For years, I’ve wished upon a star for Wizards of the Coast to gift me with
a preview card. They finally answered my prayers by allowing me to show off
both Leyline Prowler and Shenanigans recently. One because it was a Golgari
Midrange card, and the other thanks to the shenanigans I get into with
Corey Baumeister and perennial special guest Brian Braun-Duin on the Bash
While I was already very thankful for my previous gifts, I still wanted to
show off a card from such an amazingly flavorful set like Throne of Eldraine. I didn’t know how to accomplish this though so
I went over to my enchanted bathroom mirror to ask for guidance.
“Reflection in the magic mirror, come from the basement place,
through Golgari and midrange I summon thee. Speak! Let me see thy
Me: “Magic mirror on the wall, how do I get the best preview of them all?
BBD: “Please get out of my room”
Me: “Alas for it, reveal my fate!”
BBD: “I’m moving out”
Me: “Fine, I’ll just email Nate.”
After sixteen years of playing this game, WotC has finally gifted me the
pleasure of revealing a Mythic Rare to the world. This has honestly been a
dream of mine for longer than you’d expect, and I’m being 100% genuine
right now. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you WotC for this free
preview, and I hope we all have a ton of fun playing with The Magic Mirror!
What an amazing card! Sure, it’s not green or black, but it might just be
good enough to turn me into a blue mage anyway. Like everyone else, I love
drawing extra cards. I played Hydroid Krasis for as long as I possibly
could in Standard until it wasn’t powerful enough. Then I turned my
attention to Teferi, Hero of Dominaria to get my fix. Now with my hero
gone, I guess I need to find a new one. Maybe one that can’t be stopped by
Ok, well there is this one card that can stop it…
The Magic Mirror has potential to be a great finisher in a control deck.
Nine mana looks like a lot, but that’s why the card has a mana-reduction
ability attached to it. Even then, you shouldn’t expect this card needs to
cost three mana to be good. Think of it like a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria,
or Bolas’s Citadel style effect. You interact with your opponent as many
turns in a row as you can until you build up enough defense to resolve and
hopefully untap with The Magic Mirror.
Before we get too carried away with trying to make this card work, I want
to take a moment to talk about this wonderful piece of art – Anastasia
Ovchinnikova knocked it out of the part with this one! When WotC sent me
The Magic Mirror, it took me a couple minutes to even read it because I
couldn’t stop looking at this art. And don’t go thinking I’m being bias or
ungenuine either because I am in love with this thing! It’s breathtaking!
Alright, I need to cool off as it’s time to actually get into the nitty
gritty of The Magic Mirror. This card’s no Questing Beast where you just
buy four, put them in any deck, and win. No, The Magic Mirror is going to
need finesse to make work. We need to buckle down and put on our thinking
caps for this one!
The first thing that needs to be said about The Magic Mirror is it’s
clearly a build-around card. The ability to reduce its cost means we’ll
want to maximize our instants and sorceries which is a pretty steep deck
building restriction if you ask me. Especially in Standard as we’ve seen
“spell” decks usually struggle to the “permanent” decks. Izzet Phoenix held
its own for a while, and so did Dimir Control to an extent, but for the
most part non-creature strategies still resolved around permanents. Even
control decks in this past format played upwards of sixteen nonland
permanents in Search for Azcanta, Oath of Kaya, Teferi, Time Raveler,
Narset, Parter of Veils, and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. While all these
cards are great, they would never have played nicely with The Magic Mirror.
That might all change in Throne of Eldraine Standard though. Four
sets are rotating out and two of control’s best card advantage engines are
saying goodbye to the format. Search for Azcanta and Teferi, Hero of
Dominaria are both hitting the road, and I for one am ecstatic! That’s
going to leave control decks looking for new sources of card advantage, and
I’m pretty sure we’re looking at it.
Well, it might be looking at us. I don’t know how magic mirrors work.
Since The Magic Mirror has such steep deck building restrictions, we need
to find specific strategies that want it. Of course it will want to play
spells, but those spells have to keep up on a format full of threatening
permanents like Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Hydroid Krasis. There’s
more cards to be afraid of, but those are the ones I’m mostly scared of
when I’m playing with reactive spells.
Trying to find a deck for The Magic Mirror gets even more difficult since
Teferi, Time Raveler doesn’t rotate. That’s right, the most oppressive card
in Standard is still with us which means playing a counter-based strategy
isn’t really in the cards. Without counterspells though, cards like Nissa
and Risen Reef will be exceptionally difficult to beat. Hopefully those
pesky red creatures will keep the Simic decks down long enough for us to
draw cards with our powerful reflective surface.
Here’s my first crack at building around The Magic Mirror while considering
what the new format may throw at us.
Let’s kick things off talking about what this deck has going for it. First
off, I LOVE the interaction of Enter the God-Eternals with The Magic
Mirror. I’m guessing we’ll always have seven years good luck the turn after
casting this five-mana removal spell, as it’s a great way to fill our own
graveyard. Since I expect The Magic Mirror to usually cost around 5-6 mana
regularly, these cards curve exceptionally well together.
Opt also got a reprint which a two-color deck like this loves since it
won’t be busy playing so many enter the battlefield tapped lands. That,
though, is where things start looking worse for Dimir. The color
combination has worse mana than other Guilds and also struggles with
dealing with problematic permanents like Experimental Frenzy or even an
opposing The Magic Mirror. We could add more copies of Ugin, the Ineffable
to the sideboard to try to help in these situations but it’s not the
perfect answer since it’s so expensive. Who knows, maybe we want to just be
Esper so we can add Mortify and Despark to our deck.
You know what? Shifting to Esper may not be the worst idea. We’re already
playing so many non-instant and sorcery cards as is in this Dimir deck
that’s even trying to make The Magic Mirror work. Plus, we already said
Esper needs a new win condition! My concern about Esper though is that
there won’t be nearly enough spells to justify The Magic Mirror but I also
don’t really want to lose interactions like Teferi plus Oath of Kaya just
to facilitate the new mythic. Not to mention Murderous Rider isn’t even
counting as a spell in the graveyard.
You know what, this card’s becoming increasingly more difficult to build
around. I guess that’s what you get when you look at such an impressive
Another home that could work for The Magic Mirror is some kind of Izzet
deck. Now I’m not sold on this idea since Izzet typically doesn’t have the
best answers for the field, but Core Set 2020 did give Izzet a few
good anti-color hosers that will help the strategy interact more. Plus,
Crackling Drake seems like it would work well with The Magic Mirror. That
said, the guild would need some serious help from the rest of Throne of Eldraine preview season to be competitive as there’s
just not a lot to work with right now.
Look, I don’t know exactly what to do with The Magic Mirror, but there is
one thing I’m pretty sure about – it will most likely feel like a dud until
it’s not. It reminds me a lot of Bolas’s Citadel – not in effect, but how
we perceived the card. It took a long time for us to realize what to do
with Bolas’s Citadel, but once we did, an entire archetype integrated it. I
feel like The Magic Mirror is going to be the same thing. It might end up
in a deck we didn’t expect it to or in the sideboard for control mirrors,
but wherever it lands it will assuredly be a fantastic card.
I hope you enjoyed my preview card, and again thank you Wizards for the
free preview, and Anastasia Ovchinnikova for making such a beautiful piece
of art for us!