Elite Spellbinder: Putting Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa to the Test

Elite Spellbinder (cropped)

Strixhaven, Episode 10: Elite Spellbinder

Reigning world champion PVDDR is perhaps the greatest to ever play the game. With the release of Strixhaven’s Elite Spellbinder, Paulo Vitor now gets his own Magic card. The Power of Paulo can be yours for just 2W, but what decks can make use of this effect? And is the competition at 3 mana just too stiff?

On the Flashback, we also discuss our results with four different takes on Magma Opus in Modern and Pioneer.

STX #10 At a Glance

Brew Session Elite Spellbinder
[2:36] Theorycrafting Elite Spellbinder
[5:19] Orzhov Stoneblade w/ Yorion
[6:04] What happened to Humans?
[10:55] Abzan Elite Stoneblade
[14:47] Orzhov Humans
[16:44] Sketch: Orzhov Spellbinder Blink
[22:56] Sketch: Esper Processors
[27:48] Sketch: Naya Possibility Storm

Flashback: Magma Opus
[33:39] Temur Opus Reclamation: 2-3 league
[40:25] Temur Nightpack Flash: 4-1 league, 2-3 league
[49:23] Izzet Opus Creativity: 3-2 league
[54:52] Torrent Sculptor Living Lore: 0-4 league

Full Episode Transcipt (click to expand)

Automated Transcripts are not 100% accurate. If you need to quote any of our content, please contact us.

Damon Alexander: [00:00:00] You are listening to Faithless brewing a match to gathering podcast for the spike rogue each week we designed new decks and modern and pioneer. We’ve put our creations to the test and share findings on the year, coming up on the brew session. Elite Spellbinder the best of the best of the best will our opposition crumble under the pressure.

This is episode 10 of Strixhaven season. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.

David Robertson: [00:00:52] hello and welcome to the Faithless brewing podcast. I am David Robertson and I am joined as always by my guy out on the left coast. He is Damon Alexander, Dan what’s going on?

Damon Alexander: [00:01:02] Hey, Hey, just had a, you know, kind of a great week in Seattle. We had a stunning stretch of blue skies. So it was actually, I feel I get on easy one is too good of weather for too long.

It’s like, is this global warming? Is this kind of world gonna end soon? So nice to see this. And especially with Joe Biden’s recent announcement about fully vaccinated, adults can now walk around outdoors without a mask.

David Robertson: [00:01:24] Yes, very exciting. Uh, America’s vaccination, continuing a pace. Uh, the world is going to end soon, but it will not be because of global warming.

So I don’t know if that makes you feel better or worse. And speaking of the end of the world, we are missing the load star of the podcast. The CEO of the Faithless brewing podcast, uh, caved in a Dan Schriever is still visiting his sister. So Damon and I are handling this as a duet. Hopefully you tuned in on our Friday episode, we went through some sweet new technology, uh, Strixhaven cards being used in both modern and pioneer.

We also looked, took a look at two sweet bruise from our discord, uh, patrons that are discord brewing around Birgi and both modern pioneer. Today. We are going to look at later on the podcast, um, a bunch of Magma Opus lists we tried from last week and we are going to now talk about our car the week.

Very excited to talk about you. Elite spell Spellbinder. This is Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa. Um, I guess we don’t have Invidia invitational, but this is his invitational card. Damon, walk us through this card.

Damon Alexander: [00:02:36] Yeah, this is two and a white for a three, one human cleric with flying and, uh, ETB. You look at target opponent’s hand.

You may, exile a card from it. And for as long as that card is exiled, its owner can play it, but they have to cast it for two more manna. And so as a quick caveat, unlike a lot of the, the way these cards work, you know, Kitesail Freebooter or other cards of that elk. This one, if you’re going to kill the elite Spellbinder it doesn’t lose this tax.

It stays taxed.

David Robertson: [00:03:08] Yeah. It’s a super cool effect. It kind of feels almost black and the sense that it permanently puts a card in the exile zone. If you blink it multiple times, it puts multiple cards there. Assuming there’s non-line cards in your opponent’s hand. Uh, one of PV’s favorite cards is Vendilion Clique. This has a similar effect of that, you know, three minutes, three, one flying, you know, vanilla and click puts that car back or on the bottom of your opponent’s library.

And they draw a new one. This allows them to keep that card, but they have to, you know, pay the iron price for it. What was your first impression when you saw this card? Spoiled Damon?

Damon Alexander: [00:03:43] Yeah, it was a card that seemed like you just need to see the play patterns. Um, I envisioned it, you know, on the one hand able to completely take over a game of Through on flyer, uh, for anybody who’s killed somebody with a flickerwisp, it really puts on the aggressive beats.

If you have any, any sort of other cards helping you out, you’re putting shocks a couple of times and all of a sudden they’re dead on there. And I also was like, Oh, well now your opponent has to take a turn off to cast their Ulamog as they have to find one more versus land or whatever. Um, but then they catch their Ulamog and all your stuff goes, bye bye.

So yeah, it kind of seemed like it was, it was right on the fringe of the right power level, which I think is great design.

David Robertson: [00:04:22] Yeah. And, and to your point, you know, because it doesn’t permanently get rid of the card, you need to kill your opponent either before they get the two extra manna or you need to find a way to do something in that car next also they never get to cast it.

The fact that it’s a three power flier maybe means that it is a car that just gets there right? Until your, you, you make your opponent’s wrath cost Six, not for that. And before they get to their Six land, you’ve, you know, you’ve put that in a position where you can win the game. It is a card and it feels a little, like a lot of the white effects.

We’ve seen these tax effects where if you get everything locked into place early, you know, it can be incredibly hard to break out of if you do it late in the game, though, maybe your premium will tighten. Opponents has, has eight mana. And so you’ve, you’ve put primeval, Titan exile, but you know, they’ve, they’ve already resolved one or whatever.

They, they have all the mana in the world or you’re of course, referencing Tron. If you get it too late in the game, they’re just casting, you know, Karn for nine. That’s not something that they can’t do.

Damon Alexander: [00:05:19] Right, right. So this card is seen, uh, I think a fair amount of play, I think, uh, you know, really right on that power level where, you know, it’s not like winning challenges, but it’s been in a steady, steady stream of decks that are five-oh going, um, in a lot of places.

I think that wouldn’t surprise anybody. For example, a white, black stone blade in the hands of escrow. Taglio got a five-oh on the four 23 dump with a, uh, Yorion build featuring, you know, for us and forge mystic for lead Spellbinder for Tidehollow Sculler with a bit of a processor thing for wasteland strangler, being an obvious combo with both Spellbinder binder and also Skyclave apparition and Tidehollow Sculler.

What do you think of this list?

David Robertson: [00:06:04] Um, I like this list. I don’t like your I index where I’m hoping to draw other vial, my opening hand. Um, the list that I’m going to propose is most similar to this. I think, I guess one question I had Damon is we haven’t seen a five-oh list. In modern with humans. And I thought that would be the most natural home for lead Spellbinder.

I was really surprised to see that. So do you think that’s just a functional, maybe humans, isn’t a well position now, so humans isn’t five-oh at all, or do you think it’s this card is you just can’t play that many, three drops in humans. Um, the one, two car that, you know, exiles incidents or sorceries is a to drop and you only want to play somebody Through drops and this isn’t quite good enough.

Or what do you think that speaks to

Damon Alexander: [00:06:48] my best guess is that humans just doesn’t quite have the right game plan to shine right now. Uh, we, one of the best X is a single collective company away from infinite life. And your deck has no outs. That seems like a problem. Meanwhile, there’s a bunch of lava darts floating around.

And so your game plan involving, you know, noble hierarchs and the attorney play them champion of the parish. Uh, I could see why the met is a little bit hostile to that strategy right now.

