The joy of discovering hidden gems

Written by Ron Saikowski, January 30, 2018

Ever build a deck, put a card in with no real purpose only to discover it has a great unintended purpose or combos perfectly with something else in your deck you never thought of before? Finding those hidden gems is a ton of fun.

Cruising the Old School Blogging Community this week, I came across a post that talked about the recent 2018 Winter Derby and this very thing. Gunnarson's Blog talked about this happening to him. Putting a card into a deck only to discover it had far more power and uses than originally anticipated. What a great discovery and fun story to read.

Having played in the derby as well, it's amazing to see how one online tournament can teach so many things to so many people. Myself included. To this day I struggle to sideboard and playing in the derby helped me start down the road to better sideboarding.

Two hidden gems I've discovered recently
When it comes to discovering those hidden card interactions, I've found they can come about in any number of ways. My most recent one was discovered in the middle of the same derby. While it's not new for most folks, it certainly was a big one for me. The whole Maze of Ith trick where you untap your creature after it successfully deals its damage.

Another one I discovered involves everyone's favorite little land, Mishra's Factory. I learned I can pay to activate him, declare him a blocker in response to an attack and then have him tap himself to power up to a 3/3 creature. Now it's a party.

Note: This is how it was played against me during a match... if this is not correct and someone could explain how it should work, please email me or comment on Facebook and let me know! Thanks.

Playing "new" cards can be good for your health
Discovering things like this has the potential to change the way you build your decks from that point on. I know I've since added a Maze to my deck. I wonder how many other people have had similar experiences with other cards.

The flip side can be just as enlightening if not as heartbreaking. Squeezing a card into your deck you think will be great only to discover it's complete junk for what you want to do. Definitely a learning lesson, just not as fun most of the time.

Having recently rebuilt my deck (going the all threat route), I have a handful of new cards I'm getting to discover. Now I see why people play different types of decks. Sure, it may be for the variety and to stave off boredom sometimes, but playing new cards definitely has the potential to show you some of those hidden gems in your deck.

Just make sure when you find one, you let the rest of us know!

Related Reading:
Maze of Ith = Vigilance
Playing online will improve your game
My 2018 Winter Derby Roundup