Talion's Throneguard
29, Feb, 24

MTG Spoiler Foreshadows Potential Multiplayer Developments on Arena!

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Article at a Glance

Since the massive number of announcements and cards getting revealed by the preview panel at MagicCon Chicago last week, spoilers have seemingly died down dramatically. Now that MTG Fallout Commander decklists have all been made available, things are a lot calmer. Our next premier set, Outlaws of Thunder Junction, is a way away as well.

However, for fans of MTG Arena and digital gameplay, spoilers are just getting started. More specifically, these spoilers are a part of Alchemy: Karlov Manor. This 30-card set is designed with digital gameplay in mind, incorporating mechanics that would be difficult or otherwise impossible to implement in a paper setting. Speaking of incorporating, we recently went over the first of the 30 spoilers which introduced the Incorporate mechanic. For more information, take a look here.

For today, we are going to focus on some new spoilers. One mythic in particular heavily suggests the potential for new features coming to MTG Arena in the near future. For anyone who enjoys multiplayer action, you may be in luck. While this is certainly speculative for the time being, some recent comments from MTG Arena developers have made the arrival of Commander to Arena sound like a real possibility. This first spoiler only heightens this feeling. This may be a good sign for Commander players who have been holding out hope for the format’s arrival to Arena.

Juggle the Performance

Juggle the Performance

First up, we have a very wacky chaos card in Juggle the Performance. Juggle the Performance is similar to cards like Wheel of Fortune, forcing all players to discard their hands and draw seven fresh cards. These types of cards can be exceptionally powerful when built around. Storm decks that leverage the power of Ritual effects in order to generate mana, for instance, are capable of emptying their hand and using cards like Wheel of Fortune to refill their hand.

Even though the opponent also gets to draw seven fresh cards, if you have extra mana left to spare, you get to be the player with the first crack at new cards. This is quite strong, especially if you are capable of winning on the same turn. All in all, there’s a reason Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister are banned in Legacy. Juggle the Performance, unsurprisingly, is not anywhere close to the power level of these cards, though.

Sure, Juggle the Performance costs three mana, but the real tricky part is that your new hand of seven cards is actually conjured from an opponent’s library, not yours! If you can generate a mana advantage or perhaps cast this with Waste Not in play, it can still be a powerful effect. What makes this even more strange is that you are forced to conjure cards from the opponent that is to your right.

The aspect of Conjuring cards from an opponent’s library into your hand is certainly unique to digital play, but referencing a player’s direction relative to you at the table is not (take Grenzo’s Rebuttal for example). What makes this rather intriguing is that multiplayer formats like Commander, while popular, have not been implemented on MTG Arena. The MTG Arena development team made it sound like the arrival of Commander to Arena was a real possibility in 2025. If anything, this feels like a solid instance of foreshadowing.

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Perforator Crocodile

Perforator Crocodile

Next, we have a card that quite closely resembles Massacre Wurm. Both cards have the same mana cost, same stat line, and a devastating enters-the-battlefield effect against opposing Creature decks. There are still a few key differences, though. First, Massacre Wurm forces the opponent to lose life when their Creatures die. This means that if you can kill a lot of your opponent’s Creatures with the -2/-2 effect, your opponent may lose the game right then and there.

In this sense, Massacre Wurm does likely have a better initial triggered ability than Perforator Crocodile in some spots. However, getting to Conjure copies of Stab Wound instead has a few benefits. Any bigger Creatures that could survive the -2/-2 downgrade not only maintain that stat change over the coming turns but force the opponent to lose life as long as they stay in play.

This alone is strong, but what sets this card over the edge is the fact that it has Cycling. This opens the door for trivial reanimation shenanigans. The Cruelty of Gix allows you to tutor Perforator Crocodile with chapter II, Cycle it during your next upkeep, and recur it with chapter III. As such, this is certainly a powerful card in the right environment.

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Excogitator Sphinx

Excogitator Sphinx

Excogitator Sphinx is a new card that utilizes the Seek ability on MTG Arena. The goal is to play it and immediately get an attack in to try to generate value. Once you start accruing Clue tokens, rather than cracking them for two mana, you can simply pay one mana to Seek an Instant or Sorcery instead of drawing a card.

Even if you aren’t playing a deck filled with evasive Creatures to help trigger Excogitator Sphinx, cards like Novice Inspector and Deduce can get the Clue train rolling. In a Brawl environment, this card works well with Lonis, Cryptozoologist as an additional way to convert Clues into additional resources.

Furthermore, even though Seeking an Instant or Sorcery requires you to tutor one at random from your deck, you can increase the likelihood of hitting highly impactful targets like Time Warp by playing a minimal number. Given that Lonis decks naturally play a lot of Creatures as is, this doesn’t seem too hard to build around.

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Sproutwatch Dryad

Sproutwatch Dryad

Sproutwatch Dryad is an interesting card. As whitetempest521 points out, the opportunity for this card to gain the abilities of other Creatures you control isn’t exactly new. Majestic Myriarch, for example, has a similar effect. The difference is that Sproutwatch Dryad can gain the abilities of cards that are in your hand. This is really cool, since you don’t have to go through the effort of getting a massive bomb with lots of keywords, such as Zetalpa, Primal Dawn, into play before reaping the rewards.

Additionally, based on the wording of Sproutwatch Dryad, you don’t actually have to reveal the cards in your hand with the abilities it gains. This helps keep some information hidden. Given that Sproutwatch Dryad only gains these abilities during combat, you can’t rely on Indestructible Creatures to protect it from removal spells. Still, this card can hit hard and swing a race in your favor if you’re lucky.

There is still plenty more Alchemy: Karlov Manor spoilers to be revealed in the coming days, but this is a solid start in general. These cards are set to release on MTG Arena on March 5, which is coming up on us rather quickly. Getting to see Juggle the Performance get previewed certainly gives a lot of hope about Commander’s potential future on Arena as well, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for any extra details coming up. There certainly is a lot to look forward to in the world of MTG.

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