Palace Jailer Wins the Pro Tour!

Palace Jailer
Palace Jailer made two of the Top 4 Legacy decks at the Pro Tour… including the winning Death & Taxes!

Death & Taxes is a “High Tier One” Archetype in Legacy… Thanks to Palace Jailer

New addition Palace Jailer helps to catapult this strategy to a legitimately defining deck in Legacy.

Death & Taxes has performed for years… But largely as a metagame deck. For example, the presence of main-deck Karakas has helped the deck to foil Sneak and Show. Sneak and Show’s key creatures — Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn — are perfect targets for the Legendary Land.

But with Palace Jailer and other toys from Conspiracy: Take the Crown, the power level and flexibility of this already-viable deck has increased substantially.

Palace Jailer doesn’t quite work like Fiend Hunter

Fiend HUnter
Fiend Hunter

“Um… How do I become the monarch?”

“Well… Did you play with any cards that make you the monarch?”

Patrick notes that the Jailer offers exactly the kind of edge Mike loves. While Palace Jailer looks like another take on the Fiend Hunter mechanic, it actually relies on a unique Conspiracy: Take the Crown mechanic. Many players just won’t read the card and will snap Lightning Bolt the Jailer hoping to get their creature back… not realizing that they aren’t the monarch.

That makes Palace Jailer essentially a white Nekrataal that exiles creatures with no targeting restrictions. Not only can this card smash almost any creature in a 187 — permanently — it can work well with Flickerwisp and other old standbys of the Death & Taxes archetype.

Casual Sets contribute heavily to Death & Taxes

Containment Priest
Containment Priest

From Commander 2014
This card is an absolute monster against Sneak Attack, Show and Tell, or reanimation strategies.

Council's Judgment
Council’s Judgment

From Magic: The Gathering – Conspiracy
Council’s Judgment is like a Vindicate or Maelstrom Pulse that does extra damage against folks who don’t read the card. Here’s a hint: When the opponent casts this, agree with them. Otherwise, you could lose more permanents!

Recruiter of the Guard
Recruiter of the Guard

From Conspiracy: Take the Crown
This tutor helps search up cards like today’s Palace Jailer. Simply awesome in a deck with cards like Stoneforge Mystic, Containment Priest, and Aether Vial. Recruiter of the Guard can get you the right tool for the right matchup at the right time.

There was lots more to the Pro Tour than Death & Taxes and Palace Jailer. Check all the tech out here:

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Everything You Can Do With a Graveyard Marshal

Graveyard Marshal
Graveyard Marshal

  • Mana Cost: BB
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Types: Creature — Zombie Soldier
  • Card Text: 2B, Exile a creature card from your graveyard: Create a tapped 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
  • Flavor Text: “Rise and shine, my dears. We have work to do.” —Isareth the Awakener
  • P/T: 3 / 2
  • Expansion: Core Set 2019 (Rare) Core Set 2019
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Card Number: 99
  • Artist: Mark Behm

Graveyard Marshal is Helping to Make Zombies Happen

The SCG Classic in Indianapolis this past weekend featured not one but two Zombies decks in the Top 8!

One of them, played by Joshua Satterfield, was the winner.

Graveyard Marshal is one of the most important new cards in this strategy. In fact, the two drop from Dominaria does a ton of things that the deck wants. The first and most obvious is that Graveyard Marshal is an aggressive three-power creature for only two mana.

I mean… So is Scrapheap Scrounger.

But that’s not all. Not only can Graveyard Marshal actually block, but it’s a Zombie!

So you can go…

  1. B Diregraf Ghoul
  2. BB Graveyard Marshal
  3. BB1 Death Baron!

Boom!

You can truck in for a massive seven damage on turn three this way. Speaking of blocking (you know, the thing Scrapheap Scrounger doesn’t do well), any Zombies will trade up like champions with Death Baron buffing them.

Graveyard Marshal Can Frustrate The Scarab God

Everyone knows how powerful The Scarab God can be. It is a massive card advantage engine that can go completely over the top of foolish midrange decks with good creatures.

You know who can spit in the eye of The Scarab God and its four mana reanimation ability? Graveyard Marshal. The opponent has to leave up 2BU to try to make a 4/4 Zombie. The Marshal can hang back with an economical 2B to pre-empt The Scarab God’s attempt. At some point you’ll just run out of creatures. Which is fine (because you’re not getting annihilated by The Scarab God).

