Magic: the Gathering


Spoiler Highlight: Show and Tell, Gamble & Spell Snare on Timeless!

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All cards from the Murders at Karlov Manor's Special Guests series will be available in Magic Arena. With them, three of the most impactful spells from eternal formats will arrive at the platform and promise to bring changes to Timeless!

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переведено Romeu

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рассмотрено Tabata Marques

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Preview season for Murder at Karlov Manor continues in full swing, and while the cards in the new set bring exciting new features to Standard, Pioneer, and Historic, Magic Arena's most recent format, Timeless, looks like it will be most affected by the additions from the series Special Guestslink outside website, which will be available on the digital platform through draft and crafting.

A list of ten special cards will be added with this set in addition to cards from The List. Among them, three stand out for their high level of power, history in eternal formats and potential impact on the Metagame.


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Show and Tell, Gamble and Spell Snare are or have been staples in formats where they are legal, and in Timeless, the three have enough potential to impact the competitive environment.

Check out, in this article, our first impressions about the inclusion of these cards in Magic Arena and which archetypes can benefit from or be created from them!

Show and Tell - A Classic Combo arrives at Timeless!

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Probably the most hyped card in Special Guests, Show and Tell started to star as an archetype in Legacy after Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in Rise of the Eldrazi.

Before the Eldrazi, however, this deck took advantage of other powerful cards, such as Progenitus, to make its explosive plays.

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Neither Emrakul (at least not this version) nor Progenitus are available in Magic Arena today, but the format has its own range of bombs, including some that became staples alongside Urza's Saga spell years later.

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For a long time, Griselbrand was the primary target for reanimation effects and Show and Tell in Legacy for its potential to fill its controller's hand the same turn it enters play, granting another round of combo if it was answered.

Today, Griselbrand gave way to Atraxa, Grand Unifier due to the inherent qualities of the Phyrexian angel, its ability to give pitch to some cards and also because Orcish Bowmasters made Griselbrand's ability extremely punishing to its controller.

As we don't have Emrakul, the Aeons' Torn or anything similar to it, our best options include card advantage bombs and creatures who win the game in very few turns - Worldspine Wurm stands out in this regard because it demands an immediate answer exiling it, and even a Swords to Plowshares gives us enough life to try the combo a second and third time.

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Given that both of these creatures are green, and the fact that Timeless's most efficient mana ramp today outside of Dark Ritual are mana dorks like Deathrite Shaman and Delighted Halfling, we can add more redundancy to the combo with Natural Order, thus creating the variants known as NO & Tell.

Sultai NO & Tell

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As we run mana dorks to cast Show and Tell on the second turn, we can also adopt Natural Order as a means of searching for our bombs and putting them into play, thus creating a simple and objective structure, where we mixed means of holding the game with cards that aim to press the free win button, cheating on mana costs to bring Atraxa, Grand Unifier and Worldspine Wurm to the battlefield.

Temur Sneak & Show

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This approach gains even more redundancy if we want to follow Legacy's example and invest in Sneak & Show, where we have Sneak Attack to put Atraxa and Worldspine Wurm into play with Haste, and still benefit from its ETB and LTB effects, as we sacrifice the creatures that Sneak Attack puts into play at the end of the turn.


With 12 enablers, the best approach for Sneak & Show today seems to be to go for an all-in combo, with more dorks and protection spells like Veil of Summer in the maindeck while Once Upon a Time and Brainstorm find the necessary parts.

We can try an alternative plan in the Sideboard with Oko, Thief of Crowns and Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes, but this list doesn't seem to accommodate this card category without major concessions, so the Sideboard is dedicated to protecting our pieces and avoiding being run over by our opponent before we complete the combo.

Simic Titan Field

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Another option is to have Show and Tell as another way to play Primeval Titan on the second turn, forcing the opponent to deal with it even sooner than they should while starting to accumulate lands for Field of the Dead.

This approach also has some blue splash benefits that I haven't explored much on this list, such as the addition of Swan Song in the Sideboard, but Titan Field is a very proactive deck for counterspells, and the splash for blue has some concessions even in a fetch lands format, given its need of running multiple lands with different names for its key card.

In Titan Field, Show and Tell is a high risk and reward card: in some moments, you can even use it just to ramp for a turn without the opponent putting anything too impactful on the board, but in others, a Primeval Titan will be redundant in the presence of an Atraxa or a Yawgmoth, Thran Physician about to start an infinite loop on the opponent's turn.

Gamble - A New Tutor for Combos

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Gamble is a powerful tutor, but notoriously risky due to the second line of text, which makes it less reliable than several options in the same category if it is not our intention to put a card in our graveyard - luckily, One of the main combos available in Timeless today concerns about the number of cards in the graveyard.

Rakdos Breach

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In the last week, Rakdos Breach seems to lean much more towards its combo side than its Midrange side with Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. If it is preferable to delve deeper into the combo, Gamble becomes a viable option and the deck's eighth tutor, searching for Underworld Breach which will reuse the card discarded by it or adding two new cards to the escape from other spells, or searching for something we naturally want in our graveyard mid-combo, like Tendrils of Agony.

But this additional consistency comes at a price: the more combo pieces we include, the less space we have for the attrition plan, which forces the choice between threats or removals. In the case above, we chose to cut Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer to include Gamble, since spells like Fatal Push and Lightning Bolt are essential to holding the game while interacting with Dragon's Rage Channeler.

Izzet Phoenix

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Gamble may also deserve a slot in Izzet Phoenix as a means of fetching a specific card while looking to benefit from the discard effect with Arclight Phoenix and Faithless Looting.


While this combination doesn't appear to solve the inherent problems of this archetype with Orcish Bowmasters and Deathrite Shaman, it adds a little more consistency to the deck and can, on some occasions, allow for even more explosive plays since Gamble only costs one mana and also helps fuel Treasure Cruise.

Spell Snare - A necessary answer to the Metagame

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The last card with great potential for Timeless is Spell Snare, whose scope is extremely beneficial for the response windows that the format demands, given that it counters cards like Orcish Bowmasters and Underworld Breach, as well as Tarmogoyf, Territorial Kavu, Counterspell, Molten Collapse, Perilous Iteration and Demonic Tutor.

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Its scope today seems less comprehensive than Stern Scolding, capable of dealing with one-drops like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Deathrite Shaman, in addition to countering Yawgmoth, Thran Physician with only one mana if it is not protected by Delighted Halfling.

Lord of the Rings' spell seems more attractive in the current Metagame, where we need to keep an eye on several low-cost threats, but Spell Snare has one of the biggest growth potentials in the format if the format gains accss to other efficient two-drops, such as Stoneforge Mystic, arrive at Timeless at some point.


That's all for today.

It is very likely that Special Guests will be Murder at Karlov Manor's most impactful cards for Timeless due to the extremely high-power level of its Metagame, and the inclusion of these three cards is another step by Wizards in further raising its competitive standards with increasingly powerful combos that demand speed and efficient responses.

In a world without Force of Will or Force of Negation, spells like Show and Tell are a concern because we already have redundancy in cheating on mana costs with Natural Order, and within the absence of Emrakul, it is clear that the best ways to play with the new spell are also the ones we can fetch with it, adding even more consistency to a combo that is difficult to combat without access to discards and efficient counterspells.

This redundancy can force more games where being on the play and having a cheap answer or a discard spell in hand makes a huge difference in how long a matchup lasts, while removing less broken strategies or those that seek other categories of disruption.

Time will tell whether the other archetypes will continue to follow those who establish an unbeatable board position as early as the second turn, but we can expect an increase in combo decks in the weeks following the new set's release.

Thanks for reading!