1, Sep, 23

Complex Wilds of Eldraine Interaction is a Huge Gamechanger!

Article at a Glance

Adventures are coming back to Standard! Alongside being some of the most powerful cards that Magic has ever seen, Adventures can create some rather complicated interactions as well. Before we get into the newly rediscovered interaction confusing players en-masse that may impact Standard and MTG Arena as a whole, however, let’s look at another interaction to help set the stage for this incredibly difficult-to-understand interaction that you may run into after the release of Wilds of Eldraine.

Adventures and Possibility Storm

This first Adventure interaction occasionally shows up in the Pioneer format. For better or worse, however, it doesn’t really hold any weight on the metagame. Either way, it is an interaction that showcases why MTG Arena’s new interaction is so difficult to understand.

The combo is this: resolve Possibility Storm and then resolve an Adventure Sorcery. A good example is Heart’s Desire, which is found on Lovestruck Beast. When doing this, Possibility Storm will trigger, exiling the spell. This card will flip cards from the top of your library until it finds another card with the same type as the card exiled. In this case, Possibility Storm will be looking for a Sorcery.

Should you find another Lovestruck Beast in your flip, it’s not what will get cast. This is due to Adventure Spells in your hand, graveyard, or in play being considered to be creatures.

It’s the same kind of rule that makes Oops! All Spells! decks with effects like Balustrade Spy ignore Zendikar Rising MDFC or double-sided lands like Sea Gate Restoration. These aren’t considered the card type that the corresponding effects care about, so they get ignored.

Since your Adventure spells are all considered creatures as far as Possibility Storm is concerned, it will ignore those when trying to find a Sorcery. This makes it rather easy to control what card your Possibility Storm will hit. In most cases, the desired target will end up being Enter the Infinite, which is the only Sorcery in the deck. Congrats! You essentially get to draw your entire deck for one mana.

Enter the Infinite will draw your entire deck and put one card back on top of it. The typical card choice to put back with this combo is Borborygmos Enraged. You can then cast a creature (these lists generally have a multi-purpose zero mana option like Stonecoil Serpent in case you’re out of mana at this point) which Possibility Storm will exchange for the Borborygmos still left in your deck. Following this, you can turn all your drawn lands into Lightning Bolts and win the game!

This combo demonstrates that aside from when you’re literally casting an Adventure Instant/Sorcery, Adventure cards are considered whatever their permanent side is. Lovestruck Beast is a creature. Virtue of Knowledge is an enchantment etc.

Considering this rule, the next interaction makes absolutely no sense, but according to MTG Arena, and some really complicated rulings, this technically works.

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Lier can Cast Adventure Instants/Sorceries from the Graveyard

If Adventure spells are considered their permanent counterparts outside of being cast, why the heck can Lier, Disciple of the Drowned still Flashback the Instant/Sorcery portions of these cards!? This, on account of the previous combo we discussed, should not work.

After being made aware of the interaction on Twitter via MTGGoldfish personality Saffron Olive, many MTG players were understandably confused as to why this was the case. Thankfully, it is possible to explain, but you might want to sit down as this one is a doozy.

Generally, Adventure spells are considered creatures in the graveyard. Lier does not change this. What Lier does do is give each and every Instant and Sorcery in your grave Flashback equal to the card’s mana value.

For reference, Flashback is an alternate casting cost that requires the card being cast to be in its owner’s graveyard. To avoid abusing the spell over and over, a resolved card that was cast via Flashback will be exiled instead of going back to the graveyard.

Okay, now it’s time to get complicated.

While Adventure spells are indeed their permanent type in your graveyard, Lier gets around that by specifically granting Instant and Sorcery cards Flashback. As pointed out by madwarper in this two-year-old Reddit post discussing the situation, rule 716.3a states that “when casting an adventurer card as an Adventure, only the alternative characteristics are evaluated to see if it can be cast.”

In other words, when trying to cast your Adventure spell from your graveyard, the alternative characteristic of Flashback will be seen, allowing the card to be cast.

If Lier needed to target a specific Instant/Sorcery and give it Flashback like Snapcaster Mage, this would not work because the Adventure spell is not a legal target – it’s a Creature, not an Instant/Sorcery. Instead, Lier just gives all of your Instants and Sorceries Flashback indiscriminately. When attempting to cast the Adventure Spell from your graveyard, it will recognize the Flashback, making it legal to cast.

There are more rulings involved when explaining why this interaction works, and if you want a deeper explanation as to why this is the case, the two-year old Reddit post does a good job of answering different questions.

This leaves one last question; Where does the resolved spell go? Given you’ve just cast the Instant/Sorcery Adventure via Flashback, you may assume it’d just get exiled. Thanks to the unique rules about how creatures “have an Adventure,” however, that isn’t always the case.

As a note, the creatures are “on an Adventure” when they’re in exile after the Instant/Sorcery was cast.

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You Choose!

Normally, a resolved spell goes to the graveyard. This only changes if a replacement effect happens to alter that destination. Confusingly, an Adventure spell putting your creature on an Adventure and the resolution of a Flashback spell putting a card into exile are both replacement effects.

When two replacement effects appear that affect the same spell, the player chooses which replacement effect applies. This means that you can choose to have your Adventure spell send your creature on an Adventure even though it was cast with Flashback! Alternatively, if you so choose, you could have your Adventure spell get exiled via Flashback as well.

This creates an incredibly powerful value engine that allows Lier to Flashback your Adventure spells, put the creatures on an Adventure, and recast the creatures! What an insane level of value! You can bet that this interaction will be explored in Wilds of Eldraine Standard.

This has Been a Thing for Two Years

The most ironic part about this discussion is that Lier has been able to do this for the past two years. Lier and Adventure spells weren’t Standard legal together until the release of Wilds of Eldraine, and the interaction is too slow for other competitive formats. This seems to be the first time that the complicated interaction has been super relevant.

Will this take over the Standard format? It’s certainly powerful enough to do that. There are still some important factors, like if the available Adventure Spells are powerful enough, or if the interaction still proves to be too slow. The only answer to that question, however, is to simply wait and see.

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