Putting it All Together with Graveyard Marshal

Zombies just might be the dark horse strategy to bust open this weekend’s Pro Tour.

With Diregraf Ghoul and Dread Wanderer at the B, it has an eight-pack of two power creatures for one.

There is an equal number of three power creatures for two.

It’s not just that Zombies plays eight Lords on three… It has Liliana’s Mastery too! This strategy has an almost unending number of ways to generate advantages and buff already aggressive creatures.

The big differentiation between this deck and StOmPy though is the creature elimination. Zombies has a ton of green’s aggression, but has great removal including Vraska’s Contempt (one of the best cards in the format overall).

Zombies is just the beginning of this week’s exciting podcast…

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Nicol Bolas, the Ravager Rules the Skies

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
The world belongs to Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. We just live in it.

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager didn’t quite win

We’ll talk a bunch about Nicol Bolas, both here and on the podcast… But it’s important to note that despite three appearances in the Top 8 (three-Bolas each time), Grixis finished second.

The top performing deck of the tournament was actually StOmPy! Already one of the strong archetypes last format, StOmPy added a tight little two-drop that is appearing as a four-of in almost every list:

Thorn Lieutenant
Thorn Lieutenant

Thorn Lieutenant is actually easier to cast than Elvish Warrior… But retains its 2/3 body. On top of that are a pair of powerful abilities. Imagine how cool the token-making ability might be with Blossoming Defense!

Thorn Lieutenant’s pump ability is deceptively relevant. Do you play it every game? No. Do you want to be in a position to use it in most games? Still probably not. But you’ll be happy it’s there sometimes! StOmPy gets tangled in a surprising number of games where its mana is plentiful but its drops are best suited for early game.

Great that Thorn Lieutenant can essentially suit himself up!

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager out-stripped other control cards

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager appeared in three decks at the recent Classic. All three decks played three copies. This put Bolas at a higher level of play, generally, than incumbent control finishers Torrential Gearhulk and The Scarab God.

For example, Todd Stevens placed fifth with:

  • 3 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
  • 2 Torrential Gearhulk
  • 2 The Scarab God

There was a decent amount of variation among these decks, with no consensus around Arguel’s Blood Fast or Search for Azcanta. A possible sign of a sea change in the format? Four main-deck copies of Glint-Sleeve Siphoner in Jonathan Job’s second-place list. Who’s afraid of Goblin Chainwhirler?

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager is four-of sometimes, too!

Mike’s favorite Bolas build was Trevor Mensinger’s 11th place deck.

Unlike the Top 8 decks, Trevor played a Dragon-centric Red Deck. He not only ran four copies of Nicol Bolas, but four Glorybringers and a pair of Demanding Dragon! Much of the rest of Trevor’s deck were typical Red Deck cards like Scrapheap Scrounger, Pia Nalaar, and Unlicensed Disintegration. The red-centered deck employed Sarkhan, Fireblood to great effect. Not only did the new planeswalker help deploy Dragons, but could discard Spit Flame for more and more card advantage!

For those few listeners who are interested in non-Dragon-centric topics, this podcast discusses when you should play Lyra Dawnbringer, Viashino Pyromancer, and Sifter Wurm. Check it out!

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Should You Play Bomat Courier?

Bomat Courier

“Don’t let the Top 8 fool you… [Pro Tour Dominaria] was actually far more dominated by R/B and Mono-Red than it looks.”
-Patrick Chapin

There Were “Only” 23 Bomat Couriers in the Top 8

So the big story of Pro Tour Dominaria was the insane red-ness of the Top 8. With seven of the decks in the Top 8 being black-red or mono-red, the unambiguous card of the tournament was:

Goblin Chainwhirler
The Top 8 of Pro Tour Dominaria featured Twenty-eight Goblin Chainwhirlers
According to this article by Mike, the record for creatures (or for that matter enchantments) in a Top 8 is 28. So Goblin Chainwhirler ties the ceiling held by Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix.

BTW – Patrick won that Pro Tour 😉

So here’s the thing… Goblin Chainwhirler is often accompanied by Bomat Courier. In this Top 8 five of the seven Red Decks played both 1:1. The winning Red Aggro, though, ran only three copies of Bomat Courier. Finally, one more mid-range black-red take played zero.

