This entry is part 374 of 539 in the series CommanderCast

Hello everyone and welcome to CommanderCast Episode 350! On this  week’s episode Mark and Adam are being… charming individuals as they go over Magic’s modal spells. Not really much to say but Mark does learn about a new upcoming set. The guys also go over a few cards that don’t make the cut when it comes to charms and why.

So lets stop waiting and Click the IB!!!


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CommanderCast Episode 350

Posted: March 4, 2019








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History of charms/modal spells


Maro quotes (from “À LA MODE,” by Maro):

“It’s… important for these type of choice spells…that there is an interesting choice to be made by the caster… If the player will choose the same mode the vast majority of the time, the choice card is not living up to its potential, play-wise…

…Charms tend to have effects too small to justify a card by themselves, but having the choice of three of these mini-effects are worthy of the card, due to the flexibility. Because the overall flavor is a collection of small effects, their being small is enough to connect them aesthetically, and designers don’t often try to connect the effects mechanically.

The interesting design challenge of charms comes on two-color versions. One-color charms just have all effects from that color, while three-color charms have one from each color, but two doesn’t divide evenly into three. The solution is to make one effect the first color, one effect the second color, and one effect that is an overlap between what the two colors can do.”


SaffronOlive quote (from “‘Choose One’: A Brief History of Modal Spells”):

Mystic Confluence, returning in Battlebond, is a great example of how a bunch of not-that-powerful options become extremely powerful when you are given choice and flexibility. While bouncing three creatures isn’t great for five mana, countering a spell isn’t great for five mana, and drawing three cards is only okay at five mana, the fact that you can do things like counter a spell and draw two cards, bounce a creature and draw two cards, or bounce two creatures and counter a spell makes it so the sum of Mystic Confluence is much more powerful than its individual parts.

The three choices and flexibility that Mystic Confluence offers mean that it’s almost never bad. The floor on Mystic Confluence is drawing three cards—essentially a Jace’s Ingenuity—while the ceiling is a three-for-one when you can Mana Leak an important spell, bounce one of your opponent’s creatures (or even your own Snapcaster Mage), and draw a card along the way for good measure.”






Ranking all the charms, by tier:


Our rankings:

  • Tier 1: almost always useful
  • Tier 2: corner case cards, but usually playable in the right circumstance
  • Tier 3: you’re stretching it; these are almost never worth running in your deck




Best non-cycle kinda-modal spells (“Choose One or Both”)




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Calvin – Email: captainredzone(at)gmail(dot)com  // twitter: (at)CaptainRedZone


Mark – Email: mahlerma(at)gmail(dot)com


Adam – (at)squire9999 // (at)thetrinisphere


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And a big thanks to everyone here at the CommanderCast Network. We’ll see you next week with more community, strategy, and technology. Until then, LET’S GET IT!

Series Navigation<< CommanderCast Ep 349 – Alara Bros Come At Me!CommanderCast Ep 351 – We get X-Spelled >>