April 9, 2020

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Daily Dose of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths #6 – It’s time to Wedge in Ikoria

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Ikoria! Today I’m going to be talking about an underlying theme in the new set which is wedge coloured cards. If you aren’t familiar with these colour combinations, here is the breakdown:

- Sultai – Black, Green, Blue
- Jeskai – White, Blue, Red
- Temur – Red, Green, Blue
- Abzan – White, Green, Black
- Mardu – Red, White, Black

All the multicolour cards in Ikoria will fall into one (and sometimes two) of these colour wedges. It’s a large focus for the set and I’m excited to play with these powerful multicolour cards. Power level usually is raised due to the difficulty of playing a deck with 2 or 3 colours, but with the good mana base we have today it shouldn’t be much of an issue in Standard.
I want to start off today with a nice Abzan card, here is Death’s Oasis.

Death's Oasis

This is an enchantment with a lot of text, but what you need to know is that it’s going to provide you with a ton of value. When your creatures die you will start to gain some recurring value from it. Each time you will fill your graveyard with more targets for future triggers. Each time the number of creatures you can choose to return to your hand grows, allowing you to gain better value the later the game goes. In the end, if you are desperate to stay alive, you can even sacrifice the enchantment to gain a good chunk of life. There are some ways to get some great value out of this card including sacrificing creatures to Witch’s Oven to grab some food. Priest of Forgotten Gods could potentially get you two creatures back as you will get two triggers. If you build your deck correctly, Death’s Oasis will pay off.

I love playing cards that provide card advantage and nothing screams card advantage like this next one. Here is a new Temur rare, Song of Creation.

Song of Creation

This is a very linearly designed card in the fact that you can clearly see which ability is green, blue, and red. Two out of three of them are very powerful, so it makes sense that the last one weakens the overall power of the card. Let’s focus on the first two abilities. The first ability is great but once you hit four mana in the game, you usually don’t have multiple lands at once. It will be the second ability that will allow you to put multiple lands out in the same turn. You will want to play this enchantment later in the game, once you have enough lands in play. That way you can play multiple spells in the same turn. Playing this out on turn four will just lead you to discard your hand and leave you playing off the top of your deck. This could work very well with the new Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate as it can allow you to see the top of your deck and play a creature from there, even if you draw a land for your turn. Overall, I think that Song of Creation has some potential, but could leave players frustrated playing only off the top of their deck for the rest of the game.

Finally, I have the last of the Planeswalkers in the set, it’s the return of Narset. Here is Narset of the Ancient Way.

Narset of the Ancient Way

Narset is ready to kick some butt and take no prisoners. It starts off with a solid 4 loyalty for only 4 mana, but it does take three different colours of mana to cast her. Let’s break down the abilities of this planeswalker.

[+1]: You gain 2 life. Add U, R, or W. Spend this mana only to cast a noncreature spell. – This is a great ability against aggro decks as it puts Narset at 5 loyalty, and you gain 2 life in the process. With the threat of consistent life gain, your opponent is going to want to kill Narset. In all this, you'll gain a minimum of 7 life just by using the ability once. Providing mana towards a noncreature spell is nice as well for future turns as control decks are often looking for as much mana as they can get.

[-2]: Draw a card, then you may discard a card. When you discard a nonland card this way, Narset of the Ancient Way deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to target creature or planeswalker. – Planeswalker abilities often only protect against creatures, so it’s nice that you can use this to kill planeswalkers as well. A couple of great things about this ability are that you get to draw first before discarding, and you don’t have to discard if you don’t need to. Be careful though, if you do discard, you must target something to deal damage.

[-6]: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this emblem deals 2 damage to any target." – This is a solid ultimate ability that isn’t too far away from achieving only 2 turns after you cast it.

I think the 3-colours of mana will prevent this from getting played as often as Teferi, Time Reveler, but I think ability-wise it lines up nicely if not better than Teferi. (Not including the static ability of course).

As you can see, there are some powerful wedge cards in Ikoria. Thanks again for joining me on the Daily Dose of Ikoria. Join me again tomorrow as we see if they can provide us with some more nice surprises.