zero mana for a 5/6. Same goes for Lupine Prototype but with more restrictions. Phyrexian Soulgorger is an 8/8 that costs you three, untaps Gwenna and pumps her and with all the low costed beefy creatures you create, you’ll probably be able to keep it around for one or two turns to smack with. Rhonas the Indomitable is a cheap 5/5 that also has an activated ability that Gwenna can pay for. Wayward Swordtooth is Exploration on a 5/5 body for three mana. All those extra lands help pay for more beefy creatures while making your commander a real slap in the face.

Gwenna is first green legend in a while to make me consider building monogreen! And I really don’t like green!

  1. Awaken the Woods

Landfall decks have been super juiced and with the four colour Omnath, Locus of Creation being printed a few years back, they’re extremely popular.

This set, given that it features Titania, was bound to have land shenanigans. We even have a creature Crucible of Worlds in Perennial Behemoth this set!

The most striking of the land relevant cards from this set is of course one of its mythics in Awaken the Woods. With it being an X spell, you’re either creating early game advantage in mana dorks or you’re going big late game and getting Landfall triggers left and right.

Rampaging Baloths is scary enough. Lotus Cobra basically makes this free and don’t even get me started on Parallel Lives/Doubling Season.

This card’s bonkers good and if you have a Landfall deck, good luck finding a cut, but I know you’ll find it.

  1. Titania’s Command

This is probably the best of the Command cycle from the set – as a Rakdos player it pains me to say that red and black had the worst.

Titania’s Command is great no matter what mode you choose. Even the two modes that require more set up are fantastic – all you need is an opponent’s graveyard to have a stack of cards and a board of creatures to pump. Otherwise, the land tutoring and Bear tokens are awesome.

Remember, they happen in the order they’re in on the card. So if you choose modes three and four, you’re actually getting two 4/4 Bear tokens. But let’s be serious, if I’m casting this at all, I’m looking at mode two and whatever mode is best for the situation, I’m in. Getting two lands – ANY TWO LANDS – from your deck into play is beautiful! Lands are super powerful! You can get Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers in one go. Or you can get Field of the Dead and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Or you can get Strip Mine and Gaea’s Cradle. Or you can get…

  1. Haywire Mite

This is a lot like Caustic Caterpillar except it can be cast for free if you’ve got a Foundry Inspector or something out to reduce costs. The added life gain is nice if you’re looping this, but the beauty is in the exiling – that’s right, not destroying – of a noncreature artifact or noncreature enchantment. To destroy one of these with the Caterpillar costs you three mana, but Haywire Mite makes it two mana and gains you life. Of course, you are restricted to noncreature targets, but most of the time I’m cracking this to get rid of Rhystic Study or Smothering Tithe. Bye bye, Sol Ring! This is a powerful uncommon that’s going to make some people pretty happy and others pretty salty.

  1. Titania, Voice of Gaea + Argoth, Sanctum of Nature = Titania, Gaea Incarnate

Okay, I’m cheating with this last entry because my real pick is Titania, Gaea Incarnate. Both cards and the Melded monstrosity are fantastic for The Gitrog Monster decks and Lord Windgrace decks alike. Having your lands go to the graveyard and give you an auto-quasi Zuran Orb effect is beautiful.

Argoth, Sanctum of Nature, on its own, is very meh. You need a legendary green creature for it to come into play untapped, it only adds green, and the ability ostensibly costs five to activate and gives you… a bear token at sorcery speed. At least it mills you three cards which does forward the plan on the backside, as long as they’re lands.

The lucky part is that Titania is great and green is the colour that can tutor up any kind of land (see Titania’s Command or Hour of Promise). Of the three new Meld combinations, this one feels the easiest to assemble.

And when Argoth and Titania come together, you get a colossal avatar with keywords that say SMASH. It gets bigger because it Splendid Reclamations on ETB and has power/toughness equal to your lands. Don’t know what to do with that mana? How about turn it into an army? 3G to make a land a 4/4 is a lot of mana, but it gets out of hand quickly considering you’ll be smashing in with Titania, and you can stack four counters on the same land if you’ve got an opening. Titania, Gaea Incarnate is scary to look at and scary to read.

