Amonkhet previews are ramping up and there are already plenty of interesting cards to look at in depth.
There is one card that really caught my eye already, enough so that I’m talking about it exclusively today:
Sometimes there are cards so powerful you’re just confused that they’re printed.
Batterskull with Stoneforge Mystic.
Felidar Guardian with Saheeli Rai.
As Foretold might not be one of these cards, but it made me feel the same emotions I felt when I first examined the above cards: confusion. What am I missing? This seems too powerful.
As Foretold isn’t a sure thing to be broken, but it has plenty of potential. Who knows? It could also end up being a complete dud.
Today I’m going to go over why I think As Foretold is going to be a staple instead of heading to the bargain bin and start coming up with some decks that look to use it for its full potential.
Foretelling It Like It As
How few restrictions As Foretold has is a large part of the power it brings to the table.
I still remember when Aether Vial was first revealed; I thought it could deploy creatures X or less! My, how broken that would be.
As Foretold does have the “or less” clause, which means it just keeps getting better and better as the game goes on.
Each upkeep it gets another time counter, which can then be used to cast spells for free on your turn and your opponent’s turn. Being able to double dip like that means you can really get some extra value and make Aether Vial jealous.
As Foretold casts spells for free. Not just creatures. Not just instants. Spells. Let me spell that out for you. S. P. E. L. L. S. Spells.
That means creatures, artifacts, enchantments, sorceries, instants, and planeswalkers. Turns out most things are spells.
Every turn you have As Foretold on the battlefield, you’re getting value in the form of making it easier to cast your spells. If you were to use every time counter perfectly efficiently (which you probably aren’t), each new time counter As Foretold gets would be like putting two lands onto the battlefield.
Standard might not be the right home for As Foretold. I think it might be good, and there are plenty of decks that might want As Foretold, but it might just be too slow.
Modern Pwnage…As Foretold
In Modern, though, there are a few things we can abuse with As Foretold:
Spells without any mana cost can be cast for free with As Foretold with no time counters. That means you’ll be able to unlock the full potential of the above cards and get to keep around As Foretold for future use.
So what’s the catch?
The main restriction for As Foretold is, as its counters would suggest, time. Which makes fools of us all, including durdly blue enchantments. As Foretold is pretty slow if you’re just using it in a fair fashion.
But I’m optimistic the broken interactions will carry As Foretold and it will turn out to be good when it’s played “fair” as well.
As Foretold is powerful with zero cost cards, it’s unique, it’s universal, and it cheats mana. Seems like a winner to me.
Now let’s see what decks it might fit into.
Here we’re trying to use As Foretold in a somewhat fair way, with a few broken combos as well.
Ancestral Vision is by the far the most exciting card to pair with As Foretold, since As Foretold helps Ancestral Vision where it’s weakest.
Ancestral Vision has always been fantastic in your opening hand, but bad when you topdeck it in the late-game. As Foretold gets rid of this problem entirely, making sure every Ancestral Vision you draw can be cast almost immediately. Funny how you tend to keep drawing more card draw when you keep drawing three cards. Funny to blue mages, at least.
Thanks to As Foretold, Ancestral Vision goes from being something you aren’t looking to draw later in the game to the best card in your deck at all times. Move over, Ancestral Recall! No longer will we be oppressed by your expensive casting cost! It’s time to start drawing three cards for free!
As Foretold and Ancestral Vision are also both blue cards, so expect them to be the starting point together for most As Foretold decks.
What other cards work well with As Foretold?
Any cheap card draw: You want to have cheap one-drops to be able to use with As Foretold when it has one time counter and we’re tired of drawing three cards.
Sleight of Hand not only acts as a way to find your As Foretold or Ancestral Vision, it also makes sure you won’t draw too many lands in the late-game when you don’t need them.
Instants are also much better with As Foretold than sorceries, and so are creatures with flash, since you’re allowed to use As Foretold on your opponent’s turn as well as your own.
Peek, for example, looks good since you can easily cycle it on your opponent’s turn using As Foretold.
