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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Interpret the Signs
Image from Wizards.com

 Interpret the Signs
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed June 13, 2014

Constructed: 2.00
Casual: 3.25
Limited: 2.88
Multiplayer: 2.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Interpret the Signs

I really liked Riddle of Lightning from Future Sight once upon a time, because it created a fun "mini-game moment". Do you put a card on top you can't use just for its CMC? If there's nothing there you can use, do you ship them all to the bottom and gamble or leave the most expensive one on top? It helped that at five mana, you could probably cast whatever you saw with Riddle by the time you were able to cast the Riddle itself.

Interpret the Signs is similar at first, but not once you think about it. Since you're drawing whatever you reveal, you'll always Scry to best set up future draws. (And by "future" I mean "half a second from now"). As long as you don't see three lands, there's no reason not to just put the most expensive card you see on top and do whatever suits you with the other two. Even if you don't want the expensive card just now, it'll ensure you draw plenty of other cards to work with. Or maybe you saw nothing but one-drops? Do you ship them all to the bottom and hope for the best, or do you play it safe? Interpret the Signs costs six mana-- only drawing one or two cards isn't worth it, even with the scry effect. I'm not convinced drawing three cards is worth it if one of them has to be a three-drop I have no use for, but the risk of topdecking a land and drawing zero is too high to gamble if you're guaranteed at least three.

Occasionally, you'll live the dream and the top three will show you a second Interpret the Signs, giving you a full grip of cards and another way to refuel once they're spent. But the highs wouldn't feel so good without the lows, now would they?

Constructed- 3
Casual- 4
Limited- 4
Multiplayer- 4
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Interpret the Signs which is a six mana Blue sorcery with Scry 3 then has you reveal the top card of your library and draw cards equal to it's converted mana cost. With Scry skewing the odds in favor of drawing more cards and cards that are beneficial this is one of the most efficient draw options available, though it is kept to the later stages of the game. The single Blue allows for splashing, which can be a huge benefit to a Green acceleration build with high mana cost creatures. Overall this is a very solid, if somewhat mana intensive card, that will see some play in Casual, Commander, and Multiplayer as a fairly reliable draw engine.

In Limited this can be a major advantage even with moderate mana cost choices as both the Scry and draw aspects dramatically improve your options going forward. The single Blue allows any deck using Blue mana to reliably cast this and there is no reason not to include it in Sealed when using the color. In Booster this is a reasonable second or third pick if there is no major removal or top end creatures available.

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.0


Deck Garage

Interpret the Signs

Let me get this straight. I get to scry 3, find the most expensive card of those, put it at the top of my library, and then draw cards equal to it's casting cost? Sign me up!

What's that? It costs six? Maybe I'll pass on this after all.

In the right circumstance, this could have an amazing effect. Imagine this: Late in a game, you've got no cards in hand, and too many lands with not enough creatures. You draw for the turn, and it's Interpret the Signs. You scry, and the first two cards are lands - it will be good to get those to the bottom of your library - and the third card is a huge creature with a 7 casting cost! You draw 7 cards, including the big creature you needed and come back to win the game!

And then you wake up and realize it was only a dream.

This is what we call a "Magic Christmastime" situation. Of course it could happen. It's fun to think about, and it's amazing the once a year (like Christmas is once a year) it actually works. But it's far too unpredictable. More often, you're going to have a far less exciting turn of events. You spend your six mana and get three cards that are not really what you are looking for. You can either put the top casting cost card (4 mana) on top - even though it's not really useful at the moment - so you can draw 4 cards, OR, you can put them all at the bottom and hope the next card is better. Sometimes, you'll get three lands and not get to draw anything for your six-mana investment.

Good cards are consistently good. You know what you're getting out of them every time. You can predict how your deck will work because it's full of consistent cards. Interpret the signs is like flipping a coin. Half the time it works out well, half of the time it's a complete waste. If you really want to spend six mana drawing cards, play Inspiration - at least you know you're getting 4 cards every time.

Constructed: 1
Casual: 3
Limited: 1.5
Multiplayer: 1.5

Michael Sokolowski

Interpret the Signs is what a fun combo card should be. Really bad when used incorrectly, and RIDICULOUSLY GOOD when you build around it with a specific goal in mind.

The goal of course is to run this with a few choice high-cost spells, and pray to the scry gods that one of them is just where it needs to be when you cast this, getting you big card advantage.

...But let's be honest here. If you want to use this card, you want to dream bigger than that. You don't just want big card advantage. You want HUGE card advantage! Gigantic! Why settle for big, when bigger is better? The Dream™ is to play Interpret the Signs, and find yourself... oh, let's say... Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Have you ever drawn 15 cards off of 6 mana? That's The Dream™. What will you do with a hand of 15+ cards and 7 mana (there's a 99.75389% chance of drawing at least 1 land in a deck that's 1/3rd lands after drawing 15 cards - yay math!) the next turn? I don't know. Hopefully win. Hopefully lots of fun things. Maybe something that cares about how many cards you have in hand, that'd be pretty fun. Overbeing of Myth or Aeon Chronicler or Sturmgeist perhaps, which are also acceptable things to hit with Interpret the Signs as you'd draw 5. Heck Interpret the Signs is an acceptable thing to hit with Interpret the Signs, as you'd draw 6!

Let's step away from The Dream™ for a moment, and look at Cold Hard Reality (trademark still pending). In a serious deck, for Constructed or even Limited, you wouldn't want to run this. 6 mana is a lot of mana, yes. But that's not even it! 6 mana would be an acceptable cost... IF it gave consistent results. If it said this will draw you a lot of cards every time, that'd be something. But this forces you to either build your deck inefficiently, or likely get underwhelming results. What I mean by the inefficient deck bit is you need to include pretty high-cost cards to get your mana's worth for this. And that means you risk drawing said high-cost cards, long before you could cast them, slowing your hand and tempo considerably. You may as well have just not drawn anything that turn if you never get to actually play it. And a pricey card it would have to be indeed.

Because look at the competition. What other pure card draw spells are out there? Well, we've got Divination. That's 3 mana for 2 cards. Alright. Next up we've got Concentrate, which is 4 mana for 3 cards. Not bad. And then you've got Tidings, which is 5 mana for 4 cards. And of course there are variations on all of these, some that are instants and some that add scry, and make them a bit more expensive but also more versatile. But in terms of raw card-drawing power, that's the competition.

So you would have to draw at LEAST five cards for playing Interpret the Signs to be worth it over one of those other cards. It's not impossible, but it begs the question of just how many 5+ mana cards do you want to include in your deck? What if you draw them all in your opening hand? Not to mention you'd be running some amount of the 6 mana Interpret the Signs card too. And there's always the fear that no matter what deck manipulation shenanigans you're able to pull, you'll cast this only to see something like Judge's Familiar, Nivmagus Elemental, and Vortex Elemental during your scry 3, and after putting all those 1 mana cards at the bottom of your library you reveal a land and draw nothing.

It's unreliable when used seriously, but oh so entertaining when used just for fun in some ridiculous stall deck filled with huge things. A casual card for sure.

At least, if I'm interpreting the signs right.

Constructed: 1.5
Casual: 3
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 1.5

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