Ask Ken, 08/23/2004

I had a recent dispute with some friends over a mulligan decision I made in a MD5 Sealed GP Trial.

A number of times, the only thing that kept me out of a satin box was that I could size up the other guy maybe half a second quicker than he could me. But what the f*** am I talking about, I’m taped to a chair. This is Ask Ken. I’m your host, Ken Krouner. And I’m going to give you an opportunity: read this column. Now.

Today’s letter comes to us from Colin Petersen. Colin writes:

Hi Ken

I had a recent dispute with some friends over a mulligan decision I made in a MD5 Sealed GP Trial.

Here’s the hand:

Leonin Squire

Pyrite Spellbomb

Aether Spellbomb

Talisman of Progress


Looming Hoverguard


The hand looks awesome apart from the absence of a 2nd land. I was on the play, so after a long, hard look I threw it back; on the draw I would have kept with very little hesitation. 1 teammate agreed with my decision but 2 teammates argued I should have kept because:

i) I may topdeck a land, in which case it’s great.

ii) if I have to cycle spellbombs to find some land it’s still likely to be better than many 6card hands I’ll get after the mulligan; especially with the Squire able to make the Spellbomb cyclin less costly.

Anyway I figured I’d ask you what your call in that scenario would have been. To finish the story, the mulligan hand sucked & I lost that match, but I still made top8 & then swept the draft to score the byes so the ending was pure Hollywood 🙂


Well Colin, first of all I’d like to congratulate you on your byes. Second of all, I want to give my ringing endorsement of this mulligan decision. Don’t let the fact that the new hand sucked dissuade you. You made the right choice. The problem is that if you don’t hit the land by at least your first Spellbomb activation, you likely lose. If you do hit it, you are far from guaranteed a win. The only game breaking card in your hand costs six and unless there are a few Artifact lands in your deck, you aren’t getting a creature out on turn 2. On the draw you have more options, but on the play I like your mulligan. If one of those Spellbombs were a Conjurer’s Bauble, then we could talk about keeping.

The source on the good mulligan,


Are you guys bored of hearing about mulligans? Well I am getting a little bored about talking about them. I have a veritable library of Magic knowledge crammed in my cranium, yet at least half of the questions I get are related to mulligans! I know I’m the best, but I assure you I won’t let you down in other areas. Send ’em in, and I’ll answer them. G’night everybody!

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