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Brewer's Minute: Hidden Treasure - Lorwyn


Hey, everyone! It's time for another Brewer's Minute! This week marks the return of our sometimes-subseries Hidden Treasures, where we go digging through an old set to see what potentially fun and playable cards might be lurking just under the radar. Last time, we finished up Time Spiral block, which means today we are heading into the colorful tribal plane of Lorwyn. Like usual, I don't have any deck lists for the cards we'll be talking about today, so if you have some lists that can put any of these hidden treasures to use, or even just some fun synergies, make sure to let me know in the comments. Perhaps with our powers combined, we can come up with some competitive (or at least fun) deck lists making use of our Hidden Treasures of Lorwyn!

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#6: Nameless Inversion / Crib Swap

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Nameless Inversion and Crib Swap aren't great removal spells, so why are they on our hidden treasures list? The answer here is that, as shapeshifting tribal instants, both Crib Swap and Nameless Inversion are all creature types at all times. This allows for some cool tricks. Take, for example, the Forerunner cycle from Rivals of Ixalan. Let's say you are building a Pirate deck and planning on tutoring up some silver bullets with Forerunner of the Coalition. Nameless Inversion is technically a Pirate that you can tutor up, making it a great way to add some extra value to decks featuring Forerunners or Harbingers, or any other tribal-matters decks!

#6: Oona's Prowler

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While Oona's Prowler is fine as a creature, the main power of the black two-drop is that it's a repeatable, free discard outlet, which makes it a potential fit for various reanimator strategies. While the downside is that it dies to removal, Oona's Prowler is a great option if you are looking to discard a bunch of cards (for example, Squee, Goblin Nabob with a Drake Haven on the battlefield]]). Plus, even though our opponent can make it smaller by discarding cards, a 3/1 flier for two mana is actually a reasonable clock, especially for decks that are looking to win by chipping in for damage here and there (rather than all that once by reanimating an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand). Remember too that the ability can be activated at instant speed, which makes it an option for decks looking to reanimate cards that shuffle back into their owner's library with something like Goryo's Vengeance or Makeshift Mannequin.

#4: Cloudthresher

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Cloudthresher is mostly interesting because of its mana cost. While having four green mana symbols is a drawback for most decks, Cloudthresher is a great option if you're looking to produce a bunch of mana with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Plus, Cloudthresher is a surprisingly big threat. A 7/7 with flash and reach is enough to eat most attackers; plus, it wipes out a board full of Lingering Souls tokens, which can be problematic for a big green deck, since the 1/1 fliers can chump much bigger threats. Oh yeah, and it also gives your green deck a way to throw a couple of points of damage directly to the opponent's face, which can be helpful in finishing out the game. The combination of a big body, the tricks enabled by flash, and the natural devotion synergy means that Cloudthresher could certainly find a home in Modern, if it can find the right build.

#3: Dolmen Gate

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Dolmen Gate is good for exactly one thing: allowing your creatures to attack every turn, even if your opponent has good blockers. Why would you want to chump attack into big blockers? There are a couple of reasons. First, cards like Hellrider and Sanctum Seeker allow us to kill our opponent even if they block all of our creatures by draining away life points, and we could even double up this damage by playing creatures like Pulse Tracker and Vicious Conquistador. Second, Dolmen Gate seems like the perfect support card for an exert deck, allowing you to take extra combat steps with Combat Celebrant or kill creatures with Glorybringer even through opposing blockers!

#2: Forced Fruition

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All by itself, Forced Fruition is a pretty fast clock, making the opponent mill themselves out after casting somewhere between six and seven spells. Of course, as the opponent is casting spells, they are also drawing through their deck, which means things can go horribly wrong if they have an answer to Forced Fruition. However, we can speed up the process significantly if we add a couple of other cards into the mix. Underworld Connections makes out opponent lose a life whenever they draw card, so each card our opponent casts will force them to take seven damage, meaning just three spells should be lethal, while cards like Liliana's Caress and Megrim will eat away our opponent's life as they are forced to discard all of the extra cards they are drawing to hand size. While six mana limits the decks that can reasonably play the blue enchantment, it seems like there should at least be a really fun Against the Odds-style deck with Forced Fruition as the foundation.

#1: Deathrender

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Cheating Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play is a tried-and-true way of winning games in Modern, and Deathrender offers a pretty fast way of getting the job done. Picture, for a minute, playing Arbor Elf on Turn 1, Utopia Sprawl and Deathrender on Turn 2, and then equipping the Deathrender to the Arbor Elf on Turn 3. Any removal spell or sacrifice outlet suddenly means a Turn 3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn (assuming you have a copy in hand), which is pretty much a guaranteed win.

Beyond cheating Emrakul into play, the other reason Deathrender is exciting is because it cares about a lot of the same things as Journey to Eternity. If we can get Deathrender on a Sakura-Tribe Elder, it's a great way to dump something huge into play for free while also flipping Journey to Eternity at the same time. This offers the often grindy Journey to Eternity deck a way to win the game much more quickly by stealing some free wins on Turn 4, making it a potentially exciting addition to the archetype.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Do you have some ideas for decks using our Lorwyn hidden treasures? Are there any other under-the-radar Lorwyn cards that could have a chance of breaking out in Modern? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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