MTG Arena Zone Premium
MTG Arena Zone Premium
Viconia, Night Singer's Disciple

Analyzing Viconia, Nightsinger’s Disciple: Is One of Magic’s Most Complex Cards Good?

Specialize may be the most complicated mechanic created and DoggertQBones is curious if it's good enough to see play! He's starting with the first Specialize card that was spoiled to see if it has the chops to make it in Alchemy.

Hello everyone!

In CCGs, there are two things that are always certainties: power creep and complexity creep. I would argue that neither of those are necessarily bad things or even intentional things, but just par for the course when you have to keep producing new additions to a game that already has thousands upon thousands of cards. While power creep is something the community readily feels and discusses, complexity creep is definitely not as common a topic. The last I remember it being talked about was Questing Beast which was a few years ago!

I mean look at the amount of words! For what it’s worth, the card played out relatively simply and it is a Mythic, but what if I told you that we now have an uncommon that has around FIVE TIMES the amount of words? Well with Specialize being one of the new mechanics coming in Baldur's Gate, that reality is here!


Now THAT is a lot of text. I wouldn’t be surprised if a good amount of people didn’t even bother reading the card as there was so much on it, but lucky for you, I did it for you! Let’s break it down one step at a time.

So the base body is a two mana 2/3 that can exile a card from the graveyard for one mana. Obviously if this is all it did, this wouldn’t be great beyond a niche sideboard card against graveyard-centric deck. However, what makes this card stand out is that if you “Specialize” it (discard a card and depending on the color of the discarded card, something different happens), it completely changes.

So to help ease the complexity of the card, let’s talk about the similarities of each of the specialized Viconia’s. They are each 3/4s that all needed to exile a creature (and/or a spell in the case of the Blue specialization) prior to it specializing for it’s ability to trigger. When you do specialize, all of the Viconia conjure a copy of one of the creatures you exiled (or once again in the Blue specialization case, and/or an exiled spell) and puts it into your hand. Finally, you may cast that duplicate with any mana.

So overall, Viconia needs a total of five mana and an additional card to really do anything, but it can be spread out over a few different abilities so it’s not as difficult as it may seem. For example, you can deploy this on turn two, exile something and specialize the next turn for it’s effect! Furthermore, if you discard a creature to the specialization ability, you can just hold full control and before the specialization resolves, you can exile it to get the effect.

Now with the similarities out of the way, let’s analyze each of the individual specializations.

While normally I would go WUBRG order, I’ll go by the order they appeared above.

The Green specialization gives the conjured creature +2/+2, which depending on what creature that is, could be a nice buff. Pretty expansive just to draw a copy of a slightly better creature, but not bad.

The Red specialization gives the creature +1/+0 and Haste, which is definitely a solid upgrade in terms of stats compared to the Green one, but begs the question if a Rakdos deck can make the best use of that ability.

The White specialization doesn’t change the creature, but if the creature you chose is three cmc or less, you get to put it into play for free! That can be a pretty good tempo swing and would offset the cost of the specialization.

The Blue specialization also doesn’t change the creature, but you can conjure a creature and an instant/sorcery for some solid value.

Finally the Black specialization makes any creature you conjure into a Vampire Spawn which can be good at closing out a game if you’re an aggressive deck.

Now that we know what each one does, let’s get to the ratings and the overall card rating. As a reminder, here’s the rating system I use for cards.

  • 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
  • 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
  • 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
  • 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
  • 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
  • 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.

Green Specialization

Picking a creature and buffing it isn’t too bad of an ability, but you’d have to be extremely aggressive to want that effect as, in a sense, you’re getting a one mana value (adding +2/+2 to a creature is only adding like 1 to 1.5 worth of mana value if that makes sense) versus the two mana and a card that the specialization costs.

Rating: 1.5/5

Red Specialization

This is extremely similar to the Green specialization, and despite giving a creature one mana value worth of stats again, I would argue that Haste and the additional power is a good deal better than +2/+2. Nevertheless, I still think this is too mana intensive to really be playable.

Rating: 1.5/5

White Specialization

Unlike the previous two specializations, the White one gives you a reasonable amount of value as you can deploy the creature you take instantly. So playing this and exiling a 3 drop is like curving out except you can split up the mana investments and get a 3/4 out of the deal. Not a bad deal!

Rating: 2.5/5

Blue Specialization

Most similar to the White specialization, the Blue one can actually accrue a decent amount of value as you can draw two cards versus one card like all the other specializations. Getting a 3/4 and and discarding one card to get two is somewhat interesting.

Rating: 2.5/5

Black Specialization

For the final specialization, we once again have a creature that gains around one mana worth of value that needs a card and two mana to get. Not a great deal and this is probably the weakest of all of them.

Rating: 1/5

So where does this lead us?

Viconia, Nightsinger’s Disciple

Rating: 1.5-2/5

While this is a super interesting design with a lot of versatility, most of the modes really aren’t worth the price. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get it’s ability and having to give up a card really gates the power level of this card. If anyone of them are going to see play, I would bet that the Blue one has the best chance and the White one has the second best chance. Getting two cards off of the Blue version puts it slightly ahead for me and is the only specialization that you wouldn’t mind playing late giving it the best chance in my mind as you can wait to specialize until you have two really good targets. Furthermore, if you’re playing Control and boarded this in, the opponent may not have a way to deal with it also giving you a solid block in the process if you need it.

Thank you for reading!

Enjoy our content? Wish to support our work? Join our Premium community, get access to exclusive content, remove all advertisements, and more!

MTG Arena Zone Premium

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

Articles: 649