Real Ultimate Power: Planeswalker Combo with Kasmina, Enigma Sage

Kasmina Enigma Sage

Strixhaven, Episode 6: Kasmina, Enigma Sage

What if every planeswalker had an extra +2 loyalty ability, and a powerful -8 ultimate? For some, it would make no difference at all. For others, these new abilities would be a game changer. Teferi, Master of Time would gain loyalty at a frightening rate. Many walkers would now be able to ultimate the turn after coming into play. For others, such as Narset, Parter of Veils, the bonus +2 could fuel even more activations of a powerful minus. On top of all that, every planeswalker now gets a wonky ability to make tokens, if push comes to shove.

These are just some of the riddles posed by Kasmina, Enigma Sage. On the surface Kasmina is an underpowered card, barely giving you back a full card worth of value unless you happen to reach her -8. Everything depends on the synergies that Kasmina unlocks. But there’s no denying some of these combinations are powerful. We’re pushing Fractals to the limit this week with a half dozen new takes on Kasmina in Modern and Pioneer. Let’s see what she can do!

Episode At a Glance
[2:57] Theorycraft: Understanding Kasmina, Enigma Sage
[8:00] Sketch 1: Kasmina Lukka Legend
[14:50] Sketch 2: Bant Turbo Kasmina Combo
[20:15] Reference: Planeswalker Prison (pre-SSG ban)
[26:05] Sketch 3: Simic Turbo Kasmina Combo
[33:52] Sketch 4: Sultai Kasmina Ultimatum
[36:28] Reference: Historic Sultai Ultimatum (60 card)
[36:28] Reference: Pioneer Sultai Ultimatum (80 card)
Bonus Sketch: Simic Multiple Choice Turns

New: Full Episode Transcript

Automated transcripts are not 100% accurate. Please use this transcript only for cursory reference. If you need to quote any of our content, please contact us.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:00:00] You are listening to faithless brewing a magic together in podcasts for the spike room. Each week, we design new decks in modern and pioneer. We put our patients to the test and share our findings on the air. Coming up on the brew session. Six new deck. With Kasmina, Enigma Sage. Will we enter the infinite or are these just irrational numbers?

There’s only one way to find out this is episode six of Strixhaven season. Thanks for listening and enjoy.

David Robertson: [00:00:38] Okay.

Hello, and welcome to the faithless brewing podcast. I am David Robertson joining you from Minnesota, and I’m joined as always by my guy on the West coast. He is Damon Alexander, Dan what’s up?

Damon Alexander: [00:01:11] Hey, just sign up with some friends to play. The  also known as Strixhaven commander pre-con. I was a fan is actually really fun because the decks are just good, but not too good.

And I signed up to be Quandrix.

David Robertson: [00:01:27] The mathematician,

Damon Alexander: [00:01:28] bio mathematician. Oh yeah.

David Robertson: [00:01:30] Excellent. And we are joined of course by the CEO of the famous brewing podcast. He is Cavedan online. He is Dan Schriever. What’s up.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:01:38] Hey, how’s it going? I think I will be in Lorehold college, myself, college of history, archeology and elephants.

Archeology is kind of my jam. So you can have fun with your math and fractals and Bitcoins and all that Damon, um, content here with Indiana Jones.

Damon Alexander: [00:01:56] No, yeah. Bitcoin to the moon, 63 K

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:01:59] curious, David, which of the Strixhaven colleges you would join?

David Robertson: [00:02:03] None of them. These are all Ravnica guilds and putting a new paint job on it.

Impresses nobody is it is it is the college I would join.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:02:14] Is there like a secret Dimir agents pretending to go to

David Robertson: [00:02:17] college? All right. Well, we’ve got a lot to cover today because we are going to talk about our first brew session of the Strixhaven season. A quick reminder, before we get to that, you can support

Backslash faith is brewing. We are releasing two episodes each week. If you listen to the Friday episode, you saw us go through some patron bruise. We also talked about the state of modern and went through a Dan’s pioneer list. He took into the last chance qualifier, but today we are going to talk about our first card of Strixhaven.

And it is Kasmina, enigma Sage Damon. Tell us about this card.

Damon Alexander: [00:02:57] Yeah. So first, what is Kasmina, Enigma Sage. She is a one blue green for a Planeswalker we’re starting with two loyalty, comes out with a static. Each other plants Walker you control has the loyalty abilities of Kasmina. Those abilities are. Plus two sky one minus X, create a zero, zero green and blue fractal creature token put X plus one plus one counters on it.

And then minus eight, search your library for an incident of sorcery card. The shares of color with this Planeswalker XL that card then shuffle, you may cast that card without paying it’s managed cost. So first off is a quick note. The minus eight tracks, the color of this Planeswalker normally would say something like of Kasmina or whatever, but this is meant to make it so.

Another Planeswalker exercises. Kasmina’s alt uh, it will track that plays Walker’s color. So we discussed this card a bit during the preview season. This card is a very, you know, the name doesn’t lie, very enigmatic. One of the most interesting plans walkers we found for it was Teferi, Master of Time who really benefits from going from a plus one uptick to a plus two uptick.

And because Teferi goes twice a turn, you’re essentially getting. Uh, a net of kind of a gain of two per turn cycle in loyalty increase versus a plus one for a typical plus typical plans Mark with a plus one loyalty ability now was plus two to free kind of goes from plus two to plus four. And that means that now to ferry hits his own old quite quickly, uh, or Kasmina’s alt but only for blue spells.

And so the question is, well, how do we make that work? But before we get to that first off, who is Kasmina I thought that. Cause me and The Wanderer was Elsbeth, but we do, we know that now it doesn’t look like Elspeth anymore.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:04:37] I think Kasmina and the wanderer were two different planes. Walkers Kasmina was blue.

The wander was white.

Damon Alexander: [00:04:44] Oh, okay. Nevermind. Then I got worried the spark mixed up. I had a rough pre-release.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:04:49] It’s always important to ask the hard hitting questions first. Like who does

David Robertson: [00:04:54] new phone?