David Robertson: [00:07:14] Yeah. And I think lava dart is a card to highlight. I mean, this is we’re spending three men and to get a three one, if our opponent gets to spend one manner, give all their creatures plus one plus one, or maybe even plus two plus two, if they’re on a living that Lumimancer lifestyle and they get to blow up our three drops, that feels really bad.

Um, so maybe, uh, humans is, is not well positioned, but in a future world, it does seem to me like this card is worthy of being in the 75 in a few minutes. Would you agree with that in modern?

Damon Alexander: [00:07:44] I think so what’s interesting is it buys a little bit of time to get mentally made online. But the thing with humans is it’s such like a multi-pronged prison strategy, prison, agro strategy between like the Freebooters and the Meddling mages.

And the Thalia that really hits this, this right balance of those are your cards, slow, your opponent down. And then everything else is meant to turn sideways and kill them, whether that be the champion of the peristaltic Lieutenant mantis rider. And so does it, I want to shift the balance more, you know, just because there is a good humid that does help disrupt it doesn’t mean the deck necessarily wants to tweak the numbers in that direction.

David Robertson: [00:08:19] Yeah, well said, it’ll be interesting to see a few months ever becomes a deck. It does seem like it, it rises and falls at various points that it, um, I do agree with you. I don’t think it’s well positioned now. Uh, there may be a future modern world maybe. Modern horizons to a type of world where humans gets a return to glory.

And it’ll be interesting to see if it can find some space for a card, like at least Spellbinder yeah.

Damon Alexander: [00:08:45] Or they’ll have an a, you know, plague year engineer. Right. Just get minus two, minus two.

But yeah, I mean this, this list, uh, the Orzhov stone play list, of course, any list featuring and lead Spellbinder already is at least a little bit sad to see your point of playing lava dart or Wrenn and Six for that matter, um, because of the three, one body here, but this list, at least against, you know, internet life, they have all this discard with the Tidehollow Scullers.

Uh, they have the way to convert the Spellbinder into a permanent discard with a wasteland strangler. Um, the deck is also, I believe pretty Colton infinite life in theory, because the city Ryan list, they can just try to deck your opponent, but I don’t think that’s a great strategy.

David Robertson: [00:09:29] Yeah, especially a deck like this that really has a hard time controlling.

Right? You only have four paths and forest Skyclave apparition. It’s not like you can get rid of every threat your opponent has. And I mean, how much time do you want to spend 15 minutes in your round and trying to see if your point decks or times out, uh, better things to do on a Saturday afternoon?

Damon Alexander: [00:09:46] Yeah. I mean, at some point they will get a ranger captain into walking Ballista sack, their Ranger-captain. So you can’t pass and then, and then go off. Yeah. So, yeah, so I don’t think that I necessarily like, would love this list in a, you know, like a tournament featuring a lot of these top decks, but I like a lot of the ideas here.

And, um, it’s possible that if the meta of a road hits a little bit away from lava dart and infinite life, um, that this deck has a lot of tools to survive in a grindy, uh, sort of a singular format.

David Robertson: [00:10:16] Yeah. Although I would say at this point, I don’t know what is going to force it to do that. And you know, it’s going to take some new cards added.

I, you know, there’s not enough churn, I think, to ever move us off of those decks being, you know, If not tier one, at least tier one and a half.

Damon Alexander: [00:10:31] Well, look what happened to everybody with their favorite field, the dead deck, nothing ever got printed,

David Robertson: [00:10:36] a little reference here. Okay.

Damon Alexander: [00:10:39] I mean, I’m not saying it’s happening.

I’m certainly no arbiter of, uh, being our decisions. But I’m saying is that decks that are firmly entrenched in modern. Uh, we’ve seen a bunch of very, very good modern jacks get, uh, neutered, not through power creep.

David Robertson: [00:10:55] True. So yeah, a lot of these decks are kind of using similar technology. So, you know, these are often decks that are playing other vial.

These are decks that are playing stone, forge mystic. Um, some of them are playing process effects. Some of them aren’t a deck. I do want to highlight that five ode is an abs in list. Um, it’s just playing elite spellbinders, just like a great disruptive threat on three it’s playing for Liliana, the veil for lead Spellbinder to Skyclave apparition.

Those are your three men of cards. Um, you have your normal, you know, feast to famine, fire and ice batter, skull package. Two, one drop creatures. That’s hexdrinker for ptarmigan life. And then it’s like a rock deck for fatal push inquisition of Kozol act, thoughts, CS path XL, assassins trophy. The Texas looks like super fair and it’s just playing and Elite Spellbinder.

It’s basically saying this is, and when I’m playing a fair deck, I just wanted to throw my upon a little bit. That’s what it Elite Spellbinder here’s here to do. I was very surprised to see a deck like this. Uh, five-oh uh, very encouraging if a deck, this fare can find some success.

Damon Alexander: [00:11:56] Yeah. I didn’t expect to see Elite Spellbinder in what looks fundamentally a rock strategy that specials white for the stone forge basic package, and then a smattering of paths and spellbinders and Skyclave apparitions.

David Robertson: [00:12:09] Normally you’d expect to see a card like lingering souls traditionally, or something in a slot like this at the three minute, obviously synergies there with Liliana of the veil. And when you have equipment that turns off and, you know, any Spirit possibly into a big threat.

Damon Alexander: [00:12:22] Yeah. Yeah. What’s interesting. Is that.

There’s a balance between having a deck that tries to kind of like double down on what it already does. Well, versus trying to spread out the effects across a number of different axes to be more diversified. And so in this deck, at least belt binder is, you know, a flyer, which is sometimes just randomly good and modern.

The deck already plays for fatal push three inquisition along with, for Liliana. And so it already has a lot of discard, which Spellbinder, I guess, plays into. But yeah, I mean maybe it just, just, just this deck is happy to have a flyer that can, you know, where a Sword of fire and ice and meanwhile, help little opponents keep the opponent’s hand and our control.

David Robertson: [00:13:00] Yeah. This was the most interesting design to me. It’s the least like the others, you know, most of the other ones are, are, are pretty similar in what they’re trying to do in modern.

Damon Alexander: [00:13:08] Yeah. I do have a bit of a theoretical concern though. And that’s that the more discard spells you’re putting at your opponent’s hand, the less they have going on and the less they have going on the less this tax matters.

Um, cause it’s tech, isn’t like, you know, playing land destruction or anything where they, they just, it’s a low resource game where they won’t have the man to calf attacks.

David Robertson: [00:13:27] Yeah. I guess that’s what I’m wondering. Is it maybe with the combination of Liliana of the veil, you are creating that low resource game where she’s plusing and your point isn’t getting to like five men and maybe consistently.

And so Elite Spellbinder, you know, excelling a three drop fundamentally maybe is turning it into a permanent exile somehow if they, if they don’t get up to that point.

Damon Alexander: [00:13:47] So like the Bring to light is just never castable.

David Robertson: [00:13:49] Yeah. Okay. I’m guessing. But you know, like I said, I was surprised to see this tech D well, I was, I was hardened by it, so.

You know, I mean, there’s a freaking stirring Wildwood in this when’s the last time you saw that car,

Damon Alexander: [00:14:01] that really is like a 2016 modern Decay at heart. Maybe, maybe 2014.

David Robertson: [00:14:06] Dr.  is a he or she is definitely drinking the boomer cooler.

Damon Alexander: [00:14:13] Yeah. But with a fresh five-oh

David Robertson: [00:14:17] and we’ve even seen a, some success in pioneer with elite Spellbinder.

Um, we have a black, white humans lists that place in the top 32 of the pioneer challenge by TBX green guy. Um, interesting cards in here. So for Bloodsoaked champion for soldier of the Pantheon, I think that’s a nod towards Niv-Mizzet, uh, for kitesail freebooter and for elite Spellbinder for Silverquill silencer on another new card, sort of a knock-off meddling mage.

