As an additional cost to cast Wild Guess, discard a card.
Draw two cards.
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Wild Guess occurrence in decks from the last year
Latest Decks as Commander
Wild Guess Discussion
5 months ago
Thrill of Possibility, Light Up the Stage, Destructive Digger. In recent years the color red has become more and more engrossed with the concept of drawing cards perhaps more than any other color outside of blue. To some it may feel like a break in the color pie while others see it as boon for formats like commander. It's apparent that a balance needs to be struck so that red card draw remains an inferior counterpart to card draw of blue, but even so I do feel there are ways in which pre-existing card advantage could be improved upon to be more flexible.
((TL;DR - In this thread I'll present various red cards that offer card advantage, briefly describe the pros and cons and then offer a future-shifted variant of the card if that particular card draw mechanic were to ever be improved upon.))
While there are many, many various other forms of this manner of red card draw it can be safe to say this is probably red's favorite form of card advantage. Effectively these cards typically read as, "this card and another card in your hand have cycling." as cards such these don't aim to increase the number of cards in your hand, but to simply take a chance at improving the cards in your hand. There are other benefits too such as purposely wanting to put certain cards in your graveyard to accrue additional value. However, because these cards never increase the number of cards in hand, running out of cards in hand is a real problem that can nullify this type of card advantage until your next draw step. It's also important to note that you can even risk throwing away a so-so card for worse cards in return. Cards like these also make themselves easy targets to get 2-for-1'd by counter spells.
Flexibility. While it may not be the most astounding of changes it does lend the player more choices when playing the game. If your hand is weak you can draw two cards and if your hand is strong you can draw one card instead. This card even makes itself useful if it’s the only card in hand. If I were to further improve upon this card I might add, "This spell can't be countered by spells and abilities" but that might be too much text for a common card. I could have also just given this card cycling instead, but that might make the card harder to put in non-cycling sets. It too, would also expand the amount of text on the card if you consider reminder text.
When it comes to discard-draw on creatures there's a myriad of different ways it can be triggered or activated, but the common factor amongst them all is the exchange rate of one card discarded per one card drawn. Despite this the pros and cons to these creatures work much like their instant and sorcery counterparts. Their abilities won't work if you have no cards in hand nor do they actually ever increase the number of cards in hand. They simply provide any given card in your hand cycling. One additional issue however is these creatures can sometimes take a full turn cycle before they can use their effects unless if you give them haste.
First of all, Card B is meant to be an improvement of Rummaging Goblin though the same concept wouldn't be too hard to apply to cards such as Academy Raider or Reckless Racer. At first, I thought slapping haste onto these creatures would suffice enough, however; giving them an ETB rummage seemed more creative as you achieve the same end except if you have some extraneous source that provides haste you'd be able to double the effect just for the turn it comes in. As for the ability, I've maintained the same one card discarded per one card drawn ratio just in a more roundabout way. Essentially by activating the creature ability not only do you get a rummage, but you practically get your next draw step a turn earlier. Card parity is maintained as the second card discarded will be the one you will never draw on your next turn. As impatient as red is this seemed on point to me. I also believe this ability works better on permanents than instants and sorceries as its easier to remember to skip your draw step when you go to untap the permanent that caused it the following turn.
Discard-Draw isn't the only avenue red gets its card advantage. Exiling cards off the top of the library is practically no different than drawing the cards, except your opponents can see what's drawn and the cards have an expiration date, so it’s better to cast them fast. While this method may be even closer in theme to pure card draw its faults can make it more of an unpopular choice than the discard-draw route. The issue itself boils down to mana and speed. Red's most explosive in the early game, but in the early game mana is limited. If you have to cast a three mana card that exiles multiple cards that you can only cast for that turn the overall CMC of that spell is going to cost you in the 5 to 7 mana range and that's if your deck is built low to the ground which makes the effect horribly impractical in red's color theme. In order to fix the issue lots of liberties need to be made in order to make the effect practical on red's level such as making the exiled cards last until the end of your next turn and making the exile spell cost one mana like with Light Up the Stage. This sets up obnoxiously tight standards to meet when designing practical cards that utilize this effect. Not only that but you don't get to choose which cards are exiled whereas discard-draw gives you some choice as to what gets put in the graveyard. Furthermore, some cards create value when put into the graveyard, unlike the exile zone.
