Other War of the Spark Reviews
5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage.)
4.0: Format staple. (Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Collected Company. Remand.)
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace Beleren. Radiant Flames. Shambling Vent.)
3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of Thought. Zulaport Cutthroat. Explosive Vegetation.)
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory Adept. Anticipate. Transgress the Mind.)
2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, the Living Guildpact. Naturalize. Duress.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing). (I believe it was tech vs. Owling Mine, although fairly suspicious tech at that.)
Augur of Bolas
I love having Augur around. It leads to cool decks, provides a nice bit of value, and makes you really work for it if you want it to work reliably. Constructed plays better when there are creatures running around, and this helps control decks threaten planeswalkers a tiny bit better than they did before.
Bond of Insight
Bond is a cute way to get back a couple spells, and even self-fuels if you’re lacking in targets. I do think that Finale of Promise steals a lot of Bond’s thunder, but I’m always on the lookout for potentially recursive cards.
I’m a big fan of Callous Dismissal in Limited, and it seems like it has legs in Constructed too (1/1 legs aren’t big, but if you’ve got some proliferate you can do a good job of approximating leg day). The initial use people are finding for this is as a win condition in Nexus, but I also like it in the various U/W planeswalker decks. Being able to bounce any non-land permanent is huge, and giving you a 1/1 remainder to block with makes this great at keeping pressure at bay. It also can bounce your own permanents, which helps you reset planeswalkers or Prison Realms. Overall, this does a lot for 2 mana, and is well worth a slot in any deck that draws a ton of cards and needs more tempo-positive plays.
Commence the Endgame
We are flush with huge 6-mana plays these days, but I like this as an endgame option. I’m also happy that we are seeing more card names that sound like Archenemy schemes, as that’s a sweet way to get a little extra flavor across.
Commence the Endgame is great if both players are sitting back on counterspells, but right now decks seem to be more proactive and tapping out more, at which point I’d rather just be playing an Ugin or Liliana. I do think this card has a ton of potential, and it will sometimes be the best card imaginable, but I see it more as a niche sideboard card at the moment, even if things could change depending on the metagame.
Any cheap cantrip with a small effect is worth considering, though I don’t think it’s particularly contentious to say that I have no plans for this card. If you want to proliferate really badly, it’s a cheap way to do so, but it is likely not worth 2 mana unless you’re going super deep.
Fblthp, the Lost
You don’t have to be a visionary to see that a 2-mana 1/1 that draws a card has historically been playable, and once you add synergies like Mox Amber or Finale of Devastation, Fblthp starts looking like a card worth keeping an eye on. It’s a key part of the U/W planeswalker deck, as it defends planeswalkers cheaply while making your Moxes into acceleration, and I suspect Fblthp will pop up in all sorts of unexpected places.
I don’t actually like that Fblthp is a serious tournament card. It’s a funny joke to make a fan favorite into a card, and Totally Lost is a sweet callback (especially with it being reprinted in the same set), but once it becomes a popular tournament staple then the joke wears thin. Having meme cards actually be good feels a little off to me, and I’d rather Fblthp not be quite this good.
Finale of Revelation
Speaking of being overshadowed, we have Finale of Revelation looking at Commence the Endgame with jealousy. I have a hard time wanting to play a sorcery draw X, given the other options available, though it’s always something you should pay attention to.
Kefnet is a great sideboard card, as it perfectly fits into control or combo decks that are looking to bring in threatening creatures that can win the game by themselves. I really like that plan in general, as it makes the opponent decide between leaving in potentially dead removal or dying to a powerful threat. Kefnet attacks well, comes back when killed, and in a spell-heavy deck can generate a ton of advantage if it sticks around.
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
Jace is a powerful card draw engine if you can swing UUU, and there are some decks that are in for just that. There is also the cute Modern combo of Jace + Leveler for an instant win.
Divination is always on the fringe of playable in Standard (though it remains an all-star in my heart), and this is a Divination with upside. Narset is stealing a lot of its thunder, but that doesn’t mean this won’t triumph somewhere.
Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor
In a planeswalker-heavy deck, Kasmina pulls her weight. She can protect your other planeswalkers and filter through your cards nicely, which is well worth 4 mana. Her passive ability is good too, and it can sometimes severely throw the opponent’s game off. At 4 mana, I wouldn’t want a ton of Kasminas, but she’s a great support card in a deck that wants to hit its quota of planeswalkers.
I really like the potential behind Lazotep Plating. Critically, it gives you hexproof (alongside all your permanents), making it a techy answer to Duress or Thought Erasure in a control deck. It can also shield your planeswalkers from removal, and in all cases leaves behind a 1/1 dork, which can offer you additional life points or a way to protect a planeswalker. That all adds up to a lot, and I could definitely see running Plating.
Narset, Parter of Veils
Narset is quickly becoming a multi-format staple, as she has a strong passive and a powerful activated ability. Any deck that includes Narset is an overwhelming favorite to hit (or should be, assuming sane deck building), and locking the opponent out of card draw is surprisingly effective. We are going to see a lot of Narset over the next year, in all sorts of decks and in both Standard and Modern (and Legacy and Vintage while we are at it).
The best use I’ve seen of Narset’s Reversal is against Nexus of Fate, and I’m a big fan of anything that sits on Nexus. Past that, it’s a bit narrow, but even having one really powerful narrow use is enough to make this a viable sideboard card.
Like Kasmina, Spark Double is good as a backup planeswalker in a deck full of them. It even gives you a little extra loyalty to boot, which makes it worth 4 mana in most cases. The biggest downside with Spark Double is that it does nothing if you don’t have a planeswalker (or creature) in play, so this isn’t a card I’d look to play a lot of copies of.
Top 3 Blue Cards
Narset is going to be the best card in both the short and long term, and the rest of the offerings fall much shorter. Blue did get a lot of good finishers, and both Fblthp and Callous Dismissal help protect them, so the color overall did quite well for itself.