Get the MTG
by Paul Hagan
Who likes black? I know I do. It's a fun color in Magic. It has kill spells, decent creatures, discard, but best of all: graveyard recursion. Something of yours die? That's ok! Slap down any number of graveyard recursion spells and you get to have it all over again. It's a wonderful ability, and Invasion has the best of the black recursion spells in Type II right now: Yawgmoth's Agenda.
Before I continue, let me clarify what Yawgmoth's Agenda does:
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Yawgmoth's Agenda - 3BB
Enchantment - Rare
Play no more than one spell each turn.
You may play cards in your graveyard as though they were in your hand.
If a card would be put in your graveyard from anywhere, remove it from the game instead.
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This card hasn't received a lot of attention, for some reason. Maybe it's because people remember Yawgmoth from Urza block, where he had some really amazing stuff (Yawgmoth's Will, Yawgmoth's Bargain, and Yawgmoth's Edict). Compared to those, Agenda doesn't seem to be that good. That is, unless you look closer. Agenda has a lot of hidden talent, just waiting to be let out.
Before I go deeper into what Agenda can do to your opponent and do for you, let me make this loud and clear: Agenda in early game is worthless. Agenda in late game is priceless. The bigger your graveyard, the better Agenda gets.
As I said earlier, black is known for discard, kill spells, and decent creatures. Let's analyze how these cards work with Agenda type by type:
Discard and Agenda love each other. Usually, you will play your discard in early game, getting the advantage in card count. Later in the game, discard is more used as a removal spell. Kill the creatures before they leave your opponent's hand. But there is one tragic, horrible problem: you have to topdeck the Stupor, or Addle, or Duress (when 7th Edition comes in, if the spoiler is true) later in the game to make your opponent discard. But with Agenda on the board, that is no problem: Your graveyard is loaded with your early game discard spells, and your opponent's hand will soon become very empty, very quickly. Agenda even lets you use those cards that you wouldn't have played normally. Who cares if Mind Swords hurts you early game? Those cards are in your graveyard; ready to be used when they really count.
Does anyone like to have his or her creatures killed? Unless you are a sick and twisted person (or are playing Keldon Necropolis or Death Bomb), the answer is no. But it happens. Black's biggest problem is facing down the most dreaded of creatures in Type II right now: Blastoderm. Ah, but lay Agenda on the table, and see what happens with that awful Blastoderm. You can either snatch back up those Ravenous Rats that chump blocked the 'Derm a turn before (and getting your opponent to discard…AGAIN), or you could really go for the throat, bring back a really nasty creatures, such as Phyrexian Scuta, Andradite Leech, Deepwood Legate, Thrashing Wumpus, or Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore. Never again will you be in want of creatures.
The second most fun aspect of black is the kill spells. Snuff Out, Vendetta, Seal of Doom, Terror, Terminate, and so on, all come to mind. But kill spells usually only cover one creature. But now, with Agenda, they cover TWO. The benefits of getting to use your kill spells twice are obvious, so I'll move on…but not before mentioning one kill spell that I love to play with Agenda: Perish. Fans of the Silver Bullet Theory, here's what makes it better: play one Perish maindeck, but it seems like you have two. That's halfway to a post-sideboard deck!
Of course, all of the above cards are just in black. Why not delve into the colors black is aligned with, blue and red? With red, Agenda lets you use all of those wonderful burn spells all over again. Did that early game Rage really help you out? Well, there is no reason you can't get just as much use out of it later. What about the Earthquake you had to use earlier to stop the Blastoderm? Well, now it can be used as a finisher, or as another massive removal spell. I have two final words on red cards in the graveyard and Agenda on the board: Flashfires and Boil. Now, let's move on to blue. Say you Fact or Fiction early in the game, grab the cards you need at the time, and send the rest to the graveyard. Agenda not only gives you access to the cards you dumped, but also the cards you took and used! But also, what is that along with those cards? It's the Fact or Fiction! Agenda can turn any B/U deck with some card-draw into a card-drawing engine. This works with any other draw spell too. Think of this: With Accumulate Knowledge, you can draw twenty cards throughout the game, and with Fact or Fiction, you get your choice of over forty cards! Or you can maximize the hurt that your Undermines deal out, or any other counterspell for that matter.
Here's a sample deck. See how fun Agenda can be?
Do You Have a Secret Agenda?
4 Vampiric Tutor
4 Fact or Fiction
3 Yawgmoth's Agenda
3 Snuff Out
4 Plague Spitter
4 Chimeric Idol
2 Deepwood Legate
1 Phyrexian Scuta
1 Thrashing Wumpus
4 Underground River
4 Salt Marsh
1 Dust Bowl
Put a couple more Thrashing Wumpi (is that the plural?) in the sideboard, maybe some Chilling Apparitions, and Chill, along side the four mandatory Perish, and you'll have a decent deck. Obviously, this deck needs tweaking, but that's your job.
As you can see, Agenda, if not the centerpiece for your deck, can at least provide the extra boost late game to take you to a win. I hope this has helped some of you out there. If it has, or if you think I'm a complete idiot and want to tell me why, feel free to e-mail me at Hagan0001@aol.com.
~Free your mind and your butt will follow.