Shalai compare thee to a Summer’s day?

Yet another Magic the Gathering post. Usual disclaimer: If it’s not your thing come back tomorrow.

Singleton is the most fun to come to Magic: Arena in ages. I’ve always been a big fan of Elder Dragon Highlander. Before that, friends and I used to have super tuned 60 card 7 Point Highlander decks. Singleton feels like a throwback to those days. The excitement of playing optimised decks full of strong cards, but with a little more randomness than ‘four of’ formats. I’ve been getting tired of the Arena metagame. So much Red Deck Wins and Scarab God variants. Having a one card limit means that opponents can only have ONE FUCKING SCARAB GOD. It also enforces more creativity in card choice, especially with the Standard card pool. Until Brawl makes its way to Arena, I guess I’ll be sticking with Singleton. So what am I running?

Well contrary to my glory days of 7 Point Highlander, I’m playing an absolute pile. I kind of wanted to be able to play goofy Legendary Sorceries. So I crammed a deck full of as many Abzan coloured legends that’d fit and shipped it. Funnily enough, the only one in my colours I’m not playing is Kamahl’s Druidic Vow, which would actually be all kinds of nifty in here. I can’t bring myself to waste a wildcard on such jank, so until I draft one, it’ll stay out. Otherwise, here’s this beautiful tyre fire:

Creatures (22):
1x Llanowar Elves
1x Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
1x Hope of Ghirapur
1x Drover of the Mighty
1x Naga Vitalist
1x Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy
1x Danitha Capashen, Paragon
1x Yahenni, Undying Partisan
1x Rhonas the Indomitable
1x Rishkar, Peema Renegade
1x Kambal, Consul of Allocation
1x Slimefoot, the Stowaway
1x Shalai, Voice of Plenty
1x Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle
1x Whisper, Blood Liturgist
1x Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
1x Traxos, Scourge of Kroog
1x Lyra Dawnbringer
1x Arvad the Cursed
1x Vona, Butcher if Magan
1x Demonlord Belzenlok
1x Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar

Noncreature (14):
1x Fatal Push
1x Renegade Map
1x Cast Down
1x Forsake the Worldly
1x Grow from the Ashes
1x Growing Rites of Itlimoc
1x Helm of the Host
1x Urza’s Ruinous Blast
1x Yawgmoth’s Vile Offering
1x Nissa, Vital Force
1x The Mending of Dominaria
1x Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1x Vraska, Relic Seeker
1x Ajani Unyielding

Lands:
24x Some

I’m very aware that a bunch of these weaker legends would probably be better as non-legendary creatures, but I want critical mass. Plus I’m very okay with the idea of a non-optimised build that gets better over time. This is just something I threw together and I’m finding some surprising synergies. There’s a neat little mini-graveyard theme. Between Whisper, Teshar, The Mending of Dominaria, Nissa and Yawgmoth’s Vile Offering, there are ways to get things back from the yard. I was having fun looping Hope of Ghirapur with Teshar to lock the OP out of playing noncreature spells. There’s enough of a go wide theme to make fuel for Whisper (or Magmaw, if it was in my colours. RIP). Being legends, they’re generally all a little more buff than your aaaaverage bear. There are fliers to give the deck reach (metaphorically. I think Multani is the only one who actually has Reach). As a green made at heart, I threw in a ton of fixing and slow duals. When the mana works out, the deck tends to, too.

The deck lends itself to spectacularity, whether winning or losing. It punts without mana, but makes some massive plays. Oddly enough, it’s the most effective deck I’ve played Growing Rites in to date. It just has a high enough concentration of creature spells to do so. The top end planeswalkers have both been amazing, offering removal and an avalanche of card advantage. Yawgmoth’s Vile Offering and Urza’s Ruinous Blast have both been easy enough to set up and devastating when they’ve hit. Skysovereign is a stone cold bomb and tends to take apart any board where it lands. Strangely enough, it feels like Traxos is on the chopping block. It’s been fine, but unspectacular, as a “mere” 4/4 trampler for 7. I mean, Oyiva hasn’t done much either, but cheap historic spells are sorta useful. I figure her and Shanna tag team and suddenly WHOOP. There it is. I’ve been absolutely loving Nissa. Whether she’s beating for 5, accelerating mana, digging through the grave for high impact answers or dropping her emblem one turn after she hits the board (I got two emblems in one game with a carefully timed Vile Offering. It didn’t last long after that).