For rally the ranks. So that’s an enchantment where, when it comes into play, choose a creature type and creatures, you control the children type get plus one plus one of course, Thalia’s Lieutenant I think the most powerful card and human shells and pioneer. And then just to round it out, there’s a pain seer, four Thraben inspector, of course, a couple of general Kudro and a, a sin collector.

Uh, another disruptive element, sort of the fifth he leads Spellbinder if you will.

Damon Alexander: [00:15:19] Yeah. This person got a 32nd place in one of the pioneer challenges over the weekend. Yeah. Humans and pioneer has, has always been, you know, tier two. I don’t think I’ve ever even really reached here 1.5, but C’s, you know, pretty reliable five Vose.

Yeah. Does Elite Spellbinder push it into the, you know, tier 1.5 and I still, I still probably don’t leave this as like a, you know, a top tier deck and pioneer, but you don’t have to be a top of your deck to be, you know, totally worthy of playing in a queue or even a tournament. Uh, you know, it. Luck goes a little bit differently.

This person wins that challenge.

David Robertson: [00:15:52] Yeah, I agree. And there’s enough, one of us here that, you know, there’s obviously still some room to tweak, you know, they’re, they’re playing fatal Polish, they’re not playing any thoughts. These affects Maine, um, they’re relying on their creatures to do so. How good is Silverquill silencer?

How good is, uh, the pain seer? Uh, there’s a lot of questions here that, um, I would be interested in, in asking.

Damon Alexander: [00:16:11] Yeah, this looks like just a pretty well tuned list to take, I mean, would say that a pretty diversified sideboard Niv-Mizzet is pretty prominent. So yeah, I agree. The soldier, the four soldier of the Pantheon has some great Mendeck presence.

This is the list. I feel like you could take this exact list and play in the queue. And first off, probably get your text back. And second, I think this would actually be a great starting point to learn about at least bell binder.

David Robertson: [00:16:33] Yeah, I agree.

Damon Alexander: [00:16:36] So those of us that we’ve seen out in the wild, but of course we have none other than our own in-house brewmaster David Robertson.

So what do you have for us?

David Robertson: [00:16:44] So first I’m going to start in modern. And like I said, I’m not sure there’s too many directions. You can go with Elite Spellbinder. Um, the list I came up with I think is actually pretty similar to a lot of the concepts we’ve already seen. You know, I think for Aether Vial in a list, um, with at least Spellbinders is a given for me.

I want to try it with Ephemerate. I think draw step Ephemerating. This card is very powerful. I think if I’m right with Tidehollow Sculer, uh, with that trigger on the stack, getting two cards out of your opponent, you know that that’s a line I’m interested in there aren’t that many other value targets, unfortunately, for FINRA in this list, other than Skyclave apparition, I do love the wasteland strangler technology because there is so much prowess that minus three minus three is.

It’s often going to be worth a creature. There’s a lot of decks that have creatures in play. Um, the mana creatures had been kind of chased out of the format, but there’s going to be a one man, one, two, uh, or whatever, a two men and one, one, or whatever around to, uh, absorb that. And I think there’s just a lot of exile effects you can play.

So it’s not just , it’s not just Elite Spellbinder there’s also, I have path exile, vanishing verse, a powerful new black white card that also exiles. So it used to be sometimes you’d want to have to play like splash into Eldrazi to make sure you had ways to exile. There’s just a ton of cards that do that right now.

So I think this deck is really just leaning all in on the sort of processor effects. Um, and it’s trying to really, you know, let’s just see how powerful this, uh, the effect from Paolo’s card is the, the draw step of fem rated is basically what’s drawing to me this right now.

Damon Alexander: [00:18:24] Yeah, yeah, I’m down. I think my main card, I’d like to see a squeeze, a copy, or two in his flickerwisp, I feel like it just kind of plays well with everything the tech is trying to do.

David Robertson: [00:18:33] Yeah. And, and I’m certainly not an expert in these decks. I wasn’t sure how many, three drops I was supposed to play a is 12 too many is the first Flickerwisp better than the fourth wasteland strangler. You could easily convince me of that. Or maybe you can even, you know, play more or less, you know, I’m not sure.

Damon Alexander: [00:18:48] So yeah. Yeah. Actually I might consider trimming a Skyclave Apparition. Crazy as it sounds. What’s funny about that is like, this is actually someone’s trust, struggle, struggle against a four, four token, all the creatures in here. Tiny.

David Robertson: [00:19:04] Yeah. That’s a good point.

Damon Alexander: [00:19:06] I guess, be that you have the ability to preempt your opponents threats.

This Skyclave apparition, um, is best at between the Scullers and the, uh Paulo’s.

David Robertson: [00:19:16] Yeah. Another car that I’ve seen people use to some good success is. A wall of omens, the old four bodies actually quite relevant when you’re like Ephemerating, skyclave apparition. So maybe you want to put that in there over like the charming Prince.

It’s just another body also that absorbs a fem rate. I guess I should’ve included now that I’m saying it out loud, but I, I was always skeptical. It’s like, I want to make sure I have something to put the equipment on, but maybe you just have enough other creatures that you don’t need to worry about that.

And one or two, all a woman’s is just going to be a welcome sight to see.

Damon Alexander: [00:19:44] Yeah. Yeah. We’re not in the modern where you would main deck Auriok champion. Are we,

David Robertson: [00:19:48] I think without additional synergy, I would probably not do that. I think it’s bad enough against enough decks. I don’t think you’re quite getting paid off.

It’s certainly a card I’m going to have, you know, two or three of them. I sideboard, you know, if you have some of those combos or your built in, you know, like the, you know, Dan has experimented a lot with the cat blinking itself over and over again, you know, and generating infinite life that way then it’s probably worthwhile.

But I don’t think just as a generic heart, it’s quite good enough. I don’t think promise is that ubiquitous that, you know, Maybe it’ll be great in like two of your five rounds in a given league. Yeah,

Damon Alexander: [00:20:26] I noticed by the way that, um, this is a pretty niche theoretical CA uh, topic, but for the equipment package, you’re on one batterskull, one Sword of feast and famine, one sword of fire and ice.

And it used to be that the rage was to go one batterskull, one sort of either feast and famine or fire and ice. And then one Maul of the Skyclaves was this like a reason decision or was it just a,

David Robertson: [00:20:45] it was a recent decision, I think because Paulo already flies and that’s the card I’m looking to suit up because I’m hopefully, you know, exiling there or whatever, then I’m, I’m less interested in the flying aspect of it.

And so I much rather have a source of card advantage from Fire and Ice. I think that’s typically the car that was getting subbed out. We don’t have that many ways to draw. And so I I’m interested in that in terms of getting card advantage that way. And if I’m already gonna play some number of Giver of Runes as well, that I think the protections just start to line up better.

If my primary threat is a four O flying three, one.

Damon Alexander: [00:21:20] Interesting. Yeah. To me like the differences are what’s what Maul really introduces is BatterSkull is kind of like your best mana advantage engine. If Stoneforge mystic survives. If so, Fisk is probably going to die, but it’s a, you know, mid to late game and you have a lot of manual round and you’re not going to get blown out.

If your creature is killing response, then one of these swords is your best choice, but if you’re still forced, Musk is going to probably die and it’s still in the early game and you can’t really afford to get too blown up by removal. Then all this guy clips kind of hits the sweet spot, where if they kill the creature, you know, a little bit annoyed that you wasted your free equip, but you’re not as annoyed as if you try to equip a Sword of fire and ice after spending five mana.

David Robertson: [00:22:03] Yeah, and I think it’s great to think about those effects. And one of the things I, my theory is we have eight cards that actually let us look at our opponents hand. So hopefully the risk of getting blown out, we can mitigate it a little bit because we’ve at least seen there a hand with Tidehollow Suller, maybe we’ve exiled their removal spells.