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:04:57] Yeah. Um, so totally different planes walking around new place. Yeah, I guess cast me and I was like invited will and Rowan Ken riff to come home in their skills or something like that.

Maybe that’s what this static ability is doing. Like tutoring other Planeswalker is inviting them to plus to inscribe. I think that David you’d come up with pretty exhaustive list. Like all the different plans Walker is that when assisted by Kasmina can now activate an ultimate on the next turn, after they come down, whether that’s Kasmina has owned ultimate of the minus eight or maybe the other planes Walker is a native Ultimate’s.

So I think that’s like one direction to go. I think we all basically agreed that the plus two is cry. One is. It’s not really worth anything except adding to loyalty to your plane as well. Chris you’re, you’re basically just doing that to get the loyalty up. And I think the biggest message history for me was the minus X, this creating fractals.

I don’t know that you’re building around that unless you’re doing a transmogrify type thing. Like the list that Odince sent in that we talked about on Friday, on the other hand, like maybe just like having the option to suddenly create fractals, not just on Kasmina, but on other walkers is actually better than it looks.

Damon Alexander: [00:06:09] Yeah, it’s expensive though, in terms of loyalty. I mean, obviously, um, you know, Nissa or Vivian both make three threes on their uptick, uh, for this have to do a minus three to get a three-three out of it. Oko kind of gives you a three-three obviously it’ll cause a, you know, two good for this world, but gave a, a three-three for plus 1.5, I guess, average loyalty over two turns.

Um, this minus X is. A pretty hefty cost to pay for a fractal of that, you know, dies to anything.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:06:42] I thought that fractals were going to be a big theme of the set for at least the contract school. It turns out there are 16 cards in magic that referenced fractals, but only nine of them come from Strixhaven.

And the other seven come from the commander deck that Damon is going to be gleefully enjoying, uh, with his friends. Uh, I guess I wasn’t invited that Damon. I don’t know how to feel about that. Yeah. It almost felt like the fractals had much better support in the commander version. But in the main set, the fractals are just sort of like filler.

Damon Alexander: [00:07:15] Yeah. It’s interesting that the C 21 decks, they have some new cards in them that honestly I think are worth looking into because they really round out the Strixhaven schools in a way that I agree with Dan, like it wasn’t present in just the base set. And so it’s a little bit sad because yeah, these cards aren’t legal in modern, of course, if you’re a calendar player or a legacy player, you do get these cards sometimes to interesting

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:07:38] effect.

Well, another timeline, you know, we we’d be brewing up some sweet commander lists with the Quandrix pre-con that being said, we are a modern and pioneer cast and we are going to put, uh, through her paces. So David. I’ll turn it over to you here. You’ve got a whole bevy of lists. Yeah.

David Robertson: [00:08:00] So the, the, you know, we talked about Kasmina as something that’s going to threaten to ultimate.

And so typically you don’t play Planeswalkers to do this, but I think with her. You sort of have to, um, this isn’t a, Planeswalker like any other Plains Walker where if it stays in play, let’s say five minutes to ferry or whatever. It’s accruing value just by being in play. It’s making each of your turns so much better.

And after two or three turns of the Teferi plussing or JC growing, you’ve really won the game. Your opponents doesn’t know it yet. Several terms of Kasmina plussing. You have probably lost the game and your opponent just hasn’t done lethal damage to you yet. And so I think you need to be doing something unfair.

So we already talked about the, the various cards that would work with, uh, Kasmina the first list I want to propose combined sort of our old Lukka list, uh, which was a Lukka list with Yorion. And it took advantage of the Felidar guardian, uh, Saheeli Rai list and Lukka can target creatures and. You spin until you hit a creature with a higher mana cost.

Lukka his interaction with mana creatures only having, um, another creature at four being Felidar guardian and then one Emrakul on top was technology that we thought was really cool. So Lukka, Target’s a bird of paradise. If the bird of paradise is exiled, that the ability resolves you are either going to hit Felidar guardian or Emrakul

. If you had Emrakul, that’s great and recall very powerful. If you hit. Felidar guardian federal guardian blinks Lukka Lukka comes back into play targets, a Felidar guardian, and then you always had Emrakul. So you had this like step up process that allows you to play the Felidar guardian Saheeli Rai combo in the middle of this deck, that allegedly is like a transmographers effect.

So one of the things we didn’t like about that was that you’re playing Saheeli Rai, and, um, Lukka which both basically have blanks as their possibility. So now just as a matter of course, you can plus Lukka to actually get some value. Scribe one is a Mage, but it’s better than just excellent. The top three cards of your deck.

Saheeli Rai. You just want to stick around, hopefully until you draw your fellow guardian. So gaining one extra loyalty every time she pluses is probably better than doing one damage to your opponent. And then you still have the interaction with that I’m interested in, which is the Kasmina plus a Teferi master of time.

So that was something that you would highlight at Dan as a very powerful, obviously you’re a Teferi master of Time fan. We’re still kind of trying to find a place where it can have a home to very master time is both a great way to dump your Emrakul back into your deck, which is something that our old version had Narset doing.

So that was already in effect that we wanted. Um, obviously Teferi master of Time with Kasmina is starting the ultimate very quickly. Because we want, um, the ability to punish our apartment. If we get to ultimate, uh, I do have just too expensive blue sorceries in this deck that we can hit. So that’s Alrund’s epiphany and Genesis ultimatum.

Alrund’s epiphany could just be straight up Time warp if you want a, that it’s easier to cast. Yeah. Other than that, it’s basically like the list that we played before. I just wanted to highlight that somebody basically played our list with a few minor moderation alterations, and they find load with it in a deck don’t play two weeks ago.

So the technology we developed a year ago still apparently, uh, inspiring people and it’s at least a, uh, a demonstration that, you know, it’s functional.

Damon Alexander: [00:11:25] Definitely no way they, they thought of this on their own. Right. It’s just not even, not even a remote possibility. I

David Robertson: [00:11:30] agree, David. I haven’t seen it yet. I

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:11:32] was, I was going to say, when you talk about our Lukka lists, like that was from Ikoria.

