So we’ve been able to review Lukka, Bound to Ruin, Nahiri, the Unforgiving, Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting, Nissa, Ascended Animist, and Jace, the Perfected Mind as compleated walkers, Kaya, Intangible Slayer, The Eternal Wanderer, and Koth, Fire of Resistance as our heroes, as well as Phyrexian Obliterator , White Sun’s Twilight, Sword of Forge and Frontier, Tyrranax Rex, Capricious Hellraiser, Phyrexian Arena, Solphim, Mayhem Dominus, Phyrexian Vindicator, and Cacophony Scamp, but we have even more sweet cards to preview! A card that’s being hailed as the next potential Wilderness Reclamation, we’re going over Mindsplice Apparatus today!
So we have a four mana artifact with Flash that accrues an oil counter on your upkeep. Simple enough so far. Then, for each oil counter you have on the card, you get a 1 mana discount on your instants and sorceries! Over the course of many turns, this discount is going to keep adding up and could easily make even your most expensive spells nearly free given enough time!
So the upside of this card could be pretty high, but what rating does this deserve?
Even when I think the community is higher or lower on a card than I am, I feel that our opinions at least somewhat match up. In the case of Mindsplice Apparatus, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Again, we can revisit the positives. This is a Flash artifact so you can keep mana up the turn you want to deploy it instead of committing, and if it lives awhile, your spells will receive a hefty discount. While you would likely be playing this so you can chain multiple expensive spells together, being able to reduce the cost of your two mana spells to one mana on the first turn cycle this is in play is quite powerful. If you’re unconvinced, one of the reasons Haughty Djinn is so strong is the 1 mana spell discount, so that shouldn’t be underestimated. However, that’s about the only good thing I could say about it.
First, let’s address the comparison to Wilderness Reclamation. Both are four mana and both give you mana, but beyond that, these two are nothing alike. Wilderness Reclamation gave you all your mana back the turn you played it. If you only had four mana, Reclamation was “free” so long as you could use the mana you got back. If you had more than four mana, well, you’re getting a huge surplus. This not only gives you nearly that much mana, but doesn’t do a thing the turn it comes in. Sure, it does have Flash so that’s mitigated, but it’s still extremely relevant. Furthermore, getting to untap your lands was very relevant with utility lands compared to just a flat discount which “stops working” once you get to the colored mana of the card anyway!
Ok, so maybe comparing this to Wilderness Reclamation is too much of a stretch, but this still has to be good in Flash or Spell heavy decks, right? Well, still no. Compare this to Nightpack Ambusher. Ambusher started winning you the game when it came down by itself, Mindsplice Apparatus will just start generating value. We can go back to the Haughty Djinn which also gives spells a discount, but a little more importantly, hits the opponent like a truck. All these cards either net you obscene value, help you win the game quickly, or realistically for all of them, both! Mindsplice Apparatus will only give you a discount on stuff to do, but you still need that other stuff to win! Furthermore, what’s even the end goal here? What do you need discounts on that makes this card worthwhile? Most of Standard’s best spells are either already cheap or have extremely color intensive casting costs which further diminishes the usefulness of this card.
Overall, I think this card is definitely cool, but this seems very much like a gimmick card where you’re looking to find a cool way to win around it, not a legitimate win condition. I will say that if the card goes uncontested for a few turns, you may be able to do some real cool stuff, but compare that to Sheoldred, the Apocalypse who can just win the game on its own. Cool card, but its reliance on other pieces is killer for me.
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