To preface this week’s article, writing this title made me want to listen to Dr. Dre, so I’m glad to be doing this one.
We played a little Mental Magic over the weekend, and in doing so I found some other CMCs that I managed to hate with a passion. For some reason, I get the distinct feeling like the first few of these articles are going to be about 4X spells just because of the nature of these spells. I’m noticing a trend of 5 mana spells being double-costed, I guess because they strongly identify with their colors, so the splashable ones tend to just be super watered down.
Good lord, 4w is just awful. The problem with it is that most of the cards at this CMC are not only low-impact, but they’re also very awkward to play with in Mental Magic. The most playable cards I’ve been able to find have been [mtg_card]Evangelize[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Reveillark[/mtg_card]. [mtg_card]Evangelize[/mtg_card] is probably a fine card if your opponent’s plan is to play some kind of absurd threat. [mtg_card]Reveillark[/mtg_card] is a little awkward to play with because of how the graveyard works in Mental Magic, but I think a strong MM player can probably very easily overcome this.
[mtg_card]March of Souls[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Wave of Reckoning[/mtg_card] are your board wipes at 4W, both of which are underwhelming but will do in a pinch. There are some board states where [mtg_card]March of Souls[/mtg_card] will make it so that you just don’t die, which is fine, and there are a lot of follow-up [mtg_card]Pyroclasm[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Electrickery[/mtg_card] effects in Mental Magic, so you could potentially break even if you have to use two cards to wipe the board. [mtg_card]Wave of Reckoning[/mtg_card] doesn’t always work in every situation but it’s sometimes going to be exactly what you need, and that’s what Mental Magic is all about. You’ve also got a bit of spot removal in [mtg_card]Second Thoughts[/mtg_card], which is a sweet card because it replaces itself, making it a .5 for 1.
There are some pretty good cards at 4W for going wide in combat. [mtg_card]Charge Across the Araba[/mtg_card] saw some fringe play in Modern tokens, (Thanks Wescoe and Durward.) and in Mental Magic it also allows you to virtually draw cards when you return those “Plains” to your hand. So even if you come up just short in combat, the lands you bounced could potentially be that burn spell you need to finish off your opponent. [mtg_card]Stir the Pride[/mtg_card] is not as good, but it has a lot of modes, and being versatile is always a good thing. If you and your opponent are kind of “bad” at Mental Magic and are playing a fair game, this card can provide you with a lot of options including a huge life swing, or save you from something like [mtg_card]Pyroclasm[/mtg_card] or maybe even [mtg_card]Anger of the Gods[/mtg_card] if you’re lucky.
I also found two neat pillowfort cards that I haven’t actually played with too much, but would like to try. [mtg_card]Sphere of Safety[/mtg_card] is great, especially if you’re familiar with the types of decks that play [mtg_card]Ghostly Prison[/mtg_card] effects already. This and maybe one other prison effect makes it so that your opponent needs to find a way to either destroy your enchantments or win outside of combat. [mtg_card]Knight-Captain of Eos[/mtg_card] is another card that can help you get there, and even gets in there for damage if it has to.
So remember how I said 4W was awful? Somehow 4G managed to be worse. There’s an array of creatures that ETB and destroy artifacts, but beyond that the playables are pretty seldom. [mtg_card]Thragtusk[/mtg_card] is honestly the best card at the converted mana cost, which doesn’t speak volumes since [mtg_card]Thragtusk[/mtg_card] isn’t nearly as good in Mental Magic as it would be in constructed formats.
Beyond Swaggy, you’ve got your [mtg_card]Doubling Season[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Primal Vigor[/mtg_card] effects, although tokens and counters haven’t proven to be that influential on the format in my experiences. One card that I was randomly impressed with was [mtg_card]Kessig Cagebreakers[/mtg_card], which I saw played against Ricochetty to great effect by our friend Cliff. The card is kind of absurd when you consider that you’re playing a format where [mtg_card]Bazaar of Baghdad[/mtg_card] is a thing. It probably isn’t something you want to be going all-in on, but if you were playing some kind of Bazaar strategy that went awry mid game, Cagebreakers is a good backup card to have.
I really wish there was more to say about 4G but unfortunately there just isn’t anything worth saying. Unless you needed to know the Miracle cost of [mtg_card]Blessings of Nature[/mtg_card], I honestly can’t find any other cards worth telling you about…which is sad. I think I will be cutting 4G down to 1 slot in our cube.
And that’s it for this week, folks. Tune in next week when I delve into artifacts and the color that sucks the most at killing them.