That was the first car we, we touched on. And when Ikoria dropped. And when you say you had Yorion in it, that was when companions were not Nerfed yet. Um, this is like the very first thing that was almost a year ago. Some of our listeners probably weren’t even born yet when we talked about this,

David Robertson: [00:11:52] but the list was so sexy.

It caused them to be conceived that night is kind of what you’re implying.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:11:57] Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So this is a child of that deck list in a very literal sense. So I think it’s a really cool piece of technology to revisit. And one of the things that was so interesting about Lukka. Himself again, this is like Ikoria.

Lukka not, not the new Lukka, but the old Lukka was that it was a polymorph style effect that allowed you to also play mana acceleration from men to dorks. You know, that’s just like pretty cool. Now I’m wondering, looking at the list that you’ve put together here, David, if, if we’re like losing something by not having the ability to turn Kasmina’s fractal into a Emrakul, like you’re the only way to do that would be to actually remove the Noble hierarchs and Arbor elves. And just play utopia sprawl, basically. Maybe you’d go down to 60.

David Robertson: [00:12:39] Yeah. I mean, you could also just believe, okay. You have 12 ones that you can hit and then you have four fours and one 15. True. True. I mean, I do think you want the manta acceleration.

You want to maximize the number of times that your casting has been on too. She does not do a good job protecting herself. So you don’t play your early, uh, plussing her multiple times and just, you know, taking it to the face is probably the way that she’s going to stick around.

Damon Alexander: [00:13:11] Yeah. That’s uh, my one concern with this strategy of Kasmina probably in general, is that Kasmina when you play her as you’re kind of first Planeswalker, you’re not really affecting the game that much, that turn.

And then same with Teferi master of Time Teferi has the ability to kind of like come in and then face something out. Uh, so it’s very, it’s like a little cool in that sense, but you place a Heliod you’re, maybe Heliod immediately doesn’t do anything, but she at least threatened something in me. Like very quickly after if your point it doesn’t interact with the Heliod, uh, or they’re not ready, then you want to have in play solitaire garden, you win the game.

In a way that Kasmina just isn’t quite there. And so I guess, yeah, maybe you make up for that with

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:13:49] speed. So about a month ago we featured Esika’s Chariot as one of our brew around cars from our Kaldheim, um, I played a version of David’s Chariot Saheeli cat combo concepts in modern and I Five-O with it.

And I thought the deck was great. I played actually a bunch of leagues with it and had really good results. I found that. Saheeli plus one, scry isn’t acceptable play. If it’s happening on turn two. That’s a big F right. But that’s like, why you need the term one to work. So I think David’s right about that.

You just have to have the acceleration here on turn three playing. Saheeli plus scribe is like, yeah. Or your opponent’s like getting ready to sign the match, slip in their favor. And now we’ve got like eight of Planeswalker. Is that do that? So Heliod and Kasmina or both like, okay. Three men cry, but I think I just was like proof of concepts that you can still fight with a deck designed to go mana dork into three minutes.

Squad Planeswalker that? That’s actually fine. And I’ll just say, that’s another way to build this deck. Um, you know, if you don’t believe in Lukka, you don’t have to play Lukka you can just play  Omnath

David Robertson: [00:14:50] instead. Yeah, absolutely. All right. So that’s a, that’s a Yorion shell. Um, I started to get inspired by seeing this list that had had this technology.

So, you know, as a sort of proof of concept, I have also proposed here a 60 card shell, um, which is basically just all in on the, uh, ultimate of Kasmina winning the game. So the, the sorcery that we’re going to target is enter the infinite once. Enter the infinite resolves, we will in theory, have multiple cards that can win the game.

In our hand, those would be Thassa’s Oracle or Jace. We have two of them just so our opponent can’t, you know, pick one XL, it’s a mile and we automatically lose. We have 12, uh, Manno ramp effects on one. So Arbor Elf utopia, sprawling little hierarchy. We’re playing Teferi, Time Raveler to protect our combo.

Also just generically powerful card. We don’t play any sorceries with two exceptions. So you can just plus Teferi with  to get back up to your bounce ability faster, just to help it preserve its life. Total. We do have extra Kiora behemoths back in her. So that’s a car that again, threatens ultimate. The turn after comes into play with Kasmina.

Um, and then our extra sorceries in case, you know, we don’t get to get to enter the infinite our time warp and temporal mastery, which are just Time walk effects. Uh, timewalker effects are generically powerful. Planeswalker it’s although the specific Planeswalkers this deck is playing, um, don’t actually do that much on the extra turn to give yourself.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:16:21] So you’re envisioning that when you activate the minus eight on Kasmina, is this happening on your turn? Right? So.

David Robertson: [00:16:27] Well, in theory, I’m guessing most of the time it’s going to happen through Teferi, Master of Time,

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:16:31] so that that can happen on their turn. So ideal start would be a noble hierarchy on term one, Kasmina on turn to scribe.

Okay. Now next turn is turned through you. We play our fourth land. We play Teferi, master of Time. We plus Through that, on our turn and on their turn back to us, plus two again, and then we’re ready to ultimate, I guess that’s on their turn. So we we’ve taken four turns at that point. On their fourth turn.

We’re we’re threatening an ultimate with Teferi master of Time.

David Robertson: [00:16:59] Yeah. And the theory there is also that Kasmina after she does her first scribe is minus warning to make a one, one blocker on your turn three and four. So you don’t have to spend any loyalty from Teferi to do so.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:17:13] So you grab, enter the infinite, you draw your deck, you put back a fast as Oracle.

And then I hope that resolves basically

David Robertson: [00:17:20] our next turn. Well, on your next turn, you have five minutes. You cast a fairy Time rambler. Your opponent counters that, or doesn’t, if they don’t count, you cast that as Oracle and when, if they do counter it, you cast us as Oracle. They have to have two counter spells.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:17:33] So is that the purpose of the white cards? Because the white is like a very light touch on this list. And I noticed that you’re playing path to exile, which gives me some pause. Cause I actually, I don’t like path at all in, in general, but not in this list either. So I’m curious if you need the weight.

