Keep or Mulligan? PV’s Solutions

Hello! Welcome to part 2 of this week’s Keep or Mulligan. In part 1 I provided 6 hands for you to decide whether you would keep or mulligan, and today I’ll show you what I would do.

Hand #1

You’re playing Esper Dragons in a post-sideboarded game against Mono-Red. You’re on the draw, your opponent kept 7, and you mulliganed into this hand:

Keep or Mulligan to 5?

Solution: Keep.

I think this hand is a keep because it doesn’t need much to be very good. Turn-two removal, turn-three Drown, turn four Tasigur is about as good a curve as you’re going to get, and I think you can afford to miss a land drop with this hand because the come-back potential is very good. Even if you draw a tap-land on turn two, you can still play Drown on turn three with some luck, so you don’t need an untapped land right this second. You could, of course, just straight-up brick and lose the game, but that’s also possible with a 5-card hand. I feel like if I mulligan to five I’m hoping for a hand that is very similar to this one except it has two fewer spells and one more land, and I think it’s easier to just hope to topdeck a land at this point.

You could argue that Silumgar is “already a mulligan,” but I don’t think that’s true because a) you need to kill them eventually and b) Foul-Tongue is a very important card, and topdecking one will be much better because you already have a Dragon. It’s very possible that you mulligan into a 5-card hand that has Foul-Tongue and no Dragon, so there’s definitely value in already having one in your hand.

Hand #2

You’re playing Modern Splinter Twin, and you’re on the play against an unknown opponent. Your hand is:

Keep or Mulligan?

Solution: Mulligan.

This hand has spells and lands, but it doesn’t really do anything. If you draw a cantrip or a Lightning Bolt (and you’re playing against a deck that has Bolt targets), then this hand is quite good, but you could also draw a combination of lands/combo pieces/bad spells and then none of your cards are going to do anything. The fact that you don’t even have double-red means you need to draw two combo pieces and a red source before you can think of winning the game, and that’s too much for a hand without any piece of disruption or interaction.

Hand #3

You’re playing a fast, tempo-oriented UW draft deck, and you’re against a slow, controlling GW deck. You’re on the play, and you mulliganed your 7-card hand into this:

Keep or Mulligan?

Solution: Mulligan.

I would consider keeping this hand if my deck had a lot of powerful 5s and 6s, but if you’re an aggressive deck against a slow deck, you need to have an aggressive start. It’s possible to draw a 2-drop and a 3-drop and win the game with this hand, but it’s also possible to draw a couple of blanks early on and then you’re never going to win, because your hand is all lands. I think it’s overall better to try your luck on 5 cards, because the window that you have to draw business is very small.

Hand #4

You’re playing Esper Dragons in a post-sideboarded game against Mardu Aggro (your opponent has Pain Seer, Seeker of the Way, Crackling Doom, Alesha, Rabblemaster, and no Hero’s Downfall. You sideboarded out all counterspells for a bunch of removal). You’re on the draw, you’ve mulliganed two hands already, and your hand is:

Keep or Mulligan to 4?

Solution: Keep.

You’re going to need to get lucky to win with this hand, but you’re going to need to get very lucky to win on four cards, and I think drawing two colored lands in three or four draw steps is probably better odds. With this hand, at least you have a plan—you hope to topdeck lands and then you can go removal into Ashiok into removal, which is quite decent when your opponent has no Downfall and no haste creatures to get rid of it immediately.

Hand #5

You’re playing the Show and Tell deck in Legacy, and you’re against an unknown opponent game 1. You mulligan your first seven on the play, and your 6-card hand is:

Keep or Mulligan?

Solution: Keep.

I feel like this hand has enough elements that you want in it that it’s better than mulliganing to 5. You need three mana and something to Show and Tell into play, but you have around five cards to draw those (or three for the first land). Casting your Dig is not going to be that hard with those Probes—you could actually go turn 1 Probes into fetchland, Spell Pierce, turn two fetchland + Dig, turn three win, and that’s an insane hand. Of course, you do start the game at 14 life, which could be problematic against some Legacy decks, but I think it’s a risk worth taking.

Hand #6

You’re playing Sidsi Whip, and you’re on the draw game two versus the Bant Megamorph deck. Your opening hand is:

Keep or Mulligan?

Solution: Keep.

With this hand, you have three turns to draw land, and it doesn’t even have to be a green one, since two of your green cards are morphs. You have Thoughtseize to buy you some time and give you some idea of what’s going on, and you have Downfall to stop some early pressure. Eventually you’re going to draw a Forest, and then you can rebuy either of your black spells and perhaps even the Raptor that might have blocked early on, putting you in a pretty comfortable position. This hand is a combination of “good hand if you draw land immediately” and “acceptable hand if you don’t draw land immediately,” so I think it’s an easy keep.

That’s what I’ve got for today! If you have a hand that you think is interesting and would like to see featured in the coming weeks, just leave it in the comments and I’ll take a look. I haven’t used submissions this week, but I’ll use them next week.

Some conditions:

  • You must be playing a competitive deck, because I want other people to be able to relate and I also don’t have enough experience with all the rogue decks to be able to have an opinion. The format must be Standard, Modern, Legacy, or Limited. If it’s Limited, I’m going to need a good explanation of the deck.
  • You must give me all the relevant information—what you’re playing, format, which game it is, sideboarding or not, play or draw, whether you know your opponent’s deck or not, whether there is anything unusual with your deck list (I don’t need the whole deck list, I just need a general idea of what’s going on that might impact the decision).
  • The hand has to be at least interesting. Don’t submit a 0-land hand that’s obviously unkeepable, for example, and don’t submit a hand that is clearly great but “didn’t get there.” Something you’re genuinely unsure whether you should keep or not.
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