The question remains: Do you side it out? For that matter, is it 100% correct to play Bomat Courier at all?

The Problem: Bomat Courier is No Good in the Mirror

Bomat Courier is a good card… It just has one toughness. In past red mirror matches, the little Construct represented an important source of long-term card advantage. However in a world ruled by Goblin Chainwhirler, it is just a one toughness creature that is out-classed by every other playable card in black-red or mono-red.

Typically, that means you should side out Bomat Courier in the mirror (provided you play it).

Llanowar Elves versus Bomat Courier

Wait a minute! If I should be siding out Bomat Courier, does that mean I should be siding out cards like Llanowar Elves?

No.

What’s the difference?

Bomat Courier, as we said, is out-classed by every other card in an opposing Red Deck. Every card the opponent plays might be better, so it is pure liability. On balance basically nothing is better than Llanowar Elves.

Let me see if I’ve got this right: It’s not just that Bomat Courier is one toughness… It’s that it’s one toughness and generally weak. While Llanowar Elves is also one toughness (ergo Goblin chow) gambling with it might pay off because it’s so gosh darn powerful.

You’ve got it! Fast Llanowar Elves draws can lead to your best stuff, like a turn-two Dinosaur to hold the fort, or the jump to a Ravenous Chupacabra or Hour of Promise to put you ahead of the Red Deck.

Here’s a different question… If so many people are going to be Red Decks, and I should side out Bomat Courier… Should I play it at all?

So… Should You Play Bomat Courier?

“It depends.”

In a format like Unified Standard, where you will play against a maximum of 33% Red Aggro decks, Bomat Courier is probably a good inclusion.

In regular Standard… The clay isn’t dry yet. Will more than 50% of your opponents be Red Aggro? Will 7/8? Or even more lopsided, as Patrick described? If you face an overwhelming number of Red Aggro opponents, it might make sense to eschew the card, or play it in the sideboard, as was done in a recent Grand Prix Top 4.

“Teferi Jokers” don’t Play Bomat Courier

While Red Aggro variants are undoubtedly best, it’s hard to deny the allure of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. After all, he is in fact a hero. Here are some things you might want to consider if you’re for some reason straying from Bomat Courier beatdown:

  • The top performing (Top 8) Teferi, Hero of Dominaria deck played only two copies. Neither Mike nor Patrick like that; it was essentially a Torrential Gearhulk / The Scarab God deck splashing white.
  • Speaking of splashing for Teferi, Yellow Hat did it with a blue-red control shell.
  • In the realm of “straight” U/W, Brad Nelson dialed it back to win with two copies of Approach of the Second Sun!
  • Conclusion: A lot of the top performers or top players angled their Control decks differently from the core, threat-light, versions from prior to the Pro Tour.

We go over LOTS of lists this week, some of which didn’t even play Goblin Chainwhirler, let along Bomat Courier. Absorb it all here:

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Standard Before Pro Tour Dominaria

Dominaria

Pro Tour Dominaria is this weekend!

Battle lines are drawn. What was unplayable is new again! And it’s not too late for an actual new archetype or two…

Hazoret the Fervent in Red Aggro

With Dominaria, black-red decks have emerged as the Red Decks of choice. We’ve seen Bomat Courier cut (or relegated to the sideboard), and once-ubiquitous threats Earthshaker Khenra and Hazoret the Fervent nowhere to be seen…

But they may be back!

If you think Red Decks (black-red, whatever) are going to be the most popular, Hazoret might be the right four drop. Chandra and Karn are great cards, but almost nothing can stop Hazoret in the mirror.

What you might see here is a movement away from Heart of Kiran with less crew action coming from Planeswalkers. Rather, Earthshaker Khenra might be crewing up an Aethersphere Harvester!

Slight Variations in U/W Control

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is the four-of center of this archetype.

The question is what else you might be killing with…

Purists will play just the four Planeswalkers, but it is not uncommon to see 2-4 copies of Torrential Gearhulk or a Gideon of the Trials.

U/W is a powerful pillar of this Standard. Creature-poor or even creature-less, this archetype punishes opponents playing creatures removal, and has limited the use of Unlicensed Disintegration from its intuitive default as a four-of in black-red.

New Horizons in New Perspectives!

Our onetime preview card, New Perspectives, returns in a fresh take on the cycling archetype.