David Robertson: [00:17:48] Yeah, I think Teferi, Time Raveler is a super powerful card.

It gives us a generic way to interact with all kinds of permanents, for all the reasons we described. Um, I wanted the cheapest removal possible, cause we’re not trying to play a super long game, so just give them lands. That’s fine. So, you know, like if you’re playing Kiora I wanted something that I could for sure on tap and, and cast with my one, man, that’s going to take care of any aggressive creature because this deck is super soft agro.

I believe.

Damon Alexander: [00:18:13] Yeah. The pants make sense to me in the sort of deck, the extra land, you know, if you can win the game very quickly, it becomes more of like a Lotus petal or something. Meanwhile Teferi, Time Raveler seems like one of the better Planeswalkers to combine with Kasmina, just because, you know, Saheeli is meant to just do one thing really.

And the extra optics maybe that helps us drive a combat step, maybe not. Um, you know, a lot of these Heliod Extus for ultimate is actually just a blank. It finds artifacts out of your duck parts. Teferi is just such a flexible all around Planeswalker that uptaking it. Plus two, it feels almost terrifying how much that accelerates, uh, what Teferi wants to do on the game.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:18:51] In terms of instance and sorceries that Kasmina has ultimate can find, I’m curious if you have any consideration for body of research. This is blue, blue, blue, green, green, green, create a gigantic fractal equal to the number of cards in your library.

David Robertson: [00:19:09] Obviously being a social, I want to actually win the game.

That’s not going to win the game a huge amount of the time, right? I mean,

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:19:14] no, but so you only need one in the deck. Um, it’s the kind of card that benefits tremendously from having a Teferi Time. Reveler. Both to protect it and to allow you to cast it on their instep. So almost kind of like a OneCard splinter twin.

Damon Alexander: [00:19:27] Isn’t that the purpose of Enter the Infinite to be a OneCard Splinter Twin?

David Robertson: [00:19:29] yeah. Enter the infinite just wins the game. I mean, this other card gets me. If I have to vary and play gets to attack, maybe one time

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:19:37] just cast it. I mean, you don’t have any cast me know, you can just like cast this on turn five or something.

David Robertson: [00:19:43] Okay. And then what I mean,  the way cast fatal push. It’s like, well, I’m not sure. Who’s will.

Damon Alexander: [00:19:56] In response Teferi master of Time, phase out your fractal, duh.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:20:02] Okay. Fair enough. Just thought I’d ask. And

Damon Alexander: [00:20:06] also was pretty poor after you cast Enter the infinite

David Robertson: [00:20:11] six minutes. Sorcery dies. When it comes into play triggering fatal Push,

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:20:15] it was fractal diet. As it lived as a zero zero fractal two. Again, there is one deck in modern that you could describe as like Planeswalker tribal. This is like the Planeswalker prison deck that aspiringspike, I think is best associated with this.

I think he developed a version a few months back and as five old from time to time, it plays 19 or 20 different planes, walkers, many of them from war the sparks. So Dovin, hand of control Narset, Parter of Veils Teferi, Time Raveler, um, Wrenn and Six on three, mainly just to distract the opponent. There was actually no instance of sorceries here for it to rebuy.

Karn, the great creator does the heavy lifting and a full car in which boards to actually interact with the opponents. And then you’re just trying to accelerate it. So Arbor Elf birds of paradise. Utopia sprawl Oath of Nissa to hold it all together. And Simian spirit guide is the, is kind of the key card here, which has now banned.

So I think that’s one reason why we haven’t really seen much of this deck and it was always kind of tier two, two and a half to begin with. But like, this is a list where, when I’m looking at the Planeswalker is that are already in this deck. I’m like, yeah, many of them would benefit from having. The option to plus two from Kasmina.

And I’m curious if that’s enough to consider Kasmina for a show like this, even though there is no source your top end or instant top

David Robertson: [00:21:34] end. Yeah. I mean, I could be wrong, but I don’t think you can gain enough from the extra loyalty gain to justify playing Kasmina, without having to have some kind of payoff for the ultimate.

Um, making fractals is I don’t think very powerful. Um, Planeswalkers staying around for multiple turns is. You know, four or five turns is not a normal play pattern and modern. So I’m looking to ultimate, you know, the turn after comes into play. I’m trying to do something unfair because I don’t think that I’m playing a very powerful car when I’m putting ketamine into my,

Damon Alexander: [00:22:05] although if there is a deck that’s going to benefit from Kasmina I giving a plus to ability to a lot of your planes.

Walkers is the deck playing cards like Narset and dove in who both. Don’t have a plus at all. I definitely agree with your statement though, that if you’re going to play Kasmina you got to put some incidents or sorceries, uh, that early is pretty good. I mean, maybe it’s just Time Warp in this sort of deck Time.

Warp is always good with Planeswalker as it doesn’t win the game, but maybe in this sort of deck, it comes close enough. There’s a lot

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:22:30] of overlap with what you would put in like a Temur taking turns style deck. I think Wrenn and Six could be secretly the key to making Kasmina work in modern. A lot of that play patterns that are in the list.

You’ve drawn up. David envisioning that we’re playing Kasmina first. And then like, I was a different Planeswalker after Kasmina to start benefiting. And it’s just kind of like a slow sequence, but what if we already had the Planeswalker already in play? You like Wrenn and Six, comes down on term two goes up to four.

Next turn you play Kasmina you can put the Wrenn and Six up to six, if you want. Um, or you could have like Wrenn and Six could make a blocker because to me it could go up to four a maybe just like change the whole sequence of like how your pressure would

David Robertson: [00:23:10] evolve. Yeah. I mean, Wrenn and Six is generically powerful card.

So I think that that’s probably a reasonable place to start. Yeah, because then Wrenn and Six. Well, yeah, I mean Wrenn and Six, you’re just never going that wrong. Pretty in your deck. Right. So.

Damon Alexander: [00:23:24] Yeah. And if it was one card, that’s really good with retrace, it’s probably time warp. So adding that to the pile with the card.

