Miracles Final Hand Answer
Hand 10: (on the draw)
In the responses to the last article, players were unsure if this was a keep or a mulligan. I saw a lot of answers on both sides. In my opinion, it's ultimately a mulligan.
In the last article we talked about how Miracles' weakness is their early game and how strong of a late game they have due to the recent printing of Search For Azcanta. This hand likely loses because of that.
Well, you have two Abrupt Decay. One for Counterbalance and another for Search For Azcanta. Sure, in theory if all the stars align this hand can win. The issue is you'll need to draw another fetchland to find Bayou. If you do this, Scalding Tarn has to get Underground Sea cutting you off of red. Alternatively, you could grab Badlands and be cut off of blue. In either scenario, it's not where you'd like to be.
But hey, we kept this hand.
Now, what if they don't have these enchantments? Miracles is absolutely full of cantrips, they could be taking the line of stocking up on Flusterstorm and Surgical Extraction to pair with Snapcaster Mage.
If this is their line then Burning Wish for Past in Flames isn't looking good. For argument's sake, let's say everything is great and our opponent has nothing. We hit our second land and now can Infernal Tutor for Rite of Flame before Past in Flames, great! We still only have two copies of Rite of Flame, Infernal Tutor, and a Gitaxian Probe. This doesn't really do anything.
Basically, this hand is a durdle hand. It doesn't do anything while any of our opponent's game-plans are effective against us. Generally, you want to try to find which axis they're weak against and fight that or even pick one and go hard in that direction. This hand can't do that.
Resulting in my willingness to send it back.
Hand 1: (on the draw)
In discard based match-ups I value being able to lay down artifact mana highly, then sit on them until you can draw an Infernal Tutor or Burning Wish. The benefit of this hand is that there's two discard spells to discard Hymn to Tourach or Force of Will from the opponent's hand. If our draw step is low impact or not a busines spell (something like Dark Ritual or Rite of Flame), I could see an argument for imprinting it on Chrome Mox.
Hand 2: (on the play)
In general, I try pretty damn hard to not mulligan vs Hymn to Tourach based decks. You're a resource-based combo deck, you need pretty much anything you can get. That said, I would keep this six card hand against most decks. You also don't need to be fast versus 4c Pile, they don't have a quick clock and games often go long.
Hand 3: (on the draw)
This hand just doesn't do anything. You can search up Past in Flames and do nothing? Same could be said for any of the other Burning Wish targets. While I don't like to mulligan versus discard strategies, your hands need to be able to play Magic.
Hand 4: (on the play)
This hand is a bit of a trap, while I like Empty the Warrens in match-ups where our resources are under pressure, it's bad here. There's two ways this game plays out, you play Cabal Therapy on the first turn and name Deathrite Shaman or you make six Goblins and pray your opponent doesn't have the elf. In either case, six tokens isn't likely enough to beat them – it'd take a lot of bad luck from our opponent.
Hand 5: (on the draw)
As I mentioned in the previous hand, I like Empty the Warrens versus 4c Pile. What's nice about this hand is you also have the option of playing a longer game by playing out your Lion's Eye Diamonds and eventually casting Ad Nauseam. Your draw step would likely determine which route to take, but either way, I like this hand.
Website recommendation for sideboarding
Hand 6: (on the play)
A fairly ideal hand, has cantrips to protect from discard spells, disruption of our own and mana. Keep!
Hand 7: (on the draw)
Wait, isn't this just like hand three? Sort of. But also, I don't like to mulligan. What this hand has going for it is a real ability to win the game off of Past in Flames due to the "ritual effects". Use Infernal Tutor to find another and Burning Wish for Past in Flames. Ideally you could draw a cantrip and/or discard spell to make this a smoother win.
Hand 8: (on the play)
This hand is super interesting to me.
Post-board our opponent is likely have three answers for a horde of Goblins. However, these will come down fast AND you don't have to go all in. If you don't go all in, you can make eight Goblins which will be close versus a Deathrite Shaman with company. The bright-side is you have Burning Wish for possible insurance. That said, more Goblins would quicken the clock and provide less opportunities for our opponent to find an answer.
Which brings me to our next point, should you go all in? This is a ballsy person's play. You could cast both Rite of Flame (if our opponent doesn't Surgical Extraction here, they're either a savant or don't have one), Lion's Eye Diamond, Burning Wish, Past in Flames, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, and Empty the Warrens. This is an easy two turn clock. The downside is it loses to Force of Will, where the previous line didn't.
Both lines could be disrupted by Surgical Extraction as well.
For those of you who are a little more timid could just play Ponder and pass.
Hand 9: (on the draw)
I want to keep this hand so badly, especially since this is a match-up where you're supposed to be lazy with keeps. The issue is our hand doesn't do anything and can easily lose the game against a turn one Deathrite Shaman. But even if our opponent doesn't have one, we're not going to be able to cast anything until we're deep into the game. By then we'll have three discard spells left in our deck and the odds of them drawing into answers is pretty high. This hand is very close, I couldn't fault anyone for keeping it.
Hand 10: (on the play)
Share your answer in the comments below!
I'll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!