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Goblin Trapfinder Art by Brian Valeza

January 17th Patch Notes – Spirits and Samurai Buffed, Goblin Trapfinder Nerfed!

For those of who you have logged in today, you may have noticed an update and a bunch of new cards entering your collection! This was a patch that was not just a rebalance, but also the patch to allow players to preorder their preferred Phyrexia: All Will Be One bundle! Before we dive into the rebalance changes, lets quickly talk over the other parts of the patch.

  • Pre-orders for Phyrexia: All Will Be One have arrived! There are now 3 pre-orders to choose from themed around Jace, Koth, and Elesh Norn
  • Fixed a collation bug that could result in players getting only one card from Brothers’ War in their Golden Packs

Simple enough! While that was just a small part of the patch, let’s dive into the meatier section – the card changes.

Goblin Trapfinder Nerf

“This spell costs 2 less to cast” -> “This spell costs 1 less to cast”

“Like Grinning Ignus and Racketeer Boss, Goblin Trapfinder was enabling combo decks using Ominious Traveler in Alchemy and Historic. Since perpetual mana cost reduction is more likely to enable problematic combos in the future, we are making the combo harder to assemble by rebalancing Goblin Trapfinder.”

This nerf has felt long overdue as the combo decks focusing around Goblin Trapfinder and Ominous Traveler were very fast, very consistent, and very hard to disrupt. While this doesn’t kill the archetype completely, this is a powerful enough nerf that the chances of the deck being able to combo out early are lessened significantly.

Spirits and Samuria Buffed


Decks built around Brine Comber, Shipwreck Sifters, Patrician Geist, and other Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow Spirit cards often don’t have enough mana to support casting cards for their disturb costs. These changes aim to reduce the diminishing returns of playing multiple Disturb cards and make decks built around cards like Brine Comber more competitive.

2U -> 1U; 3/1 -> 2/1; Disturb 1U -> U; -2/-0 until end of turn -> -2/-0 until your next turn

1/1 -> 2/2

2/1 -> 2/2; ETB mill 2 -> ETB mill 4; remove “Departed Soulkeeper can block only creatures with flying.” from back

Disturb 1WU -> WU

3/1 -> 3/2

4/3 -> 4/4

3U -> 2U; Disturb 3U -> 2U; back now grants +3/+0

Disturb 2U -> 1U

Disturb 2U -> 1U; Catlike Curiosity now grants +1/+1

Spells you cast from your graveyard cost 1 less to cast -> cost U less to cast

4UU -> 2UU

“Whenever you discard a Spirit card or card with disturb…” -> “Whenever a Spirit or card with disturb is put into your graveyard from anywhere…”

Realistically, none of these cards were particularly close to playable, so minor buffs likely isn’t changing that. Out of all of them, maybe Devoted Grafkeeper can see some play since milling four is quite good for a creature, and with the Ascent from Avernus decks picking up steam in Alchemy, that seems like a good home for it.


Decks built around Neon Dynasty’s Samurai cards have a hard time being keeping pace with other aggressive decks in the format since the Samurai themselves have higher mana values. We are lowering the mana values of Samurai creature spells across the board make Samurai-themed decks more competitive against other aggressive decks in Alchemy

3RW -> 1RW; 4/3 -> 2/1; gains Trample

Now grants First Strike while attacking; +2/+1 -> +2/+2; Equip 3 -> Equip 2

1R -> R; 1/3 -> 1/2; change from discarding to putting a card on the bottom of library

1W -> W; 2/1 -> 1/1

2/2 -> 2/3

2W -> 1W; 3/2 -> 3/1

2R -> 1R; 2/3 -> 2/1

3/3 -> 4/4

Unlike the Spirits, I do see some promise in the Samurai buffs. Giving the deck actual reasonable early plays is a big step in the right direction, and while this will still likely be a miss, I wouldn’t be shocked either if the deck ends up being a reasonable option.

End Step

That’s all for this announcement! What do you think of the changes? You can let us know in the Discord.

Thank you for reading!

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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
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