Magic: the Gathering


Spoiler Highlight: Stoneforge Mystic on Timeless

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The Outlaws of Thunder Junction Special Guests have been revealed. With them, one of the biggest Modern and Legacy staples of the past decade will arrive at Magic Arena! In this article, we evaluate Stoneforge Mystic's potential for the Timeless format!

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Preview season for Outlaws of Thunder Junctionlink outside website has finally begun! The expansion that brings the western theme to Magic: The Gathering has several innovative mechanics and the return of iconic characters from the lore, in addition to four symbols different expansion symbols, which may cause confusion in the minds of some playerslink outside website.

Among these are the famous Special Guests cards, a separate sheet included in Play Boosters, with specific reprints of famous cards. Their first appearance was in Lost Caverns of Ixalan, and they have been legal in Magic Arena's eternal formats since Murders at Karlov Manor.


While Special Guest's card run seems unimpressive for these platforms, a historic and long-banned Modern staple has been revealed and will enter the digital environment starting April 16 - Stoneforge Mystic.

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Check out, in this article, the potential of one of the most powerful two-drops in Magic history in Timeless and how we can take advantage of it in Magic Arena!

Stoneforge Mystic in Competitive Magic

Stoneforge Mystic became known in the game after being banned from Standard in 2011, along with Jace, the Mind Sculptor for the oppressive results presented by the Caw Blade archetype, leading to the first bans in the format since Affinity, in 2004.

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Caw-Blade was a Tempo/Control deck focused on the interaction between Squadron Hawk, Stoneforge Mystic and Sword of Feast and Famine to create pseudo-extra turns by untapping lands after the combat phase, as well as turning your creatures into threats on their own.

Its plan B involved controlling the game until Jace, the Mind Sculptor took over, and subsequently New Phyrexia brought in Batterskull, allowing to have a 4/4 with Vigilance and Lifelink as early as the third turn.

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This proposal made Stoneforge Mystic migrate to other formats and create an archetype known as Stoneblade, aimed at a small toolbox with it, Batterskull and other equipment such as Sword of Fire and Ice and Umezawa's Jitte.

Over the years, Stoneblade remained a viable strategy in the competitive scene until it fell into decline with the power creep after Modern Horizons. Since then, the white two-drop has gained space and a famous Modern combo, Hammer Time, aimed at the interaction between Colossus Hammer with Sigarda's Aid or Puresteel Paladin to cheat in equipment costs.

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In Hammer, Stoneforge adds greater consistency in finding its key equipment in addition to protecting it from Counterspells, and operates as a “Plan B” alongside Batterskull and Kaldra Compleat, in addition to enabling the use of equipment such as Sword of Fire and Ice or Shadowspear.

Stoneforge Mystic on Timeless

Today, Timeless lacks the main equipment used with Stoneforge Mystic - Batterskull and Kaldra Compleat - and the closest replacements are the artifacts released in Phyrexia: All Will be One with the For Mirrodin! mechanic, where they place a token on the battlefield, equipped with the cast card.

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Among them, Dragonwing Glider is the most functional and closest we have to the artifacts commonly played in Stoneblade, as it offers an immediate threat for a decent casting cost if necessary, while we can also equip it to a creature.

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We also have swords useful against two of the format's three main removals: Fatal Push, Lightning Bolt, and Swords to Plowshares, and both have useful abilities on their own while rewarding the use of low-cost spells.



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The first idea with this combination of cards is the Stoneblade variants for Timeless, especially in the Jeskai and Mardu colors, where they offer a good range of threats with Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Snapcaster Mage and Orcish Bowmasters while having efficient answers to the current Metagame, allowing them to force a fair game in an environment where most decks are geared towards unfair combos.

The Jeskai version offers a good mix between the recursion of Snapcaster Mage with the top-notch filtering of Brainstorm and several useful interactions, such as Lightning Bolt, Swords to Plowshares and Spell Pierce.

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The Mardu variant offers Orcish Bowmasters and Deathrite Shaman as complementary threats, as well as good removal and protection against combos with Thoughtseize, but lacks good filtering and recurring means of card advantage outside the swords and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer.

Hammer Time

The second proposal, which several players have tried to make work in Timeless since the format's conception, is Hammer Time, where Stoneforge Mystic searches for Colossus Hammer and Shadowspear, in addition to, depending on deckbuilding concessions, finds Sword of Fire and Ice.

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I believe Azorius is a good starting point for the Best of Three environment, given that we have interactions like Spell Pierce and gain a hard-to-kill threat with Invisible Stalker, making it more consistent in executing the game plan.

This strategy is complemented with Retrofitter Foundry and its famous combination with Ornithopter and Barbed Spike to create a 4/4 Golem token every turn, making the deck less linear and giving gas in the face of an extremely hostile Metagame for this strategy.

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In Best of One, it is possible the Boros variant will be more successful, despite its glass cannon nature and lower resilience. Azorius can work too, as Spell Pierce and Invisible Stalker do a good job of protecting itself while attacking unimpeded, but it requires more turns to work and loses some consistency without Fighter Class .


In a Metagame dominated by cheap removals and Orcish Bowmasters, or by very fast combos like Show and Tell, Stoneforge Mystic will have a great challenge in adapting to Timeless and establishing competitive strategies there in the absence of Kaldra Compleat or Batterskull.

However, the options around it grow with each new release, and decks like Hammer Time, which already produced occasional results, can benefit from the increase in consistency provided by her, in addition to the “Stoneblade” strategy being very adaptable to the best cards in the format today.

Thanks for reading!