So basic has me. It helps you with fine time warp and helps you rent a six is establishes emblem. It’s emblem their emblem.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:23:38] So I don’t have a list ready for this. This is just something that has occurred to me. You’re thinking through your, your modern bills, David, but, um, you know, maybe there’s something there to explore.

All right. So those are some modern concepts and also got some pioneer deck lists that David has prepared for us. Uh, we will be right back with those after the break.

David Robertson: [00:23:59] Faithless brew, Elaine. That means so much to all of its fans and patrons, but what does it really mean? A legacy of quality burdens by narrative, Minnesota, and now with nationwide production. From the Carolinas in East to Washington in the West brewmaster David Robertson, Hansel next from over 18,000 unique magic cards, sub unknown vintages, some modern flavor of the monks.

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Damon Alexander: [00:26:02] So what do we have first in pioneer? So the

David Robertson: [00:26:05] first list in pioneer is sort of a port of the more all-in versions. We’re playing eight man of elves. We were playing for Oath of Nissa. Our payoff card is enter the Infinite. And again, with the one of jace, Wielder of mysteries, the one of Thassa’s Oracle. We’re playing for Kiora, behemoth.

Beckoner, we’re playing for Teferi master of Time, and then we’re playing four Kasmina. So this deck is basically again, just try and do turbo Kasmina, use her in combination with Kiora or Teferi, master of Time to set up a, an activation of the Kasmina ultimate. And from there, uh, when the game.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:26:42] So right off the bat, I think this will be a more successful than the modern builds, just because the interaction we’re talking about is probably more at the speed of a format like pioneer.

It just so happens that Elf into Kasmina into Teferi is like that’s one of the better starts you can have in the formats. I think Agros on the downswing for the most part. Elves are still some of the best term one plays and it. Seems like the manna in Bluegreen is just barely good enough to support that kind of play.

Um, you have probably what, 16 strong dual lens between shocks and pathways, fast lands botanical sanctums and you have Yavimaya coasts and then it’s like up to you, if you want to play any more dual lands beyond that, or if you just want to play basics.

David Robertson: [00:27:26] Yeah, exactly. So that’s going to be, the question is how good the man is.

Obviously Oath of Nissa fixes all that, but. Pushes you off a turn in terms of getting to resolve your planes Walker. There isn’t a lot of interaction in this list. So, you know, that’s a cause for concern, you could probably cut the two shark typhoons and put something else in there. Um, maybe like brazen borrower or something, just, just any kind of tempo, positive play to keep your Planeswalker is alive.

But yeah, you know, against blue-black control against Dimir Izzet where they don’t have like reasonable answers for format Planeswalker. So they don’t have very many and they don’t play that many creatures. Um, you’re kind of getting to get free reign to activate your Planeswalker cause I want you to times, and each of those activations is kind of helping you select to find the next Planeswalker, uh, should something happen to the one in play?

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:28:10] Can we talk about the Kiora behemoth beckoners in here? So part of what they’re doing is that Kiora comes down with a natural seven loyalty and she does not have an uptick, but she Kasmina that gives her the ability to go up to nine and then can ultimate when Kasmina is not in place here, we’ll add manna for you and occasionally draw you cards, but not really in this list.

So I’m curious if that’s actually good enough to like merit being a four of, without creature support.

David Robertson: [00:28:36] Yeah. I mean, I don’t know because I’ve never played this list before. Um, it’s possible. It’s not, that’s why the shark typhoons are there as a way to trigger her. If you cycle a shark typhoon for four, you actually draw two cards of cures and play Kiora.

Plus a Wolf Haven is also a huge mana engine, um, where she’s adding an extra two men on a turn. And so that’s actually helping you, in theory, maybe cast your Alrund’s epiphany or cast your, you know, memory the back half of your commit. Or maybe hard cast to shark typhoon in a deck like this. That’s basically all non creature

Damon Alexander: [00:29:09] spells.

Yeah. Nice about Q Kiora is she tends to just sit and play, especially if you have anything else going on as threatening. Uh, it’s hard to justify throwing resources at her when we went with a whopping seven loyalty. Um, I actually suspect that the more common play pattern will actually be Kiora downtick make a four, four fractional draw card just in the sense that you can object to nine, but then.

At that point, your point is going to be, you know, throwing something at Kiora and this tech is still a little bit light on defense as all of these kids mean all this, I think fundamental.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:29:37] Yeah. Don’t do what Damon said. Cause that’s like game rule violation. You don’t

David Robertson: [00:29:40] draw. Yeah. We talked about this when this car as well, it makes a zero, zero fractal and then puts four counters on it.

It may still be the case though, that you can plus Kiora in a very temporal positive way. It’s like a three man, a six, six with Kasmin in play that also leaves a Kiora behind. So even if you don’t draw a card, that’s still is, you know, legitimate a six, six is actually just very good against mono red. For instance, they’re going to spend multiple cars to kill it.

It’s going to block to protect your Kasmina, you know, until you get Cassie or whatever to very yeah. Time. So, yeah, I mean, I don’t know how many Kiora should be in the list, the list, maybe it should just be two. Maybe it should be, you know, playing four Narset. Cause that cards is generically powerful. Uh Kasmina and Narset obviously have some synergy where you don’t just exhaust your Narset for two minuses.

You can then, uh, plus her then minus her again. How often do you get to activate Narset, you know, four times in the game. I don’t know, but, uh, it seems pretty fun if you get to do it.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:30:34] What about the card? Multiple choice. I know that’s one that you’ve been having your eye on for a while. David, that seems like that would fit here.

David Robertson: [00:30:41] Yeah. So multiple choice is a card that I. And I have a bunch of lists that are very similar to these. The problem is that the like Kasmina engine, if you want to call it that the Kasmina combo, the whatever is just a ton of air already. Um, which I predicted when this car was spoiled and you just run out of slots.

Cause you need to find a way to, when you need to play these super expensive sorceries, um, you need to play all these Planeswalkers that you really don’t want to play necessarily just because they work with her. I mean, typically you don’t want to play for, Teferi master of Time. Uh, you don’t wanna play for Kiora behemoth Beckoner you don’t want to play four Kasmina.

