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Spoiler Spotlight: Mardu Charm

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The newest charm was spoiled today, and it's a doozy:

marducharm

This seems really, really good. After all, this card has been pretty playable this year:

mizziummortars

Where Mizzium Mortars costs an easy two, Mardu Charm costs a more color-demanding three. However, Charm has the advantage of instant speed (while losing the overload functionality, of course). Instant-speed removal is a huge upgrade over sorcery-speed, as all of a sudden you give yourself the possibility of picking up two-for-ones.

raisethealarm

Raise the Alarm hasn't been seeing play in Standard since its reprint, but it's a powerful card. I mean, it was included in the Modern Event Deck, so you know it's the real deal. All sarcasm aside, two bodies from one card at instant speed is situationally great and even better than that in the right metagame.

Again, Mardu Charm increases the cost and color-intensity of this effect, but with a bonus of temporary first strike. How good this is will depend on how many one- and two-toughness creatures are being played, but in some cases, this can act as a removal spell that leaves behind two bodies. That's pretty good.

This leads us to Mardu Charm's last mode:

duress

Duress is playable in every format all the way back to Vintage, and while three is a lot higher than one, Mardu Charm can be cast at instant speed. Instant-speed discard is not often printed for a reason: it's oppressive. One of the most notable instant-speed discard spells is Vendilion Clique, which lets the opponent replace the card, and it's still a Legacy and Modern staple.

vendilionclique

Being able to snag a card during your opponent's draw step in the middle of a topdeck war should not be underestimated. The usual shortcoming of discard strategies is that they tend to be bad at this point in the game, but Mardu Charm avoids all that.

Yes, each effect Charm provides is overcosted. But the flexibility afforded by the card is well worth the added cost. This card gives you the option of removing a threat, disrupting a plan, or starting an army, and can be used at any moment of the game. The only thing that might hold this back from seeing play is if there isn't a deck for it. But if a Standard or Modern deck emerges in the these colors, you can count on Mardu Charm being a key part of the strategy. This is a sweet one.

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