Card of the Day: Vizier of Many Faces

How can a Clone be bad? It’s always the best creature on the battlefield, right? Spending 4 mana on that creature, however, isn’t always worth the investment. So Clone has never seen much Constructed play—but how about a Clone with some extra value attached?

Vizier of Many Faces was tech at Worlds last year courtesy of Josh Utter-Leyton and his playtest partners Sam Black and Gerry Thompson. Its purpose was simple: to have an answer to Carnage Tyrant.

The printing of Carnage Tyrant in Ixalan was meant to be a nightmare for U/B decks. You can’t counter it and you can’t target it with your removal spells. It was a notch bigger than creatures like Torrential Gearhulk, so there were no clean answers to it. The Scarab God, combined with other creatures, could present a solution, but it’s still a brickwall on defense and you could even face multiple Tyrants since it isn’t legendary.

Carnage Tyrant didn’t make nearly the splash in Standard as originally anticipated and with it, Vizier of Many Faces started to also die down in popularity. But there are cycles in Magic, and when the card that invalidates your sideboard haymaker falls out of favor, that sideboard option can become a real threat again.

Enter Turbo Fog at Pro Tour 25th Anniversary. While my team didn’t find cards like Carnage Tyrant to be necessary to beat the control decks, the other teams playing Turbo Fog had different ideas. They packed the full four copies. Combined with boarding in a bunch of countermagic, they had no desire to lose to control decks that weekend.

Vizieris great against Carnage Tyrant, but that’s not the only use for the card. While there are always going to be matchups and board states where a Clone is not going to be useful, there are plenty more where you’re getting a great discount or copying an amazing creature. Having the option to copy an opposing The Scarab God to maintain that parity is huge, and getting yourself another Hostage Taker to keep the board under control is powerful.

The fact that Vizier presents multiple threats, thanks to the embalm mechanic, lets you accumulate card advantage in matchups where you have the time to use it. Assuming that you’re playing a deck rich with creatures yourself to make sure that Vizier isn’t dead, much like Phantasmal Image in Humans, you will find some good uses for copying a creature.

While 4 mana is a lot to pay for a creature in Standard, you’re getting value with Vizier. It will be the first card you sideboard out in fast matchups if you happen to maindeck it, but it will also be the first card you sideboard in for slower matchups. Vizier is not a slam-dunk card to have in your 75, but there are a lot of great reasons to love it in the current environment.

Sultai Midrange

DANI_TB, 5-0 in an MTGO Competitive League


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