The cycle of life

Today we will talk about some powerful cards from Magic Origins and the kind of cycles they might create.

Today we will talk about some powerful cards from Magic Origins and the kind of cycles they might create.

Lets start with Standard. Black has been one of the better colours in Standard for some time now, and Magic Origins provides Standard players with many interesting new tools. Languish is the new weapon of choice for control and midrange decks. What is better than destroying all creatures? Just destroying all opposing creatures of course! As Languish will leave all creatures with five or more toughness alive, you can try to maximize the number of X/5 creatures in your deck, and stall the board until you wreck your opponent with your effectively one-sided mass removal. Siege Rhino could be the most powerful creature for that plan, but there might actually be enough candidates without even looking at another colour! Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Gurmag Angler, Sidisi, Undead Vizier and her new favourite Exploitation target Priest of the Blood Rite all play very well with Languish. Of course you will most likely still use other colours as they ironically tend to be better at filling the graveyard for your delve creatures than black. You also need a reasonable plan for the early game to not get overrun before you can deploy all your big creatures and/or play your Languish. Satyr Wayfinder and Civic Wayfinder on steroids aka Nissa, Vastwood Seer / Nissa, Sage Animist might help you get there. You can probably build something good from that skeleton using Abzan, Sultai or just B/G.

Nissa, Vastwood Seer / Nissa, Sage Animist  From (EX+): 12,14 €

Standard patterns

One way or the other Languish is going to be one of the determining factors in the new metagame. I expect it to be so relevant that the other decks in the format will have to run a different creature base than the one they would prefer to use if Languish would not exist. This could cause a classic metagame cycle. First the Languish decks dominate small creature strategies. Then every remaining deck uses a lot of creatures that do not die to it, which causes the Languish decks to start cutting their namesake card, which in turn invites the small creature decks back into the format, and so on ad infinitum.

Languish is sitting at a fair price right now (From (EX+): 4,79 €), but is still trending down. You can wait a little longer, just don't miss your opportunity once the trend stops.

Priest of the Blood Rite is very cheap at the moment (From (EX+): 0,75 €). If the metagame really shapes around Languish, then creating a 5/5 flyer and a 2/2 chump-blocker at the same time will be great.

Modern patterns

Modern works very differently from Standard in many respects. Therefore it is not surprising that I will be focussing another kind of repeating pattern for Modern. Modern is not getting ignored like the Eternal formats, but it also isn't the main focus for Magic design and development. The cards are mostly pushed to be interesting in Standard and if that leads to something degenerate happening in Modern every once in a while, they just ban the relevant card(s) in that format. Therefore, the cycle of life in Modern works like this: First Wizards prints a card that resembles one of the most powerful cards of all times very closely, but has a “significant” drawback. Then the community breaks the card by working a way around the drawback using witty deck construction. Then the card gets banned in Modern (and sometimes banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage as well). Obviously I am talking about Day's Undoing, which is the next card in line for the Modern Hall of Fame.

Breaking it, winning a Grand Prix, and selling your copies before the banning would sound like a solid plan to me if only there were any more Modern Grand Prix in Europe this year. As this is not the case, I would rather wait and hope for the card to get cheaper after release. Instead I have bought the Legacy card of the set. When I first saw Dark Petition I instantly started mapping out the implications of this card for Storm decks in Legacy. Since then multiple Legacy specialists like Carsten Kötter have written avid articles about the card. It is not an automatic fit in every list as it does not play well with Ad Nauseam, but other than that it is basically a Demonic Tutor in that archetype as having five mana and Spell Mastery active should be achieved by just doing what you want to be doing anyway. Storm enthusiasts will find the right list to use it in and the price will go up.

Dark Petition From (EX+): 2,23 €