Happy holidays, green players. Your present came early.

Honorable Mentions:

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - November 16, 2022

Best of The Brothers’ War – Red!

Welcome to my set review where I will pick my five favourite cards of each colour from The Brothers’ War booster set!

Given that The Brothers’ War also comes out with a pair of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. I also won’t be touching on reprints in either review.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Red cards from the set and the accompanying Commander sets.

  1. Brotherhood’s End

I’ll begin by saying that I’m not entirely impressed by red’s offerings in this set. I think that there are a few cool things, but the list of cards for red is short compared to the other colours so far. I reviewed red for commandersherald.com and I did what I could to talk up some cards. The cards that stand out are few, but they are fantastic.

That said, Brotherhood’s End is one of my favourite cards in the set. I immediately made room for it in my Sevinne, the Chronoclasm deck because it’s a Brash Taunter tribal.

Having the flexibility to delay three damage to each creature and planeswalker or destroy all small artifacts is noteworthy. The most common criticism of the Magic design team of late has been that Treasure tokens are ubiquitous and as useful/powerful it is to create a Lotus Petal token at the rate we can now, it definitely warps games. Brotherhood’s End gets rid of Signets, Sol Rings, and, of course, Treasures. If you’re aware of this card in your deck, Gilded Lotus and Thran Dynamo should be your artifact ramp of choice. If you picked up the Tyranid precon, your The Swarmlord or Magus Lucea Kane decks will use land ramp and be able to dodge the three damage sweeper. Pick up your copies early, I can see this one getting to be at least $5.

  1. Feldon, Ronom Excavator

I loved Feldon of the Third Path and based on the fact that he gets reprinted as much as he does, I know someone at Wizards of the Coast does too.

When I heard there’d be a new Feldon card, I was overjoyed. What kind of creature or artifact reanimation or cloning ability with he have?

None, it turns out.

Making sure Feldon can’t block means that he’s probably going to be swinging, especially with haste. Attacking with Feldon tells your opponents “hey, block with your beefy blocker”. They know their 5/5 is going to kill your 2/2, but they also know that this means you’ll get the best card from your top five.

I’m curious enough to try Feldon in my Sevinne deck. If you decide to make him your commander, be sure to pack a Pyrohemia. The card you choose of those exiled can be played until the end of your next turn. If you activate Pyrohemia once each turn, you’ve “drawn” four cards for the turn cycle and made sure your opponents can’t keep 1/1s on the board.

  1. Mishra, Excavation Prodigy

This little guy reminds me of a nerfed Bone Miser. He can rummage for one and tap which isn’t great, but if you discard an artifact, you’re essentially tapping him for a red mana and colour fixing another mana. Being limited to once a turn isn’t great, but threat of it happening when you have other discard outlets is pretty sweet when you’ve got other things to do with that mana.

I have an Anje Falkenrath deck that I’ll be trying out Lil’ Mishra in, but I think its real home is in Daretti, Scrap Savant decks. Daretti can’t +2 and -2 in the same turn. But Mishra can discard something crazy for Daretti to -2 (which is Trash for Treasure). Get a surprise artifact in the yard and help pay for the Scrap Mastery, you’re about to windmill slam.

  1. Over the Top

The original preview for this card was in French and it its name was Exaggeration, which was appropriate.

I want to try this in a bunch of my decks.

Any deck where you flood the board, you’ll want to try this out. I have a Grand Warlord Radha deck that pumps out tokens like nobody’s business because it is a Glimpse of Tomorrow/Warp World deck. Over the Top is another way to make that happen.

My Prosper, Tome-Bound deck is much the same with all the Treasures. I’d like to dump half my library into play with these decks.

Conversely, Zaffai, Thunder Conductor can make a bunch of 4/4 Elemental tokens. By playing Over the Top, you’ll effectively flip somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 cards, bin all the instants and sorceries, hitting all of your lands and mana rocks, and getting to play Past in Flames or Mizzix’s Mastery.