So you have, you know, all these cards just to try to maximize the potential to do so. So I, I think that there are probably decks that are playing like Kiora, Behemoth beckoner, WolfWillow Haven, shark typhoon that are also playing, um, multiple choice. But I don’t think you can find room for it endless like these, because you do need some actual, real removal.

But maybe, maybe it is the right card. I just think like, I’d want a card, like commit to memory because it gives you out to have that interaction with Narset. So something that’s a little bit more broken than just, you know, a slightly better Mulldrifter

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:31:51] Teferi master of Time. We have a bit of a history with, on this podcast of arguing about that card.

If you’re not totally caught up. The important context is that when Teferi was first previewed, Uro was still legal. And I don’t think I’ve ever like seriously suggested playing Teferi, Master of Time without the ability to turn the looting effect into some profit out of the graveyard. Um, without Uro that’s unfortunately like a big knock against Teferi, master of time.

And I’m just like wondering if there’s a way to exploit the graveyard more because I’ve actually played a number of Sultai builds with both Uro and Teferi, master of Time Teferi. He feels the graveyard so fast. You do have the two commit to memories, but it seems like Dig Through Time. It’s just like a natural fit.

It’s a big card for the Kasmina ultimate if you need that. But it’s also just like a generically strong card that I think you’ll enable, you know, well enough with, um, Teferi

David Robertson: [00:32:44] for, yeah, I think you’re right. I think those, the Dig Through Time should probably be in here over shark typhoon, and you can maybe even play three because like you say Teferi does do a great job filling a graveyard.

So yeah, I agree that, that, that makes a lot of sense to me.

Damon Alexander: [00:32:57] I would be a little bit leery of going too low on wind conditions. A lot of the cards and the sec are not capable of winning a game on their own at the point, that the only way you can win is by resolving enter the infinite. Uh, that seems a little sketch.

David Robertson: [00:33:08] You can also just take all the turns and Jace wielder mysteries yourself out.

Damon Alexander: [00:33:13] Right. Right. So yeah, I mean, again, the deck is capable of winning, but some of these, some of these lines are a little harder to pull off. If you’re pointing, it has any sort of, you know, even a small creature that you can’t block.

Uh, just the chip, the loyalty off your Planeswalkers.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:33:28] You know, if you had a Vorinclex in play with Kasmina, and Teferi, you’re going up four and four. Four on your turn four on their turn. That’s kind of interesting. Maybe you can take all the turns. Hmm. Well, anyway, well, you know, that’s getting greedy.

I thought of it because I know you were looking at Emergent ultimatum, David and Vorinclex is sometimes seen in those piles. Uh, but why don’t you tell us about your bill? That’s you’ve. Got drawn

David Robertson: [00:33:52] up here. Yeah. So this is a Sultai Kasmina ultimatum. So to your point, I, I had Vorinclex in this list and then it’s just not enough to make the list.

So emergent ultimatum or the sultai ultimatum is already a car. That’s what seemed like fringe play in pioneer. I think when people are getting like super greedy with some of the, bring to light piles that didn’t have like counter spell, they were just going to going over the top of them. I think now that the format’s adjusted a little bit and like blue, red, Phoenix is back and blue, black control is there Sultai

Ultimatum is isn’t quite where you want to be anymore, but it’s at least something that we know function. So Sultai ultimatum, emergent ultimatum is already a sorcery that, uh, Kasmina or Kiora, or to ferry all powered by Kasmina could go find and already wants you to play some of these more expensive cars in your list.

So emergent ultimatum sometimes has enter the infinite omniscience. And like a Jace Wielder of mysteries, if that is a pile presented to you by emergent ultimatum, um, you actually have to give them Omniscience and Jace wielder mysteries to resolve otherwise they win, uh, immediately. So we already want to play, enter the infinite with our, uh, Kasmina, whatever Kiora Teferi combo, because that we have got sort of another way to win with Jace wielder mysteries.

The rest of this is just kind of like generic Sultai good stuff. You know, we’re playing Wolfwillow Haven and Sylvan Caryatid. Those are very stable ramp cards on like the elf, which are going to die to everything. Uh, we do have a one a Valki Valki can be put into play through emergent ultimatum as well as there’s a single bring to light here, uh, where you could hit, um, Valki two to play Tibalt we have our, um, wind conditions.

Thassa’s Oracle Jace wielder mysteries. Because we have the one bring to Light. We have extinction event. We have one commit to memory. We’ve got our quote-unquote Kasmina package let’s Kasmina Kiora, uh, Teferi, master Time and Narset. And then at the top end we have for Emergent ultimatum two enter the infinite one, Alrund’s epiphany and one Omniscience.

And basically those are cards. It can either be 204 with the Academy to ultimate, or they’re part of the package you present to your opponent when you, uh, cast emergent ultimatum.

Damon Alexander: [00:35:59] Yeah, this Emergent ultimatum high top end is a really proven way to win games of magic. And so I like how this deck approaches it and the Kasmina lets you, uh, resolve Emergent ultimatum in a different way than we’ve seen before.

Uh, some of the numbers here, I think this, this sort of deck comes down to tuning. You only have in this case, nine other Planeswalker is the other decks treading at 10 or 11 non-Kasmina Walkers. Yeah. At what point do you start cutting Kasmina obviously, if the outcome is we cut cause we down to zero, then we haven’t really succeeded with brewing around the card.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:36:28] I mean, it’s a big question. Like what is the ideal Kasmina density in your deck? So here we got four out of 60. It looks like there are Sultai emergent ultimatum decks that are like 80 card lists. They almost like want to be 80 cards because you want to have room for all your emergent ultimatum.

Piles and packages without drawing. You’re one of us in opportune times. So I did a little bit of digging into this cause it’s actually, you know, when there’s all this buzz around, you know, emergent ultimatum, I have to get banned in historic or standard or something. You start to wonder, like what, what are they seeing in that car that we’re not seeing in pioneer?