So we know they have to leave like four men or up to cast Abrupt Decay on our creature, you know, in response to the equip. So we can navigate it such that it’s a little bit more advantageous to us. Um, but yeah, that, that’s a theoretical concept and that’s something to look for as we play is, would it be great to have a Hey sometimes and really get in there because the tempo is also important.

You know, we want to kill them before they get up to their five or six men and a cast, whatever we have under early. Uh Spellbinder so maybe the, the haste is even more important than, so I guess those are there’s tension between those two concepts.

Damon Alexander: [00:22:52] Yeah. Yeah. And also, I guess you have these two giver of runes to help protect creatures.

David Robertson: [00:22:56] Yeah. Hopefully. So that’s kind of it for modern. I didn’t have too many other ways that I thought you could go, but, and pioneer. I think there’s a few other options I want to explore. So my first list is an Esper processor lists. So in addition to wasteland strangler, um, I think you have the time in pioneer to play Ulamog’s Nullifier.

So Ulamog’s Nullifier to a blue and a black for a two, three flying Eldrazi processor. When it comes into play, I put two cards, your opponent controls that are an exile into the graveyard to counter target spell. So again, we have all these affects that are exiling. So we have, I have four spell Queller in here.

I have four elite Spellbinder. I also have a three vanishing verse, one Cling to dust, which is functioning sort of as opt number five. It’s also an exile effect. And then I have four release to the wind. So really to the winds in this deck serves as multiple duty one. You can release the Winds  and opponents card on their end of turn.

And then if you have a wasteland strangler or Ulamog’s Nullifer or something, you can exhale that card. You’ll, you’ll find time to exile it to it. Rebuy, spell color, or Paolo, uh, elite Spellbinder or wasteland strangler or whatever, when you need it to, if your opponent already has multiple cards, uh, exile that it functions is just an expensive blink for a little Ulamog’s Nullifier.

And then three were playing for Valki God of lies, who also is the source of exile and cards. So when it comes into play, it looks at your opponent’s hand and exhale is a card, and it’s not that important that the car be available. If it’s a Niv-Mizzet or something, we probably don’t want to spend five minutes into the removal.

Uh, so we want to get rid of it permanently with our own legs and all fire. Well, it relates to the winds also turns Valki into, um, his superhero alter ego. So this is kind of built on similar. Concept of the, the previous, you know, release to the winds Valki, but it’s trying to take advantage of sort of some of the disruptive elements that we can hopefully get from elite Spellbinder, which also lets us see their hands.

See if we can go for it, you know, with Valki et cetera.

Damon Alexander: [00:25:01] Interesting. The release to the winds Valki lines are something that you’ve experimented with a ton. And this is a pretty different take than your, for example, more of like a satellite control deck. And so what I wonder is, for example, if you go turn to Valki and the coast is clear, you know, you look at your wasteland strangler and you’re Release to the winds and you’re like, okay, well I can get a measly creature and killed their creature or it can get Tibalt cosmic imposter.

How often is the processing lines going to be the right one?

David Robertson: [00:25:29] Uh, I mean, in that case, the processing line will probably be the wrong one. However, sometimes you don’t have release of the winds, right? So it’s like, in those cases, your opponent’s like, well, I’m not going to worry about Valki unless he actually does something, you know, and he tries to release to the wins.

It. Now we’re casting wasteland, strangler, you know, killing their creature or whatever. I think just the Valkyi release of the wind is a package that’s, you know, obviously seen play and I think some like Grixis shells, et cetera, et cetera. And I think it lends itself well to sort of the elite Spellbinder lead Spellbinder excelling removal.

So we know if, if we’re okay to go for it, release to the winds again, during their draw step is a super powerful play. Um, yeah, the deck might be a little too clunky. There’s a lot of three drops in here. Um, maybe you don’t need four spell color if you’re already playing Fort Lewis and how far you can play like an extra clean to dust, uh, some cheaper effects that exile that that remains to be seen.

Damon Alexander: [00:26:30] Yeah. I think probably the big, the big hinge card that this in this deck is the Nullifier. You know, if you reliably have two cards, your point is exile and you’re, you’re casting this on a critical spell at the right time. It’s a huge blowout. But of course the thing with the strangler is that it only asks for you to find one card to process, whereas the Nullifier takes two.

And so if you’re putting, I was like, what a single card or whatever, then, then all of the fire may just be kind of sad. We were trying Nullifiers in a list. I remember, uh, for the pod four or five months ago, I forget which card it was.

David Robertson: [00:27:07] Yeah. I can’t remember either the other card I was thinking of. Maybe I should have it over.

Some of these spell colors is the callous, whatever Mage, um, that was bloodMage. Yeah. So it’s two in the black and one of its effects. It’s exile your opponent’s graveyard. Obviously that’s just great generically against X, like Phoenix or whatever, but also just generates a ton of food for your processors.

Um, in addition to being, you know, a value source, if that’s not relevant, you know, it can just draw a card, uh, lose a life. So maybe that’s a card I should be putting in this list.

Damon Alexander: [00:27:36] Yeah. Yeah. Although we don’t have any tutors to kind of dig it up at the right moment. True. But certainly cards that, you know, I wouldn’t mind trying out, you know, some point for the first time.

David Robertson: [00:27:48] All right. So that’s Esper processor. The other idea I had was when Elite Spellbinder exiles, a car from the game or a card that synergizes with that significantly is Drannith magistrate. So Drannith magistrate says you can only play spells from your opponents can only play spells from their hand, nowhere else.

So in the heyday of companions, we found that Drannith magistrate had a surprising number of applications. Uh, you know, you can’t cast cards from adventure, you can’t cast cards from the graveyard. Um, it shuts down and bring to light all by itself. Uh, there was a bunch of examples. I remember you listed them all.

Damon, I can’t off the top of my head. Those are just the obvious ones,

Damon Alexander: [00:28:31] Susan modern. And that was back when Uro was legal and Snapcaster Mage and all sorts of things.

David Robertson: [00:28:35] Sure. So Drannith magistrate is already a car I think is interesting with, uh, elite Spellbinder. So another car that works very well with Drannith magistrate is possibility storm.

So if Drannith magistrate is in play and we resolve possibility storm, our opponents can not cast spells anymore. Every spell they cast is exiled possibilities Storm finds a card of the same type and doesn’t let them cast it. So possibility storm is like a tier three, like fringe deck. That’s already seen some play in pioneer and it, it uses sort of the combo of possibility storm.

Your deck is filled with all these adventure creatures. If you cast a sorcery, I E the front half of Beanstalk giant, or lovestruck beast, possibilities start and triggers it, casts enter the infinite. Uh, you put borborygmos at the bottom, the last card in your library, you cast your Free Stonecoil serpent, you get borborygmos, and then you discard all your lands.

Doming your point for three at a time. The other way you have it is you have possibilities starting and play. You cast an instant front half. So that is, uh, the front half of giant killer or bonecrusher giant that finds the one of shared summons, uh, that that’s cast through possibility storm. And that puts a, the Stonecoil serpent and the, um, lovestruck beast into your hand.

And then you do the combo I just described. So I’m basically stapling Drannith magistrate, uh, as sort of a hard lock when we don’t assemble our entire possibility storm combo. In, in addition to elite Spellbinder as a, another car that synergizes and a card that protects our Drannith magistrate or possibly protects our possibility storm.

Damon Alexander: [00:30:17] This is crazy. So basically we have the possibility to storm shell that I know Aaron Barich was a pretty big fan of, uh, streaming that a lot and pioneer, and now we take it with this lock element with the, at the magistrate, and then you’re saying, well, as long as we have Drannith magistrates, Elite Spellbinder turns into a, just exile, a card from their hand.

