Mental Magic for dummies…or something sort of akin to it?
So as you all may have figured out by now, Mental Magic is a pretty hard format to “learn.” It isn’t because it’s innately difficult, but playing with such a huge library of knowledge is taxing. As a newer player, you may start to think that not all converted mana costs are created equally. While it may seem this way to the greener players, veterans can at least access one singularly powerful card for each converted mana cost.
Today I want to talk about some of the “worse” CMCs and shed some light on some really solid cards at those CMCs, specifically in red and blue.
So when I first started playing the format, one of my most frustrating CMCs was 4U. It’s awkward because there are a lot of really strong 3UU cards, but 4U is just in such a weird place. And although I would like to pretend there are a ton of options here, there simply aren’t. More often than not I’m going to be casting it as [mtg_card]Covenant of Minds[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Mulldrifter[/mtg_card], but there are some other solid ones to consider depending on the rest of your hand. For instance, in a hand where you have the potential to storm off, you might want it to be [mtg_card]Arcane Melee[/mtg_card]. Another one that I’ve used at this CMC is [mtg_card]Allied Strategies[/mtg_card]. When all of your lands are all basic land types this card basically reads “Draw five cards.” While that is nothing to scoff at, I prefer the potential upside on [mtg_card]Covenant of Minds[/mtg_card]. Another draw spell available to you if you NEED to draw cards at instant speed is [mtg_card]Enhanced Awareness[/mtg_card], but it doesn’t offer you as much card advantage as the previous two. [mtg_card]Gush[/mtg_card] is a good one since it is basically an instant that draws you two unknown cards and two known cards.
Anyway, that’s enough about lame-o draw spells. Let’s get to talking about sweet cards. The first, and obviously most insane card at that CMC is [mtg_card]Meloku the Clouded Mirror[/mtg_card]. She vomits Spirits, lets you bounce your Utopia after they stop being useful, and just generally can’t go unanswered. [mtg_card]Perplexing Chimera[/mtg_card] is also a very interesting card that you can use to keep your opponent from casting anything too insane for a few turns, too. As your Storm card, you’ve also got [mtg_card]Temporal Fissure[/mtg_card] at this CMC, which is a perfectly acceptable win condition if you have no other Storm cards in your hand.
This one might be the actual worst converted mana cost just because red spells tend to be VERY red, and as such are usually 3RR. I’m not the best at Mental Magic, and as such I’ve basically only ever cast this as [mtg_card]Burn Away[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Zealous Conscripts[/mtg_card], but after some research for this article, I’ve found some other sweet tools to play with. [mtg_card]Burning Anger[/mtg_card] is actually an okay card if you have something to put it on (Psst, [mtg_card]Etched Monstrosity[/mtg_card] is a good one.) As I kept looking for cards, I came across the ones that are probably obvious to better players than myself. [mtg_card]Ignite Memories[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Fortune Thief[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Through the Breach[/mtg_card] all seem blatantly obvious now that I’ve seen the whole pool, but I just had no idea that they existed.
In our playgroup we’ve even seen 4R show up as [mtg_card]Lightning Shrieker[/mtg_card], which is always hilarious because Ricochetty yells “AHAHAHA YOU’RE SO BAD YOU JUST DIED TO LIGHTNING SHRIEKER” every time it happens.
Join me next week when I start going over green and white. By the way, if you thought 4R was awkward, wait until we get into these colors…haha.