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Magic Origins First Take

Day’s Undoing

This card reminds me of Time Reversal. People weren’t sure how to rate that card, and some got very excited about it, but at 5 mana it was near the top of the curve and needed to be ramped into. So here you are, ramping into a spell that gives the opponent (with a more efficient curve) more gas that they’ll probably get to cast first, and all so you can draw more lands and ramp spells without impacting the board at all.

Well, Day’s Undoing is a bit cheaper, but its “end the turn” clause means that it’s going to play out a lot like Time Reversal in the majority of situations, letting the opponent use their cards first.

The obvious workaround is the “if it’s your turn” clause, and everyone and their magic-playing uncle has been rushing to grab up Quickens and Leyline of Anticipations. The problem here is that that’s a lot of setup, and all of a sudden we’re playing bad cards to make other bad cards into good cards and then after we get our engine together and everything resolves we still need to figure out how to win the game somehow.

Origins First Reaction1

The analogy fits. Like Temporal Mastery before it, Day’s Undoing is fixed power, the Timetwister to Temporal Mastery’s Time Walk. This isn’t an overpowered draw-7—Wizards wouldn’t print one of those these days—but if we’re lucky there’ll be some places where it’s playable.

In particular, I could see this doing good things in Modern Affinity, where the goal is to dump your hand on turn 1-2. The faster you play a draw-7 the better, hopefully trapping more cards from your opponent’s opener, which plays well with all the fast artifact mana and 0-drops that Affinity runs. Post-board, you run the risk of drawing the opponent into hard hosers like Stony Silence, but could also power through cards like Ancient Grudge.

I’ve heard people talking about this card in Burn, but I just don’t see it. You don’t get to cast your haste creatures, you’re drawing your opponents into life gain and counters or even their own win, and if you’re tapping out on turn three then you aren’t holding up Skullcrack or working to end the game.

It’s replacing an efficient burn spell, it’s hard to resolve, and it comes down about when you want to be winning.

Managorger Hydra

Ah, the old +1/+1 counter for every spell ploy. We’ve gotten two halves of this ability with Quirion Dryad and Taurean Mauler, both of which are impressive once they get going.

While Hydra’s base stats are lower, 2G for a 1/1 instead of 1G or a 2/2, combining the two abilities and giving trample is a good step toward making it competitive.

My main concern is how well it actually matches up in Standard, where the decks that are chaining spells together already have Monastery Mentor. Trample is a fine ability, but doesn’t help you get multiple hits through a Deathmist Raptor.

On the plus side, getting some kind of value out of your late-game Elvish Mystics is pretty huge, and it fits the Collected Company curve.

Tainted Remedy

False Cure was always on the edge of good enough (albeit the wrong edge). In Standard, I combined it with Beacon of Immortality in WB Control. In Legacy, there was a rogue deck called The Cure that used it, Kavu Predator, and Skyshroud Cutter to kill.

Tainted Remedy is worded a bit cleaner. It doesn’t let the player gain life, so it’s a nombo with Kavu Predator, but like Predator it’s a permanent that can gain continual value from cards like Grove of the Burnwillows.

BW Beacon Control

This list is only competitive in the most imaginative sense of the word, but there are some neat things going on. I like how Beacon can always be pointed at yourself if you don’t have a Tainted Remedy, or how Pulse of the Fields and Wall of Shards get much better when you don’t care about the opponent’s life total. Heck, Wall of Shards is the alternate win con! The Remedy itself is a bit weak to Abrupt Decay, but there are a few other good Decay targets and at least we have access to Nevermore for those matchups.

Two Leylines seems like a strange number, but we don’t mind hard casting them, we want access to the effect, and we don’t want to draw more than one.

I love the idea of ruining a Martyr Proc opponent’s day with maindeck Tainted Remedy. It’s that glorious combination of terrible and unlikely.

Other cards considered: Trading Post, Privileged Position, Ensnaring Bridge, Damnable Pact, Phyrexian Arena

Relic Seeker

relicseekerpromo

First we get a fixed Timetwister and now Stoneforge Mystic? This is Pain Seer (fixed Dark Confidant) all over again, and it even needs to attack to gain value.

I’m sure we won’t be getting anything too juicy to fetch up in Standard, at least not compared to the Swords and Batterskull that we got last time around, but at PT San Diego Craig Wescoe proved that even a Sigil of Distinction or a Trusty Machete can be enough in the right deck.

Currently, the Standard equipment that have flirted with playability include Godsend, Ghostfire Blade, and Hero’s Blade. Haunted Plate Mail has seen minor play, but as a control finisher.

In Modern, Seeker can tutor up Batterskull but can’t cheat it in, which is good but not broken. After that, there’s still the Swords.

Of the ways to force Seeker through, a pile of removal seems best and after that Elspeth, Knight-Errant or maybe Griffin Guide. Rancor is a solid card but doesn’t work here. Seeker can’t just hit the opponent, but rather needs to live so that the Renown trigger can resolve.

Overall, the card is clearly worse than Stoneforge, but Stoneforge is banned. Seeker isn’t obviously good, but it’s not obviously bad either, and I’d place it squarely in the “worth trying out” camp.

BW

The Fulminators in the main deck are a bit odd, but they can carry equipment, combine with the Tectonic Edges, get recurred with Sword of Light and Shadow, and they’re especially brutal with the sideboard Surgical Extractions against Tron. It might turn out that Aven Mindcensors are just that much better at carrying equipment, but for now I like this.

BW is a nice shell for Relic Seeker because we have discard to clear removal, removal to clear blockers, and Lingering Souls to give us plenty of warm bodies to carry equipment. On the top end of the curve, there’s Elspeth to jump Seeker and then continue to help get in equipment hits.

Junk might also work out, especially a more aggroish build with Noble Hierarch to help cast equipment and punch Seeker through with exalted triggers, but that deck has slowly moved away from Dark Confidant-type value creatures and toward larger, more resilient threats.

Discussion

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