The fact that it is an instant to me is a big deal as well. I'm trying to see what they are trying to do with this in other format right now because I think it is more than the sum of its parts.

  • In modern it fetches tron pieces in a deck that will take it free but also can just cast it.
  • I saw someone theory crafting around free from hand creatures like Faerie Macabre, hollow one, and Myr Enforcer, seemed ok but not crazy
  • Glimmerpost stuff.

I mean, it's hard for me to conceive of a world where this is not something somewhere, because at 2 mana this effect at instant speed is already pretty good.

This card is great. 2 mana for this effect alone is too much for vintage, it'd be good for 1 mana. But being free as the first spell obviously changes things, so...

As a survival player I can see myself wanting some copies of it, specially in builds with maindeck force of vigor. If it's not in your first hand you will either have the mana to play it or bazaar to 'cycle' it. We have several kinds of cards between lands and creatures, and we can have at least like 4 different approaches with our first hands:

-fast bazaar with VV+rootwalue and hollow
-survival with or without manarock/dork
-playing out hatebears
-'ramping' into 4-mana 4/3 haste (yeah, it happens and depending on the situation it's not bad).
-blind bazaar hands (only lands and irrelevant spells, trying to get lucky)

In all of those situations there are good, mediocre and bad cards for the situation. Cards that are great in some of those are bad in others. But this free turn 1 spell can grab cards that go into any of those situations. If you have it turn 1 it may be better than vengevine or even bazaar.

It's a mix of redundancy and filtering.

I don't think I'd run 4, maybe not now (having 2-4 of these in your openning hand would be bad). I can easily see myself playing 2 copies of this.

I don't know about other decks, I get the world isn't about survival (not of the fittest at least), but I'm just showing a case where this card WILL be good.

I have no doubt it will do something in survival, but I'm almost curious if its better to cast it before a bazaar or after. After digs you further for Hollow one, but before digs you for vengevine and Rootwallas to dump to the bazaar.

@protoaddict if we are thinking about finding hollow one, before/after bazaar activation doesn't matter, since you're seeing the top 7 anyway. i think correct sequencing in survival will always be to play this before bazaar activation, or even before playing bazaar. it definitely will be in dredge, where you will often be taking a dredger to discard.

I have a question for folks. Do people think this card could be sufficient as a pseudo Serum Powder effect for creature/hatebear decks such that those deck would no longer need/want a dedicated draw engine like bob? What I mean to say is, could a GW deck be possible that went "all in" on prison and just ran this card as an early game free "fixer" for finding that 1 extra lock piece? My theory is that the answer is yes but I wanted to get thoughts from the community.


This card is very good in Dredge and other Bazaar decks, but that’s not really the only decks it’s good in. Extending your hand to +5 cards for 0 mana is pretty crazy and it’s not like it’s over costed at 1G later in the game.

@stormanimagus my immediate response would be to say no. for these purposes I'm assuming that as a 2 mana spell it's a dead draw, especially given whatever sphere effects you will have. I think this spell will be at its best in decks that either:

  1. have the mana and need to cast additional copies as they draw them(I'm interested in it for legacy dark depths lists in this role, modern tron obviously, etc)
  2. will cast their first copy turn 1 and then end up not worrying about ever casting the rest(dredge or survival both might want this turn 1 and then have bazaars to discard excess copies to when 2 mana is too much)

in decks that don't fit one of these categories, I think this is comparable to mana acceleration in terms of being useful early game and dead later, but even moreso, as the dropoff starts as soon as you cast any other spell on turn 1; drawing a mox or a spirit guide on turn two or three still advances your gameplan, while drawing this usually doesn't.
mainly my questions are how often do you think you are going to be able to pay the mana cost for this, and how long do you expect your games to go? if you won't regularly have 1G+thalia then the card is essentially a leyline. I'm interested in seeing testing, and the ability of this to hit spirit guides is probably relevant for someone trying to maximize their ability to make big turn 1 plays.