It’s a very fun, high impact and variable deck. If you’re looking for a new archetype for a silly Singleton deck, maybe check out Abzan Legends. It’s one of a kind.

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I’m sure a number of you will end this thinking “well, those were technically all words…”

Magic the Gathering post. Usual disclaimer: If this ain’t in your wheelhouse, maybe come back tomorrow?

Egads, I’ve spent a lot of today playing Magic.

Arena has made it so I can tap lands without leaving the house. More importantly, Arena has made it so I can play spells without wearing pants. It’s, in a word, Magical. I started drafting around 9am today and finished around 4pm. So basically a full day of limited. I’ve learned that it’s almost impossible for me to turn down the opportunity to run Tatyova. If she’s not dealt with immediately she buries your opponent under card advantage. I started the day with a RG kicker concoction with Multani and Belzenok at the high end. Was it greedy to try splashing the Demonlord off a Song of Freyalise and Grow to Ashes? Likely. Was the deck a blast to play? Very much so. Multani felt like an unfair card whenever he came out. So much damage output. The combination of Reach and Trample meant he could put the brakes on an opponent before beating down. I’d feel filthy using his recursion ability with Tatyova. Guess what deck I’m making next? Unfortunately after having a quick opening with Radha, I tried casting a kicked Untamed Kavu and the game crashed. Game loss, bye bye draft. I sent in a crash report and went onto the next one.

My second deck was near mono blue with Tempest Djinn and Zahid. Or “Djinn and Djuice” as I call ’em. Naban with double Academy Journeymage, plus Raff Capashen for ambush surprises. Blue’s not my normal go to, but it was hard to deny how good it felt playing tempo games, smoothing out draws with Opt and Divination. Syncopate felt unfair when it arrived right on time. I got to live the dream once of turn 4 Zaphid with Raff, Syncopate and Blessed Light in hand. Doing It indeed. Tempest Djinn feels downright unfair on curve. I didn’t exactly smash the draft, but squeaked out just enough wins to make it to another one. Why not? I had a day free from plans.

If there’s something that I’ve learned today, it’s that while I love Magic, I still make a billion tiny little play mistakes. It’s kind of nifty to think how long I’ve been playing, how much I’ve learned and how much more there is to learn. It’s an absurdly deep game with a multitude of decisions to make. Each decision can have a ripple effect over the course of the game. So many matches end up decided over a few measly points of damage. Maybe one missed attack or a mistimed trigger. Drafting takes so much skill, deciding what to pick, how to factor in cards that’ll make it all the way around the table. A deep knowledge of the format makes such a difference too, so you can factor what your deck could look like and veering towards those possibilities.

Anyway, I still had enough for one last draft. After first picking Traxos and grabbing a couple of solid blue/artifact cards, I was looking down the barrel of U/x Historic. Then pack two I opened Naru Meha, On Serra’s Wings, Serra Angel and Icy Manipulator. I grabbed Icy, but it wasn’t a simple pick. A pack or two later I was passed Multani, Merfolk Trickster and In Bolas’ Clutches. I wasn’t certain what the pick was, so I grabbed the on colour legendary Control Magic. Next pack had my BFF Tatyova, so I went green anyway. By the time I put it all together it was a spicy Sultai brew with Traxos, 2x Tatyova, 2x Rona, In Bolas’ Clutches, 2x Cloudreader Sphinx and 4x Academy Drake. I played it safe and cut the black splash, upping the land count. The deck was remarkably consistent. With so many Academy Drakes I didn’t worry about waiting to kick them an awful lot. Playing a Wind Drake on curve felt totally fine. I ended up going 5-3, my best result all weekend. Turns out blue, despite my reservations, may well be the best colour in the format.

You learn something new every day.

For future reference, the correct answer is Bulbasaur

So far camping has gotten better.

After yesterday’s morning grumpfest and sleep deprivation, I was in a dark place. My mattress deflating, tent collapsing, entrapping me in a tomb of poles and canvas. I took in the panorama of joy around me and felt very alone. It was not an ideal start to the trip.

