MTGGoldfish is supported by its audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Much Abrew: Teaching Arena Zoomers about Show and Tell (Timeless)

Much Abrew: Teaching Arena Zoomers about Show and Tell (Timeless)

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Much Abrew About Nothing! Thanks to Murders at Karlov Manor's special guests, Show and Tell is now on Arena for the first time! The sorcery has long been a staple in Legacy, allowing players to drop something massive from their hand onto the battlefield super early in the game, but can this plan work in Timeless? That's what we're going to find out today! What's the best thing to sneak into play with Show and Tell? Is it possible to build a deck that wins on the turn the sorcery resolves? Let's find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

Much Abrew: Show and Tell

Loading Indicator


$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Show and Tell is an interesting card. For three mana, it lets each player put a permanent from their hand onto the battlefield. This might sound a bit sketchy because the effect is symmetrical—our opponent gets to put the best thing in their hand into play for free. But in reality, our deck is built around Show and Tell while our opponent's deck presumably is not, which means that even though we'll both get some value from Show and Tell, we should get way more value from the card because the best card in our hand should be way more expensive and powerful than our opponent's best card. While just using Show and Tell to put something massive into play is fine, that's not enough for us today: our deck's real goal is to win the game the turn when Show and Tell resolves, maybe as early as Turn 2! Here's the plan!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

We kick things off with a couple of one-mana ramp spells, either of which allows us to play Show and Tell on Turn 2.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Of course, we also need to find Show and Tell (and also something to put into play with Show and Tell), so we've also got a bunch of cantrips and tutors to help us churn through our deck to find our combo pieces. While all of these cards are solid in our deck, Brainstorm is especially important because one of the best ways to stop our deck is Thoughtseize. Along with digging for Show and Tell, Brainstorm can also hide a combo piece on the top of our library in response to a Thoughtseize, to make sure we'll have access to it on the following turn to finish the game.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The upside of these cards is that they do double duty. They are great on Turn 1 or 2, where they allow us to find our Show and Tell or a finisher, and once we Show and Tell, there's a decent chance all of our spells will be free, which makes them the perfect way to tutor up a game-ending combination of spells to close out the game.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

So, let's say we do our thing and play Show and Tell. What are we hoping to drop into play for free? While we have a bunch of good options, the most game ending is Omniscience, which just lets us play all of the other cards in our hand for free!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

We can also drop Atraxa or Griselbrand into play with Show and Tell if we don't have Omniscience, although we'd much rather Show and Tell Omniscience and then cast these cards for free. The card advantage Atraxa and Griselbrand offer is essential to our one-turn-kill plan. We can chain together copies of Atraxa to draw a turn of cards, draw up to 14 cards with Griselbrand, and eventually win the final two pieces of our game-ending puzzle...

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

As we draw most of our deck with Atraxa and Griselbrand, we're looking for two final one-ofs in Emrakul, the Promised End and Akroma's Memorial. Emrakul lets us take control of our opponent's next turn, although this doesn't often matter in reality because our opponent probably isn't getting a next turn. More importantly, Emrakul adds a 13/13 body to the battlefield. Meanwhile, Akroma's Memorial gives our team a bunch of abilities, most importantly flying, haste, and trample, which means we can attack with a 7/7 Atraxa, a 7/7 Griselbrand, and a 13/13 Emrakul, giving us 27 hasty damage to kill our opponent, hopefully on Turn 2!

The Sideboard

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Our sideboard is mostly dedicated to protecting our combo. Show and Tell is incredibly busted, but if our opponent can counter it or Thoughtseize it from our hand, our deck won't do much of anything since it's overloaded with expensive, often uncastable threats. As such, we have cards like Leyline of Sanctity to prevent discard and Spell Pierce, Veil of Summer, and Defense Grid to fight through counters. If you decide to play the deck, bring these cards in aggressively if you are expecting interaction from your opponent because otherwise, a hand full of counterspells and discard can be hard to beat.


All in all, Show and Tell is pretty busted. I started off near the bottom of Diamond on Magic Arena and ended up at Mythic without dropping a single game! It's almost laughable just how strong a Turn 2 [Omniscience]] (or even just a disappointing Turn 2 Atraxa or Emrakul) is in timeless. In a lot of our matches, it felt like we were playing a completely different game than our opponents. Many of them tried to bring in cards like Roiling Vortex to slow us down, but it just wasn't enough. For the time being, I'm pretty sure that Show and Tell isn't just a good deck in Timeless but the literal best deck in the format—that's how strong it felt!

Of course, this might be a short-term thing. I'm sure the metagame will try to adjust to the deck, and sooner or later, Wizards will add more interaction to the format. One of the weird quirks of current Timeless is that the format has some of the strongest threats and combo pieces in all of Magic, but the interaction is pretty lacking. While Force of Will itself might be a problem (while it can slow down our deck, we would also play it in our deck to protect our combo), cards like Force of Negation, Red Elemental Blast, or Pyroblast and other Legacy-level interaction like Ensnaring Bridge, Flusterstorm, Rishadan Port, and Wasteland are likely to make their way to Timeless eventually. When they do, it will represent a huge shift in the meta.

But for now, if you want to quickly and easily rank up in Timeless, Show and Tell is an absurdly powerful option, and the deck can do some hilariously busted things super early in the game!


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

More in this Series

Show more ...

More on MTGGoldfish ...

Image for Podcast 481: Cowboy Bebop Promos podcast
Podcast 481: Cowboy Bebop Promos

The crew talks Wizards president leaving, some new Cowboy Bebop themed promos, and upcoming Pro Tour and the impact of Outlaws of Thunder...

Apr 22 | by mtggoldfish
Image for My Favorite Commander Cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction commander
My Favorite Commander Cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction

Tomer shares his favorite Commander cards from OTJ!

Apr 22 | by Tomer Abramovici
Image for Budget Magic: $30 (16-Rare) Simic Burn (Standard) budget magic
Budget Magic: $30 (16-Rare) Simic Burn (Standard)

Burn but Simic and with Deserts...

Apr 22 | by SaffronOlive
Image for Weekly Update (Apr 21): Land Destruction, But in Standard weekly update
Weekly Update (Apr 21): Land Destruction, But in Standard

This week in MTG news: Land Destruction, But in Standard.

Apr 22 | by mtggoldfish

Layout Footer

Never miss important MTG news again!

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. See our privacy policy.

Follow Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Twitch
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • RSS
  • Email
  • Discord
  • YouTube

Price Preference

Default Price Switcher