There is something like a historic to pioneer pipeline now where there’s a lot of brewing energy in historic. And then occasionally we’ll trickle over and people will like attempt these decks and pioneer, but like David was saying it didn’t really. Catch holds in any kind of, um, top tier pioneer ultimatum list.

However, we, however, we just came off a week and of the magic pro league MPL arrivals in which the best deck by a significant portion was a new build of Sultai ultimatum in historic. There was only 60 cards. Um, this was the team Pantheon with, uh, LSV and all your favorite channel fireball stars. But the list was actually developed by a Brent Vos.

It had like a stunning win percentage against the field. What was interesting to me about this bill was that, you know, the top end, you know, it wasn’t trying to do anything. There were no on castles. I’ll put it that way. There’s no card that only works when you’re resolving ultimatum. There’s no Omniscience.

There’s no enter the

David Robertson: [00:38:08] infinite. There’s 100% of the Omniscience in the list just to work

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:38:12] later, correction, there is one omniscience. There is no enter the infinite. That’s what I should say. Now, what does happen in this historic to pioneer pipeline is that people will attempt it. And then they’ll find that there’s, you know, one random car there wasn’t a historical anthology or, or the jumpstart expansion that makes it not eligible for pioneer.

And in this case, there is indeed one random card that, that breaks when you try to port it over. That is a creature called scholar of the lost trove, five blue blue for a Sphinx that when it enters the battlefield scholar of the lost trove lets you free cast and in-center sorcery or artifact from your graveyard without paying us men of cost.

This came from jumpstart. So it isn’t historic, but you can’t do it in pioneer and by extension you’re maybe like less interested in like sublime epiphany. Do like copy the scholar, something like that. But I’m wondering if there’s like some tech here that actually we should learn from this and maybe attempt something like this as our top end instead.

David Robertson: [00:39:12] Uh, no, for all those reasons you just said.

Damon Alexander: [00:39:17] Yeah, it’s tough. That card isn’t legal and pioneer. One other kind of immersion ultimatum package that I’ve seen a lot of is the Vorinclex, Kiora Bests the Sea God. Uh, plus Alrund’s epiphany is one of the go-to piles, uh, Daniel  of Vorinclex, I thought was really interesting how it really accelerates your Planeswalkers walkers.

And these decks are playing a lot of planes, walkers, and then all you all you’re missing then is a cure best to seek God, which I think we could probably squeeze in somehow.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:39:43] Yeah. Obviously, David, I’m not saying put a band card into your pioneer lists. I’m just saying, you know, there’s, there’s two Alrund’s epiphany’s here, for example, um, because that’s like the card that tends to get there.

Uh, there’s three Golos tireless, Pilgrim, and there’s more like ramp effects. There’s cultivate when we’re putting together this Kasmina list instead of rap effects, we’re relying on Kasmina ultimate to get us to ultimate amount. But I’m wondering if maybe we should be, you know, striking more of a balance so that if we’re not going to go all the way to ultimate on a Planeswalker, we can still just like make manna and get there that way.

David Robertson: [00:40:16] Yeah, but again, th this is what I’m talking about. If you want to brew with Kasmina, you have to play a bunch of them to see if the card actually does anything. If you want to play a bunch of them, you will need to play cards that combo with it. So I’m certain or not certain, but highly certain that ramp is better than Kasmina, but we have chosen to brew around Kasmina.

And that’s what we have to try to maximize the use of that play as well.

Damon Alexander: [00:40:37] I think you could play four Kasmina not in an 80 card deck. And yeah, I mean, maybe you run a league and you just don’t rock has been a very much that does happen. Um, and for the purpose of learning about the card, it doesn’t really achieve the goal then.

Uh, but so I think we’re trying to find like the best shell for Kasmina, and maybe that isn’t a show that maximizes the Kasmina intensity. I think this card in particular is vulnerable to, you know, it’s not good multiples. It’s really meant to be a synergy piece with your other walkers.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:41:03] So what do you think about this Kiora Bests the Sea God package David?

One thing we have seen in the pioneer builds that people have tried. Is that they’ve also like moved away from, Enter the infinite basically. And I think part of it is that it’s two things. One is that enter the infinite sucks to draw too, is that when you present the pile on Omniscience, enter the infinite and Jace, you actually, don’t when you get Omniscience and you draw a card off Jace, and if that’s all you have, you actually might just lose.

And like, that’s kind of a problem. And I think that’s why maybe that’s one of the reasons we’re some bills, try to just take extra turns off the. Um, off the ultimatum instead. Yeah.

David Robertson: [00:41:41] I mean, I think the key to a Kiora Bests the Sea God is, um, obviously Yorion is a very powerful interaction with all of the sagas.

Um, this is not Yorion list, um, for the reasons we detailed above that, I’m trying to maximize the amount of times I’m casting Kasmina. But yeah, I, I think that this is not going to be as good as the existing list.

Damon Alexander: [00:42:04] Yeah. I guess let’s talk. Ultimate and pioneer list. I don’t think they play too many planes.

Walkers in general. So you can’t just like drop Kasmina in with had a lot of, a lot of

David Robertson: [00:42:12] surgery. Yeah. I’ve actually been wrecked by the six men of Liliana. I forget what the what’s after the CommonWell, but six minute Liliana with Vorinclex in play. Uh, just absolutely a house.

Damon Alexander: [00:42:25] Yeah,

David Robertson: [00:42:27] no it’s well, maybe that’s the new one, but what is the professor Onyx?

His ultimate do. Oh, gosh, cause the Liliana, dreadhorde general, uh, lets you pick one card type and that’s all you get left after she’s done with it.

Damon Alexander: [00:42:43] Uh, this is each put them in just credit card if they don’t lose three life and they do that seven times total. That’s interesting. That might

David Robertson: [00:42:50] win. Yeah.

That’s something.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:42:54] So if I’m understanding you right David, your, your theory is that because you’re expecting this Academy and the build to be like slightly weaker on average. You want like a home run shot, you want the actual kill with enter the infinite and you’re less interested in a card like Planewide celebration or something, which is just like a.