I willed myself to move through the negativity and into a place of nihilistic humour. We’re all gonna die someday, so hey, I’m on track. Then community came to the rescue. I felt shitty that I’d offered a friend both space on my mattress and in my tent. Circumstances had forced me to forfeit both. It was like I’d promised the Earth and arrived with a handful of ashes. My friends took stock and little by little, we worked together to bring me back to the fold. My friend was driving up, so I got her to grab an air mattress en route. Another friend offered us the plounge tent to sleep in. My friend arrived with a small tent which we used to store our gear (and presently, my “office”). We set everything up and the weight lifted. I looked around to see the abundant sun and colours in all directions. I let go of resentment and fear to just be present. Then I spent six hours doing my sanctuary shift. Six hours was a long time to sit there without anyone coming to us for help, but I guess overall it was for the greater good that we weren’t needed? It was great that nobody was having a bad time, but it sure would’ve been nice to help someone.

Then my shift ended and so did my need to be sober. I had a couple of drinks and went adventuring with friends. There’s a massive metal polyhedron that you can climb. It rolls around, so part of the fun is trying to hold on. I did all sorts of hanging shenanigans and pull up-y tricks. Then I met my friends who were experienced hoop artists and we mucked around some more. My arms are certainly feeling it today. We looked around at some of the camps. I did axe throwing, choosing from their array of 72 (!) weapons. I was a contestant on the Trash Fence TV Dating Game. The potential date was kind of uncharismatic, but the two other contestants were friends. We riffed with each other and wondered out loud why we didn’t all just go on a date. The only question I can remember answering was “What pop culture character would you describe yourself as and why?” I don’t know where I pulled this from, but I responded immediately with “Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors. Because my hunger is insatiable.” The crowd went wild. When it came time for each of the contestants to ask the potential date a question, I posited “What pokémon did you start with?” She responded “Uh, I didn’t play Pokémon, so I don’t know?” Straight away I put my hands up, yelled “I’m out!” and faux walked off the stage. When it came time for her to choose which suitor to date, the crowd was cheering my name. She did not choose me. I’d had such a blast that I didn’t care one iota. Then post show a bunch of people came up to give me hugs. My heart swelled three sizes.

We spent a couple of hours dancing up a frenzy, then chilled way out. Our friends had procured a magnum of champagne, so we settled into a plounge and formed a big cuddle puddle until the wee small hours. It was such a lovely night, and I even managed to get a good sleep this morning.

I think I’m getting a hang of this camping thing, guys.

The bar has never been this low

I’m going to be very distracted right now. My favourite streamer is doing charity streams and it’s top notch entertainment.

Gaby Spartz is streaming Magic while soliciting donations for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. She’s getting people to put in song requests for $5 a pop. Chat is trolling quite severely. There was a request for John Cage’s 4’33”, which was sublime. Secondly, she’s brought back #winesday. At this stage she’s maybe half a bottle in and getting mildly belligerent. I think she just threw some gang signs. She’s also wearing a chicken onesie. Even better, her and LSV have been taking donations all week for a corn-dog-athon. Because they got to about $2,500, LSV has to eat 10 corn dogs.

Compounding the whole thing is the fact that I’m now officially on holiday and have shit to do. Yet I’m watching a grown man eating 10 corn dogs live. This is why the internet exists.

Goddamn I want corn dogs now.

I should be finishing packing, but he’s already downed one and I can’t turn away.

I had to dash out earlier to pick up 1 ply toilet paper. He just finished the second and I can’t stop thinking about how hard it’s gonna be for him to shit tomorrow.

I’m 100% sober, but geez it feels like I’m drunk. He’s four corn dogs down, holy fuck. He just inhaled that last one. I haven’t had a corn dog for years. Goddamn. I’m so distracted, he’s finished six. Jesus.

I got last minute snacks on the way home from work. I’m still worried I have insufficient snackage. Now I wish I had some way of bringing corn dogs. He’s 9 down. What a machine. He’s not even slowing down.

“What are we doing for dinner?” He asks.

I’m glad he at least has a variety of condiments. Am I gonna bring condiments with my to the burn?

He’s finished all ten. Now they’re soliciting donations to make him eat more. Now drunken Gaby is trying to peer pressure him into it. “DO YOU EVEN CARE ABOUT THE KIDS??” This Is Entertainment. It looks like they ordered enough corn dogs that the restaurant gave them full sized bottles of mustard and ketchup.

I can only imagine the kind of ridiculous stuff that’s about to go down this weekend. One of the defining philosophies of the burn is that of immediacy. To stay in the moment. Can I say that watching this ludicrous display is me practicing my immediacy? Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this and I’m gonna try to pull it out of my arse.

