Welcome to Mimic Week! All this week on magicthegathering.com, the regular columns will appear as usual… but with a twist. Your eight regular writers, plus at least two guest authors who've written for the site before, are hiding in the ten regular column slots—maybe even their own—under a clever pseudonym: The Mimic! Can you figure out who actually wrote each article? Tune in Monday, July 28 for the answers!
elcome to this week’s installment of Limited Information (big “el”, big “eye”), which features limited information (little “el”, little “eye”) about the authorship of the column. I am pretty excited to talk about my Taa-Da! list with you. You see, I draft with a regular group of guys (not to mention the occasional gal), and when you play with the same group of players winning is fine but winning with style is the best way to ice the cake. There is nothing quite like snatching victory from the Jaws of Stone (with no Mountains in play, thanks Elsewhere Flask!) and finishing with a triumphant, “Taa-da!”
I am going to talk about a few of my favorite Taa-da moments my group has experienced in the early days of Eventide drafts and some of the moments that remain to be accomplished in this Limited format—call it my Things Taa-Da List.
Is there a more exciting card than Mirrorweave in the entire block? As soon as this card was previewed, I immediately composed a list of ways to exploit it in Limited and Constructed formats. I still have a fantasy about Mirrorweaving a Shinewend against a Faerie deck in Constructed with mana floated after being Mistbind Cliqued by an opponent. Everything becomes a 0/0 creature and dies. Because the Mistbind Clique wouldn’t have champion on its way to the graveyard, whatever was removed with the Clique would remain out of the game and I would still have a flying enchantment removal spell for the next Bitterblossom.
This is big “el”, big “eye,” so let’s not dwell on fantasy Constructed scenarios when there are plenty of flashy ways to exploit Mirrorweave in forty-card formats. There are few, if any cards I would ever pick over a Mirrorweave in draft, and I have gotten into some pretty heated debates with my playgroup over this subject. The argument is always about what impact Mirrorweave can have on a stalled board where both players have similar numbers of creatures or, worse yet, creature advantage. I say just take the Mirrorweave and an opportunity to do something disgusting will present itself. Some recent examples:
I was trying to race against Pili-Pala with Presence of Gond on it. My opponent had generated a small and constantly growing army that was going to overwhelm me in one or two turns. I was pecking away in the air and had gotten some bonus damage via mana burn from the Pili-Pala trick. I had pretty much consigned my Mirrorweave in hand to being a dead card, but my opponent decided that my aerial “assault” needed to be slowed down and played a Gloomwidow to block my flier. She also decided not to take any more mana burn and used Pili-Pala on the same turn and floated that remaining mana into the Gloomwidow.
I attacked with all four of my creatures and, before blockers could be declared, turned everything into a Gloomwidow. Despite outnumbering my team two to one there was nothing her team could do but watch as my clutter of spiders scampered by.
Blue-green has been one of my favorite archetypes with the addition of Eventide to the Shadowmoor draft format and with the ability of green to generate tokens there are few better colors to pair with Mirrorweave. In a recent draft I was in a blue-green mirror that saw both me any my opponent playing creatures out onto a landlocked board. Our respective Aerie Ouphes had slaughtered the fliers on either side of the table, and we had actually gotten to the point where we were counting libraries to see who would be decked first.
I was holding Mirrorweave but there was not a clear way for me to exploit the card given the board parity. Then I drew Hungry Spriggan.
Taa-Da! Another item crossed off the list.
My opponent was pretty much tapped out and I went for it. Everything became a 1/1 trampler that gained +3/+3 when it attacked. It was basically like playing Godhead of Awe and Overrun on the same turn.
It is very easy to rely on Mirrorweave as a game-breaker, but sometimes you need to use it as spot removal. With all the -1/-1 counters running around in the new draft format I have already had occasion to crack a Hatchling by making everything into a copy of something with less toughness than counters. I even got to do while swooping in for some extra damage by making everything into a 4/4 against a freshly played Hatchling.
I was on the wrong side of a Taa-da moment the other day. My opponent—a former columnist for this site—was playing a super-aggressive red-white deck and had gotten off to a quick start with Duergar Assailant, Battlegate Mimic, and Duergar Mine-Captain. I was quickly at 14 but felt pretty confident that I would win as I played Blowfly Infestation and looked at the Scar I was holding back to sweep the board. My opponent had seen multiple Scars the game previous and sighed, “I guess I need to win this turn.”
I thought he was being facetious, but I never saw turn four.
Everyone attacked, and he used the Mine-Captain’s ability to give everyone +1/+0 and then Double Cleaved the Mimic in response. The Mimic became a 4/2, then a 5/2 double-striker, and when you added that 10 damage to the 5 damage from other creatures, I was being crossed off of someone else’s list. I am pretty sure Double Cleave is going to be marking up plenty of lists for the remainder of this Limited format.
Much has been written about the Quillspike / Devoted Druid combo, with or without Rite of Consumption, but so far in the format remains uncrossed off my list. I did get to witness a completely unexpected combo at a recent draft match between two friends. One player led off with Seedcradle Witch and Bloom Tender. On turn three, two red-producing lands allowed him to Bloom Tender out a Sootwalker. The opponent passed turn three without playing a creature, and that was the game.
Do you see it?
Tap Bloom Tender for and use that mana to activate Seedcradle Witch targeting Bloom Tender. Tap Bloom Tender for and use that mana to activate Seedcradle Witch targeting Bloom Tender. Tap Bloom Tender for and use that mana to activate Seedcradle Witch targeting Bloom Tender.
Paging Rich Hagon. Paging Rich Hagon. Paging Rich Hagon.
The Bloom Tender became arbitrarily large and attacked for the win—on turn four. Say it with me...
I draft quite a bit and have experienced most of the items on my Taa-Da! list from the ones listed here to crazy Reaper King decks to conspiring Howl of the Night Pack—which was dug to with a couple of conspired Wisps—thanks to Wort the Raidmother. There is one particular parlay of cards that has been tantalizing me since the release of Shadowmoor. I have not had the opportunity to pull it off but I continue to look for the right opportunity. You can try it yourself if you like but be advised that it is not suggested for people looking for a “good” draft deck. If you have been looking for a good way to drop a Taa-da on your playgroup then you may want to consider it.
I don’t know that there has ever been any card more unfair in the history of Limited than Upheaval
(and to be fair it wasn’t very fair in Constructed either) and when I first saw Worldpurge
, I was excited to experience that unfairness all over again. Then I read the card all the way up to the italics and came down to earth. Emptying mana pools means that you can’t float mana to play out all your bounced monsters while your opponent sorts out what they will discard at the end of their next turn.
The key to making Worldpurge work (and I am using that term very loosely) is having cards that remove your permanents and return them “at end of turn” like Turn to Mist or Mistmeadow Witch. This lets you set up a situation where you can remove your creature at the end of your opponent’s turn after their end of turn effects, which means it will not come back into play until the end of your next turn. Then if you Worldpurge on your turn, you will have a creature in play—hopefully a fatty—while your opponent is preparing to play land number one.
What about you? Did you have any Taa-da moments at the Prerelease? Have any cards inspired you to compose a Things Taa-da list?
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