Double Masters 2022 is an exciting upcoming set release scheduled for July 8. Wizards of the Coast was kind enough to offer CFB two exclusive preview cards, and CFB was kind enough to let me write about one of them! Keep an eye out for the other preview card on our TikTok!
Without further ado, here’s the big reveal!
At instant speed, Venser allows you to bounce any permanent from the battlefield to its owner’s hand. This ability makes him one of the strongest and most versatile Man-o’-Wars ever printed. He offers blue a way to deal with problematic threats ranging from planeswalkers to enchantments and even lands!
Yet even cooler is this extra bit of text: “return target spell.” In essence, this means countering a spell, except that the spell will wind up back in hand rather than in the graveyard. Crucially, however, Venser avoids the word “counter,” meaning that uncounterable spells like Eldrazi titans, Carnage Tyrants, Chandra, Awakened Inferno or anything cast off of Cavern of Souls can be safely dealt with. This is a truly special ability, since Venser allows blue mages to next level the cards which everybody else is using to try and beat them!
When it comes to competitive Constructed, I’d call Venser a “fringe option.” He was quite strong when legal in Standard, and saw a good bit of Modern play for a number of years. These days, the power level of Modern is much higher, which works to crowd out sweet four-mana plays like this.
Perhaps the best use of Venser is to pair him with Karakas in Legacy (also a sweet pairing for Cube Draft, if that’s your thing!). Karakas allows you to repeatedly bounce your own Venser, and doing so gives you a powerful, repeatable play that you can make all at instant speed. You can freely block one extra creature every turn before safely bouncing Venser to your hand. This pairing also represents a permanent or semi-permanent answer to uncounterable threats. And of course, Venser offers you an out to all of the unexpected lock pieces you might run into in Legacy (of which there are many).
I hope you’re as excited as I am to see a fun, unusual, and iconic card coming back in this upcoming set!