Remember when Tibalt used to be the most joked about planeswalker becaue of how terrible his first Magic: The Gathering card was? Well, he’s back now in Kaldheim, and the two cards featuring the half-devil/half-human planeswalker are bringing chaos to various MTG formats.
While I already talked about how the mythic rare MDFC card Valki, God of Lies // Tibalt, the Cosmic Impostor is problematic in an EpicStream.com article, so here’s let’s point out how the rare Instant spell Tibalt’s Trickery is just as devious.
Tibalt’s Trickery may just look like a red counter spell for janky Constructed decks, but the Magic players were quick to notice how it can be exploited by countering your own 0-to-cast spell so you can “cheat out” bigger spells by turn two, or in some formats, as early as turn one!
In a YouTube video, popular Magic: The Gathering Arena streamer Merchant recently showed off how the combo with Tibalt’s Trickery works in Standard. After deciding to mulligan to just four cards (Tibalt’s Trickery, Stonecoil Serpent, and two Mountains), he unleashes the combo by turn two. “Now, behold as I shall make my opponent’s hopes and dreams disappear,” he said.
On turn two, Mechant casts a Stonecoil Serpent and counters it with his own Tibalt’s Trickery before it resolves, causing his library to bring out Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, an eight-to-cast Planeswalker card, and with a powerful bomb out by turn-two, there’s little his opponent can do to stop him from winning.
If you still don’t get how that combo works, here’s an explanation from MTG Arena Twitch streamer Amazonian: “You play a low or no-cost spell, such as Stonecoil Serpent or Tormod’s Crypt, then counter it with your own Tibalt’s Trickery. Tibalt’s Trickery mills a random number of cards [between one and three] from the top of your deck, then lets you cast the first non-land that is different from the spell you’re countering from the top FOR FREE!”
Of course, there are ways to disrupt this combo in Standard and other formats, but the opponent doesn’t always have an answer in the first two turns. You will need to have open mana to counter Tibalt’s Trickery or discard Tibalt’s Trickery from the hand before they can unleash the combo.
“The funny thing about Tibalt’s Trickery is that if you counter it, or if you’re a Black [mana] player, and you cast Duress and make them discard it, the game is immediately over. Like, it’s done instantly,” Sean ‘Day9’ Plott said during a stream after showing off the combo.
Plott played 40 games with the Tibalt’s Trickery combo deck, crunching the math to show the combo can be drawn and executed with a 60% success rate, which is strong enough to convince him that the combo may shake up certain formats, and even prompt action from Wizards of the Coast.
“The only question I was really trying to look at is, can I make this consistent? If suddenly your really powerful thing can become consistent, that’s where some of the surprising deck archetypes can come from,” Plott said.
The trick is so powerful that it ruins the fun from the game since the combo is hard to interact with, especially in best-of-one, and if you’re piloting the combo deck, you can just ignore your opponent’s strategy while you unleash your two-card combo to take over the game. This combo archetype may not have dominated any of the recent Standard tournaments, but players believe that it will continue to haunt best-of-one Standard and Historic formats on MTG Arena.
Read More: 5 Best Kaldheim Cards For Commander
Do you think Tibalt’s Trickery should be banned in best-of-one Standard or in any other formats? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.