Counterspells: Tired of losing counter wars? Just use As Foretold! Make sure you always have a Mana Leak or Remand ready to go. Don’t fear tapping out when you haven’t used your As Foretold to cast a spell for free yet this turn.
Restore Balance is a great card when you’re able to cast it. You don’t even need to be getting full value from it by playing a bunch of Fieldmist Borderposts, since it turns out it’s just a Wrath of God with applications against ramp decks as well.
Even though we aren’t really abusing Restore Balance, it’s a nice cheap option to have with As Foretold. We don’t really need to worry about lands once you have As Foretold to cast your spells for you, and are happy discarding them or sacrificing them anyway.
Next we have a new twist on Storm in Modern.
This continues along the same vein of the value Storm decks that have been popping up with Gifts Ungiven, with an added explosive element as well.
Ancestral Vision seems great and honestly you might just be looking at putting it in any blue deck with As Foretold in Modern.
Wheel of Fate might just be worth it as well. The key here is that you’ll be able to generate some mana, Wheel of Fate with As Foretold, and then cast another As Foretold and another Wheel of Fate or Ancestral Vision as needed until you have enough cards and mana to combo with Past in Flames.
I have no idea if it will actually be worth it for Storm, but it’s at least worth a shot.
Here’s a more focused version of a control deck looking to abuse Ancestral Vision and Restore Balance just a bit more.
Tolaria West is an excellent way to tutor up Ancestral Vision or Restore Balance. As Foretold also conveniently frees up your mana for transmute and other shenanigans.
Deprive is excellent with As Foretold, since it’s nice to have some hard counters up at all times once your As Foretold has started powering up. It also has plenty of applications by bouncing lands alongside Irrigated Farmland, Tolaria West, and Restore Balance.
You know what? Let’s take even one step further with my most promising and most potentially busted list of the night.
This isn’t even really an As Foretold deck as much as it’s a Gideon of the Trials with Pact of Negation deck now.
The combo: you cast Gideon of the Trials, use his emblem so you can’t lose the game, and then you can Pact of Negation for “free” (or even more free without worrying about the upkeep cost) as long as you control a Gideon planeswalker.
This might just be crazy enough to work.
Turns out Amonkhet is making Ancestral Recall and Force of Will look bad. Draw three cards for free. Hard counter your spells for free. Welcome to Modern.
The main issue is that this combo requires you to be able to protect Gideon of the Trials, and Pact of Negation doesn’t do that for creatures already on the battlefield, so I think this type of deck should be focused on clearing the battlefield the first few turns with Path to Exile and Oust. Any reason to cast Oust is a reason I can get behind.
Pact of Negation conveniently protects Gideon of the Trials from spells when Gideon is on the stack or already on the battlefield. That means you can push him through counters and then emblem him! Keep in mind you don’t need to go for risky emblem-and-Pact plays all the time, since the downside is steep.
Gideon of the Trials is already a ridiculously powerful three-drop planeswalker, even without taking into account Pact of Negation cheese. It seems to be a great control planeswalker that’s capable of neutralizing a Death’s Shadow or Tarmogoyf with its +1 ability. Its emblem has plenty of applications against control decks like Ad Nauseam as well, making them have to remove Gideon as they combo off.
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar or Gideon Jura also conveniently happen to be Gideon! A Gideon of the Trials emblem doesn’t care which Gideon you control as long as you control a Gideon. Just don’t overdose on too many Gideons at once.
Keep in mind Abrupt Decay just beats you if you’ve been Pacting willy-nilly and can’t pay the price for it once they Decay your Gideon of the Trials.
Tolaria West goes from merely cute to downright broken in this deck. It tutors for Ancestral Recall, Force of Will, or Balance, and can even function as a regular old land.
I’m already excited to try out As Foretold, and I still haven’t even touched on Living End or traditional Restore Balance decks.
What do you think? Will As Foretold end up being as broken as I think it might be or just a flash in the pan? What other cards and decks could it end up in? Let me know in the comments so you can say, “Foretold ya so!”