– Secret Lair
December 4, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 2.42
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Serum Visions is the last or second to last one-mana blue cantrip standing in Modern (Sleight of Hand has a claim, too). It’s what was left after everything else got banned, and some people originally felt they were “settling”. It turns out, though, that it’s still pretty darn good. While you don’t get to choose the card you get on the draw part, you still get both the advantages each time you cast it, and digging three cards down can make an enormous difference in a close game. It’ll be interesting to see how Once Upon a Time performs in comparison: the newer card has explosive potential, but is less good at crafting the next couple of turns. I expect Serum Visions to always be a staple in Modern, barring some kind of nuclear ban option.
Serum Visions is not a particularly complicated spell, either on paper or in practice: cantrip, then scry 2. It even seems like a worse version of Preordain, whose ubiquity and efficiency got it banned in Modern. But Serum Visions is very much not banned, and it’s become a staple spell in blue decks.
While Preordain is generally better in having more immediate control of what you get, Serum Visions is still good at setting up long-term plays by getting rid of what you don’t need and getting closer to what you do need; it also always lets you get three cards deeper, while Preordain forces you to roll the dice to see that far. While Preordain would still likely usurp Serum Visions in most decks if it were in Modern, it is not, so here we are!
It’s been reprinted a bit since its original Fifth Dawn appearance, which saw its value on the secondhand market climb as high as $15 before the reprints started coming in! Which is rather impressive for a common. Still, it’s a staple of Modern Magic for good reason: no blue card sets up your future plays better than it does.
Hello Everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
The Secret Lairs are going on sale so let’s look at one of the most exciting cards being talked about in them and that’s Serum Visions!
Serum Visions is one in a proud tradition of Blue Selection Cantrips along with its brothers.
However this one is fairly unique in that the card selection comes after drawing a card and that specific caveat is the part that drives me crazy. It’s still a good card but the difference is a significant hindrance of the card’s ability. There’s a reason why Preordain is banned in Modern and Serum Visions isn’t.
That being said this card is a solid pickup in any format it’s in, the card selection even after the fact is still strong and a reason to play it in Modern.
However in larger formats like Commander a blue cantrip simply can’t stand up to cards like Mystic Remora and Sensei’s Divining Top where you have significantly more mana to use and able to get mileage out of it.
In Limited this card is fine, it’s essentially -1 card in your deck and allows you to dig for your bigger threats. It is also printed at common so there’s a chance that there might be more than one floating around in MDF drafts.
In Cube this card has a lot more applications since a cantrip is a cantrip, letting you dig for your bigger threats and essentially thinning your deck while providing a little card selection after the fact. There’s also fetches, but not too many that will interfere with your post-Vision scrying.
Constructed: 5/5, it’s a star in Modern, …until Preordain comes back!
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