Of course, this also happens to your opponents, but you’re the one playing the card. Maybe don’t play the card when your opponent has a massive stash of tokens. This will likely win them the game unless you’re following up with an Austere Command. Maybe they’ve got so many that you mill them out and once they draw, they die!

All in all, giving your opponents stuff doesn’t mean much when you’re about to kill them all.

5. Arms Race

Artifact Sneak Attack! But also it costs four to activate. And is oddly a mana ability? That’s strange. Sneak Attack is busted, we know that. Arms Race has the potential to also be busted, but less so. Surprising the table with an Eldrazi Monument in response to a Fumigate changes the course of events considerably. You can also cheat in Mycosynth Lattice while Vandalblast is on the stack. Sure, you’re evil, but you’re just the surprise powder keg – someone else had to shoot the gun!

Here’s a short list of cool cards to cheat in with Arms Race: Meteor Golem, Wurmcoil Engine, Bolas’s Citadel, all the Gearhulks.

Honorable Mentions:

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - November 15, 2022

Best of The Brothers’ War – Blue!

Welcome to my set review where I will pick my five favourite cards of each colour from The Brothers’ War booster set!

Given that The Brothers’ War also comes out with a pair of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. I also won’t be touching on reprints in either review.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Blue cards from the set and the accompanying  Commander set.

  1. Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam

Drafna is one of my favourite new legends from The Brothers’ War. That creature type line is hilariously long and it makes me happy. However, it’s the cards power that excites me most. For 1U, you can bounce an artifact back you your hand. When you cast it next, if you tack three extra mana on it and tap Drafna, you’ve got two copies.

Mycosynth Wellspring and Ichor Wellspring will be amazing inclusions in the 99 of a Drafna deck. Add Krark-Clan Ironworks to the mix and a Training Grounds, you’ve got an engine humming.

In the 99, Drafna will thrive in Breya, Etherium Shaper and Saheeli, the Gifted decks. Any deck casting artifacts they wouldn’t mind copying at least once will give this guy a look. In a pinch, if you need to save a permanent, you can Liquimetal Torque it to make it an artifact, and then use Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam to bounce it back to hand. I promise this card will surprise you.

  1. Hurkyl’s Final Meditation

I am adding this card to the list because players who love Cyclonic Rift will want this card too. Of course, to use on another player’s turn, it costs 10 and it bounces your own stuff, but there are times where you just need to reset the board. This also ends the turn, and if it’s not your turn, you’re going to be forcing somebody to discard and neglect the rest of the turn they’re planning for. I think the ending of the turn is going be the most feather ruffling part of this.

Any deck you play Omniscience in will be perfect for this. End your opponent’s turn, untap, play Omniscience (we know you have the mana!) and then play everything out again.

Another thing to note is that this is not, nor will it likely be, a $30-50 card like Rift is. If this floats your boat, you might want to get your copies when this hits under a dollar.

  1. The Temporal Anchor

For a six mana artifact, you have to have something crazy like Bolas’s Citadel. Luckily, The Temporal Anchor is pretty nuts. Is it as powerful as Citadel? No. But it is really, really cool.

This card cares about scrying, which surprisingly, few Blue commanders do. Elminster, The Scarab God, Zaffai, Thunder Conductor, Thrasios, Triton Hero, Thassa, God of the Sea, Siani, Eye of the Storm, Oji, the Exquisite Blade, and Gnostro, Voice of the Crags are the only eligible commanders who have scry in their textbox.

Luckily, scrying is evergreen and there’s plenty of it out there. Being able to play cards exiled with The Temporal Anchor on your turns without being limited by how many you can play is pretty satisfying. You can store some land drops under The Temporal Anchor if you’ve already got land in hand or vice versa – use your exiled lands to keep the hand stacked. It allows you to move cards around to sequence your advantage. It’s oddly reminiscent of Sylvan Library. It’s not two mana, but it is fun.

