Last updated 20 September 2020
The ‘Watch List’ are a selection of cards that are on The Committee’s radar for the next Points Announcement. Their performance in all event results will be actively monitored. This is not to say that other cards are excluded from points changes, simply that the core cards below are on the agenda for mandatory discussion at all meetings during the intervening 3 months.
The current Watch List includes:
Enlightened Tutor (-1)
It is not seeing much play. However, many of the most powerful combo decks could increase their number of effective turn two and three kills by adding it. In Storm it finds both halves: Underworld Breach and Lion’s Eye Diamond. In Reanimator it finds Oath of Druids and Animate Dead. In Time Vault it finds the namesake and also Voltaic Key. These combo decks are already very strong; Certain builds may not be playing white, but fetchlands and dual lands make it very easy to splash. We currently see no reason to potentially improve these decks, and turn two and three kills are typically not enjoyable games. Losing a card to a ‘put on top’ tutor is much less a factor when we’re talking about turn two and three kills where hands are still full. Enlightened Tutor is more of a tempo combo card.
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath (+1)
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath is a new addition to the watch list. It is a threat that must be removed, but even if it is, it still gains value. The same could be said for many 4 and 5 cost spells. However, they lose value against cheap counterspells, whereas Uro can still Escape later on and demand another immediate answer. Even if Uro is exiled by Swords to Plowshares he still draws a card. And if a land was put it, in a few turns it will have provided enough extra mana to pay for Uro. The result is that Uro trades positively against the best removal and counterspells ever. Due to his lifegain and size, Uro is a problem for Aggro decks, a struggling archetype that we’ve been looking to help for years. Surrounding Uro with plenty of disruption against combo and then letting him handle the rest, seems to be a recipe for success.
Snapcaster Mage (+1)
Snapcaster Mage is the most run one point card and its role in the recently successful decks with Thassa’s Oracle and Ancestral Recall have earned it further attention. However, just because a card is highly played doesn’t make it too powerful.
Ancestral Recall (+1)
Ancestral Recall is performing well. Unfortunately its price tag reduces the amount it’s played. Some metagames lack an Ancestral Recall player, making it harder to decide how many points it is worth. Mystic Sanctuary has recently emphasised the power of Ancestral Recall but as mentioned we believe Mystic Sanctuary deserves the point instead for now. Wizards of the Coast keep printing more and more cards which return Ancestral Recall (and Time Walk) from the graveyard or create copies of it on the stack. It may be inevitable that one or both of these become our first five point card.
Gifts Ungiven (+1)
Gifts Ungiven is great at assembling cheap two-card combos. It has increased in strength with Thassa’s Oracle, Mystic Sanctuary and cards like Uro and Sevinne’s Reclamation that can be cast from graveyard. Gifts Ungiven went to zero points relatively recently. After we feel the effects of Thassa’s Oracle and Mystic Sanctuary being pointed, we will reassess Gifts Ungiven.