It seems as though every new set nowadays is jammed full of “project cards.” These cards do weird, but powerful things, tempting players to try and build new decks to harness them. In Core Set 2020, one such card still waiting for time in the spotlight is Brought Back.
Just look at this thing! The power level and mana cost of Brought Back are on par with Modern, or even Legacy staples! With powerful card interactions possible in every format, let’s explore the top synergies you can take advantage of with Brought Back.
1. STANDARD – Lotus Field
The first big opportunity to leverage Brought Back lies in another of Core Set 2020’s hidden gems. Lotus Field offers incredible color fixing and potential mana acceleration, but at the fair cost of two other lands.
But if those two lands are tapped for white first, they can be immediately Brought Back. In the best-case scenario, this gives access to six mana from lands on turn four!
2. STANDARD – Cavaliers
While few single cards match the explosiveness of the Lotus Field interaction, Brought Back can enable a W/B Midrange deck in Standard. By overloading on many strong enters- and leaves-the-battlefield effects, Brought Back becomes the engine that fuels big turns.
Cavalier of Night and Cavalier of Dawn are key cards here; both generate value entering and leaving. Even better, both can use their ETB effects to put another permanent in the graveyard to be Brought Back. Cavalier of Dawn wants enchantments to recur. The Eldest Reborn and History of Benalia can also be reset with Brought Back!
Brought Back can also provide insurance against board wipes – including your own! Slaughter the Strong allows you to keep a Cavalier in play, and the low cost means you only need five mana for the Brought Back wombo combo.
3. MODERN – Fetchlands
Fetchlands were #1 on most people’s lists when Brought Back was spoiled.
This is similar to the Lotus Field interaction, but more powerful, more consistent, and easier to include in any deck. You can play a fetchland on turn one, leave it intact, and play another on turn two. Then, activate both fetchlands to get white lands into play untapped and cast Brought Back to return the fetches to play. Next turn, you can use them both again and make another land drop to bring you up to a whopping five mana on turn three!
4. MODERN – Sun Titan
Almost every Modern deck plays fetchlands, so the above interaction is relevant to any list which can cast Brought Back. But, possibly the best fit for the combo is a green-white shell, with Sun Titan as the card to ramp into.
Sun Titan rewards you for playing cards which gain value from entering play or sacrificing themselves – all of which will combo with Brought Back as well. With Brought Back, Sun Titan, and Renegade Rallier as recursion sources, you can get extra value out of lands like Emeria, the Sky Ruin or Ghost Quarter.
5. MODERN – Ugin’s Conjurant & Celestial Kirin
Using Brought Back to break the symmetry of Wrath of God is good. But casting a one-sided Armageddon is even better! The land-sweeping sorcery itself may not be Modern-legal, but you can now do a solid imitation of it thanks to Ugin’s Conjurant and Celestial Kirin.
Casting Conjurant for X=0 will cause the Kirin to destroy all lands (and tokens)! If you can wait a turn after getting Kirin in play, you’ll have all your mana spare to cast a Brought Back, maybe even two!
6. MODERN – Lotus Bloom
Lotus Bloom is another obvious Brought Back target, whether suspended or cheated into play. If you also have Eternal Witness and a way to sacrifice it, you can make infinite white mana by looping Brought Back. Sacrifice Witness, crack Bloom for WWW, cast Brought Back targeting both, and use Witness to return the white instant to hand.
The Bolas’s Citadel deck already sacrifices a lot of Lotus Blooms. I could see a new build emerging around Brought Back. But these three cards are all good enough to fit into existing decks, which can then use the combo as a killer Plan B.
7. LEGACY – Veteran Explorer
This archetype is always lurking at the fringes of the Legacy metagame, and Brought Back might offer it another lease on life. Nic Fit abuses a specific set of creatures with death triggers, sacrificing them to Cabal Therapy or Evolutionary Leap.
There are plenty of targets for Brought Back here – powerful, cheap-to-trigger death effects. Nic Fit decks aren’t always white, but Veteran Explorer means a couple of Plains in the deck are good enough. And if you aren’t excited about going even bigger…well, Nic Fit may not be the Legacy deck for you.
8. LEGACY – Cataclysm & Wasteland
And now, to the opposite end of the “how many lands would I like my opponents to have?” scale! Wasteland is a pillar of Legacy, and Death & Taxes is maybe the most famous Wasteland deck.
Against control, Death & Taxes often adds to its mana denial suite with sideboard Cataclysm – another combo with Brought Back! I would look to tweak the list to include more sacrifice value, but the key interactions are strong.
9. COMMANDER – Manifest/Morph Creatures
It took some Magic Online testing to confirm, but a permanent which dies while morphed or manifested can be Brought Back face up! Manifest, in particular, can lead to a very fast Emrakul or Omniscience when you can rig the top of your library.
You can build around this in Modern or Legacy, but I see the open-ended combo being fun in Commander. Face-down cards aren’t obvious threats, and there are many other morph-friendly interactions to fill the 99. I’d start by adding flicker effects and colorless cost discounts.
10. COMMANDER – Teysa, Orzhov Scion
One of the coolest legends of all time (no Orzhov bias here, I swear!), the original incarnation of Teysa is also a top-tier commander. Her whole identity is built around sacrifice value, making this list an incredible home for Brought Back.
Thanks to cantrips like Silent Clearing, Mind Stone and Commander’s Sphere, the floor here for Brought Back is “draw several cards.” And, of course, it is excellent insurance for the high number of sweepers and random removal flying around a multiplayer table. Imagine putting it on Isochron Scepter…
It is a rare card which can create both game-ending power and easy, incidental value. Brought Back is capable of these feats from Standard to Vintage, as part of almost limitless combinations. This list is only just scratching the surface.
I can’t wait to see what happens when – not if! – Brought Back becomes a breakout star.
Tom’s fate was sealed in 7th grade when his friend lent him a pile of commons to play Magic. He quickly picked up Boros and Orzhov decks in Ravnica block and has remained a staunch white magician ever since. A fan of all Constructed formats, he enjoys studying the history of the tournament meta. He specializes in midrange decks, especially Death & Taxes and Martyr Proc. One day, he swears he will win an MCQ with Evershrike. Ask him how at @AWanderingBard, or watch him stream Magic at twitch.tv/TheWanderingBard.