Pro Tours Mythic Championships are the best. I watched as much as I could yesterday, and yeah. It was awesome. The broadcast kinks left a bit to be desired—the lagging speed of the cutaways gave the impression that the director was asleep at the wheel—but once the games started, the gameplay delivered. High-level Magic is fun to watch.

#10: Kaya, Orzhov Usurper

Check out this idiot tweet:

A good argument for Planeswalkers at common rarity pic.twitter.com/BzIEs2tIJ7

— jon corpora (@feb31st) January 4, 2019

Kaya, Orzhov Usurper spent a lot of time on-camera ruining opponent's lives. It's super effective against the mono-blue deck, picking off one-drops with a flick of the wrist. And she just stays in play! Her plus ability, combined with the added utility of shooting Pteramanders out of the sky, gives Kaya, Orzhov Usurper some value against Drakes decks too. Kaya, Orzhov Usurper was always a sideboard card, but the stars aligned above her at last weekend's Mythic Championship.

#9: Essence Capture

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this Essence Capture non-synergy, which actually came up in (I think) the finals of the Mythic Championship: If you put the counter on a Pteramander, it can't adapt anymore. That said, Essence Capture is awesome, and especially in a mono-blue deck, playing it over Essence Scatter seems fairly clear.

#8: Wilderness Reclamation

You don't need Wilderness Reclamation to make Nexus of Fate work, but it sure doesn't hurt.

#7: Sphinx of Insight

No idea why this is here. A couple coworkers of mine were big on Sphinx of Foresight because they believed its before-the-game-begins ability could potentially allow control decks to skimp on land counts. I'm sparing their names in order to protect the innocent.

#6: Growth Spiral

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Growth Spiral's good in all the Wilderness Reclamation decks. There are a lot of those.

#5: Smothering Tithe

Hard to see Smothering Tithe being relevant outside of Commander. Let's keep moving.

#4: Skewer the Critics

Mountains had a decent showing at the Mythic Championship, even if Skewer the Critics didn't. Shota Yasooka played two copies of Skewer the Critics in his innovative Rakdos brew that was compelling enough to sway him from his usual modus operandi of "play Grixis at every Pro Tour."

#3: Pteramander

At this point, calling Pteramander the most impactful Ravnica Allegiance card is the equivalent of pointing at a stop sign and announcing that it's red. Pteramander's really good, and its impact on Standard is only the beginning.

#2: Persistent Petitioners

I wonder if cards like Persistent Petitioners are good for Magic. It's painfully clear that they're being bought purely on spec by a handful of hopefuls waiting for the day they go the way of Shadowborn Apostle. For all the grousing I do about Persistent Petitioners in this space week in and week out, my honest opinion is that the speculators will have the last laugh on this one (maybe not on Rat Colony). So are cards like this good for Magic?

I'll say yes, begrudgingly. I don't love the optics of speculators buying out the entire market of a card on a continuous loop every week, but there are too many Persistent Petitioners in circulation for that to ever truly work—people who want them now to play with can certainly still get them—and later on, when they're $2.50 or whatever, that's still not a ton of harm done, while the benefit is that it adds value to the set now, which is good for vendors and players alike. It's just annoying because it's a terrible card, is all.

#1: Guardian Project

Guardian Project has buried me a fair amount of times in Limited play. No clue how it plays out in Constructed, but it could be the crux for a cool singleton deck, I suppose. Works with Prime Speaker Vannifar, at the very least.

See you next week.

Jon Corpora
(pronounced ca-pora)
@feb31st