Curator of Mysteries

Posted in Card Preview on April 6, 2017

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Cycling is back! Throughout Magic's history, various spells that might be otherwise mediocre have made themselves successful Constructed players simply by virtue of being easily traded for another card. Today, we'll be looking at a creature that boasts impressive stats for a card that can be pitched for new cardboard in a pinch. Let's take a look at Curator of Mysteries!

All right, we're getting a 4/4 flier for four mana, so that's already a good deal. Then we get to scry every time we cycle or discard a card. This ability may only be a small advantage, but if we're playing a deck with a decent amount of cycling or cards like Tormenting Voice and Cathartic Reunion, this can easily find us exactly what we need when we need it.

What's most exciting about Curator of Mysteries is that it cycles for just one blue mana. This means we can ensure there's a creature in our graveyard to activate Liliana, the Last Hope's -2 ability and turn it into a card advantage machine. Sometimes there are an obvious seven or eight cards to go in a particular deck, and drawing those cards more frequently is directly correlative with victory. If we can play an efficient creature that cycles for just one mana, then we can streamline our strategy to do the same thing more often by essentially playing fewer than 60 cards!

What's great about Curator of Mysteries is that it's good in every situation. It combos nicely with cards that reward us for having creatures in our graveyard and can simply be played as a very impressive 4/4 flying body when appropriate. The absolute worst-case scenario is that we just pay a single mana and trade it for another card.

I'm impressed with Curator of Mysteries and think this is a card that could see Constructed play in Standard—and definitely in Modern!

In Standard, I want to try this card in a blue-red Zombie emerge strategy! Those kinds of blue-red decks have always been very powerful when they've been able to cast Cathartic Reunion or Tormenting Voice on the second turn. Making the deck smaller with Curator of Mysteries and adding some extra aggression with Flameblade Adept could give this deck the push it needs to succeed in the new Standard. Let's take a look at Blue-Red Aggro Zombie Emerge with Amonkhet!

Blue-Red Zombie Aggro Emerge

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This deck seems like an awesome home for Curator of Mysteries. The card makes the deck smaller so that we're more likely to do unfair things once it's time for our third turn. With Flameblade Adept, we're able to apply a lot of early pressure that will usually force opponents to spend mana to deal with it, at which point we can punish them with cards like Fevered Visions. This deck is very good at emptying its hand, and finding the perfect combination of cards can be absolutely brutal. Elder Deep-Fiend is one of the best end game plans available in Standard right now, and this seems like the perfect home for it.

In Modern, Living End is quietly one of the very best decks in the format. Curator of Mysteries is just flat-out better than a lot of the creatures we're playing in the deck right now. A 4/4 flier that cycles for a single mana before setting up our hand with the necessary tools to close the game after we cascade into Living End seems impressive! The deck was already quite good, but adding fliers and another creature that cycles for a single mana makes the deck a lot better. The deck has always wanted access to a big cycling flier to better end games, and Curator of Mysteries not only fills that role but also turns all our future cycles into better ways to find cascade spells or Beast Within when we need them. Let's take a look at Living End with Curator of Mysteries!

Living End

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This deck looks downright scary! With another one-mana cycler, the deck can find cascade spells at the end of an opponent's turn with ease to protect them from targeted discard like Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek. I expect this deck to become more popular in Modern, and its ability to naturally fight through hate with Beast Within makes it very impressive against the strongest non-combo strategies in the format.

Curator of Mysteries brings us an efficient body with a useful ability on a card that cycles for just one mana. The card provides various decks in multiple formats with consistency and synergy! I expect this card to see a lot of play in the coming months and even years. What kind of decks do you want to play Curator of Mysteries in?

Don't miss your chance to be among the first to play with exciting new cards like Curator of Mysteries at the Amonkhet Prerelease. Events are happening around the world on April 22–23. Be sure to sign up early at your local game store. Spots are already filling up fast, and you don't want to miss out on the action!

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