Is Narset, Parter of Veils the best card in Standard?
… Probably not.
But we might be able to have a fun discussion around the topic!
Mike advocates for Teferi, Time Raveler as the best card in Standard, and Patrick largely counter-points with Narset… But he has a few points.
Narset, Parter of Veils in the Red Deck Metagame
Narset looks fantastic against many blue decks. In and against [other] blue decks, that is. You’ll see some cutting Chemister’s Insight to make room for Narset. Narset both fills in Chemister’s Insight’s old job and makes life difficult for other folks trying to draw two cards at the end of your turn!
But where this card might really shine is Mono-Red!
The consensus among War of the Spark red mages is to play Risk Factor. The first big event featured three Red Decks in the Top 4. Wow. Yowza! All of them played three Risk Factors, whether in the main deck or sideboard.
Surely those Risk Factors will be in against a blue control opponent, as soon as they can make their way into the deck.
But look at Narset’s static ability:
Each opponent can’t draw more than one card each turn.
That means that when the opponent casts Risk Factor, you can decline to take four damage… But they will not get all that much value. Certainly they will not be peeling three cards.
Another Red Deck casualty of Narset is B/R midrange. Generally featuring Rix Maadi Reveler (which is a superior two-card combo with Risk Factor generally), this deck is even more vulnerable to Narset. Why?
You can’t even filter one card with Rix Maadi Rewveler if it’s on your own turn!
Narset, Parter of Veils as a Card Advantage Engine
We know this card has some built-in card advantage just by virtue of messing up other people’s card drawing plans. But no one would play it if not for the powerful [-2] ability.
−2: Look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal a noncreature, nonland card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
As a three mana Planeswalker, there are many implementations that make sense proactively. In the Simic Nexus deck alone, there are at least two amazing four mana spells — Tamiyo, Collector of Tales and Wilderness Reclamation — that can complete a vicious three-four punch.
This ability is generally stronger than drawing a card in the abstract. Even when you spend it twice, leaving Narset depleted, you will generally still have a powerful, disruptive, asset.
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Everything from the ins and outs of the new-look Red Decks with Chandra, Fire Artisan to how to build a Niv-Mizzet, Reborn control deck!
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