While Magic Origins is not the deepest of Limited formats, it still has a lot of interesting interactions, and knowing the ins and outs of these situations will definitely give you a leg up on the competition. I’ve selected some obvious tricks, and some more niche interactions that can come up. Let’s get to the cards!
1) Enshrouding Mist
I want to start with this card since it’s often used to push through a renown creature, but later in the game it becomes quite important to think about. The untap clause is relevant way less often than I thought it would be, and so this card is forgettable if you aren’t careful. If your opponent plays in a strange way by just attacking with a renowned creature from behind, Enshrouding Mist should spring to mind. Don’t forget that extra text.
2) Touch of Moonglove + Chandra’s Ignition or Blazing Hellhound
Touch of Moonglove is generally unplayable, but every once in a while you have an extremely aggressive deck that needs a 23rd card and has a Chandra’s Ignition or Blazing Hellhound, in which case it’s a decent inclusion. If you cast the Touch on the Hellhound, it gains deathtouch so every time you sacrifice another creature you can kill an opposing creature and have your opponent lose 2 life! Chandra’s Ignition on any creature you’ve cast Touch on will obliterate all other creatures. Just be careful because any of your creatures that die to it will cause you to lose 2 life, though hopefully your opponent just has a bunch of creatures and dies on the spot.
3) Valeron Wardens + Celestial Flare
An original “trick” for the format when it first came out was to cast Celestial Flare during the end of combat step. Now that’s old news, but this is a scenario that comes up that expands on it. If you’re attacked by a bunch of small creatures including a Valeron Wardens and are able to kill off all but the Wardens, let it through and then with its renown trigger on the stack, cast Celestial Flare. At that point, your opponent will have to sacrifice Valeron Wardens and it will never become renowned because it isn’t on the battlefield. No card draw for your opponent!
4) Willbreaker + Throwing Knife
Since Throwing Knife targets on every attack but only sacrifices on resolution, you get to steal a new creature every turn you attack with an equipped Throwing Knife. Some other great ones with Willbreaker include:
- Wild Instincts – Get +2/+2 on any creature you want and steal a creature. The stolen creature will no longer fight since your opponent no longer controls it
- Separatist Voidmage – The bounce is a may ability so this just turns into a 2/2 plus Mind Control.
- Whirler Rogue – Repeatable thievery and you can even do it the turn you play Whirler Rogue!
5) Angel’s Tomb + Flash Creatures
Angel’s Tomb can’t block which is its huge downside, but this is the one way to get around it. The best combination is with Thunderclap Wyvern. You get to ambush a creature with the Wyvern and with your bigger and badder 4/4 Angel’s Tomb. .
6) Scry + Search Effects
Evolving Wilds and Nissa’s Pilgrimage can both thin your deck of unwanted lands later in the game when you draw them, so even though the effect is minor you might as well take advantage of it. The problem comes in when you’ve already scryed many lands to the bottom of your deck. I had a game where I cast two Llanowar Empath and put 3 lands to the bottom. When I drew my Nissa’s Pilgrimage in the late game, it ended up being better to not cast it since that would actually make my overall topdecks worse.
7) Kothophed Counts All Opposing Permanents—Not Just Creatures
When Kothophed gets cast, the game often turns into a sweet new subgame where the opponent just tries to suicide creatures in to trigger Kothophed and hopefully win before the giant 6/6 Demon takes over. The race often ends up being very close, which is why it’s especially important to remember that Kothophed also triggers off noncreature permanents.
First, this means creatures with Auras on them will count double. Infectious Bloodlust is particularly potent since it is an extra permanent that will find even more permanents. But my favorite is Evolving Wilds. I’ve seen and heard of more than one person dying to their own Kothophed from an opposing Evolving Wilds which is just entirely entertaining. If you’ve seen a Kothophed from your opponent, think about saving that Evolving Wilds in the midgame if you no longer need extra mana. You’ll be happy you did!
Hopefully you learned a thing or two about Magic Origins draft even after it’s been well established. Battle for Zendikar is right on the horizon and looks to be absolutely amazing.