Daily Dose of Core 2019 – Blue mages rejoice, time to buy-a-box
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Core 2019, where I preview some of the cards we'll see in the new set each day.
Typically, I like to choose cards that fit a certain theme for each article and tie them all together. Today we have three cards that I can see being used in a blue control deck soon. This includes card that will only be available through the buy-a-box promotion at your local gaming store.
Now, I don’t often play blue spells when I’m sleeving up a deck. Currently, only two out of a multitude of decks I have use blue, and both of those are Brawl decks (Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh and Nissa, Steward of Elements). That doesn’t mean I don’t like a good blue card though, and I’ve got some good ones today.
First off, I want to talk about a sweet reprint. If there is one limitation that blue mages hate, it's having to discard cards after you’ve just drawn a ton off a large Pull from Tomorrow. But fear not, Core 2019 is here with Reliquary Tower!
This Commander favourite is back in Standard for the first time since Magic 2013. The question is whether players actually need this card in Standard.
Are there enough ways and card draw to warrant having this in your standard deck? Here are a few cards that could make you want this in your mana base. First off is Azor, the Lawbringer. You can use its ability to overdraw as many cards as possible without fear of having to discard any cards.
Next up we have Lich’s Mastery. If you have ways to gain a lot of life (and there are plenty of cards that can help you achieve that), you won’t have to fear about overdrawing and having to discard any cards. Overflowing Insight is another great way to fill up your hand with new cards, but you are often left having to discard some cards after playing it. Lastly is Kefnet the Mindful. You can use its ability as many times as you want and fill your hand over and above seven cards to make sure it is able to attack and block each turn.
Now it's time to look at a card which needs a lot of math to be done to figure out its rate of return. Luckily, I like that kind of stuff. Here is Patient Rebuilding:
Patient Rebuilding is one of those cards that can provide serious card advantage, but there are some drawbacks to it. First off, you need to “take a turn off” by playing an enchantment that initially does nothing, and doesn’t affect the battlefield in any way. In that way it's similar to Panharmonicon, which also doesn’t affect the battlefield when cast.
The other possible drawback is that you won’t get any return on it during your turn. However, let’s investigate the math on that. I’m going to assume a deck has 40% lands and that when it comes to the ability being triggered have drawn lands 40% of the time. Here are the odds:
- Draw 0 extra cards – 21.6% of the time
- Draw 1 extra cards – 43.2 % of the time
- Draw 2 extra cards – 28.8 % of the time
- Draw 3 extra cards – 6.4 % of the time
This means on average you will be drawing 1.2 extra cards per turn. Is that a good enough return for taking a turn off on turn five to play this card? Teferi, Hero of Dominaria will draw you six cards over the first six turns you have it on the battlefield. Patient Rebuilding also draws you six extra cards over the first six turns you have it on the battlefield (0 on first turn, 1.2 for the next five turns). Teferi, Hero of Dominaria helps untap lands and remove permanents, but is easier to deal with than an enchantment. I wouldn’t overlook this card as most players probably will.
Finally, I’m excited to talk about a new instant spell that just happens to be the new buy-a-box promo for Core 2019. Remember that buy-a-box promos are now cards that only appear as a promo and which will not be available in regular Core 2019 packs. In Dominaria we saw the card Firesong and Sunspeaker. With Core 2019 we get Nexus of Fate.
There have only ever been two other instant spells that allowed you to take an extra turn. One is Seedtime, but it was restricted to only being played during your turn and only if your opponent cast a blue spell this turn. The other one was Final Fortune, and that one killed you at the beginning of your extra turn’s end step.
Nexus of Fate doesn’t have these drawbacks, but it does cost seven mana to cast. Having a spell that grants you an extra turn that you could potentially cast repeatedly throughout the game makes you want to seriously look at the validity of this card. Is being able to play this as an instant that powerful? At sorcery speed, you would still get an extra turn and be able to untap all your lands and permanents.
I say yes. Playing Nexus of Fate as an instant means you can see what your opponent does on their turn, then decide whether to cast it. Maybe your opponent taps out or attacks with their creatures. This could give you free reign to cast spells for two turns, or attack for two attack phases.
These three new cards will give reason for the blue mage in you to rejoice. These cards all fit into a very specific deck build, but we will have to see whether a deck comes together that will take advantage of what these cards bring to the table.
What card are you most looking forward to playing? Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Core 2019. Join me tomorrow as I preview three new cards from Core 2019 including a Demon that is sure to scare some people.