Um, at least as long as the, the magistrate survives. So this deck has just text them from all sorts of angles. With the, at least Spellbinder filling this critical role to understand what the coast is clear for either like the lock part of the combo or the end, the game part of the combo. This list is just, it’s hard to, to think through what a game would look like w with this deck in your hands, but, uh, it looks fun to try out.

David Robertson: [00:31:05] Yeah. And one of the things that’s worth noting is, you know, before the, the manna was rough and pioneer, the introduction of the pathways has really made Naya a lot more feasible. You’re seeing, you know, Winota decks operate in, in Naya. They’re, they’re losing a lot less game to their lands. The white splash year is very light.

Uh, I have two giant killer for Drannith magistrate four elite Spellbinder. So you’re, you’re not asking too much of your manna. You don’t even need to have those cards down right away. If you don’t need to, you know, a Drannith magistrate, isn’t that good until you, you know, either have your Elite Spellbinder or possibility storm, you know, resolved anyway, or are ready to resolve them?

Um, yeah. So you kinda have this end of life combo, you have, um, elite Spellbinder as a car that also maybe like takes a Connersville out of their hand or makes it cost five man, or they, it, and now they have to leave five man up, you know, for the rest of the game to stop your, um, possibility storm from resolving.

And you can always just get there the old fashioned way, you know, lovestruck beast, bonecrusher giant. These are just reasonably powerful cards. You combine them with the three, one flyer. You know, it is a clock, especially with a dome or whatever and play. I mean, you can get there that way.

Damon Alexander: [00:32:12] Yeah. I mean, all those, all those people are they’re playing, uh, Steel-Leaf champion and old-growth troll.

You will have a nice five, five wall. So those are our lists four elite Spellbinder and what a card. And these are gonna be some fun list to try out. Where do you think you’re gonna start?

David Robertson: [00:32:33] I think I’m gonna fool around with the Esper processor list. Uh, I haven’t gotten to resolve a Valki or a Tibalt in a while.

Uh, you know, as we’ve had to keep having new cards to explore and, you know, I can’t just sit back on my old bring to light shenanigans. So another way to kind of build around that is something I’m interested in and tweaking those numbers and see if I can make it work. Is, is something of interest.

Damon Alexander: [00:32:54] Yeah.

Yeah. I’m intrigued by this Naya combo list. I mean the, every time you get sick of your opponent’s casting spells, this list has that possibly if they do not cast spells

David Robertson: [00:33:05] excellent. Well, we’ll put it through its paces. If nothing else works, we can always, uh, jam it into a human’s list and see how good that is.

Um, but yeah, I have high hopes for, uh, the Paulo’s card, the Elite Spellbinder.

Damon Alexander: [00:33:19] Yeah. So we’re gonna take a quick break, stay with us.

David Robertson: [00:33:39] All right. We are back. So last week we took a look at Magma Opus, Magma Opus, Six of blue and red instant. It deals for damaged dividers. You choose among any number of targets. Tap to target permanents, create a four, four blue elemental blue and red elemental creature token draw two cards, and then blue, red, blue, red hybrid discard, Magma Opus colon create a treasure token.

So we had a bunch of different lists in both formats. Dan actually took the, um, wilderness reclamation, the teamer wilderness reclamation list through a league. He went all the way up to four Magma Opus, cause he believed in the impossible dream and he went, uh, two, three losing to Ponza beating Grixis control, losing to blue moon, uh, losing to Boros, Magecraft, and beating humans.

Speaking of humans, um, one of his main complaints was he just copied some random players, man, a base and he hated it. But in general, I think his observations were, were similar to what we were talking about last week, Damon, which was, you know, Magma Opus is isn’t that powerful of a card and you’re kind of bending over backwards to play a lo a lot of other cards that don’t see a lot of modern play.

Right. We don’t see a lot of Torrential gearhulk, um, in modern two to maximize this card. And is it really paying you off for all the effort you’re putting into it?

Damon Alexander: [00:35:01] Yeah. Yeah. And it looks like Dan ran into problems with, uh, you know, multiple of these opponents or playing cards like Remand or Archmage’s charm or force of negation, uh, all cards, which, you know, Magma Opus, it doesn’t sheet.

It is in fact in eight minutes, but there’s just no way around that. Uh, you can try and cheat it with Gearhulk. You try to cast it a little bit ahead of schedule with a wilderness reclamation, but you are casting a big clunky spell and that makes people’s Remand just look like the best thing ever.

Meanwhile, uh, Dan ran into, he said six out of 13 games against blood moon, which there is a lot of blood Moon and modern right now when you watch streamers play or play yourself, uh, there’s a lot of ducks that just are playing and blood moon and. So Dan’s interesting comment that says that maybe there shouldn’t be this, a red splash for the Wrenn and Six is you don’t really need the red for the Magma Opus.

You can play like a single Triome if you wanted, if you’re playing and playing blood, when you’re gonna get the red splash for free, uh, cause your, your primary plan is to cast it with the Gearhulk. Although I guess this is a wilderness Rec list. Although on the other hand, Dan also comments that the reclamations, uh, are either going to get completely countered by the slow matchups.

Uh, at least in the early turns, when it really matters. And in the fast match-ups, you, you probably can’t afford to take this time. And you need that that extra card in your hand to just be interaction. This deck also, you know, some of the true wilderness rec techs, they use the manna just all game. They can have 10 lands and plate they’ll use all 20 of it.

And whether that be through search for Azcanta, uh, flip and then find. Nexus of Fate or simply big expansion, explosions, castle Vantress, activations, all sorts of things. They would just put every little bit of it to, to the, um, to use this tech. Doesn’t quite have all of these big mana sinks. I mean, in theory, you could like chain Magma Opus is if you had like, you know, 14 mana for an Opus into a Gearhulk or 16 is when Opus into an Opus, but it still isn’t quite the same late game scaling as some of the successful team or rec decks of your ear.

David Robertson: [00:37:10] Yeah. And I mean, you know, Torrential Gearhulk also gets stopped by Teferi. Um, you know, there’s, there’s a reason Torrential Gearhulk was not being seen in a lot of different control shells, and so needing to play your flashy, mythic rare, and then needed to play other cars that aren’t really considered to be on Mu modern power level to maximize them.

That’s just a lot of red flags there. Uh, Dan’s talking and he’s, he’s got multiple games where he’s resolving Magma Opus and not winning. Obviously you can fix some of the men have problems in terms of you, you can make yourself a little less weak to blood moon, but I think the fundamental weaknesses of this list are, are pretty apparent when you see, uh, how it lines up with other cards, even your is force of negating.

It is, is it’s pretty tempo positive for them. I mean, yes, they’re down a card, but they’re up eight mana and that’s, that’s pretty good.

Damon Alexander: [00:38:02] Yeah. Yeah. So still, I mean, Dan, the modern whisper took a zero four drop list and got a two, three stops for that. Maybe with a better man to base. He would’ve been able to squeeze out some extra wins that didn’t quite work out this way.

David Robertson: [00:38:17] Yeah. I think people have been trying, uh, this in modern law and I have not seen a lot of people have a lot of success, so it’d be interesting to see if this is something people keep doing or, you know, or will they lose interest kind of when the next big thing comes along.

Damon Alexander: [00:38:33] Yeah, a player with a username Nero underscore got a five-oh and the most recent dump, uh, was just kind of blue moon splashing to ferry.

Plus the cyber Timely reinforcements with no moon effects and three Magma Opus. And then just all the other hits like the Snapcaster mages, three Torrential Gearhulk you know, there aren’t many just terms, Magma leaks, bolts, uh, you name it, a single Graven Lore out of Kaldheim. That’s the three blue, blue snow instance, scry X where X is the snow mana spent and then draw three cards.

Uh, I am surprised to see this card in modern, but I guess it’s another good card that flashed back with Gearhulk.

