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Brewer's Minute: Hidden Treasures—Planar Chaos


Hey everyone! It's time for another Brewer's Minute! This week marks the return of everyone's favorite sometimes-subseries, Hidden Treasures. Last Hidden Treasures, we talked about some under-the-radar sleepers from Time Spiral, so today we're moving forward to the next set in the Time Spiral block: Planar Chaos! Planar Chaos is one of the most unique sets in Magic thanks to its theme of shifting the color pie, but which cards from the set might be underplayed and ready to break out in Modern? Let's discuss! Like usual, I don't have any actual deck lists for you today, just some general themes and ideas, so if you have some sweet synergies or lists that take advantage of any of these cards, 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) lists that take advantage of some of our six hidden treasures from Planar Chaos!

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#6: Imp's Mischief

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I love "gotcha" cards like Mana Tithe, and Imp's Mischief might be one of the most underrated "gotcha" cards in Modern. While it doesn't lend itself to any particular combo, it's basically the black (and non-free) version of Misdirection, which is a pseudo-staple in Legacy. Apart from being a way for a black deck to win a counter war (by redirecting the counterspell to Imp's Mischief itself, which seems especially sweet against Remand, since you get the Imp's Mischief back to do it all over again), there are a lot of sweet things to redirect in Modern. That Lightning Bolt going at your creatures? For just two mana and one life, it's now going at your opponent's face. How about that Thoughtseize about to tear apart your hand? Now your opponent is accidentally targeting themselves! Of course, the ultimate dream is to redirect something like a Time Warp or an Ancestral Recall, but even outside of these best-case scenarios, Imp's Mischief offers a lot of value (both real and "gotcha") for the low cost of a couple of mana and a small amount of life.

#5: Pyrohemia

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Coming in at number five on our list is Pyrohemia, which has shot up the rankings recently thanks to the enrage mechanic from Ixalan. While people have mentioned some crazy combos involving using Pyrohemia to trigger Ranging Raptors to get a land, untapping that land with Amulet of Vigor, and going pseudo-infinite, I don't think you have to go that deep to make Pyrohemia work. If you can get two or three enrage creatures on the battlefield, Pyrohemia give you a way to trigger them all for just a single mana to get lands with Ranging Raptors, draw cards with Ripjaw Raptor, gain life with Ravenous Daggertooth, and so forth. Plus, Pyrohemia just wrecks some opposing decks all by itself—I'm not sure how Affinity or Lingering Souls decks ever beat the enchantment, and that's not even including your enrage value!

#4: Kavu Predator

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While Kavu Predator used to show up in Modern, the two-drop hasn't really been a competitive card in the format for a while, but it might be time for this to change. While Kavu Predator might look like a Grizzly Bears, it has the potential to be a lot more once you start forcing your opponent to gain life. While the most consistent combo is probably Grove of the Burnwillows (which basically taps to give your Kavu Predator a +1/+1 counter), Fiery Justice is likely the most devastating. For just three mana, you force your opponent to gain five life while also (likely) sweeping away all of their creatures and adding a massive five +1/+1 counters to your Kavu Predator, leaving you with a 7/7 trampler as early as Turn 3! Plus, forcing the opponent to gain life can actually be a good thing in a world where Death's Shadow is still a tier deck.

#3: Boom // Bust

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

It might be unfair to consider Boom // Bust a hidden treasure because it has seen play in Modern at various points in the past, but it hasn't shown up in a while. Plus, there's a sweet trick that isn't obvious at first glance. While the Bust side of Boom // Bust is a straight-up Armageddon (the only real one in Modern), which probably has some potential on its own, with some tricky deck building, the Boom half of Boom // Bust can be a Modern-legal Sinkhole. The plan is simple: cast Boom targeting our own fetch land and one of our opponent's lands. Then, with Boom on the stack, we crack our fetch land to get another land. The end result is we Sinkhole our opponent's land but don't lose a land ourselves!

#2: Chronozoa

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Chronozoa probably looks like a strange card to be second on our hidden treasures list, but thanks to Solemnity, it suddenly has infinite combo potential. All we need to do is get a Solemnity on the battlefield and cast a Chronozoa (which has no counters, thanks to Solemnity). The Chronozoa immediately dies and makes two more. The problem is that Chronozoas just keep reproducing infinitely unless we have a way to stop the combo (or use the Chronozoas to win the game), which would end the game in a draw. Thankfully, if we add in something like Blasting Station, our infinite Chronozoas equal infinite damage, allowing us to win the game on the spot. Strangely enough, the combo is playable on Magic Online without a sacrifice outlet or finisher, since the program limits the tokens on the battlefield to 200, which means in the digital world, the Solemnity / Chronozoa combo is basically a janky sorcery-speed version of Splinter Twin, going infinite on Turn 4 for the win!

#1: Retether

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

At the top of our list we have Retether, which is basically a mass-reanimation spell for auras, bringing every aura back from the graveyard and attaching them to a creature. This gives us the potential to play a very different style of Bogles deck. Rather than looking to go wide with a bunch of cheap enchantments, what if we overload on cards like Satyr Wayfinder and Commune with the Gods to fill our graveyard, cast a Retether, and get back a handful of big auras like Eldrazi Conscription to win the game right away? If there's one thing we've learned over the past 25 years of Magic, it's that reanimating decks have the potential to be broken, and while it reanimates an odd card type, Retether is basically a Modern-level Living Death. There's got to be some way to break it!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. What other hidden treasures are there from Planar Chaos? Do you have any ideas about how we can abuse the cards we talked about today? 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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