Improving "Mystic Intellect" – "Magic: The Gathering"

Magic: The Gathering is an extremely complex game. With so many ways to improve a deck, deckbuilding can be sen as almost as much of a competition as the gameplay itself. On Tuesday, August 13th, we went over the Faceless Menace deck for Commander 2019, and made twenty changes to its contents. Today, Bleeding Cool goes over ideal cuts for the "Mystic Intellect" Commander 2019 deck for Magic: the Gathering, as well as ideal initial additions to the deck. We went over its newer contents last week, and determined that the deck revolves around the Flashback mechanic. The deck will make a point to embellish this theme.

Magic: the Gathering Commander 2019 logo

Choice of Commander for Mystic Intellect

For this series of Magic articles, we are focusing on the "face commander" of these Commander 2019 precons. As discussed in the previous article, this is because the face commanders seem to have more utility and synergy with regards to the mechanics of their respective decks (save for one deck – "Merciless Rage" – but we will talk about that one soon). As is fair, if you have a better commander in mind, feel free to use that one instead – these are simply ones we are suggesting. In the case of Mystic Intellect, our commander will be its face, Sevinne, the Chronoclasm.

Sevinne, the Chronoclasm

Best Choices for Cuts

The following twenty Magic cards were cut from our adaptation of Mystic Intellect, for a variety of reasons. They could have been cut for a lack of synergy, being worse than other cards at their job, or simply being superfluous.

Creature (1)
  • Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero – Situational and not synergistic enough
Sorcery (2)
  • Runic Repetition – Outclassed by a creature
  • Rolling Temblor – Not impactful enough
Instant (8)
  • Chemister's Insight – Superfluous effect
  • Farm // Market – Not enough impact in its utility
  • Fervent Denial – Too mana-intensive
  • Magmaquake – Doesn't make enough impact to keep you alive
  • Prismatic Strands – Situational and not of enough impact in that situation
  • Purify the Grave – Too situational
  • Ray of Distortion – Too mana-intensive
  • Think Twice – Superfluous effect
Land (4)
  • Boros Guildgate – Superfluous, and an early land cut because it's a Gate (see the previous article about why Gates get cut first)
  • Izzet Guildgate – see Boros Guildgate
  • Stone Quarry – Superfluous and not of enough impact
  • Highland Lake – see Stone Quarry
Artifact (3)
  • Azorius Locket – Superfluous and outclassed by Talisman cycle
  • Bloodthirsty Blade – Not of enough impact
  • Izzet Locket – See Azorius Locket
Enchantment (1)
  • Jace's Sanctum – Outclassed by other cost-discounters
Planeswalker (1)
  • Ral Zarek – Not synergistic enough

These cards all get cut, but what do we add?

Choices for Additions, and Where to Obtain Them

As with Faceless Menace, I've found twenty reasonable and mostly-recent additions to add to Mystic Intellect. Only a few of these Magic: The Gathering cards are not in print anymore, but most of them are still able to be found in sealed packs or boxed sets in stores at this time. Furthermore, I've put the most recent set next to the names of the new additions. The full decklist as modified by me, and any justifications for the inclusions, can be found at this TappedOut link (the Maybeboard lists the cuts).

Creature (4)
  • Archaeomancer (Ultimate Masters)
  • Young Pyromancer (Ultimate Masters)
  • Murmuring Mystic (Guilds of Ravnica)
  • Magus of the Wheel (Commander 2019)
Sorcery (3)
  • Past in Flames (Modern Masters 2017)
  • Reality Scramble (Commander 2018)
  • Recoup (Duel Decks: Sorin Vs. Tibalt)
Instant (5)
  • Mission Briefing (Guilds of Ravnica)
  • Risk Factor (Guilds of Ravnica)
  • Repeated Reverberation (Magic 2020)
  • Commit // Memory (Amonkhet)
  • Narset's Reversal (War of the Spark)
Artifact (4)
  • Talisman of Progress (Mirrodin)
  • Talisman of Conviction (Modern Horizons)
  • Talisman of Creativity (Modern Horizons)
  • Catalyst Stone (Odyssey)
Enchantment (1)
  • Thousand-Year Storm (Guilds of Ravnica)
Planeswalker (3)
  • Narset Transcendent (Dragons of Tarkir)
  • Ral, Izzet Viceroy (Guilds of Ravnica)
  • Ral, Storm Conduit (War of the Spark)

Wrapping Up Improvements

After some testing of this deck, I felt that it wasn't quite my playstyle, but I chalk that up to my own personal preferences. It's a strong Magic: The Gathering preconstructed deck made stronger by my shifts in card choices. The Commander deck can be improved even more and made more aggressive thereby. I did not make an advanced list for this deck, but if you have any ideas, please comment and let us know!

Magic: the Gathering – Commander 2019 releases to local game stores on August 23rd in English, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

Magic: the Gathering Commander 2019 packaging

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.