Maybe it’s about putting myself up against challenges that seem indomitable to understand my own competence. Maybe it’s about finding hidden talents. Perhaps discovering that even if I think I’m in the wrong place, maybe I’m already where I need to be.

Or maybe, just maybe, it means I’m gonna leave the house at 9pm and go off in search of corn dogs.

It might as well be called Magic the Cat-herding given how I’ve been playing

ANOTHER Magic the Gathering themed post, because the great thing about writing this is I can talk about whatever I want. That’s where the perks end though.

Magic: The Gathering Arena has been in beta for some time now. I’ve had beta access for around a month. The NDA was lifted before I even got to start playing, so I’m free to get out there with my thoughts. I don’t know that anybody was asking for them, but since when did that stop me from being a loudmouth?

I’m loving it. Seriously. It’s a deliberate dig to cut into the casual market of which Hearthstone has taken a chunk. I don’t know how to play Hearthstone, so coupling that with an IP that I’m very into makes this tailor fit for me. To be honest, while I’ve been playing Magic for 18 years now, I’ve never been a part of any structured tournament scene. I’m a casual scrub for life and that fits me like a glove. I mean, it must’ve been at least ten years since I last put together a 60 card deck. It’s been EDH all day even before it earned the moniker “Commander”. Putting more than one of a card (outside basic lands) into a deck seems like a total novelty. You mean I can run more of the effect I want instead of trying to find analogues? Get right out of town.

What this all means, is that I’m actually getting to experience a metagame for maybe the first time. Seeing which decks are dominating, adapting to counter these strategies. It’s a hoot! Well, I’ve had more than enough of The Scarab God to last an eternity of lifetimes, but outside that it’s neat. The cool thing too is that barely any of these decks are super tuned, especially ’cause the ranking system keeps me in league with other mediocre players. So my win rate is up and down all the time. It keeps things exciting. Well, I’m saying that after a night of more wins than losses, a rarity if I’m being honest. The economy has been given a boost since I started playing, with higher rewards for wins and a set of revamped quests. It’s quite possible to earn a number of boosters each week. I’m also very much pumped for Dominaria draft this weekend, which I think is gonna cost around 5000 gold, or the price of five boosters. At this stage it’s looking like you should be able to get 2-3 drafts per week with a moderate record. Not too shabby for a free game.

Now, what kind of decks am I building? First I started with some silly GW go wide lifegain token deck. I pulled a Crested Sunmare and two Regal Caracals, so I saw a theme coming together. I coupled them with a bunch of small critters that made tokens (Martyr of Dusk, Jungleborn Pioneer, Pride Sovereign) and embalm creatures (Sacred Cat, Angel of Sanctions). I only had one Anointed Procession, but it did work. I’ve been slowly adding to the deck over time (Mouth//Feed is surprisingly great. Like a variant on Call of the Herd) and it’s fun to play. Plus white has such great removal that I can handle a Scarab God or two.

In my heart of hearts, however, I wanted to sleeve up some RG Monsters deck. When I figured out how Wildcards worked (you can get any card, not just another copy of a card you already have) I cashed in all of mine to put it together. 4x Llanowar Elves, 4x Drover of the Mighty, 4x Steel-Leaf Champion, 3x Jadelight Ranger, 4x Rekindling Phoenix and a couple of bits of removal. Sometimes it curves out something ridiculous like Llanowar into Jadelight into Phoenix and my opponent is just dead. It’s fun, but Magma Spray isn’t protecting me from Scarab God quite as much as I want it to be. Struggle//Survive has been an excellent metagame addition. It’s putting in work.

Last night on a whim I put together some absurd pile. Ramp for ramp’s sake. 4x Llanowar (the way all my decks start), 4x Drover of the Mighty, 4x Grow from the Ashes and everything one of I have that costs 5 or more. Lyra Dawnbringer, Tishana, Overflowing Insight, Zepala, Vraska, then some more card draw/countermagic. It’s downright silly, leading me to this Magical Christmasland scenario. Yes, that’s a 30/30 Tishana under the protection of Shalai. Yes, I have Anointed Procession, giving me a bunch of 3/3 lifelinking cat tokens. Unsurprisingly I won that one after River’s Rebuke-ing his board and playing Shalai with counter magic backup.

I’ve had this much fun without paying a cent. I’d practically be losing money by not playing.

