Tomik in Standard and Legacy

Card Kingdom Legacy, Standard

Tomik, Distinguished Advokist generated quite a buzz when he was previewed last Friday. A 2/3 flying creature for two mana will always get Magic players’ attention, but Tomik’s ability to protect lands makes him valuable beyond Standard.

Magic Designer Melissa DeTora provided some useful context about Tomik’s card design and some hints about how he might affect competitive formats. Today, we’re going to dive deeper and see how Tomik matches up against key cards in Standard and Legacy.

Tomik in Standard

Our new Standard environment will likely be overrun with planeswalkers, and a cheap flyer is a great way for aggro decks to answer them. But Tomik may also be a worthwhile upgrade for Mono-White as it faces off against its two biggest rivals in Best-of-1 Standard: Mono-Red and Esper Control.

As DeTora’s article points out, Tomik’s three toughness makes him “Shock-proof” against decks like Mono-Red. Tomik also passes the Chainwhirler test – unless, of course, he jumps in front of an attacking Ghitu Lavarunner or Viashino Pyromancer first. Add Benalish Marshal, Venerated Loxodon, or a main phase Unbreakable Formation, and Tomik can even survive one of Mono-Red’s twelve three-damage burn spells.

However, Tomik seems even more useful for Mono-White in the Esper match-up, which can often be difficult. Mono-White’s biggest fear is overextending into a Cry of the Carnarium, which can eat up its low-toughness creatures. Even Tithe Taker, Adanto Vanguard, and Hunted Witness – creatures that withstand other board wipes – are no match for Cry, but Tomik is determined to stick around. What’s more, he lives through a Moment of Craving, can’t be targeted by a Cast Down, and hits the board before an Esper opponent can cast Absorb. We expect to see a lot of Tomik in Mono-White, especially if Esper remains popular.

We haven’t talked much about Tomik’s other abilities, but they’re worth keeping in mind for Standard play. He protects an Adanto, the First Fort from a Field of Ruin, and he may help prevent Crucible of Worlds decks from cropping up in the future. However, if you want to use every part of this card, you may need to look toward non-rotating formats.

Tomik in Legacy

Before we move on to Legacy, here’s a quick word for our Modern players. The Modern format has its share of land destruction spells and Life from the Loam decks (how’s it going, Dredge?); plus, he happens to have the ever-important “Human” creature type. While there’s a non-zero chance that Tomik sees Modern play at some point, we want to focus on Legacy, where he has the most obvious and immediate applications.

Tomik was originally designed to answer Deathrite Shaman decks, and while the “one-mana planeswalker” is no longer around, he can still cause plenty of trouble. He prevents Wasteland effects, stops Life from the Loam, and shuts off the Dark Depths/Thespian’s Stage combo that many Lands decks rely on. Most importantly, Tomik slots into an existing archetype – Death and Taxes – where he can hit the battlefield at a moment’s notice, thanks to Aether Vial.

It’s unclear how much of an effect Tomik might have on the format, however, since he’s relatively easy to answer. Delver decks that need to use their Wastelands can get Tomik out of the way with a Lightning Bolt. Golgari Depths decks typically have access to hand disruption spells, such as Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek, as well as removal spells like Abrupt Decay. But for red/green Lands players whose only removal spell is Punishing Fire, the “Shock-proof” Tomik poses quite a problem. Lands players will have to adapt, and many are already exploring options like Firespout and Engineered Explosives to deal with Tomik.

If you’re looking to try Tomik in Standard, Legacy, or your favorite format, he’s available for preorder now at CardKingdom.com!