This card is basically good in any deck that wants to build a 50-card-or-less deck (4x this, 4x wraith, 1x git probe, X cantrip). In decks that want multiple pieces or several options, I think this card is just 4 less spots for gas. Keeping a hand with this as your first or second land drop, hoping to see one in the top 5, is almost always worse than just mulling. The times you use it turn 0 and wiff on a land you wanted, it will cost you games.

Does anyone have any math on this card in Dredge decks?

Have people not considered this for Hermit Druid decks? With the new Mulligan rule and this, getting a turn one Hermit (especially with 4-8 Guides) seems very strong.

@thewhitedragon69 said in [ELD] Once Upon a Time:

Keeping a hand with this as your first or second land drop, hoping to see one in the top 5, is almost always worse than just mulling. The times you use it turn 0 and wiff on a land you wanted, it will cost you games.

Keeping a bad hand has nothing to do the strength of a card, I'm unsure why that argument always comes up.

This being worse than a mulligan sorta depends on how much you have already mulliganed. Digging 5, even if you don't see a land, gets you 5 closer to a land you need. I think If ii have already mulled 2 times there are many instances where this will be better (contextual to the hand you keep) and once you have hit the 3rd mulligan you have to start thinking long and hard about the risks of mulling again at -1 vs keeping this and playing the odds.

I don't think you can judge this card by that metric though because most of the play this card get is going to be in decks that already do things that a normal deck would not do like Mulling for 1 card and not playing mana. The fact that this pitched to Force of Vigor is huge and if it was blue we would not even be having this conversation. Pitch cards as well as brainstorm, Jace, and Bazzar have made it so that the low end of a card is not nearly as relevant as what the top end of it can do.


Isn’t keeping 7 with this better than mulling to 2 with this in pretty much all cases? I don’t think mulling, with the intent of casting this spell, gets you any closer to finding something with it. The top cards of the deck are unknown in all cases.

last edited by desolutionist

@daniel-worobec I am working on the math now, though it's a little tricky given how many different things it does. currently I'm trying to think through exactly how the simulation should preference taking various cards over each other in what circumstances(should a second dredger be taken over a hollow one, etc)

@desolutionist said in [ELD] Once Upon a Time:

Isn’t keeping 7 with this better than mulling to 2 with this in pretty much all cases? I don’t think mulling, with the intent of casting this spell, gets you any closer to finding something with it. The top cards of the deck are unknown in all cases.

Depends what your deck is doing. Dredge for instance would always mull a 7 hand with this in it and no Bazaar I think, because they can take subsequent mulls after that. It's not until they hit like 3 that they have to weigh if this is better or not, and in most cases it will be because even if you whiff you get 5 cards closer to what you need where as with mulls you would not.

A deck that plays in a more traditional way may not need just one card though, it is going to depend on the combination of things they have in hand, what they know about the opponents deck. etc. There will also be causes where people keep hands with this solely because it is a green card to pitch to FOV.


You could just output the distribution of options.

@vaughnbros the options are slightly dependant on what cards were kept earlier in the mulligan process of course when bottoming cards with ponder and then mulling the powder hand. in terms of what the average options are, given a 58 card deck where one bazaar and one OUAT are accounted for, that's easy enough.


Well it would be interesting to explore the best cards to bottom during the powder process, but I think that would have a pretty small impact on the distribution of available cards with this.

Not for nothing but in addition to the bazaar math this card can also get you closer to the single dredge 6 the list still has, which is another value to consider.

@protoaddict or quicker to a dredge 5, yes. it also makes hollow one more common, depending whether you'd pick it over a dredger or not.

I like this card more in a redundant creature/hatebear deck with elvish reclaimer because you could find lock pieces or something like cavern on turn 1 for free. That seems huge in a deck like that at fixing the first couple turns while not being dead as a top deck on turn 7. Basically you get to have 7 cards out of the top 12 instead of the normal 7 out of 7. Seems great to me.


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