A Time of Ice, Ice, Baby.

Magic the Gathering post. Usual disclaimer applies. If this isn’t your thing, come back tomorrow.

Everybody’s working for the weekend. Thing is, so often “The Weekend” means late nights and sleep ins. As a 31 year old, there’s very little more amazing than having daytime plans. Every time it’s like a freebie. You finish up at like 4pm and you still have the whole night ahead of you. So what did I do today? Well if you read the disclaimer right above, you should be able to guess pretty easily. I played Magic.

To clarify, I woke up at 7am like a child all excited because I had time to play MtG Arena. After several hours (and a bunch of wins for once), I got ready to go out for a friend’s birthday draft. In other words, more Magic. Dominaria is one of the best sets in years and the limited format is fantastically diverse. I’ve got another draft coming up Thursday night and I can’t wait. If you’re still hanging onto my words here, I might as well get into the draft details.

I first picked a Seal Away out of an otherwise unremarkable pack. I felt gratified being passed an On Serra’s Wings, then solidified being passed another On Serra’s Wings. A third pick D’Avenant Trapper made me think there was something to this whole white Historic archetype and I wasn’t under any pressure to grab another colour. Then fifth pick I saw an Academy Journeymage. I knew UW Historic was pretty strong and that the format was decently slow. I took it from an otherwise unremarkable pack and tried to tell myself I didn’t need to commit just yet. A sixth pick Shana made me question my decision, before finding another Trapper. I knew I was white, I didn’t know my secondary colour. I saw a pack with another Journeymage and Naban, a combo that seemed all kinds of unfair. Still, there was a Blessed Light in the pack, which I knew I’d play either way. Maybe others would fight over the two wizards. I resolved to see if they tabled before making my decision. I rounded out the pack with a bunch of strong white cards, a Blink of an Eye and Naban coming something like second to last. UW Historic for sure.

Pack two is when things got nutty. I first picked Time of Ice, got another Journeymage (dreams coming true) and Helm of the Host. Somehow I was passed another Time of Ice (with a sad pick over Raff Capashen, who I knew wouldn’t table), which made me realise there were zero other blue drafters. I got another D’Avenant Trapper, Naru Meha (copy my blinks?) and a last pick Cloudreader Sphinx. Blue was right open. My last pack gave me a Baird, a third Journeymage, a second Blessed Light and a couple of spare Deep Freezes. A late Tempest Djinn made me question just how many islands I’d need to run it. I ended up putting Aesthir Glider into my deck instead, since it triggered heroic.

Altogether the deck looked something like this:

Creatures (13):

1x Naban, Dean of Iteration
3x D’Avenant Trapper
1x Aesthir Glider
1x Academy Drake
1x Sanctum Spirit
1x Baird, Steward of Argive
1x Naru Meha, Master Wizard
3x Academy Journeymage
1x Cloudreader Sphinx

Noncreature (10):

1x Seal Away
1x Blink of an Eye
1x Deep Freeze
2x Time of Ice
2x On Serra’s Wings
1x Helm of the Host
2x Blessed Light

Land (17)
9x Island
8x Plains

It was absurd. My curve was higher than I’d normally play, but this wasn’t what I’d call a problem. The one time I faced an aggro deck I pulled out a Blessed Light and Blink of an Eye for a Gideon’s Reproach and another Deep Freeze. It routinely did silly things. Naban multiple times let me a) cast Journeymage for 3U and bounce two creatures, which was especially backbreaking against tokens. In several games I played Time of Ice with another in hand. It was mean. In one game I bounced the Time with the third trigger on the stack and got to immediately replay the saga. I once had Naban and two D’Avenant Trappers out. I played Naru Meha and discovered that Naban lets you get double triggers from any ability a wizard triggers. I got to tap down four creatures and swing for the win. Helm of the Host was predictably unreasonable too. If it wasn’t copying Journeymages to make my opponent’s life hell, it was getting Bairds to stop them from attacking or Aesthir Gliders for unblockable flying fun. For me that is, not my opponent.

I won the draft, which was a remarkable experience after punting so badly last week. Even if I was playing my least favourite colour combination, winning for once was actually pretty neat.

Teh Fire, Teh Feri

Magic the Gathering post. Usual disclaimer applies. If you’re not into the game, come back tomorrow for more relevant content. Like when I inevitably talk about poop. That’s relatable, right? If you are into the game, AutocardAnywhere is a useful Chrome extension to have.

