With either mulligan rule (Vancouver or London), I'd mulligan this. It just doesn't do anything despite having one of your best cards for the match-up in Hope of Ghirapur. Hope of Ghirapur essentially negates Spell Pierce, Flusterstorm, and Force of Negation but that's not the problem with this hand. Without a blue source we're just too far away, our opponent would find an answer to our metal bug friend way before we were ever ready to combo.
Intro to London Mulligan
I know, I know... This is a "Match-up" Mulligan and the London Mulligan isn't a match-up. I get that, but I think it's important to start with the fundamentals.
Against all of our opponents we're going to assume that we don't know what they're playing.
Hand 1: (on the draw)
If we draw a black mana source off the top, this hand is golden, you even have a discard spell to protect your combo. You have twenty black cards out of fifty-three cards, which is roughly 37% for a few turns assuming your opponent isn't doing anything meaningful. I can see why anyone would want to keep this, in fact, with the Vancouver Mulligan I would. But the London Mulligan is much more forgiving and I'd prefer my chances more on six cards, I typically try to imagine that my opponents are going to have some sort of interaction with me.
This hand is just really clunky, especially against an unknown opponent. If you told me you wanted to keep this against a control deck, I'd still want to mulligan but could see why you'd want to keep. This just isn't playable in my eyes.
Hand 4: (on the play — mulliganed once)
This is a trap hand, it looks like you have mana and spells, but you're actually fairly far away from casting Ad Nauseam. Ideally, you'd be putting Infernal Tutor on the bottom and now your other cards need to imprint onto Chrome Mox so that you can eventually Rite of Flame and Ad Nauseam. I honestly think most five-card hands are better than this.
Hand 5: (on the draw — mulliganed twice)
I think with this hand, you kind of just have to hope you're facing a non-blue deck and put Defense Grid and the second Burning Wish on the bottom. Any mana source means you'll be able to cast Echo of Eons with UBR floating. If you don't draw one, you just get to undo your mulligans and start the game with five Storm.
You could pray that your cantrips off of Chrome Mox fix this hand, but is that even good enough? What if your opponent isn't on a blue deck? It just seems a little slow and would require quite a bit of luck to win with a hand based around resolving multiple cantrips.
Hand 8: (on the play — mulliganed twice)
You're welcome to disagree with me here, but I would send it back and go to four cards. I'd rather take the chance at maybe being able to Empty the Warrens or even Echo of Eons rather than keep a hand that just does nothing.
Hand 9: (on the draw)
I imagine most people would correctly assume that this is a keep. One of the more interesting things to me is this is a hand that can get naturally Hellbent for Infernal Tutor which would search up Ad Nauseam and not be far off from casting 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!
Bryant Cook has one Grand Prix Top 8 as well as nine Star City Games Top 8s (two wins). You can often find him traveling the northeast in search for the next big event, he recently won a Legacy Challenge and is the Legacy Premier League Season 3 Champion!
Bryant is also a host of The Eternal Glory Podcast, as well as a Web Designer, Mets Fan, and general nerd.
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