David Robertson: [00:39:12] Yeah. So three Gearhulk is interesting. I do like it Teferi. If you play Teferi on five, let’s assume your opponent doesn’t kill it. When you play your Six manner, if you plus Teferi and untap, that’s eight right there.

So it functions sort of as a wilderness rec, uh, the next term, and obviously Teferi, just generically, much more powerful to resolve than wilderness rec in the sense that it can win the game by itself or take care of troublesome permanence. Yeah. There’s a lot of wild choices here. Um, I guess the snow theme, I mean, there’s one frostbite as well, so it’s not that much of an ask.

There are eight, uh, snow lands in the deck, um, for Archmage’s charm one main deck negate. So this, uh, neural obviously has a sense of what they like and don’t like, and these lists, I don’t know that I’ve seen anybody play grave and Laura in any format ever. Um, but yeah, maybe that’s maybe that’s just the jam.

Damon Alexander: [00:40:06] Yeah. My reaction to it is, Oh, what is this guy? But I mean, perhaps for the five-oh, so people are in fact playing with it and doing better than we have so far. Yes. So did we do better than Dan in pioneer? So David was the first to take Opus out in pioneer. How did it go?

David Robertson: [00:40:25] Yeah, so, uh, the first list I played was Alyssa, Dave and I were both interested in which was a team or flash list.

So, uh, four Growth spiral, you know, a few, three minute counter spells for Nightpack Nightpack Ambusher, uh, to Eureka moment. And then the top end, it was pretty top heavy. So for shark typhoon, uh, four Torrential Gearhulk four Magma Opus, two Dig Through Time, uh, 27 lands. I went for one, uh, beat up on a five color enigmatic incarnation, beat Mono green, uh, plus one plus one counters lost a black green dredge, which I legitimately have not played against in like seven months, but I absolutely got school.

I had the awkward manna in both games. I think I cast all four Growth spirals and on turn five had like. Three lands in play or something. I was, I don’t know what was going on there. Uh, beat Boros burn and smoked, uh, blue, red, Phoenix. Yeah. The deck actually felt great. Uh, Nightpack Ambusher was well-positioned in almost every match.

Um, I have a bunch of screenshots here that I was sending to the guys where I did not actually cast a lot of Magma Opus is if I’m being honest. Um, I did resolve a lot of, uh, wolves and I kind of let them do all the work. And normally the first resolve Torrential Gearhulk, uh, supporting, um, uh, my fleet, my Wolf pack was enough to, uh, end games, but in general it just felt like I could maneuver my way around very easily.

I did recommend to Damon cause he had said he was going to play a similar list to maybe trim, uh, in Opus. I was always trying to find basically a turn where like I had five men and off and so I’d make the treasure just to get. Nightpack Ambusher in play. So I have it in play at some future point when I drew a Torrential Gearhulk.

And so if you’re, if you’re playing a card just to do that, I felt like we could do better. Um, I also felt like the fourth shark typhoon was maybe too many. Um, it does tend to get clumped up in your hand and, you know, at three mana you’re, you’re just putting a roadblock in play to draw a card. It’s just, it’s not doing enough against, uh, decks are lower to the ground.

So you, uh, tweaked a few cards and men, and then you jumped in a league.

Damon Alexander: [00:42:36] Yeah, I took, uh, David’s list and yeah, he recommended a cutdown on Opus and a typhoon. So I snuck in a sublime Epiphany. This card is also really strong with Torrential Gearhulk and an Alrund’s Epiphany, which I think is just a good card for going over the top and a pretty generic way and tweak them and a base a little bit.

I didn’t like having 10 shots and a deck with that with minimal life gain. And I will say that even though my results, uh, you know, hardened by David’s for one, I was not able to replicate. I got a two, three, um, the one thing I thought did work, cause I turn it on the fetch, the shocks a bit, uh, I think it was so many triumphs and such that you really can afford to go much heavier on the check lands, the hinterland harbors and Rootbound and sulfur falls.

But yeah, so my match up spread looking at David’s, he was playing against, you know, a few blue decks and a bunch of other decks. I played against five upon a straight, all playing mystical dispute. Uh, it was just, I got a little bit. Annoyed by that card. Uh, he, my little rant on mystical this view, what a dumb card, getting a Nightpack Ambusher Mystical disputed, it was just messed up.

That that was really my breaking point. It’s like, why does this stupid card work in the blue mirror against everything, including not just your blue spells, but also Nightpack Ambusher is why am I putting as mystical disputes? Always so much better than mine? Why does every single point that I play this whole league had musical dispute?

Why does it make us these big blue spells like Gearhulk and Sublime Epiphany and Magma Opus are just not playable. Uh, when you’re onto a field like this, why does it make every single stupid, you know, Moto green stoppy list want to splash blue? Because first off you can get some random stubborn denials, but also you can Mystical dispute the best blue anti blue card.

So, uh, you know, When it came to the, the true control decks, we always didn’t have problems in the anti blue mirrors because you could play a dispel or a Flusterstorm just painful struggle. No problem. The true control has never need to mystical dispute. It was these, these tempo decks. Then Adam’s going to swing a couple and the sideboard of Phoenix or whatever.

Encounter your Nightpack Ambusher but yeah. So what also didn’t work was cards like Niv-Mizzet Teferi Hero of Dominaria, Emergent ultimatum. These cards, all win games on their own pretty quickly Magma Opus, like the first Magma Opus, easy resolved doesn’t really win the game for you. You probably need to use it to get more.

A lot of my match-ups were not matches were four damage or a four, four Nightpack Ambusher really mattered. You know, blue, red, Phoenix has three, two hasty flyers. Maybe you can saggy a crackly Drake, but they also seem to have this one maximize velocity, uh, to kill you. I putting this blue, red prowess. And I guess for damage is good there, but I played Nightpack Ambusher to block their Swiftspear, but they had three of their prowess creatures, and I died.

Um, we’re going to stop. The Ambusher was cool there. They, they seem to have a rough, rough, uh, pair of games and they conceded quite early in both of them Niv to late for damage. Doesn’t kill a whole lot besides Omnath or like a Valki, a yes. And blue. I control the Ford image. Okay. Good luck resolving it.

Let’s just say that on the other hand, this deck, you know, it’s not all day around, um, the Opus, when it resolves is, you know, maybe not quite as game-winning, but it does pull you pretty far ahead. Um, I did win some games off the back of it’s powered off of the Gearhulk and just, I CA I Hardcast one once sublime Epiphany is also just enabled some crazy lines where, you know, you discard the Opus, you play a Gearhulk flashback Opus, then you play sublime Epiphany.

Copy. Gearhulk. Gearhulk copies of Sublime Epiphany, you get another copy of Gearhulk copy, maybe have a second Opus lying around. And all of a sudden that that really is going over the top of almost anybody. I liked having access to the one Alrund’s Epiphany, maybe even more worth it. Um, it’s sort of anti synergizes with the Nightpack Ambusher, but you know, it does go over the top, no matter how much your opponent’s trying to go over the top, whether they’re natives or Teferi fives for emergent ultimatums, the thing with Alrund’s Epiphany, it’s not like, you know, Urza of your Magma Opus and you say, go and they resulted Teferi and, and they officer, you know, Niv and they went over the top of you, is he play Alrund’s Epiphany and they don’t untap you untap.

Um, and so typically that will result in a situation where you pull pretty far ahead. It’s also difficult to resolve, but it’s just a little bit more game breaking when it does another card that David picked up that I thought was an interesting kind of new card out of Strixhaven was. The Eureka moment to blue-green draw to, uh, and you can put a land to place.

It’s kinda like a big, big brother of gross spiral, big sister. But then my point on with cast, you know, Behold the multi-verse and I was a little bit jealous. This deck has a lot of different ingredients between like the cheap spells, like the Growth spirals and Censors, the 27 lands, and then the kind of the big spells.

