Do Not Sleep On Wrenn And Seven

Wrenn and Seven has captured Brad Nelson’s midrange-loving heart. See how he thinks the Innistrad: Midnight Hunt planeswalker can fit into Standard’s future.

Wrenn and Seven, illustrated by Bram Sels

This may very well be the strangest time to both be a member of the Magic Pro League and Magic: The Gathering content creator. You see, in eighteen days, I have to submit my Standard deck for the MPL Gauntlet. This tournament was going to be split-format, but Jumpstart Historic Horizons got pushed back a couple of weeks. Now, I’d have no issue talking about the current Standard format right now, as it is pretty interesting. The issue with that though is that it just doesn’t matter to 99% of players.

Luckily for me, we have a few previews from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, and one of them is a beautiful midrange green planeswalker. Instead of scouring for ideas, I had this beautiful card that I’m excited about to talk about! I mean, if you know anything about me, then you know just how excited I get about mopey green midrange decks!

Wrenn and Seven

Planeswalkers haven’t been that great in Standard for some time, but that’s mainly due to Throne of Eldraine being roughly five times more powerful than every other set currently in Standard. Well that all changes once this powerhouse enters Standard, as it triggers the rotation which allows us to finally say good riddance to the Adventure package, Embercleve, companions, and Dimir Rogues!

Just take a minute to look at Wrenn and Seven in all its glory. What a card, right? All right, so maybe Wrenn and Seven doesn’t get your creative juices flowing at first glance. Sure its abilities synergize with one another, but the reality is the card isn’t all that impressive in a vacuum.

It makes a big blocker, cool.

To get to the bottom of just how impactful this card may be on future Standard, you have to look at its future surrounding cast.

[+1]: Reveal the top four cards of your library. Put all land cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest into your graveyard.

Faceless Haven Lair of the Hydra

Take Wrenn and Seven’s first ability for example. Sure it’s card advantage, but gaining access to additional lands isn’t as impressive as other resources. To squeeze out the most potential, we’re going to want to make sure the lands we’re revealing, and the cards we’re putting into the graveyard have a chance of impacting the game on future turns. Faceless Haven and Lair of the Hydra are great ways to find and put our mana to work.

Join the Dance

Join the Dance isn’t that impressive, but what’s exciting about this preview is it tells us the mechanic flashback is… well, back! Flashback is one of my favorite mechanics of all time, and I’m really hoping Innistrad: Midnight Hunt will have a couple of Constructed-worthy spells with flashback that can help justify using Wrenn and Seven’s +1 ability turn after turn. After all, we’ll really need to use our graveyard if we’re going to be filling it up!

Skyclave Shade

It’s also worth noting that five-set Standard games tend to be much more midrange-based than what we’re experiencing now in eight-set Standard. You can really see that in the Arena-only Standard 2022 queues if you’ve participated in them at any point since Adventures in the Forgotten Realms released. If that theory is true, then a card like Wrenn and Seven will synergize insanely well with Skyclave Shade against any matchup that proves to be more controlling.

Nullpriest of Oblivion

All right, so this one might be a stretch. Reanimator strategies are rarely good in Standard, but they aren’t impossible when enough pieces come together. Odds are Nullpriest of Oblivion won’t be good enough, but its mere existence means we’ll have some fun trying to find out!

[0]: Put any number of land cards from your hand onto the battlefield tapped.

Nissa of Shadowed Boughs Lotus Cobra

Continuing on this reanimator theme, Nissa of Shadowed Boughs might work really well with Wrenn and Seven. Again, the current Standard is far too powerful for a planeswalker like this to be competitive, but things are changing soon. Wrenn and Seven’s [0] ability will most likely be the least-used one, but landfall is still in Standard, making for some potentially devastating turns.

Honestly, this ability isn’t all that exciting, so I’ll probably circle back to it once Innistrad: Midnight Hunt releases. Then I’ll get under this card’s hood a bit and see what it really can do!

[-3]: Create a green Treefolk creature token with reach and “This creature’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of lands you control.”

Now we get to the most exciting ability on Wrenn and Seven: the one that makes creatures! The Treefolk gaining “reach” tells me that the Play Design team really put this card through intense development. That’s mainly because Goldspan Dragon may very well be the most powerful card in Standard post-rotation, and they didn’t want Wrenn and Seven to constantly be getting eaten by the hasty Dragon.

Goldspan Dragon Burning Hands

Sadly though, it will be. Burning Hands will, without a doubt, be the format’s best answer to Wrenn and Seven as it’s not very easy for the planeswalker to protect itself from the cheap removal spell. If you [+1] or [0] Wrenn and Seven, then Burning Hands can easily kill it. If you try to protect it with a Treefolk token, a Goldspan Dragon can come down, attack, and then use its new Treasure token to kill the Treefolk before blockers. There’s really no great way to get around this unless you cast the Wrenn and Seven when you already have seven lands, which isn’t always easy to do against tempo-based opponents.

Esika’s Chariot Wrenn and Seven

That’s all right though, because we have an even more devastating sequence available that will make the loss of our newly cast planeswalker more palatable. Esika’s Chariot is already one of the best cards in Standard and Standard 2022, and it’ll only get better when paired with Wrenn and Seven. I mean, just look at them side-by-side — they are beautiful! Turn 4 Esika’s Chariot into Turn 5 Wrenn and Seven allows us to create a Treefolk token, use it to crew The Catillac, and then copy it once the Vehicle attacks. That’s pretty devastating!

Usually a card gets printed, and the potential homes are only restricted by our imaginations. It’s only until we collectively start playing with cards that we discover which homes are better than others. Much like every other card, Wrenn and Seven has endless possibilities, but I think it’ll be difficult to top this one. Esika’s Chariot and Wrenn and Seven will most likely become the best of friends moving forward, and we may never find a better home for the new planeswalker.

[-8] Return all permanent cards from your graveyard to your hand. You get an emblem with “You have no maximum hand size.”

I don’t really know what to think about this ultimate. On one hand it’ll probably lead to many games ending, as that’s an insane amount of card advantage after ticking it up so many times. On the other hand, what deck will want to tick it up that many times in a row? Like I said earlier, drawing a bunch of extra lands isn’t that game-changing, especially in the later turns of a game when both players are trying to find more resources to stay alive. The investment of a turn into a planeswalker means you need it to produce value, and more lands typically won’t cut it.

Emeria’s Call Sea Gate Restoration Agadeem’s Awakening

Shatterskull Smashing Turntimber Symbiosis

It’s not like we’ll be able to reveal true spells via double-faced cards, as they’re sadly only their front halves in your library, so Wrenn and Seven won’t be able to put these powerful spells into our hands. I mean, that’s probably a good thing, right?

So yeah, I’m just not sold on this ultimate coming to fruition in many games, as I believe the need for a massive Treefolk will outweigh the potential of getting this card to its ultimate.

Valki, God of Lies Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor

Now if we do ever ultimate our Wrenn and Seven, I sure do want me some Valki, God of Lies in my deck! This is the perfect card to go with Wrenn and Seven, as it’s something to spend mana on in the early turns, yet also utilizes the additional lands Wrenn and Seven may soon be providing us with. Later in the game, a Wrenn and Seven ultimate can turn our once Valki into the game-ending Tibalt, helping us bury our opponents in card advantage.

Anything can happen between now and the release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. Magic cards, after all, are only good or bad in context, and who knows what the rest of the set has in store for us. I’m not sure how good Wrenn and Seven will be, but if previous five-mana green planeswalkers are any kind of indication, Wrenn and Seven most likely will be dominant in the early stages of the Standard cycle.

Well, here’s to hoping at least!