Utility hit,

David Robertson: [00:43:12] essentially. Yeah. I mean, this is just trying to port in the Kasmina package into already an existing shell. I’m not trying to quote unquote, improve upon an emergent ultimatum shell. I think the first thing I want to do when I expand it with a card is actually like maximize my chances of casting the card and then try to see what the car can do.

I don’t think has mean as a car. Do you want to play like a one of in a, in a shell like this with no Teferi and no, Kiora. Because it just, it’s not going to do anything. There’s, there’s not other planes, walkers for it to effect. Um, it’s very unlikely really by itself to just sort of raw dog plus three or plus two, three times.

And so, yeah, I think the likely conclusion is that this is it’s worse way to do it. Then cast a card like cultivate. That’s all, we’re always generating two for one. That’s always on planet in terms of casting emergent, ultimatum, um, But that’s the price that we’re gonna have to pay to find out what cause media is good or bad at.

It may be that we find out that the car is just non-functional, but we have to give it a chance to do its thing, you know, as early as possible in the game, uh, with the best possible payoffs, if it does get to do his thing, that’s how I approach.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:44:20] No, I’m not disagreeing with you, David. I’m just saying there’s there’s I guess two questions.

One is how do you cast the ultimatum? And you’re saying. Forget the rap, we just focus on Kasmina. And the second is when you cast the ultimatum, what is your package? And are you winning? And I’m just saying it’s possible. And I would like you to track this. Are there times when you actually cast the ultimatum, get Enter the infinite and lose, and if that’s the case, or if you’ll do is be newly drew the, enter the infinite too early in it, you know, it was a

David Robertson: [00:44:46] blank, right.

And we even are playing too specifically because we don’t want to draw it in exactly the way you’re saying. The thought is that when we ultimate Kasmina or a card using Academy’s ultimate is we actually just straight up cast enter the infinite. We are never going to, unless we don’t have entered the infinite as a possible card, we’re never going to actually cast the ultimatum.

The ultimatum is just another way to take advantage of the fact that we’re already having to play with this bulky Cardner deck. And if we don’t get ultimate Kasmina and at least we get to do something with it possibly is present a pile that is a value pile. Like you say, that’s not going to win it.

Gotcha. But the case, I mean, the ultimate should just straight up when the detail is the theory. W I even have two thoughts he’s in the deck specifically. So the turn after we ultimate, we Thoughtseize twice, assuming we’re not at for life, uh, and then cast our Thassa’s Oracle. So unless they’ve got a ton of counter swells or something weird, you know, we, we we’ll we’ll win.

Damon Alexander: [00:45:37] Yeah. I mean, just to kind of keep going with Dan’s question though, I would be interested in trying one of these. Uh, Yorion shells and just find ways to just carve a room for probably three Kasmia four Teferi, you know, like, can we probably trim a Planewide celebration? Like, I’m sure we can get by with one less, the decks play a lot of sweepers.

And so that makes them a good home for Planeswalkers. They can defend them. I think with three Kasmina and an 80 card deck, you’re not going to draw it as much and that’s true, but I think that. Me. And it probably requires in a lot of games, a clean battlefield. Maybe it’s not always right to play Kasmina on curve.

Maybe it’s actually better to cast Kasmina, you know, after you have enough man, so you can go extinction advantage Academy, Kasmina on the same turn, start taking it up and then, uh, assembly or combo later.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:46:25] Well, it’s surprising how for a Planeswalker that on the one hand does so little. There’s so many different things to consider and we’ve, we’re, we’re only like what six bills into it.

I mean, there’s more ways you could build it as you’re describing these decks. I was thinking of that team or lists with the four Chandra Torch of Defiance and four Alrund’s Epiphany. And I was like, man, maybe that would be a good home. And I’m sure there are other bills you could come up with as well.

David Robertson: [00:46:49] Yeah. And this is a card again, that is going to get better and better because in theory, they’re going to keep printing planes, walkers. Um, it is a mythic rare that helps sell sets. So they’re often going to push them and it may be Planeswalker to of incredibly powerful ultimate Planeswalkers that are maybe a little bit more powerful than like here are behemoths Beckoner that can plus and threaten ultimately turn after you play them or that protect, uh, Kasmina very easily or whatever.

So. There’s Planeswalkers on every plane is what we’ve learned.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:47:17] Sometimes Jeskai as, as professors.

David Robertson: [00:47:20] Exactly.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:47:21] So I think this is a good place to leave it until next week. I will not be here next week. Uh, I am traveling and unable to record, but where do you too? Thank you. We’ll start on your testing.

David Robertson: [00:47:34] I’m probably going to try the ultimatum list.

Um, obviously, yeah, all these cars are so variable in terms of how many do you want to beach? So I’ll probably stare at a list in a empty geo for a long time and fiddle around with it. And then probably just have to jump at a league and get some data before I start making edits.

Damon Alexander: [00:47:53] Yeah, I’m thinking of either the, uh, the Lukka Emrakul Felidar Guaridan shell in modern, or one of these slightly modified versions of David’s list to kind of merge it in with the traditional, uh, you know, it hasn’t been around that long, but the traditional emergent ultimatum lists than pioneer.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:48:08] Well, I cannot wait to hear about your results as always anyone listening. If you have some sweet ideas for our Kasmina enigma Sage, you can tweet us. We are at faithless MTG. We would love to see what you’ve been working on.

Damon Alexander: [00:48:21] Yeah. And if anybody wants to know my C 21 pod, I’m totally open, accepting all. Oh, Dan, you were

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:48:28] interested.

Well, you already have a Lorehold player. I’m sure the coolest, most popular school.

Damon Alexander: [00:48:34] It’s all. It’s actually, we’re all playing the Lorehold deck, Dan.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:48:37] All right, let’s have your fun. See you next week. Have your fun take care.

David Robertson: [00:48:42] Cool.

Daniel Schriever (cavedan): [00:48:44] That’s a wrap on episode six of Strixhaven season tune in next week for our testing results and download the latest decks at fetus

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