And if you draw these in the wrong ratios, things go wrong pretty quickly. And so it felt like I wasn’t having too much trouble with getting lands, to play between the Growth spirals and just playing lands every turn and interacting. But if I’m going to take a turn off to cast a format, a spell and needs to be a little bit more high end.

David Robertson: [00:47:51] Yeah. It’s interesting. Uh, how different our experiences were like, I was just super heartened, but again, maybe we just were on the different end of the mag of the matchup spread. Uh, Magma spread the Magma spread. Yeah. I will note a note that, uh, Harry MTG he’s Harry 13 on magic online has been playing a four-color, uh, flash list with, for Eureka moment.

Um, so he’s been all in on that and he is additionally playing, um, only three Magma Opus, only three shark typhoon cutting those numbers down did feel right. Uh, even though I think your results ended up being worse. I just think that Magma Opus, it’s just not powerful enough to justify bending your entire deck around it.

Yeah. I mean, for me, I really enjoyed my league. Um, it’s the kind of magic I like to play. And so I was encouraged enough and I’ll probably keep tweaking these numbers. Um, if I keep running into tough matchup spreads like you do, then, you know, we’ll have to revisit, you know, what I’m trying to do.

Damon Alexander: [00:48:50] Yeah.

Yeah. And maybe it’s a matter of sideboard. Maybe we just need to be a little bit less prepared against the aggro decks cards where Nightpack Ambusher is just innately. Good. And a little bit more prepared for the, uh, control matchups, whether that be with like, you know, big Chandra, the, um, awakened in front of him that’s uncountable, but his ethic festival, I don’t think people necessarily bring in Nissa, Gus against this deck.

It just plays enough non red, green cards that it’s a bit of a liability. Um, I mean, I guess they could, but honestly they Gus your Shondra. You play her again. Next turn. What are they going to do? Counter it? Ha ha.

David Robertson: [00:49:23] Right. Okay. So that was Temur flash. Um, I had proposed a bunch of other lists and I ran, uh, them each through a league.

So I proposed a list that was indomitable creativity, a bunch of effects that make artifacts, including Prismari command, um, Magma Opus itself, and then the, uh, creative outburst. I went, uh, three, two in this league. I beat blueback back control, lost handily to five color. Niv-Mizzet. Uh, beat Lotus combo. Two, one got smoked by a very cool red, white Lumimancer combo build there’s like a card and the new set that sort of functions like storm it’s like one in a white put a plus one plus one counter, uh, for every spell or copy that’s happened, this Turner or whatever.

So they’re they’re creatures suite was like the Oh one, the two man, a two, two that also gets a plus. And plus one, all your features and these guys absolutely laughed at Prismari command as a way to kill a creature. It just was a blank piece of cardboard. And then I finally got to play, um, a deck that had an artifact for Prismari command to hit in my fifth round, which was Oketra’s monument.

Like I’m on a white value creature build. So, uh, I went through to the list actually felt quite a bit weaker than the, um, Temur flash list. One of the problems is unless you’re playing Quicken, you have to do your, um, Your combo, if you want to call it that you’re, you’re Indomitable creativity, sorcery speed.

And I did it on turn four in every match. Uh, it was actually quite easy to pull off your deck. Just kind of turn Through itself. Uh, Prismari command is a bad card, but you get to loot twice. So you do kind of like find whichever piece you’re missing. Um, but the problem is especially against Niv-Mizzet you realize how weak a five, 604, four are they just resolved?

Niv-Mizzet your deck cannot kill it. The six, six blocks or five, Six. So you can throw away your five 62 for damage, unless you have another Magma Opus to tap the, um, Dragon. You can’t attack. Eventually they’re gonna draw Kolaghan’s command that actually kills your, uh, your five, six. It kills your Torrential Gearhulk and then it buys back into visit.

If you counter that or it makes you discard. So I find myself like, quote, unquote ahead of Niv-Mizzet for like that one half turn. Then the next term, they resolve bring to light for whatever, always Niv-Mizzet, and then Niv-Mizzet is so much better than Valki against you. And then that would just win the game.

They draw two or three cards from that. We’d kind of sit looking into that for a couple turns and because they’re applied two cards and they eventually can put something in play, then they get to a tack with her six, six Dragon, and I don’t have any flyers. So, um, it just felt like fundamentally the, the deck was actually quite weak to that.

And then it also felt worse to agro cause we’re playing, uh, all this air that doesn’t do anything, you know, Magma Opus, uh, celebration Prismari command. These cards don’t affect agro at all. Um, Prismari command maybe kills a one drop if they’re tapped out. Other than that, it basically kills no other creature in the format.

Uh, it’s just a terrible, terrible, terrible Kolaghan’s command. Um, I just cannot say enough negative things about this card. And I just looked at it so many times. And when you cast that three minutes, spell and hope, like in a best case scenario, you get to kill their one man Isbell. It’s gone so, so wrong.

Damon Alexander: [00:52:51] Yeah. I, I can share your frustrations against Niv. Um, I have, uh, there was a game where there was often Niv. They hit a single vanishing versus like, Oh, that’s a pretty bad hit. I think I can win. And I was like, wait, I have nothing to kill me. Niv-Mizzet and I died. And this list, yeah. This list is very focused around resolving a Magma Opus and make me Magma Opus is a card that in a deck that has a lot of other stuff going on.

Can if cast in the right spot, really pull you ahead, but probably on its own, isn’t enough to win games.

David Robertson: [00:53:25] Yeah. I mean, you find yourself way ahead of like the mid range decks, but they just don’t really exist in this format. And if you want to feel what it’s like to cast Magma Opus, you will just do it. I cast like.

20 wellness league. You just, it won’t actually when you that many games, uh, which is kind of wild to say, as Damon said, it’s a powerful card, but it’s not a game winning card. So if you’re not following up with other effects, you end up with nine power, but your deck has no real way to press that advantage.

And you draw two cards, but not really because you didn’t discard it on the first one. So it really is a draw one. It’s a card that cycles itself to make a four, four D and do four damage. Um, and that’s kind of the misnomer is when you’re, when you’re jumping through hoops to do your draw two, you are certainly not drawing to, you had to pitch that first card into your, uh, graveyard to make your treasure.

Damon Alexander: [00:54:11] Yeah. Meanwhile, Nero underscore is casting grave and Loris Christ. Five drawings. Yeah. Dave and Lauren dry.

David Robertson: [00:54:18] That’s basically Dig Through Time strife I’ve drunk.

Damon Alexander: [00:54:22] Yeah. Uh, yeah, somehow the, the line of discarding, Magma Opus to make a treasure never felt very good in the Temur list.

David Robertson: [00:54:33] No. And like, it only feels good in the context of eventually I will Gearhulk get back, but I mean, it’s like, wherever you do all this work to make our eight man, uh, instant and our six, an instant creature.

Good. It just, it felt like a lot of wheels spinning we’re going through.

Damon Alexander: [00:54:47] Yeah. Yeah. So it looks like you tried one last list.

David Robertson: [00:54:52] Yeah. Yeah. So this was a list that was trying to take advantage of the fact that Magma Opus put itself in the graveyard and was an expensive spell. And so both living lore and Torrent Sculptor kind of paid you off of that living Lord becomes an eight, eight.

If it exiles a Magma Opus Torrent Sculptor becomes a six, six with a ward ability, uh, similar to frost Titan. Um, I went Oh, four drop this, the general plan of this deck was very frustrating. You jumped through all these hoops. You finally get your living lore. It’s eight, eight. You’re hoping to attack. My point would either like have a bigger creature.

Uh, so if you’re living Lore dies from combat damage, you don’t get to do your sacrifice thing. It has to live, it will die to removal. You won’t have a, an incident or something in the graveyard, or they’ll have like a scavenging ooze. Um, one time I was already to go and my opponent cast a shifting Ceratops, which is pro blue.

