mercurial spelldancer
13, Feb, 23

Insane New MTG Two-Drop 'Sleeper' Card Discovered!

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Article at a Glance

It’s been a week since Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s prerelease brought the set to life. Now, we’re one week away from the return of the Pro Tour, and while Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s potential will indeed be seen on that stage, players are already beginning to notice some outliers. The Mycosynth Gardens made an impact on an unprepared Modern metagame. Outside of that, another two-drop seems surprisingly strong in MTG’s older formats but is not as blatantly powerful as the Gardens and Amulet of Vigor combination. Let’s take a look at the excitement surrounding the card Mercurial Spelldancer.

Mercurial Spelldancer

mercurial dancer

Mercurial Spelldancer is a two-mana unblockable blue Phyrexian Rogue that cares a lot about noncreature spells and attacking. Every time you cast a noncreature spell, Mercurial Spelldancer gains an oil counter. When it successfully connects with an opponent, you can spend two oil counters to copy the next instant or sorcery spell you cast that turn.

Following some excitement from the Modern MTG community, Mercurial Spelldancer immediately started to stick out financially. This card has seen a massive uptick after dropping off in price on release, bucking the trend for most new MTG cards upon release (which is simply seeing a card lose a ton of value from prerelease prices). While the Spelldancer quickly dropped to as low as $2, the card bounced back to $6.50 rather quickly following some experimentation from the modern community. The card even hit $7.50 briefly but seems to be coming back down.

Legacy Interest

Much of the hype for this new Modern and Legacy hopeful spanned from MTG personality Andrea Mengucci’s testing of the cards in said formats. The card did show some promise initially, but as the weekend developed, it looked like, while the Spelldancer could be a reasonable choice should the metagames shift in a meaningful way, it wasn’t as powerful as established staples at the moment. Some promising results for the card would soon challenge this over the weekend. Various players participating in the action advise that the excitement behind this card initially seemed misguided:

“Still early days but I don’t see Mercurial Spelldancer living up to the hype. I’m a seller at current prices because I see it slipping back down into “bulk” territory from here. Not consistent enough when topdecked later on.” – @Prid3MTG

“Mercurial Spelldancer is worse than Dreadhorde in a lot of ways. It is less likely to net you a card on turn 3, and a worse topdeck late game when you’re light on action. I think you need to lean into it’s ability to copy more expensive spells to get good value from it.” – @RealPokemani

“thoughts on mercurial spelldancer – its not dreadhorde arcanist. it took a lot of effort to get started, especially in the face of interaction. also mishra’s bauble feels like a trap, i think preordain is probably better.” – @anzidmtg

Read More: MTG Top 10 Proliferate Cards In Commander

Dreadhorde Arcanist

dreadhorde arcanist

For reference, many players interested in Mercurial Spelldancer in Legacy were comparing the card to Dreadhorde Arcanist, a card that was banned in Legacy for being way too powerful when combined with cards like Brainstorm, Preordain, Ponder, and Lightning Bolt. This card was banned alongside the infamous powerhouses Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Arcum’s Astrolabe. While Oko and the Astrolabe were the problematic cards at the time, Wizards was worried that, after these cards were banned, Dreadhorde Arcanist would become too powerful for the format.

According to reports from players testing Mercurial Spelldancer, the most common pieces of feedback when compared to the banned creature is one glaring issue: Mercurial Spelldancer needs more action to get it going, making the user invest more resources into it to start getting payoffs. This also, notably, makes the Spelldancer a much worse top deck in the late game because it struggles to do things without other cards to assist it. Dreadhorde Arcanist, in comparison, can cast a spell from graveyard upon attack, making it, most of the time, threatening at any point in the game once it can attack. In comparison, Mercurial Spelldancer needs spells actively cast alongside it for the card to start gaining oil counters. Players were ready to write off the Spelldancer until it dominated the MTG Legacy Challenge over the weekend.

Mercurial Spelldancer Results

Surprisingly, after the vocal MTG Legacy community seemed ready to write this card off, it topped the MTGO Legacy Challenge this weekend. This list from STU909090 came seventh in the swiss standings but won the top eight bracket, winning the challenge. This was done in a typical Izzet Delver shell where the Spelldancer replaced the namesake card in the deck. This deck has access to many powerful cheap spells, as mentioned when discussing the powerful interactions with the now-banned Dreadhorde Arcanist. It seems that Mercurial Spelldancer’s value with these spells may be superior to Delver of Secrets. This is, of course, still a tiny sample size overall when trying to figure out if the Spelldancer will become a new Legacy staple. It does, however, prove that the card has promise.

The Best Has Yet to Come

Most competitive growth following Phyrexia: All Will Be One is likely to be seen in the coming months. The Mycosynth Gardens is the immediate card that stands out competitively, but there are a lot of big tournaments in the works. With the Pro Tour starting next weekend and the upcoming series of Regional Championships starting soon after, players are still getting ready to see what this powerful MTG set will truly do.

Read More: Powerful New Enchantment Divides MTG Community

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