28, Mar, 24

MTG Thunder Junction Three-Drop Deletes Counterspells!

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Article at a Glance

It’s no surprise that power creep has played a real role in shaping Constructed formats in recent years. So many cards generate a great deal of value when they enter the battlefield at an efficient rate. It’s truly astonishing the sheer number of three-drops even in Standard that can completely take over the game if not answered immediately. Cards like Raffine, Scheming Seer put a ton of pressure on the opponent to have removal.

Some three-drops, like Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Wedding Announcement, are very tough to interact with profitably once they resolve. Fable was so strong that it ultimately got banned in Standard. In this day and age, Creatures generally need to be incredibly efficient or have solid enters-the-battlefield effects to see consistent play, especially in non-rotating formats.

With that in mind, there are some Outlaws of Thunder Junction spoilers that definitely meet the mark. We already covered one card that fits the “incredibly efficient” mold. Today, we are going to focus on a three-drop with a very relevant triggered ability. While it is certainly narrower than cards like Fable, it should have immediate implications for Standard, and may even see some play elsewhere.

An Aggressive Slant

Aven Interrupter

The card in question that rightfully is receiving a lot of hype is Aven Interrupter. For three mana, you get a nice piece of disruption stapled to a 2/2 Flier. This card is a bit reminiscent of both Elite Spellbinder and Spell Queller. It specifically interacts with spells on the stack, but in this case, the opponent that cast the spell has to exile it and cast it on a future turn.

The downside, of course, is that because the spell is Plotted, the opponent can cast it on a future turn without paying its mana cost. If Aven Interrupter is still in play, they will need to pay two mana to cast it, not zero, though this isn’t a huge price to pay.

So, what makes Aven Interrupter so strong? Well, there are a number of ways to abuse it. First, let’s cover the simplest route: being aggressive.

In Standard, board wipes and flashy bombs play a huge role for many decks. For instance, Domain ramp decks rely on setting up their mana in the early turns, then using cards like Sunfall to catch back up. From there, bombs such as Atraxa, Grand Unifier can end the game in short order.

For hyperaggressive strategies like Boros Convoke, your best course of action is to come out of the gates early and race. Outside of Urabrask’s Forge, you have little recourse against a resolved Sunfall. Aven Interrupter changes this whole dynamic. Obviously, the opponent can recast Sunfall the next turn, but this is irrelevant if they don’t get another turn.

It’s very reasonable to build out a big board of Creatures, hold up three mana once they have Sunfall mana at the ready, and use Aven Interrupter as a tempo play. You can even find Interrupter off of Knight-Errant of Eos if you use three or more Creatures to Convoke it. Not to mention, unlike traditional forms of counter magic, Interrupter gets around Cavern of Souls. As such, even an uncounterable Archangel of Wrath might not save your opponent.

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Unique Interactions

Getting to use Aven Interrupter as a pseudo-Time Walk in specific matchups is likely good enough to make sure the card sees play in Standard Convoke decks. However, there are a decent number of powerful interactions that should help raise its stock.

First, when a spell becomes Plotted, it can only be cast at Sorcery speed. As such, if you nab a piece of counter magic with this, the card will likely remain exiled for the rest of the game.

Additionally, there are a number of potent cards that you can target that do little to nothing when actually cast with no mana input. For instance, spells with X in their mana cost, such as Worldsoul’s Rage, are excellent cards to disrupt. Similarly, if you exile Memory Deluge, when the opponent goes to cast it without paying its mana cost on a future turn, they won’t get to look at any cards – as long as the bird has already died, that is.

Lastly, if your opponent makes a copy of a spell (with Reenact the Crime for example), you can exile it and the opponent won’t be able to recast it. All of these interactions are important to keep in mind, and we’ve only scratched the surface so far.

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Maximizing the Final Clause

Quintorius Kand

Beyond Aven Interrupter’s ability to delay a spell on the stack, its final ability is nothing to scoff at. Obviously, it makes Plotted cards cost two more to cast. For some strategies, though, casting cards from graveyards or from exile is essential. Take Quintorius combo in Pioneer, for example. As long as Aven Interrupter remains in play, every card your opponent Discovers into costs two more to cast, making it pretty much impossible to execute a combo with Spark Double and the like.

In a similar vein, Aven Interrupter is very strong against Bring to Light. Against Lotus Field combo, it can mess with Lier, Disciple of the Drowned. There are a decent number of decks where the final clause on Aven Interrupter can be surprisingly powerful.

You can also use Aven Interrupter in conjunction with cards like Invasion of Gobakhan or Elite Spellbinder to make it even harder for the opponent to cast exiled spells in a reasonable time frame. As you can tell, Aven Interrupter has a lot more utility that it may seem at first glance, and we’re excited to see all that it can do when Outlaws of Thunder Junction releases.

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