An awesome wager

So, in checking out the complete Avacyn Restored Card Image Gallery yesterday, I noticed this little gem that I hadn’t seen in previous spoilers:

Although the dedicated burn deck is not really my deal, nor is low-and-fast aggro in the manner of Boros and friends, this seems like an amazing card if you are going to play the fast aggro game.

“Discard your hand to draw two” is no good for your typical control deck where you want to progressively build your hand (obviously). Dangerous Wager is brilliant, however, as an end-of-your-opponent’s-turn play for a fast aggro deck. After all, if you still had burn, you’d be burning them with it. If you still had creatures that were relevant, you’d be casting them. If you have an extra land or two in hand, why not replace them with cards that can actually shift the game?

And naturally, most of the time you’ll just be casting Dangerous Wager on an empty hand, making it a pure two cards for two mana.

As a “discard then draw” spell it naturally also feels like a Dredge-adjacent card. I think at two mana with no flashback or other benefits it’s too slow for Legacy Dredge. It might, however, make Modern DredgeVine decks more consistent and effective.

For now, though, I’m just impressed by how good it seems it should be in fast aggro.

Jund with Emrakul

Since I’ve been duly informed that I’m not allowed to mention things like this without providing a list, here’s Mattia Rizzi’s “Jund with Emrakul,” which took him to a top eight at a PTQ in Verona last month:

60 Main deck:
Inquisition of Kozilek
Lightning Bolt
Eternal Witness
Jund Charm
Kitchen Finks
Maelstrom Pulse
Huntmaster of the Fells
Through the Breach
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Treetop Village
Raging Ravine
Blackcleave Cliffs
Stomping Ground
Overgrown Tomb
Blood Crypt
Marsh Flats
Verdant Catacombs
Fire-Lit Thicket
15 Sideboard:
Seal of Primordium
Ancient Grudge
Huntmaster of the Fells
Kitchen Finks
Magma Spray
Grafdigger’s Cage
Thrun, the Last Troll
Wurmcoil Engine

Job Opening – Grand Cenobite – Must be willing to travel

Crossing the flavor and backstory of Magic with the tournament scene sometimes generates curious images and ideas.

Spare a moment of consideration for Elesh Norn, who surely must be the busiest Phyrexian in the multiverse.

In a game of Magic, when we cast a typical creature, we’re grabbing one example of that kind of creature out of the multiverse, yanking them to the battlefield where two dimension-hopping mages are fighting, and then dropping them back off afterward, if they survive. So I kidnap some random elf from the Llanowar Forest, he faces some undying eldritch terror while using his nature magic to accelerate out some weird ghost he’s never seen before, and then dies horribly.

Fair enough (well, except for the elf).

But when I cast Elesh Norn, that’s not a Grand Cenobite, that’s the Grand Cenobite, the one and only Elesh Norn.

Over and over again, in GPs, Open Series events, and PTQs.

I have to imagine some poor, bewildered Phyrexian church functionary standing in Norn’s inner sanctum, trying to check in on the news of the day.

“So first…”


“I’ll wait.”


“Okay, you’re back. So first…”


“I’ll wait.”

Being Legendary and a popular tournament card seems like the closest thing to a distributed denial of service attack that the Magic multiverse can offer.