We are knee deep into preview season for Magic: the Gathering‘s newest set, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. The set so far is full of incredible references and flavor from the source material, Dungeons and Dragons. As a D&D player, one of the most iconic items in the game has made it’s way to the set. It embodies RNG in its entirety, and is the nightmare of many Dungeon Masters.
I give you the Deck of Many Things! In Dungeons and Dragons, the Deck of Many Things is a magical item, comprised of 13 or 22 cards. Adventurers may draw a set number of cards from the deck, and each card has various effects. Some of these effects are beneficial, and some are fatal. Regardless the outcome, drawing from the Deck of Many Things is always a risk and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
This new card is one of the many dice-rolling cards that have been previewed in the set, and it feels like these reference back to actual cards in the Deck of Many Things. Something that’s interesting here is the way in which the effect is chosen for this card. With other dice roll cards, the dice result directly translates to the effect. In this case, there’s a couple ways it could work. The first is that it acts like the other cards, where your d20 roll directly reflects the effect. The other way is that the effect is determined by the ability from activating the Deck, being the d20 roll minus the number of cards in your hand. This would be a unique flavor of effect, but I think this might be the way this works. This has some interesting implications on the uses for this.
Generally speaking, this card is better when you have less cards in hand, and you can only achieve a 20 if you have no cards in hand. The math works out, that assuming you have at most 7 cards in hand, you’ll have nearly 50% odds of hitting 1-9. The lower amount of cards you have, you’ll have better odds of hitting 10-19, and the closer to 7 cards you have, more chances at hitting the 0. Obviously this results are purely random, but the odds line up this way with the math.
That being said, this card is most likely not a card that you end up playing in any deck. You’ll have to end up building a deck around using this card and shooting to maximize the odds of hitting a higher rolled effect. There is definitely one card that will be included in this deck though, which is Pixie Guide. Pixie Guide gives us “advantage” on our dice rolls, so we have another shot at getting a favorable outcome. The best part is that these effects stack, so multiple of these in play can really ramp up our odds of hitting.
Good on Wizards of the Coast for finding a really fun and interesting way to bring one of Dungeons and Dragons most iconic items into Magic. Do you think that this card can make a competitive splash? If any of you brewers out there have deck ideas, throw them in the comments!
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is set to release on July 23rd on tabletop, and 1 week before on Magic Online and Magic Arena. Preview season is set to begin this week, and you can find all the new spoilers in our Spoiler Gallery. You can also preorder Adventures in the Forgotten Realms products now!