Adam Plays Magic: Explorer Mindsplice Turns

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This week on Adam Plays Magic, we've got a spicy one brewed up for you. Mindsplice Apparatus is a brand new addition from Phyrexia: All Will Be One that has echoes of the banned-in-multiple-formats Wilderness Reclamation.

Both Wilderness Reclamation and Mindsplice Apparatus are four-mana nonland permanents that functionally reduce the cost of spells, allowing the player to generate a massive advantage by drawing cards and taking extra turns.

What I Like

We've seen cards like Mindsplice Apparatus before and most haven't been particularly playable. Jace's Sanctum for example saw no competitive play. Flash separates Mindsplice from the pack, meaning the player's shields never go down for the opponent's turn.

Thanks to counterspells like Jwari Disruption // Jwari Ruins and a plethora of removal like Fiery Impulse, the player can fend off aggressive decks and stabilize enough to resolve Apparatus. From there, The Monumental Facade adds on oil counters to supercharge Apparatus making the majority of cards in the deck cost only one or two mana, turning on Chemister's Insight and Big Score.

The deck ultimately wins by chaining A-Alrund's Epiphany, preferably with the assistance of Galvanic Iteration.

I love a dedicated control deck with combo potential. It has game against just about everything. The deck excels at beating small and medium creatures with Fires of Victory and Brotherhood's End. Meanwhile, it gets to power through opposing control decks both by constricting their mana and putting multiple game-winning spells on the stack on the same turn thanks to Galvanic Iteration. UW Control, for example, will likely only have the mana to cast one or two Absorbs during a combo turn. Even if they have Dovin's Veto, Divide by Zero can either bounce it back to their hand or return the player's own spell so Veto fizzles. More often than not, there's still enough mana to recast the initial spell again in the same turn.

What I Dislike

The downside of the deck is that it doesn't exist in a vacuum. Just because you have resolved a Mindsplice doesn't mean the game is over. The opponent could have Leyline Binding to remove it, which at one mana and instant speed laughs at Divide By Zero. Boseiju, Who Endures is an free inclusion in every green deck. Meanwhile, red decks have Abrade and Kolaghan's Command intended to answer the many vehicle decks in the format and Mindsplice gets caught in the crossfire.

With half the deck as cheap interaction and the other half as expensive spells, it's common to draw too much of the wrong half and fizzle. Sheoldred, the Apocalypse can also be very punishing as its toughness outsizes most of the deck's removal options. Narset, Parter of Veils is similar in this regard. The card advantage spells in this deck all explicitly "draw a card" as opposed to something like Memory Deluge. Notably, Firey Impulse can't hit planeswalkers, so Narset is likely to stick around.

Above all, the main sticking point in the deck is that sometimes, even with everything going perfectly, it's not enough to close out a game. The main win condition is Alrund's Epiphany with Hall of Storm Giants and Mascot Exhibition as backups. Decks like Angels that gain massive swaths of life and whose flying x/4 creatures don't die to Brotherhood's End are nearly impossible to beat. It's possible Burn Down the House or Shark Typhoon might be the extra reach the deck is looking for.

The Deck

End Step

Overall, this deck was a blast to play and I think there's a lot of potential. I've tested UB and UR builds, with UR being the top performer so far. UW with Approach of the Second Sun is also an option and combos well with Divide by Zero. Access to more robust removal in the form of Depopulate and Shatter the Sky is also very appealing.

There are so many options to choose from and I can't wait to try them out. Keep up with me on Twitch and Twitter for the latest developments! Catch you all next time as we dive even deeper into the new cards from ONE.

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