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July 12, 2019

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The Most Interesting (White, Blue and Black) Cards in Core Set 2020

Hey guys, today I’m going to be talking about new boardsweeps, the real reason people make laws, 7/7 flying creatures on turn 3, a terrible planeswalker, and why control decks have to start playing Duress and Thought Erasure.

Without further ado, here are some of the most interesting (not most powerful) cards in Core Set 2020 in the colours White, Blue, and Black.

Bishop of Wings is just more life gain for all those angel decks out there (because Lyra Dawnbringer isn’t enough, don’t you know). Bishop should be a 4-of in most angel decks as it gets rid of any concern of dying in the early turns between its ability to block, and the amount of life it gains you. Angel of Vitality also combos nicely with Bishop and Resplendent Angel. If you curve Bishop into Angel of Vitality you have a 4/4 flyer on turn 3, which is totally fair, and 5 life. If that isn’t enough, you can follow them up with Resplendent Angel and gain 5 more life, make an angel end of turn, and gain even more life. All we need now is for them to reprint Felidar Sovereign

Finally, the Feather, the Redeemed players can protect their inconsistent glass cannon deck from having to scoop to removal. The deck is still bad, though.

There’s a 50% chance this card is just completely terrible, but as somebody who played way too much UW Spirits in Eldritch Moon standard, I really want to find a deck for this card. Two flyers for 3 mana isn’t too bad, especially when it doubles as a removal spell. If you want to get fancy, you can use the Executioner as a chump blocker and then before damage use its second ability to kill an unblocked creature. The one problem I have with this card: What kind of name is Hanged flippin’ Executioner?

Planar Cleansing isn’t as efficient as something like Kaya’s Wrath, but it is more of a catch all. Got a board of planeswalkers you have to deal with? No problem. Your opponent just cast Command the Dreadhorde and put every creature and planeswalker known to man onto the board? Planar Cleansing, see ya later. Some idiot refuses to admit that Temur Reclamation is a dead deck and insists on bringing it to every single FNM, and for some reason is still doing about average? (that’s me, by the way) Planar Cleansing them, make them cry in the corner. This card is most likely a 1-of or 2-of in any white control deck, even if it is playing a bunch of planeswalkers, just because it prevents you from getting screwed over from an unexpected angle.

R.I.P. any Drake, Phoenix, and Aggro deck ever created. Ok, maybe you don’t want to spend turn 3 doing nothing against Aggro, but UR decks are SOOOOO screwed. This will certainly be played in the sideboard of white decks. Control might play some mainboard just because it’s busted with instants: Play a spell, pass the turn, play another one. Two spells a turn. Nice sorcery speed stuff, that’s so cute. No, I’m not talking about your creatures, I’m talking about your instants that are sorcery speed because of Teferi, Time Raveler. Gosh, I hate control sometimes. The other home I see for this card is in some kind of top-end heavy white midrange deck with no card draw that just wants to use all its mana on a single, huge spell every turn. Angels maybe?…

All these cards in a single set is just asking for some sort of UW flyers aggro deck, probably with Dovin, Grand Arbiter and Favorable Winds and about 20 1-drops. The 20 1-drops would be to make sure you can play Sephara, Sky’s Blade on turn 3.

Speaking of flyers, Mono-Blue got some new toys in the new set. Spectral Sailor and Faerie Miscreant are both 1-drops that draw cards. While both are good cards, whether they’re better than what Mono-Blue is already playing remains to be seen. The Mono-Blue deck plays somewhere in between 9 and 12 1-drops already and can’t fit any more. I think Spectral Sailor has a slightly better chance of being in the deck, simply because it’s capable of be played as a 1-of or 2-of while Faerie Miscreant needs to be a 4-of to be of value, and I don’t think Mono-Blue has that many slots available. Brineborn Cutthroat can get huge since this deck is trying to do so many things at instant speed. However, one of the defining characteristics of Mono-Blue Tempo is evasion, and I’m not sure if mashing a huge creature into a bunch of otherwise irrelevant walking blockers meshes well with a bunch of small flyers. Dungeon Geists probably won’t see play mainboard, but there is a strong possibility of it replacing Transmogrifying Wand or Deep Freeze sideboard.

The two loyalty on this card just might be the only reason it isn’t good. The +2 protects her and lets you get past your opponent’s flyers if you’re playing Mono-Blue. -3 for a Big Bird is great, it just is slightly slow since you can’t use it before turn 4. It also allows me to make a bunch of bird puns that you were going to make until I beak you to it. The -8 doesn’t win the game like a lot of ultimates, but if you put it in a Mono-Blue deck, JUST IMAGINE THE VALUE.

In a pinch, this card can give you some blockers, but the real reason I’m excited for this card is because I want to generate an insane amount of mana by turning all my treasure tokens into Powerstone Shards. Banefire anyone?…

Audacious Thief is a slightly worse version of Ruin Raider. It’s worse mainly because it must attack to draw a card. With Ruin Raider you can play it third turn and immediately start drawing cards. You can also suicide creatures into your opponent’s blockers looking for removal if attacking with your Raider is going to get it killed. You can’t do that with the Thief. The one advantage the thief has is it doesn’t require you to lose as much life and doesn’t reveal the card you drew.

If Mono-Black control is ever a thing (maybe with Liliana, Dreadhorde General), this will be great in it. Every turn you get to either kill a creature or planeswalker and gain some life, or draw a card. Unfortunately, the card does have a few downsides. The first is that you have to be playing a lot of swamps. The second is that it takes a little bit to get your value from it. If your opponent is playing all the removal or you are playing Aggro, you won’t get your sweet sweet value. I think Dread Presence will be kind of like Tireless Tracker; people will wait until the can cast it and play a land in the same turn.

Now that’s a big creature.

If this sees play (and it’s a big if), it will be in some sort of Ghalta, Primal Hunger Sarkhan’s Unsealing deck or a graveyard deck.

All of the sudden the black control decks have an advantage in the control mirror. I don’t like it. The only way to prevent you from getting your hand completely wrecked is to sideboard in a bunch of creatures (or a bunch of lands, but I don’t really see the point of that) or to Thought Erasure or Duress away Distortion, in which case you’re playing black and may as well play Thought Distortion yourself and try to wreck their hand instead. This card looks brutal to play against when playing control.

M20 might not shake up the format (it is a core set, after all), but it definitely has some spicy build-around cards.

We’ll be back at some point with the other half of the set and all the cycles (Cavaliers, Leylines).

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.