Choices. Instead of exiling two cards off the top of the library, two cards are drawn followed by exiling any two cards from the hand. Because the player can choose which cards get exiled, cards can only be cast from exile instead of being played. The difference is spells are treated as usual, but lands can no longer be played from exile. Lands are the easiest cards to play, thus not being able to play them from exile puts more weight on what cards you choose to put into exile. The card advantage effect was inspired by Faithless Looting. (That is if Faithless Looting was fixed and didn't allow you to dump busted cards into the graveyard.) As for the duration of how long cards can be cast from exile I also wanted to leave that up to choice. Red likes to attack a lot so an attack restriction impacts red more than any other color as you may have to choose between tempo or card advantage. While additionally putting a blocking restriction may seem weird it's important to note that if you choose not attack with your creatures they'll remain untapped which may make your opponent uncomfortable with attacking. Because your opponent can see what's in exile they too can try to force a choice out of you to their advantage. As I see it the cards in exile are pretty much treated as though they have Mardu Blazebringer's ability which is what has inspired this duration effect.
Special shoutout to Bedlam Reveler. Similar to discarding a card to draw a card, this form of card draw instead works by discarding your entire hand just to draw two or three cards, because red is sometimes extreme like that. The main benefit to running these effects is if you’re able to use up all your cards naturally you won’t have a hand when one of these effects hit the table. Under this scenario you’d be drawing two or three cards with no strings attached which would be pretty good. The issue is playing without a hand means you can’t carry removal spells and it can make your plays all the more predictable for your opponent to counteract. It may also be difficult to use up all the cards in your hand in a speedy manner meaning it won’t be until much later in the game that you can fully utilize your draw effect. Given all the previous draw effects can be used much earlier in the game with little consequence this particular form of card draw seems to be not worth the inclusion unless it comes stapled onto a huge creature you can cheat out for two mana. With that said I’d like to create an improved form of Dangerous Wager. Back when this card was printed its only competitor was Wild Guess. (and Faithless Looting.) These two cards were roughly on equal power level to one another with their strengths balancing out, but now that Thrill of Possibility has been printed recently Dangerous Wager hardly has any benefits over it. This begs the question, how could Dangerous Wager be designed today to compete with Thrill of Possibility or Cathartic Reunion?
Dangerous Wager was the type of card you probably wouldn't cast turn 2 or turn 3 as you would risk major card disadvantage for very little pay off. In essence you'd want to play the card much later in the game where the pay off was either equal or advantageous. Just like Dangerous Wager, this card was constructed under the same mindset to be cast more preferably towards the later half of the game. The upside is if you have one or two cards in hand when this spell is cast you're guaranteed of keeping the cards. This provides the benefit of gaining better card advantage over Thrill of Possibility yet bearing the downside of not being able to cast it as early in the game.
"Random" is a fickle word. It's all fun and games when the word random is forced on your opponents, but the word quickly loses it novelty when its applied to the caster. It's hard to picture many scenarios where any of these cards provide outstanding value. If you cast them with no cards in hand you're practically casting a cantrip that also self-mills you. Maybe with a full hand you could call it a free mulligan, but the only times I'd want to mulligan is if my hand has all lands or all spells. In either scenario you're probably not casting this card anyway. Perhaps if random was less random it could serve as a better free mulligan card?
Yes, its a bit of a word wall. The effect is simple so perhaps someone can come up with a cleaner way to shorten up the text? Essentially this is a draw three cards, then discard two cards at random. Except in this case you exile three cards at random, but you get to keep the one you like the most. Basically if there's one card you absolutely don't want to lose to the random effect, then you're guaranteed to keep it through this process. This makes the random process less random yet still beyond the caster's full control. I also chose to make the excluded cards go to the bottom of the library instead of the graveyard. The reason for this is to prevent the card from being too similar to Faithless Looting which is banned in Modern and to make it more similar to scrying or the card Fire Prophecy. Another interesting thing to note about this custom card is if you have no cards in hand this card becomes Anticipate but in red. Please keep in mind though that having no cards in hand is a pretty strong drawback as this card for the most part will be much less reliable than it if you have cards in hand.
Special shoutout to Countryside Crusher. Red really likes land destruction, so why not draw cards off of destroying your own lands? This effect is probably the most inconsistent out of all the red draw effects. While the concept is solid, getting it to work in practice largely seems to be a work in progress. I suppose the blue standard for this type of effect is best represented by Trade Routes and Compulsive Research interestingly enough.
Since Tectonic Reformation is a red version of Trade Routes I thought I would make a red version of Compulsive Research as the card doesn't seem like too much of a stretch for red to imitate. While Card F may seem very simple for a rare, I think drawing three cards at instant speed would be pretty strong. Unlike Compulsive Research your discard payment option is limited to discarding the land card only, and you have to discard the land card first before you can even draw any cards. (With Compulsive Research you'd likely draw into the land card you'd discard anyway.) Making this card cost two more mana to draw one more additional card from Magmatic Insight also seems to align well too I think.
