Demonic Tutor is one of the most iconic and powerful cards in all of Magic, a staple in every format where it’s legal. With the release of Modern Horizons 2, this powerhouse tutor gets a new spiritual successor: Profane Tutor.
Profane Tutor is effectively a Demonic Tutor with suspend, and it’s being criminally underrated in Modern. This is partly because Profane Tutor got overshadowed by Grief the day it was previewed, but also because players consider the cost of suspending a card to be a downside. It’s obviously a drawback in some scenarios, but in others, being able to suspend a tutor can actually be an advantage. Today, I want to talk about why I think this card will change Modern combo decks and how to use suspend to your advantage.
Why It’s Good
To start, let’s look back at the play patterns of tutors of Magic‘s history. Tutors are incredibly valuable in combo decks (they help you combo off more consistently), but they’ll always cost you a card and the mana you have to spend to cast it. Even if you have a two-card combo that costs relatively little mana, you may not be able to tutor for a combo piece and cast your combo spells in the same turn. This opens the door for your opponent to interact, or potentially even win the game themselves on their next turn.
Profane Tutor is unique in that it allows you to set up your combo two turns in advance, essentially saving you two mana the turn you start going off. This kind of effect is huge in decks that want to win in a single turn. While there is some lag time between when you suspend Profane Tutor and when you get its effect, the ability to save on mana often makes the wait worth it.
Profane Tutor also offers some added insurance against discard spells like Inquisition of Kozilek. You can always set up the tutor and hope to draw one of the two pieces over the next couple turns, then tutor for the piece you’re missing to go off.
In combo decks, tutors also have the added benefit of finding answers or clearing the way. Let’s say you suspended your Profane Tutor on turn two with only half the combo in your hand. On your next turn, you draw the other half. At this point, you might be wondering, what do you tutor for? Assuming your opponent doesn’t break up your hand with discard spells, you can go search up a card like Thoughtseize or Pact of Negation to help guarantee your combo goes off. When you’re curving out with Profane Tutor, you’re always getting a great deal.
Decks That Want Profane Tutor
One deck that seems to benefit greatly from a card like Profane Tutor is Inverter. This deck has been putting up some results in Modern recently with the same winning recipe we saw in Pioneer last year. Now that it’s been ported over to Modern, the deck has access to even more cheap, interactive spells like Inquisition of Kozilek and Remand.
But even with more tools in its toolbox, Inverter still needs help finding its combo pieces quickly. Players have been reaching far back into Magic history for good tutors, even going so far as to run clunky and expensive cards like Beseech the Queen. Profane Tutor fits right into this slot in Inverter decklists, allowing the deck to be vastly more efficient.
Inverter is the first Modern deck that comes to mind that could use Profane Tutor, but as more players get their hands on the card, it will undoubtedly work its way into more combo decks. This extends beyond traditional two-cards combo decks; Profane Tutor could easily find a home in any deck that needs a specific piece to start working. Puresteel Paladin, Ad Nauseam and many more decks in Modern will be looking to slot in this powerful tutor.
Can Fair Decks Use This Card?
Well, that depends on your definition of “fair,” but I think the answer is yes.
As Foretold has been a fringe Modern deck for a while. It uses cards like As Foretold, Finale of Promise and Electrodominance to cast spells with suspend, like Ancestral Vision, Restore Balance, and Crashing Footfalls. Profane Tutor fits right into this deck — not only can it search up the spells you need, but it will give the deck more consistent access to enablers. Now, you effectively have up to eight copies of all your best cards, and that added redundancy could make this deck much more competitive.
Profane Tutor is poised to become a prime player in any combo strategy, and Modern aficionados will have to reevaluate how we build our decks. What deck are you excited to add Profane Tutor to? Tweet at @masoneclark and @card_kingdom to let us know!
Mason Clark is a grinder in every corner of the game who has played at the pro level and on the SCG Tour with Team Nova. Whether he’s competing in Standard, Historic or Modern, Mason plays with one goal in mind: to be a better player than he was the day before. Check out his podcast, Constructed Criticism, and catch his streams on Twitch.