- Divine Visitation
- Consecrated Sphinx
- Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
- Zur the Enchanter
Magic: The Gathering’s latest preview season is trucking along, with Double Masters 2022 giving us another day of big, splashy cards to get excited about. More importantly, day two gave us TheGamer’s previews, Consecrated Sphinx and Myths Realized.
In today’s highlights, we’ve got two beloved commanders long overdue for a reprint, one of the best blue creatures in the game, and a classic board wipe back to its original rarity. Here are the best cards revealed on day two of Double Masters 2022’s preview season.
Tokens isn’t an archetype in Double Masters 2022’s draft, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great to see Divine Visitation reappear. It’s one of the best cards to run in a token deck, as it can turn those easily generated plant or insects into much scarier 4/4 Angels with flying.
Of course, it can backfire if the tokens you make have abilities you need (such as a Scute Swarm copy), as the Angels that are made instead won’t have those. Fortunately, there are very few situations where having anything but a 4/4 Angel token would be advantageous.
This is Divine Visitation’s first reprinting following its debut in Guilds of Ravnica. While it isn’t a particularly hard to find card already, it will be interesting to see how the wider circulation of it with this first reprinting will change up Angel-centric decks, especially considering the cards we’ve seen released since Guilds of Ravnica like Righteous Valkyrie.
Is it gauche to include your own preview card in a list of highlights? Probably, but it’s fine, because Consecrated Sphinx being in Double Masters 2022 is incredible news.
Almost any blue deck will benefit from a Consecrated Sphinx. It costs a lot to play and is – on the surface – easily to remove, but in two lines of card text it manages to both shut down your opponents from drawing cards unnecessarily (less they give you a game-winning piece) while also generating your own card advantage for the few times they have to.
It’s hard to overstate just how deadly this Sphinx can be if it’s not removed immediately. With the very next player’s turn you’ll be building a huge hand, and nothing is scarier than a blue player with a grip full of answers. Throw in a Rhystic Study or a Forced Fruition and your opponent trying to take out Consecrated Sphinx could backfire for them straight away.
My personal plan for this is to put it into Kwain, Itinerant Meddler, where I use cards like Alhammarret’s Archive and Teferi’s Ageless Insight to draw more cards off of Kwain to find Approach of the Second Sun. With Consecrated Sphinx, one tap of a Temple Bell will give me anywhere between one and seven cards – and that's before any draw doubling and forced draw effects occur.
With recent board wipes like Vanquish the Horde, Farewell, and Depopulate being so complicated, it’s almost refreshing to look at Damnation’s simple “destroy all creatures” text. It’s the quintessential board wipe, and while it doesn’t have any extras like drawing cards or putting something back into play, it’s still popular because of that simplicity.
It hasn’t been too long since we last saw Damnation, as it was printed in last years’ Time Spiral Remastered. However, this version marks a return to the norm, as it has been downshifted from mythic back to its usual rare. The upshift to mythic rare in Time Spiral Remastered was a highly criticised decision for a card as basic and essential as this, so it having a higher chance of showing up in packs in Double Masters 2022 is a good move.
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV is one of the go-to Stax commanders, thanks to his ability to reduce the cost of blue and white spells you cast by one generic mana. Being able to play cards like Aven Mindcensor, Propaganda, and Drannith Magistrate a turn earlier can really throw your opponents for a loop. If a spell is both white and blue, like Dream Stealer, he reduces the cost by two generic instead for extra value.
Augustin even makes spells more expensive for your opponents to cast, which, in Commander where you’re going to mostly be playing blue and white spells, means you’ll be playing two turns ahead of your opponents. This does make Augustin a very kill-on-sight kind of commander, but Azorius (white/blue) does have access to enough protection and counterspells to keep Augustin in play for as long as possible.
A particularly cool point about this reprinting is the alternate art by Greg Hildebrandt. Hildebrandt has a long history of contributing to the game, especially alongside his brother Tim. In 2003, Tim suffered a stroke that threatened his art career, and so brother Greg continued to work under Tim’s name – something that proved controversial when it was revealed, but the community has long since calmed down over.
The last card Greg Hildebrandt illustrated was 13 years ago, with Unbender Tine in Alara Reborn. It is nice to see him back to do new art for Double Masters 2022, and especially with such good-looking and out-there art as this.
Zur the Enchanter
Yesterday we had Muldrotha, the Gravetide; and it appears as though reprinting some of the Commander format’s biggest names is continuing with the inclusion of Zur the Enchanter.
Making his debut way back in Coldsnap, Zur the Enchanter is one of the game’s best Aura commanders, thanks to his ability to pull out enchantments and throw them straight into play. By building him up with cards like All That Glitters, Ethereal Armor, and Aqueous Form, his main strategy is to take opponents out through huge smashes of unstoppable, enchantment-augmented damage.
While he has been supplanted in effectiveness by later commanders like Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice; few Commander players have never heard of Zur. His last printing was in 2020’s original Commander Legends, where he was a mythic rare. His rarity has been downshifted back to just rare for Double Masters 2022, which will hopefully get him into more player’s hands.
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