This green-driven version uses New Horizons and Gift of Paradise to produce a powerful mana engine with Vizier of Tumbling Sands. Four copies of Shadow of the Grave help keep your fuel up, and then it’s down to one copy of Faith of the Devoted to drain the opponent out, two points at a time.

Or, if you’re in a tight spot, you can just try to get them with Shefet Monitor beatdown.

All these decks, and tons more, will get you prepped and ready to enjoy Pro Tour Dominaria!

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Focus on Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is the preferred way to win

Four Copies of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Earlier in this still-young format, players would run maybe three copies of Teferi.

Now — despite the “Legend rule” disadvantage of diminishing returns — four copies has become absolutely stock. In contrast to versions that ran Torrential Gearhulk or Gideon of the Trials to ultimately deal 20 points of damage… Now all that pressure falls on Teferi to actually win the game.

Torrential Gearhulk is the worst test spell!” claims Patrick. You can’t really pretend the opponent doesn’t have Essence Scatter. Playing a creature — especially an artifact creature — will turn on the opponent’s removal in a way a card like Pull from Tomorrow won’t.

How to win with “Just” Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

The one Commit // Memory can potentially be valuable… But it is presumably not essential.

Teferi is a great realization of control elements. It is this card that largely is there to build advantages; but can ultimately ensure the game going very, very long.

Imagine you have built lots of card advantage primarily through card draw. Then you have the emblem going. Then drawing cards (regardless of how they get drawn) you trigger the opponent down to a small number of permanents.

Maybe that number is even zero!

At this point you can start using the [-3] ability just to not lose the game.

There is nothing stopping you from targeting the Teferi itself, then playing a Teferi out of your hand. You can draw, exile, and library-push / repeat indefinitely with your Teferi[s]. Meanwhile your opponent keeps drawing one card per turn… Until his library is depleted. Yours may go low, but never goes to zero due to all those planeswalkers.

Given a very long game, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria requires no sidekick.

But Can Teferi Beat a Lich’s Mastery?

Don’t get me wrong.

It is not yet the right time for Lich’s Mastery to contend in Standard.

Part of that is the popularity of Teferi decks.

More important, Teferi typically comes alongside Negate, Disallow, etc.

But if you are in the unfortunate position of the opponent actually resolving Lich’s Mastery… The game will probably end in a stalemate.

You can grind the opponent down to no [other] permanents.

You can prevent your self from decking out.

But you still can’t win-win unless you have a direct way of removing the Lich’s Mastery.

It’s a spot like this where Gideon becomes a nice one-of. Cripple the opponent’s resources first, then winning becomes trivial, six cost enchantment or no.

If you’re considering a weird one-of like River’s Rebuke, or playing an actual damage source… Don’t make it because of Lich’s Mastery, though. Please.

Check “Focus on Teferi, Hero of Dominaria” out here:

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Goblin Chainwhirler Against the World!

Goblin Chainwhirler
Despite a prohibitive RRR, Goblin Chainwhirler has been ubiquitous in one- two- or even three-color Red Decks

“Goblin Chainwhirler is the kind of card that gets me to play Unlicensed Disintegration.”
-Patrick Chapin

Goblin Chainwhirler + Soul-Scar Mage

Grand Prix Birmingham’s Top 8 was a wall of Rakdos decks!

While the decks had many cards in common, one could argue that there were two or more sub-archetypes represented, not just one. While most of the B/R decks played four copies of Unlicensed Disintegration, the GP champion himself played only three.

Superficially, we might all look at the Scrapheap Scroungers, vehicles, and burn cards and say “beatdown” … We might be wrong.

Case in point: Some folks played Bomat Courier, some didn’t.

Bomat Courier, a hasty one-drop, is the kind of card you might expect to see when pairing red cards with Unlicensed Disintegration. After all, though Bomat Courier is an artifact, it’s basically a red card… But being an artifact, turns on the enviable instant.

Bomat Courier’s haste lets you hustle out early. Its card advantage long-term has made it a favorite of aggressive red mages.

Why then did it get cut (in some Red Decks)?

There is no one, no one great, answer. But we do know that some Rakdos mages embraced Soul-Scar Mage at the one. This “one-two punch” [really one-three punch] makes the already great Goblin Chainwhirler even more messed up. The ability to spread -1/-1 counters across all the opponent’s creatures is potentially a really big deal.