Happy Dominaria pre-release day everyone. I’ve been psyched for this set ever since it was accidentally leaked. I started playing the game waaaaay back in the year 2000 (or as it was commonly known, the Willenium). Invasion was my first set and couldn’t have found a better time to start. Multicolour cards, big splashy dragon legends. War on a planetary scale. Kavu being kavu. Aces all around. Ergo, the plane of Dominaria held a special place in my heart. My parents got me the Invasion novel for my birthday and I spent years reading all of the trashy fantasy novels in order to devour the flavour of the game I loved so much. Dominaria the set then felt like a homecoming. New takes on some of my old favourite characters. The concept of legacy and history, destiny coming full circle. Juicy stuff. The set looked wonderful and complex, with strong build-arounds for EDH, standard and limited alike. The removal was solid and the format seemed to promise some actual interaction. My question then, was how pre-release day would play out.

Have I done enough of that stupid food blog recipe bullshit yet? You’re all “where’s the fucking decklist” and here I am self-fellating with unnecessary preamble. Look, here’s your goddamn decklist. Cast your eyes upon it and feel disgusted:

Creatures (10):
1x Valduk, Keeper of the Flame
1x Sergeant-at-Arms
1x D’Avenant Trapper
1x Pegasus Courser
1x Shalai, Voice of Plenty
1x Two-Headed Giant
1x Keldon Raider
2x Skizzik
1x Siege-Gang Commander

Non-Creature (13):
2x Shivan Fire
1x Short Sword
1x Seal Away
1x Dub
1x Forebear’s Blade
1x Wizard’s Lightning
1x On Serra’s Wings
1x Call the Cavalry
2x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
1x Gilded Lotus
1x Blessed Light

Lands (17)
3x Island
6x Plains
7x Mountain
1x Mountain (foil) :p

For once, my pool was fucking ridiculous. I had a Jhoira I didn’t play, because it felt unnecessary. There was an abundance of efficient removal and some truly insane spells. It didn’t look like I had a lot to activate Valduk, but somehow he always seemed to get stacked up. Aside from Short Sword (which was just efficiently costed. Sometimes you’d cast him on turn four and immediately equip to get an elemental). Once I dropped Forebear’s Blade and Dub on him and attacked for 14. It was double-plus swell.

It turned out I had a bunch of Historic stuff and accordingly, D’Avenant Trapper did work. A lot of the time it was letting something beefy get through, but I can imagine she’d shine in a RW equip/aura shell, letting you aggro all over unprepared poindexters. On Serra’s Wings was straight up nutty every time, especially in accordance with the aforementioned D’Avenant Trapper. Whatever you drop it on is very hard to block and makes it nigh impossible for your opponent to race. God forbid you drop it on something that already has first strike. It’s basically like assembling an Akroma, Angel of Wrath.

As I mentioned, my pool was beyond reasonable and utterly stacked with bombs. Even if I wasn’t playing green, Shalai was astoundingly strong. Base stats above the curve and the hexproof ability shat on Icy Manipulator all day. The only way I could use her activated ability was with Gilded Lotus but it never came to that. Very silly card. It was also my first time getting to play Siege-Gang Commander in limited. Yeezus Christ it was a beating. Such a versatile card. Not only does it put down 5 power for 5 mana spread over four bodies, but if you untap you often have 6 direct damage sitting on the board. If you’re playing a rampy deck, 8 damage. Insane.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Teferis, right? I couldn’t believe it when I opened one. You can imagine how flabbergasted I was when the second showed up. Teferi was amazing every time. At least three times I found myself with a Teferi stranded in hand because the first one wasn’t dying. The +1 ability was insane. You’re outdrawing your opponent, and untapping the mana means that even in the absence of a blocker, you can still potentially defend him on your opponent’s turn. I happened to have a bunch of instant speed removal (Shivan Fire, Blessed Light, Seal Away) that really came in handy and took opponents by surprise. I was wary of the second ability putting him down to 1 loyalty, but honestly planting the creature third from the top gave several turns to shore up defences. It was like casting Delay on an on-board creature. I never lost a game when I had Teferi out. Then again, I never lost a game. I split with my opponent in the last round, but we played three games for fun and I won each of them.

When skill fails you, luck sure comes in handy. Dominaria totally delivered.