Keep or Mulligan?

Hand #1

You’re playing an aggressive R/W Dinosaurs deck. You’re on the play, and your hand is:

Keep or Mulligan?

My Answer

Keep.

I don’t like keeping five-landers with aggressive decks since there’s a decent chance that you’ll flood out (especially in this format with no mana sinks), but I think that this hand is good enough to keep. You have a hard-hitting 2-drop on turn 2 and you’re on the play, so if you draw anything you can bury your opponent before they have time to react.

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Hand #2

You’re playing Temur Energy versus Ramunap Red. It’s game 2 and you’re on the draw. Your hand is:

Keep or Mulligan?

My Answer

Mulligan.

Whirler Virtuoso is the best card against Ramunap Red, but this isn’t a matchup where you must draw it or you lose—you can still win with a normal 6-card hand, so I’d rather take my risks there. Being on the draw, you can’t afford to keep a hand that has no action until turn 3 or you’ll fall too far behind. If the matchup was very bad and Virtuoso was your only way to win, I’d keep and hope to draw a 2-drop. On the play I’d also happily keep.

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Hand #3

You’re playing U/B Control against an unknown opponent, and you’re on the play. Your hand is:

Keep or Mulligan?

My Answer

Keep.

I wouldn’t keep this hand if the Search for Azcanta was any other card, but it’s such a powerful card to play on turn 2 on the play that I think it makes the hand worth keeping. This is a deck that wants six or more lands anyway, so it’s not like you have wasted cards already, and having the enchantment in play very early will go a long way toward making sure you keep the number of lands you draw in the future to a minimum.

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Hand #4

You’re a very good U/G Merfolk deck. You’re on the draw against a random opponent. Your hand is:

Keep or Mulligan?

My Answer

Mulligan.

As powerful as the Jade Guardian + One with the Wind combination is, it’s not going to win the game single-handedly if you’re on the draw. There are many aggressive decks in this format and many pump effects that are playable, so you might find yourself on the back foot when you finally get to play the Guardian to a point where you have to block with it and hope they have nothing. Once you get to play the One with the Wind, you’ll probably have to play defense anyway. On the play, I would keep this hand, because you’d have more time to develop it and because mulliganing would be more punishing.

It’s important to note that the description describes your deck as being “very good,” which means that you don’t need this combination to win—you can win with just a normal draw. If my deck was bad, then I’d be more inclined to keep the hand because the two-card combo gives me a good out to win, and I wouldn’t like my chances on a mulligan to 6.

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Hand #5

You’re on the play with Temur Energy against an unknown opponent. Your hand is:

Keep or Mulligan?

My Answer

Keep.

This hand is risky since you don’t know what you’re playing against and there’s a chance the removal is bad, but I think it’s a risk you have to take. If you’re against a creature deck, which is the majority of the metagame, then the hand is quite good, and basically anything you draw after your starting 7 is going to make it OK. If you’re against one of the noncreature decks—U/B, Approach, or Abzan Tokens—then the hand is bad, but going to 6 cards is also a risk, as is scrying when you don’t know what your opponent is playing. You could end up seeing a Magma Spray or a Harnessed Lightning, and then you’re not going to have any idea what to do with it.

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