So Living Lore doesn’t actually do combat damage. So we just sat there until they drew, you know, Whatever Nissa and won the game. Yeah. So you’re, you’re going through a lot of hoops to make a format of six, six. That was some minor upside. And it turns out that’s not very good because your opponent is casting Niv-Mizzet for five mana, and that’s a 66 with lots of upside.

They’re up three cards over you. And their creature has fallen. I will say the interaction like real was insane in this deck. And stubborn denial is actually powerful. So those are cards that, um, both Zach and Damon recommended that I caught and I thought they were actually making the right suggestion.

So I cut down a to have both the only games that I won were when I kinda got those cards going. But, uh, that’s, it’s probably good to just max out on the, the effects you’re interested in and see if it was worth paying off. I do think that I played poorly. I kept forgetting that Torrent Sculptor had a backside and that backside actually plays quite well with real.

Um, if you’re discarding, you know, uh, Magma Opus or whatever, and doing eight to something. And then it’s actually drawing you a card with reality. That’s actually kind of powerful, but I just living Lore in general, just so frustrating when they played the Ceratops, that was kind of the end for me.

Like it’s died every other way. And now there’s one freaking pro blue creature, the entire format. My opponent has one in their sideboard and they draw it. I knew I just looked at their hand. Uh, so it’s like a stupid, stupid band.

Damon Alexander: [00:57:17] Shifty, shifty Ceratops,

David Robertson: [00:57:19] the one-time living Lore did hit where it like drew a card with, um, Kiora in play.

Then when I attacked and I made a four 42 and other car with contemplate felt awesome, but it’s like one time over the course of, you know, 12 games is a sign of how weak that is.

Damon Alexander: [00:57:34] Well, I mean, you were a trooper for playing it. Sometimes we go for and learn our lessons and move on. Do you think Torrent Sculptor does this car just like, are you going to write off Living Lore Torrent Sculptor completely or would you ever.

Queue up with them again,

David Robertson: [00:57:48] Torrent Sculptor was actually interesting. I think if I got rid of Torrent, if I got rid of living lore and Magma Opus, and there was like another card that maybe just straight up cycled, like Boon of the wish-giver, I think maybe there’ll be something there just as like a tempo positive build where you’re playing Torrent Sculptor, and it costs four men and a kill basically.

So. Okay. Your opponent, they can’t gain advantage, uh, against you with like binding of the old gods. That’s a Six man a play or something. Um, I’d be interested in trying something like that out. You’d have to tweak out the numbers a little bit to make sure you always had something in your graveyard, but yeah, maybe, maybe that would be good.

I I’d have to see, I don’t know. I, I kind of looked there isn’t anything that’s quite as sweet as Boon of the Wish-giver in terms of, uh, kind of turning on your, your guy, but.

Damon Alexander: [00:58:38] Yeah, in terms

of truly cycling on like Magma Opus,

David Robertson: [00:58:41] but yeah, like Rielle with that, where, you know, when the creature bodies and it’s important and it basically turns into removals while it draws a card with real, that was also like worth noting, like as, as a very powerful interaction.


Damon Alexander: [00:58:55] yeah. Yeah. Maybe were we Oh, Rielle and other visit?

David Robertson: [00:59:00] Yeah. I’ve, I’ve always been very impressed with retail. I don’t, no one else has, seemed to play with it at all, but I just have a lot of success with it. So I don’t know if that’s just the luck of the draw or what, but I would say don’t put living lore and a deck ever again, unless you really want to donate some ticks to all the players and the queues out there.

Damon Alexander: [00:59:17] Yeah. I suppose my most memorable experience with living Lore is when my opponent has living Lore getting back there and treasury cruise. And then I cast a, the act of treason card in ultimately masters to senior living lore swing sack, Lord draw three.

David Robertson: [00:59:33] It never got that vicious for me, but it was basically as bad as, so I can report similar win rates anyway.

Damon Alexander: [00:59:40] Yeah. Yeah. So, Hmm.

David Robertson: [00:59:44] So I guess the final takeaway for me is that I think Magma Opus is only good if I’m Torrential Gearhulk doing it. And only if it’s as part of our normal play and I’m not having to bend my entire deck around it, I’m guessing the ideal number of people will probably settle on. And some of these Grixis lists or team or lists is like one or two.

I think people are trying for now just to see how good it is, but in general, um, you know, I just don’t think the card is that powerful. And, um, you can kind of see it because I think the best control lists are not playing the full boat. And I think they’re getting better when they’re cutting stone.

Damon Alexander: [01:00:20] Yeah.

I think in short, what we’re really saying is that Harry 13 is on the right track here with more of like a salty list, featuring a few Magma Opus. Um, but not as like a thing that you feel like you’re desperately trying to play early. Cause that’s your, your main line.

David Robertson: [01:00:35] Yeah. Uh, and, and one of the things that Harry 13 is doing is splashing into black.

So you get really efficient removal, you know, fatal pushes. It’s just so much better than some of the options in red. Um, and then post board, you’ve got a bunch of other options with, you know, black thought distortion, et cetera. So

Damon Alexander: [01:00:52] yeah. Mystical Dipute me now

David Robertson: [01:00:55] I do think that, you know, there’s probably a place for it, you know, as a one or two of, I think we will still see this card for awhile, but yeah, I’m just not a believer.


Damon Alexander: [01:01:04] Also we should just highlight their sick tech, have to rewind for Eureka moments. Okay. Well maybe now it can believe in Eureka moments with rewind. That’s awesome.

David Robertson: [01:01:14] Now I’m not already wanting to believe her, but, uh, it’s cool that people are having success with it.

Damon Alexander: [01:01:19] So Magma Opus feels like a three-two car to heart.

To me. Some decks too well with it, but you know, on average, I don’t think it’s going to break any formats. We know anytime soon.

David Robertson: [01:01:32] Agreed.

Damon Alexander: [01:01:33] Any closing thoughts or

David Robertson: [01:01:36] I think you said you were a Magma Nope-us. I enjoyed your puns. I wanted to highlight it. Um, I think I enjoyed it a little bit more than you, but, um, you know, it’s, it’s certainly the, the flash shell is the kind of magic I like to play and I’ll probably be tooling around with it.

And there will be some number of Magma Opus or Opi in there as long as I’m playing blue and red. We’ll see if we can tweak it and get it to a point where it feels like it’s the right number.

Damon Alexander: [01:02:02] Yeah. Yeah. If I could start every game with three treasures to pay for the inevitable mystical dispute, I would like that.

Goldspan a lot more,

David Robertson: [01:02:09] there we go.

Damon Alexander: [01:02:11] But I think it’s coming in the next set and not this one,

David Robertson: [01:02:13] right? Well, we will leave it there. Um, good luck to everybody out there who is trying to put a Paulo through his paces. And if you’re trying to cast Magma Opus, may you Dodge the mystical dispute.

Damon Alexander: [01:02:27] Yeah. And Dodger Spellbinders cause we’re coming for you.

Exactly. All right. Since well, next week. See you, but that’s a wrap on episode 10 of Strixhaven season tune in next week for our testing results and download the latest plus PayPal’s brewing.com. Support for this podcast is provided by brewers like you, if you like what we do, be sure to join our community patreon.com/Faithlessbrewing for discord access bonus content and more that’s all for today.

Stay safe and we’ll see you next time. Yeah,

David Robertson: [01:03:04] that made me want to try a deck where we also set up, um,

A a fuck. This Tanner, this is an edit. I built this deck wrong. There’s only supposed to be one enter the infinite and four of, um, the, uh, what’s the five-minute enchantment possibility storm. Yeah. Possibility storm.

Damon Alexander: [01:03:33] I was kind of wondering how are we casting? Was that nuts? I must be missing something.

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