Of course, if it gets blown up or blinked, you lose those cards, but that’s the risk. I’m really excited to see how this plays. I think it’s going to make or break some games.

  1. Hurkyl, Master Wizard

Three mana 2/4 with a textbox so long it requires multiple read-throughs. Hot damn! Hurkyl wants you to play on your turn, that much is clear, but she also wants you to specialize or spread the love among your card types: sorceries, instants, artifacts, enchantments, and planeswalkers to be specific.

You can build a Hurkyl deck to be a spellslinger (instant and sorcery) or artifact or enchantment or planeswalker deck, but if she’s leading the deck, I’d be surprised to see non-spellslinger versions of her.

Something to note – if you have a turn where you play an artifact, and in your end step you reveal a Solemn Simulacrum or Baleful Strix, you can put that card into your hand because it’s an artifact. Similarly, if you play a Bident of Thassa, you’ve cast an artifact and an enchantment, so you can reveal five cards and if you have an enchantment and artifact among them, congratulations, you’re up two cards!

In the 99, I could see this slot into Muldrotha, the Gravetide smoothly. I am considering it for my Aminatou, the Fateshifter Superfriends deck because I have a healthy amount of artifacts, enchantments, and or course, planeswalkers.

  1. Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim

Speaking of my Aminatou Superfriends deck… it draws lots of cards.

This new Teferi gains loyalty counters when you draw cards and for 0 loyalty, he can draw you a card. Needless to say, this Teferi can get out of hand quickly, especially in decks like The Council of Four for which card draw begets more card draw.

In decks that draw a lot, Teferi will be nearly unbeatable. Twelve loyalty is nothing when your opponents keep having to rebuild over and over because you’re drawing three or four cards a turn.

The turn Teferi comes down, use his draw ability to bring him to five. Even if you don’t have a way to draw that turn, the next turn, you draw, then you use his ability – that’s two loyalty. He’s up to seven. Brainstorm for one mana, that’s another three loyalty. Before you know it, Teferi is up to ten loyalty uninterrupted for just one extra mana (and of course protecting him). Kami of the Crescent Moon, Howling Mine, Font of Mythos – they all get much scarier when you’re threatening to pop opponents’ resources back to their hands.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Arcane Proxy – Three mana to flashback a two drop spell that doesn’t exile is solid. You can play this in a deck with anthems to get a bigger spell, but often.
  • One with the MultiverseOmniscience lite for eight mana instead of 10. You get to Future Sight, and once each of your turns you get a free spell? Sign me up.
  • Geology Enthusiast – I’m coming around on Powerstones now that I’m seeing the kind of activated abilities that are being supported here. You getting these on your end step can add up quickly and you can do a lot with those.
  • Skystrike Officer – This wants soldiers, but I see this more for the Tribal decks. Tapping three creatures to draw a card is solid. Getting one of those creatures when you poke in the air with this? Solid card.
  • Terisian Mindbreaker – I love my mill deck. I’ll probably be replacing Fleet Swallower in it. Unearth is great with this!
  • Urza’s Command – Getting to dampen an attack is more useful than you think it’s going to be. So is a surprise blocker, ramping, and Opt being tacked on is really nice if none of the other options speak to you. Ultimately, Opt plus a body or Powerstone? What’s not to like? This was very close to being in my top five, but I was talked into having Hurkyl’s Final Meditation take a spot instead.
  • Flow of Knowledge – Incredible late game draw for mono-blue decks running lots of basic lands.
  • Hulking MetamorphPhyrexian Metamorph lite that can only target your stuff and has extra utility in some decks – see the shenanigans a Volrath, the Shapestealer deck can get up to.
  • Urza, Powerstone Prodigy – You don’t realize how often you’re discarding cards in a game. If you discard an artifact, you get a Powerstone and Urza’s ability is paid for from now on. Giving him Vigilance means you can swing freely. I’m impressed with all of the young versions of legends in this set!

That does it! Check back soon for the next colour!