Upgrading Commander 2019: Mystic Intellect

Bradley RoseCommander

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Okay! Ready to flashback the article in…


So, you have the “Mystic IntellectCommander 2019 deck and are ready to flash back as many spells as you can. But you’re wondering, “What cards can I add that’ll make this deck even better?”

You’re in luck! In this article, I’ll go over some of the cards you can use to upgrade your deck. We’ll look at plenty of cards with mechanics that allow you to cast spells from your graveyard: flashback, aftermath, retrace, and jump-start. Then, we’ll explore enablers and some cards that’ll help protect your strategy. And, of course, we’ll cover ramp and card draw. Lastly, we’ll cover the big spells to cast during your endgame.

But first, let’s look at the deck’s approach to winning. You can cast as many spells as you’d like, but you need a way to close out the game!

Deck Strategy

This deck is going to be casting and copying lots of instants and sorceries. But, believe it or not, you’ll be winning the game with creatures.

There are a lot of high-value cards that care about instants and sorceries. It just so happens that many of them generate tokens – including large flyers! (We’ll get to that in the “Big Finishers” section.)

Like most Commander decks, this one will need to spend its first few turns setting up those big payoffs. You’ll want to lead with ramp spells and cards that lower the casting costs of your instants and sorceries. Complete your setup with Sevinne and other “spells matter” cards, and you’re good to go with letting loose with instants and sorceries!

Let’s get started!

Making Tokens

Instants and sorceries can help your game plan, but how can you turn them into damage? By turning them into creatures, of course! “Mystic Intellect” already includes a copy of Talrand, Sky Summoner, who creates 2/2 blue Drake tokens whenever you cast an instant or sorcery, and there are plenty of other cards that can support this game plan.

First up, we have a classic favorite: Young Pyromancer. This mage has the lowest converted mana cost of cards that create tokens from your spellslinging. But there are plenty of other great options at three and four mana, including Monastery Mentor, Murmuring Mystic, and Kykar, Wind’s Fury.

If you want to make even bigger tokens, Metallurgic Summonings can help! This enchantment can easily generate Constructs as you cast your spells. Plus, once you have enough artifacts, you can return ALL the instants and sorceries in your graveyard to your hand. Yowza!

Spellslinging Synergies and Enablers

What’s better than making lots of tokens? Cloning token-making creatures to make twice as many tokens! Quasiduplicate and Cackling Counterpart both serve this purpose well. On top of that, these spells have jump-start and flashback, respectively, so they synergize with Sevinne, too.

Not only can you copy your sweet permanents – you can also copy your instants and sorceries! In addition to Increasing Vengeance (already in the deck), Mirari, God-Eternal Kefnet, and Swarm Intelligence are great in this role. You can also swap out the Ral Zarek included in the deck for the more synergistic Ral, Storm Conduit. Lastly, Repeated Reverberation copies your instants and sorceries, and it can copy Ral’s ability, too!

Then, there are cards that make it easier for you to cast spells from the graveyard. We already have a few tools in “Mystic Intellect”: Mystic Retrieval got a reprint, and Backdraft Hellkite and Elsha of the Infinite are wonderful new cards for this strategy. Consider adding Past in Flames to give more of your spells flashback, and throw in Torrential Gearhulk for even more value (including a 5/6 body).

Removal and Strategy Protection

Mystic Intellect” includes the all-star targeted removal spell Chaos Warp, and you could certainly add more. Generous Gift is another great “removal-for-anything” inclusion. If you’re looking for more blue spells, you can answer any threat with a couple excellent counterspells: Spell Swindle and Mana Drain. Getting all that mana after countering a spell will help your spellslinging strategy.

For board wipes, Magmaquake, Dusk // Dawn, and Divine Reckoning are all great to keep in the deck, and they don’t hurt Sevinne. If you’re looking for more options, Cyclonic Rift is a classic,  and Volcanic Vision can return an expensive instant or sorcery to deal a ton of damage.

Sevinne prevents damage dealt to himself, but he doesn’t stop targeted removal. Lightning Greaves will help deflect those threats. However, if you do find yourself in a bind, use Teferi’s Protection. You can also get back other key pieces with Sevinne’s Reclamation (already in the deck).

Card Draw and Ramp

Deep Analysis, Faithless Looting, Oona’s Grace, and Ignite the Future are all powerful, synergistic card-draw spells. But there are plenty of other good options, too! You can increase your card flow with Jeskai Ascendancy and Trail of Evidence, and Echo of Eons can get you back in the game if you end up empty-handed.

For ramp, the traditional inclusions of Azorius Signet, Boros Signet, and Izzet Signet are a good start. For the same reason, Talisman of Progress, Talisman of Creativity, and Talisman of Conviction slot into the deck well. Chromatic Lantern can also help ensure you won’t have any color fixing issues.

Mystic Intellect” already includes Jace’s Sanctum, which reduces the cost of your instants and sorceries. Goblin Electromancer, Baral, Chief of Compliance, Primal Amulet, and Mizzix of the Izmagnus can also pitch in and make your spells even cheaper to cast.

Big Finishers

Our upgraded “Mystic Intellect” deck has synergies, removal, protection, card draw, and ramp. Now, it’s time to bring it home. How do we actually win the game?

The deck already has one “big” token-making spell: Increasing Devotion. I think we can find room for another: Call the Skybreaker. If you cast Call the Skybreaker with retrace, Sevinne makes sure you create two 5/5 flying tokens at a time. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Of course, your big finisher doesn’t have to be a creature, or a spell that creates them. Instead, you can use spells that let you cast a ton of spells at once. The first two that come to mind are Aminatou’s Augury and Epic Experiment. The more you reduce the costs of your instants and sorceries – and the more mana you generate with Spell Swindle, Mana Drain, or Smothering Tithe – the bigger your Epic Experiment will be!

Over in an Instant

That’s all for this deck upgrade! Here’s a link to a full decklist on TappedOut.

Let me know on Twitter if there are any cards I didn’t mention that’d be sweet to add! You can also catch me at the Commander Party at MagicFest Vegas this weekend.

And now you’ve reached the end of the article. Hah! Thanks for reading!