With a new year comes new games of Magic! Like most Planeswalkers, I’ve got plans for what decks I’m going to sleeve up, what formats I’m going to rock, and what cards I’m going to buy in 2019.
Below, then, are the 5 cards I’m most hoping to cast in 2019. These cards represent not just the decks, formats, and matches I’m looking forward to, but the experiences I hope to have playing this Magical game this year.
5. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Magic Arena has done something I never thought possible: It’s gotten me to play Standard. And not just in a dip-your-toes-in, budget Maze’s End kind of way. I’m playing full-fledged, Tier 1 Standard decks against opponents who are doing the same. (And I’ve spent no money doing so!)
But while you’ll currently find me playing Golgari Midrange in the Standard queues, Singleton is my true Arena love. Decks full of one-ofs make each card seem more special, and boy, do you ever notice when you draw your Teferi, Hero of Dominaria in Singleton.
Teferi takes over a game in ways no other Standard card does, so he’s the first card in each of my Singleton decks. I plan to cast digital Teferis for as long as I can in 2019, and hope physical Teferis drop in price at rotation.
4. Splinter Twin
I want to cast Splinter Twin in Modern again, and I think there’s a chance 2019 will let me.
The Modern metagame has become extremely (forgive the pun) splintered and diverse. So much so that I don’t think unbanning Splinter Twin would change much. Graveyard decks will continue to do graveyard things; disruptive aggro decks will continue to do disruptive aggro things. Splinter Twin decks would only add another layer to the already-complex Modern metagame.
With so many good new decks in existence, I think it’s possible we could see Twin come back without harm. Twin would be a very good deck, but by no means the “best” deck. And selfishly, I just enjoyed playing Twin; I’d like to do again.
But even if we don’t get Twin off the Modern ban list, I’ll be casting it in Commander and possibly another format (more on that at number one). Modern may remain Twin-less, but my 2019 won’t.
Storm is a good deck to know the ins-and-outs of, even for those who (like me) don’t plan to play it regularly. Because I’m an Izzet Mage, I own most Storms cards already; I’m missing just Manamorphose, Baral, and the kill cards: Grapeshot and Empty the Warrens.
I’ve put off finishing Storm for years, but 2019 will find me saying the phrase “Grapeshot for 20” (and annoying everyone at my local shop in the process). I just hope Storm math is simpler than Death’s Shadow math.
If you followed the 8×8 with Wydwen series, you know how excited I am to cast my first Doomsday. The card carries a mystique that most Magic cards don’t. It’s one of those cards you don’t often see at local shops. Most of my own Doomsday exposure has come online, via Vintage.
I fully expect my Commander playgroup to not know what Doomsday does when I cast it (they’re not quite as deep into Magic as I am). I also expect they’ll let it resolve without knowing what they’re in for. They have, however, seen Laboratory Maniac combos before, so they might beat my Doomsday piles! I’ll just have to be sneakier and more clever than them. (The fact that many of them are reading this likely won’t help.)
Whether Doomsday wins me games or not, I’m excited to cast it and join the rank of seasoned Black mages who pursue greatness at any cost – even half their life and most of their deck.
1. Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Speaking of mystique, arguably no Magic card has more of it than Jace, the Mind Sculptor. The game’s premier Planeswalker still costs a pretty penny, but I think I can afford one this year, and I need it to finish off my Modern Highlander deck.
Yeah, you read that right: Modern Highlander. A friend and I decided we wanted to create a new format, and Modern Highlander’s what we settled on. The deckbuilding rules are pretty much what you’d expect, with maybe one exception:
- Decks must contain 60 cards printed during the Modern era (8th Edition on). However, there’s no ban list. So, for example, my Blue-Red deck can play Splinter Twin, Preordain, and Dig Through Time. That’s because …
- Decks can contain only one copy of each card (except for Basic Lands). We figure if you can play only one Dig Through Time, Umezawa’s Jitte, or Birthing Pod in your Modern deck, the chances of doing extremely broken things with them are fairly low. Also, we just want to play with banned cards.
And that’s it. We haven’t figured out whether we want to include sideboards yet. I’ve argued for it, while my friend has argued against. Either way, we plan to run our first matches in March, when I’ll be home for a visit.
I’m going to buy my Jace and test my Highlander deck (minus the banned cards) at Tuesday Night Modern this month. And to prep for that, I plan to discuss the deck (and changes to make it Modern-legal) here next time! So stay tuned for some sweet Modern Highlander discussion.
What cards are you most looking forward to casting this year? Is there a deck or format you’ve been itching to try out? Leave your Magical hopes and aspirations in the comments below. And until next time, may you draw the cards you want to see in 2019.