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June 21, 2018

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Daily Dose of Core 2019 – How to find ways to maximize the value of new cards

Welcome to the Daily Dose of Core 2019. Today I’ll be looking at more cards that could be format changers, including a hard to kill Elder Dragon.

I’m a fan of cards that are good by themselves,  and become amazing if you build your deck around them. One example of such a card would be Harnessed Lightning. By itself, it can deal up to three damage to a creature. However, if you build your deck around Energy, Harnessed Lightning becomes even more valuable and can kill a bigger creature or gain you some Energy. That way, you can turn it around and use that Energy for some of the other cards in your deck. I’ll be talking about a card like this coming up.

But before we get to that, I want to talk about an artifact that could help you gain multiple extra turns over the course of a game. Let’s look at Magistrate’s Specter:

magistratesspecter

The first thing I think about when I see this card is how I can get an extra turn out of it faster than spending 15 mana over three or more turns. Well there aren’t many tools to help you there, not in Standard at least, but there are a few.

The first way would be to add additional counters to it. There are two ways to do that. Winding Constrictor will add an extra counter each time you add a charge counter by spending four mana. This will speed up the time needed to take your first extra turn. The other way would be to add additional counters using Skyship Plunderer.

The other way to speed up Magistrate’s Specter is to untap it, then activate its ability more than one time per turn. There are currently two in Standard that can help you with that. The rarely used Teferi, Timebender has an ability that allows you to untap an artifact, but the better choice is the 1/3 creature Voltaic Servant. Even if you end up taking it slow, over the course of the game you still can take multiple extra turns with just one card.

Next up we have another in the cycle of Elder Dragons brought back for Core 2019. One that will be very hard to get off the battlefield. Here is Chromium, the Mutable:

chromium

I know what you’re thinking, how the heck do I kill this creature? Let me break down the possible scenarios.

The first option is to have more instant removal spells than your opponent has cards in their hand. This makes it so that they won’t be able to keep discarding cards to give Chromium hexproof. The second option is when you attack into Chromium, the Mutable. If your opponent decides to block with it, you can hit it with a removal spell. Either it will die from the removal spell or it will change into a 1/1 Human. Since it’s already blocking your attacking creature, it will die to combat damage.

If it’s attacking you, it’s a little harder to kill, but still possible if you have a flying creature that can block it. You block it with your flying creature, then use a removal spell. Like in the other scenario, Chromium will either die from the removal spell or die during combat to your blocking creature. Or you can just have enough damage to kill it during combat outright.

This is a great creature as it can’t be countered and can be used to surprise your opponent when they least expect it. Just remember though, if you only have sorcery speed removal, you will be in trouble against Chromium, the Mutable.

Finally, I want to talk about a card that you’ll want to build a deck around, and which will shine even if you get it in Limited play. Let’s look at Resplendent Angel:

resplendent

If I spend six mana to pump this card with its own ability, I’ll gain five life and create a 4/4 Angel with vigilance. However, what I want to do is find ways other than spending that six mana to start creating Angels. So, let’s have a look at cards that can gain you five or more life in one shot.

If you can trigger revolt on Airdrop Aeronauts, you will gain five life and get an Angel. Approach of the Second Sun is another candidate, though you often won’t be playing both cards in the same deck. Arborback Stomper gains you five life and an Angel when it enters the battlefield. Azor’s Gateway can gain you five life, but it’ll take a few turns to get there. A kicked Krosan Druid will gain you 10 life, though you’ll sadly still just get one Angel from it. Life Goes On will gain you eight life if a creature died during the turn. A hard casted Renewed Faith will gain you six life and an Angel at the same time.

The other way to gain life is through creatures with lifelink. There’s only one creature with lifelink and power five or more, but it’s a powerful one: Lyra Dawnbringer. But, if you can’t find a creature with lifelink big enough, you can always give an existing creature you have lifelink. Putting a Mark of the Vampire on Resplendent Angel will make sure you get an Angel every combat. The first half of Prepare // Fight is a great way to pump up Resplendent Angel herself to a 5/5 lifelink creature, allowing you to make an Angel. I think this will be a very powerful card for Standard as players find ways to keep pumping out 4/4 Angels.

There you have it folks, three more great cards to look forward to in Core 2019. Which one of these is your favourite? Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Core 2019. Join me again tomorrow as the second preview week continues.