Goblin Chainwhirler Rounds Out an Eclectic Removal Suite

The Rakdos decks of the Grand Prix Birmingham Top 8 played a wide variety of point removal cards. As we’ve already noted, not all of them even played four copies of Unlicensed Disintegration!

Some played Magma Spray; most “only” Abrade. There was a Cut // Ribbons hither or thither.

Sideboard cards included everything from Fatal Push to Doomfall. Four mana black removal was up for debate, with a split between Vraska’s Contempt and Hour of Glory. And at five? Get ready for The Eldest Reborn!

Point being, there is no consensus among B/R mages as to how they will kill creatures (other than, largely, Unlicensed Disintegration). But even more ubiquitous is Goblin Chainwhirler… a four-of top to bottom. And with good reason…

Goblin Chainwhirler Beats Up Llanowar Elves

Llanowar Elves may be the most important card to come out of Dominaria.

It was heralded as possibly the best card in Standard.

Llanowar Elves gets its butt absolutely kicked by Goblin Chainwhirler. Multiple Llanowar Elves draw? More butt kicking. Possible teammates like Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, and oftentimes Jadelight Ranger / Merfolk Branchwalker can all be swept up in the Chainwhirler’s sweep as well.

If anything limits the power and popularity of the Winding Constrictor decks, it may well be this mighty red three drop.

Not for Nothin’ but Goblin Chainwhirler Crews Heart of Kiran

Consequently, this is a powerful pairing of two cards that can both play offense, and both also play defense.

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Lyra Dawnbringer Debuts!

Lyra Dawnbringer
Lyra Dawnbringer was at least the second most successful Dominaria card of the set’s first sanctioned weekend.

Lyra Dawnbringer and Llanowar Elves

The Legendary Angel wasn’t the most successful Dominaria card to debut this past week. That honor would belong to Llanowar Elves… But in at least one MTGO 5-0 deck, Angel and Elf Druid worked hand in hand.

Lyra represents a powerful top end. Not only does this card pay you off for your commitment to cards like Merfolk Branchwalker (that can help dig you to five or more lands), but Llanowar Elves can get you to your powerful 5/5 ahead of schedule.

And what is better than Shalai, Voice of Penty followed by the Dawnbringer? In times past, tapping out for an awesome 5/5 creature might be good defense… But it can stink when the opponent removes it and crushes you with an attack. If you lead off with Shalai, Lyra will have hexproof. So not only will she not be going anywhere (unless the opponent removes your other Angel), but Shalai will crush in with lifelink. Par-tay.

Lyra Dawnbringer and Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage

Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage changes everything!

Leading off with this creature on turn four (presumably at the end of the opponent’s turn, ideally when the coast is clear), you will be able to play cards like Lyra at instant speed!

Instant speed Walking Ballista?

Instant speed Teferi, Hero of Dominaria? It may seem counterintuitive to play a planeswalker on the opponent’s turn, but the ability to guarantee it resolves may be worth one lost activation. If there is a card that will have zero trouble recouping the lost utility, it is the card-advantageous Teferi.

How about instant speed History of Benalia? How top notch is this potential move? You can make a token at instant speed (potentially blocking with it) and then still get the next 2/2 on your own next turn! This will feel very much like getting both Chapter One and Chapter Two immediately (though only one will be allowed to attack).

Lyra Dawnbringer, Sideboard Superstar

One of the cool things about Lyra is that she isn’t even played main deck all the time! U/W decks in the market for creatures might play it main (or they might play only Torrential Gearhulk). But Approach of the Second Sun decks probably wouldn’t. Neither would Orzhov Tokens or white Swarm decks.

You know what they all have in common?

2-3 copies of Lyra Dawnbringer coming in after sideboards.

Here.

To.

Stay.

Check out 106:49 on Lyra Dawnbringer now!

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Mastering Lich’s Mastery

Lich's Mastery
Will Lich’s Mastery be THE ONLY viable strategy in Standard?
This card is poised to completely warp Standard! It is a draw engine of unprecedented power. Imagine for a moment you were playing a big format and ran Lich’s Mastery alongside Nourishing Shoal… The ability to draw cards with little to no incremental mana investment (after the initial six mana investment, of course) is unprecedented!

  • Yawgmoth’s Will limits access to your graveyard.
  • Yawgmoth’s Agenda locks you down to one spell per turn

This Legendary Enchantment has no such limitations.