Anyway, that's about all I had planned. I did want to make a card to represent the Wheel of Fortune cycle consisting of Wheel of Fortune, Wheel of Fate and Magus of the Wheel but that effect is so incredibly strong that I can't really think of a reasonable way to nerf it while still having it be practical in a two player game. If I do think of something I'll probably add a Card G to this thread. Regardless, do you think any cards are too strong or too weak? What card would you really want to see be included into the game?
5 months ago
nothingstar: Great suggestions! I knew I was missing one of the red looting spells, and it was Wild Guess; Thank you! Been considering taking Chasm Skulker from my Animar deck, and I have a Reforge the Soul I was thinking about taking from my Kalemne deck.
5 months ago
I do like the cycling sub-theme as a way to get more draws, I might have to consider it for my own wheely deck.
7 months ago
Wild Guess seems pretty bad. Tormenting Voice effects usuaually aren't that good, with the exception of CR. Simian Spirit Guide can help you get some extra mana, but probably isn't worth it- however it still can be considered. I would think your mountain count is too low so I reccomend cutting 2 Wild Guess for more mana.
8 months ago
Humble Defector - Khorvath's Fury - Vance's Blasting Cannons Flip - Tormenting Voice - Faithless Looting - Cathartic Reunion - Thrill of Possibility - Outpost Siege - Wild Guess - Shreds of Sanity - Staff of Nin - Farsight Mask - Tamiyo's Journal - Seer's Sundial - Ghirapur Orrery - Loreseeker's Stone - Magnifying Glass
Not owned but worth considering:
I really like Chandra, Flamecaller. Seems like planeswalkers would be hard to defend though?
8 months ago
I have been brewing Alesha in the competitive scene for over a year and playing in tournaments weekly. Here are my thoughts.
- Don't run lands that enter tapped in competitive. Don't run mana rocks that enter tapped in competitive.
- The Ravnica bounce lands are tempting, but they enter tapped. They also really hurt when your opponent plays Blood Moon or Back to Basics, both of which are competitive staples. They are also 2-for-1 on yourself when an opponent uses a Strip Mine or Wasteland.
- When you run this many combos to win, you risk drawing lower quality pieces during the game. For example, if you start with the A part of one combo, and the B part of another, then draw the A part of a third combo, you now have 3 cards that are dead in your hand. All of your combos except Kiki jiki + Bellringer require 3 pieces to function as well, and all 3 pieces are required on the board or in the yard to hit the combo. Requiring 3 pieces means its easier for an opponent to remove one or counter one while you are trying to get the combo assembled. You should consider cutting down on the number of combos you run to help you hit the better combos you already have, more reliably. My first cut for the combos would be the Anafenza combo, since it is not always 100% guaranteed to fire correctly.
- I highly recommend running all Thrill of Possibility Wild Guess Cathartic Reunion Tormenting Voice, they generate big card advantage by throwing away creatures you can recur easily with Alesha.
- I recommend re-evaluating your hate bears on the list for the current meta. Tomok does not stop the Gitrog/Dakmor combo, and is only hating out a small number of cards. Kataki is not actually stopping combos, just making them take longer to get to. Kambal stops storm decks, but most will be able to remove him, and storm decks are not in the meta right now. The scariest combo is Demonic Consultation + Thassa's Oracle. I recommend Rule of Law Ethersworn Canonist and Eidolon of Rhetoric, which accomplish slowing on most decks while also blocking the current fastest combo. You also have some other holes in your hatebear/stax plan. You don't have any way to remove graveyards, and you don't run very many "hard stop" effects, you run mostly tax and delay effects.
- I would add more interaction. Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast are both relatively cheap in dollars and extremely effective. You will see blue in almost every competitive pod. On top of protecting your own cards from counterspells, they also get rid of scary cards like Rhystic Study and can stop Thassa's Oracle while its on the stack. I'd also recommend more removal in general. Check out Aura of Silence, it has a nice tax effect, removes two different permanent types, and recurs with Sun Titan.
- My last recommend is to acquire Imperial Recruiter. It layers your deck by being a one card out to finding a combo. Imperial Recruiter fetches Kiki jiki, kiki copies Recruiter to fetch Bellringer, Bellringer untaps Kiki to start the combo. It means if you only have 1 tutor in hand and 0 combo pieces, you can still find your entire combo by tutoring for Imperial Recruiter. Recruiter also fetches relevant hatebears in a pinch if you can't combo out yet. It also recurs off Alesha if you have sac outlets or any way to kill it.