We’ve been exploring Bring to Light as a community, and a path has branched before us. This card will enable a handful of new decks or enhance a handful of older decks. What’s the best place to proceed?
I’ve decided to go in the most obviously viable and useful direction: Bring to Light with Scapeshift. Many players have mentioned this pairing already, and all Scapeshift players have something new to be excited about. So let’s see what we can do.
Bring to Light is appealing because it can work as Scapeshifts 5-8, giving you some serious redundancy. Even better, these extra 4 Scapeshifts are extremely flexible. The card Scapeshift has only one purpose, but Bring to Light can ramp, draw, burn, bounce, gain life, block or whatever you need.
Bring to Light
First, we should consider the drawbacks of this card. It costs 5 mana—1 more than Scapeshift, which is a minor inconvenience. However, it costs a 4th color of mana, which is a major inconvenience.
The conventional 3-color Temur Scapeshift mana base is already somewhat iffy in terms of consistency and pain. Stretching it to a 4th color is a definite drawback, but certainly possible.
I’m thinking the best way to accommodate for a 4th color is with 1-2 shocklands and 1 basic. This will lower your mana consistency slightly, but is doable. We can do it either with white or with black.
Now let’s move on to the upside of Bring to Light. We know it’s an extra Scapeshift, but it’s generally going to be a better draw than Scapeshift because of the flexibility. We can use it to ramp, but it can help us in any situation.
Let’s put this all together and see what it might look like in a 60-card version.
Bring Scapeshift to Light (60 Cards)
Scapeshift is a one-card combo with just having Valakut and Mountains in the deck, but having so many Mountains stretches your mana base and makes you cringe every time you draw an extra Mountain.
Playing more than 60 cards has been a historical solution for this, pioneered by James “JWay” Zornes, and makes even more sense here with a Bring to Light version.
The conventional argument against playing 66 cards is a reduced likelihood of drawing Scapeshift—a fair point. But with now as many as 8 Scapeshifts to draw from, you can keep your combo kill consistency while benefiting from a better mana base.
Since you are forced to play a 4th color and thus more awkward lands in the deck, more cards in the deck improves your mana base while maintaining library fuel for Scapeshift. Furthermore, Bring to Light encourages you to play a small toolbox of situational cards, which also works better with a larger deck.
There are definite advantages to playing 66+ cards with Bring to Light Scapeshift versions, and I’m most excited about fitting in a playset of Hinterland Harbors. While Reid Duke thinks Jund is noticeably better than Abzan because of Blackcleave Cliffs, I feel the same way about Scapeshift decks with Hinterland Harbor. Having a pain-free untapped dual land makes a huge difference and playing extra cards makes it possible.
Here’s what a 72 card version might look like.
Bring Scapeshift to Light (72 Cards)
Bring Scapeshift to Light
I’m excited to hear what Scapeshift players think. Is the mana base too much of a stretch, or is it worth it to play wit this new powerful toy? Is a lean 60-card version the best way to go, or is there compelling argument to go bigger?
Whichever the case, I’m excited to see how one new card from Battle from Zendikar can shake up a classic deck spawned with original Zendikar.