Lich’s Mastery + Gideon of the Trials

Gideon of the Trials
White is a natural pair to Lich’s Mastery in Standard. Renewed Faith is one of the most obvious best buddies. It cycles to help you hit land drops early. Later on, you can draw six — count ’em six — extra cards for just one card!

Fumigate is also an awesome addition. The ability to gain one life per creature killed takes on new meaning when each of those creatures represents even more card advantage.

But what about Gideon of the Trials?

Is there a particular synergy with this Planeswalker that can also prevent you from losing the game? Yes!

Not only does Gideon rumble (giving your combo-control deck a way to win) but it can protect you from losing the game by losing your Lich’s Mastery. Further, it gives you a redundant synergy with Glorious End.

Any two of the three — Lich’s Mastery, Gideon of the Trials, and Glorious End — are great together!

Lich’s Mastery + Glorious End

Glorious End
Glorious End + Gideon of the Trials was a combo that never quite hit in Standard. Is it awesome? Probably… But it never quite hit.

What happens when you add a third leg to the stool?

What happens when that third leg has hexproof?

Glorious End is just awesome with Lich’s Mastery. Can you just Time Walk your opponent with Lich’s Mastery in play? Sure. You can also Fog them, Counterspell them, and generally laugh at them from behind your Legendary Enchantment while they expend resources.

But did you ever think about this?

Cast Glorious End on their Turn Five. Maybe on their upkeep?

Untap and play the Lich’s Mastery in your hand!

Cool, right?

What if you don’t have a Lich’s Mastery in your hand… yet? The planned End-Mastery play is a big game, but what might be even more fun is the desperate Glorious End-into-praying-to-draw-Lich’s-Mastery. All part of the range.

All Kinds of Lich’s Mastery Decks

In this episode of Top Level Podcast, Pro Tour Champion Patrick Chapin and Resident Genius Michael J. Flores discuss all manner of builds around and including this seductive six drop.

Black-White, Mardu, and even straight black takes are on the table.

Gifted Aetherborn? Creatureless? A couple of big guys? A ton of lifelinking Knights? Give this one a listen and figure out how you want your BBB3 to go in the coming months.

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Racing with Tempest Djinn

Tempest Djinn
Tempest Djinn is one of blue’s signature cards from Dominaria

Tempest Djinn is Much Stronger Than Serendib Efreet (in the right deck)

Serendib Efreet
Despite its initial appearance, Serendib Efreet was a blue card.
A good place to think about this most respected of Djinn is the Revised misprint, Serendib Efreet. Serendib Efreet was a 3/4 flying creature for U2 (blue, despite the card frame)… With a drawback!

Serendib Efreet saw play in a variety of decks, and fast multicolored aggressive mages would often dip into blue to play it. Again, despite the self-inflicted damage.

Dominaria’s Djinn is much harder to cast, sure. That is a lot of blue pips in the top-right!

But, the payoff is also much greater. In a deck with, say, twenty-five Islands, Tempest Djinn’s floor is a Serendib Efreet with no drawback. Each and every incremental Island will make it a faster and faster racer.

Tempest Djinn is Like the World’s Greatest Rishadan Airship (in the right deck)

Rishadan Airship
Unlike Rishadan Airship, Tempest Djinn can block
In its era, Rishadan Airship was one of the most important creatures played in the Blue Skies archetype.

Rishadan Airship was not great in very many other decks; it could not block consistently, and even when it could block, it would probably die. But offense-wise? Blue Skies was one of the best decks in Masques Block Constructed + was a favorite of some of the best Hall of Famers in Standard.

Tempest Djinn is like a more flexible Rishadan Airship. Again assuming an Islands-heavy (if not Islands-only) mana base, Tempest Djinn presents the same offense as Rishadan Airship — at least — but can also block. Not only that: It can block and often survive!

This flexibility is one of the most important aspects of Tempest Djinn. You can tap out for it on turn three, Skies-style to race… Or you can tap out for it on turn three to block a Red Deck’s 3/2 attackers.

Or — get this — you can tap out for Tempest Djinn, block… And then back over itself (and generally for four damage).

Tempest Djinn will Redefine Blue in Standard

Patrick made a deck.

Mike is wild about it.

Check out how our intrepid duo thinks Tempest Djinn will be played in Standard right here:

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