Tibalt’s Trickery – Kaldheim
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
And suddenly, things got weird.
Although, it just occurred to me that Tibalt is Kaldheim‘s analogue of Loki, a god who was known for shape-shifting, gender-bending troll-craft and who was the mother of Odin’s horse (yes, I said both “mother” and “horse”). Maybe it’s the opposite of weird.
Some of us still have an image in our minds of counterspells being used like in Buehler Blue and other similar decks, being run out from the moment they can be cast against any spell of relevance. If you use that kind of standard, Tibalt’s Trickery looks quite poor, particularly for a color that delights in the spear-din. On turn two, you might inadvertently give yourself a glacier to climb. But if you save it for the moment you’re about to win, and use it on your opponent’s last, slim hope, that kind of problem obviously doesn’t matter. Of course, it’s not possible to guarantee that kind of scenario, though I do think this card has potential. Sometimes your opponent will get compensation that’s entirely different from what they were actually trying to do, or even that’s irrelevant to the game state, and there are few more effective smile-slayers than something like that.
“Counter target spell” in red is already a very unusual bit of text on its own, and that’s before we get to the rest of the card. The idea of Tibalt’s Trickery is to swap a spell for another, potentially getting rid of some cards along the way…and, as it turns out, milling cards is usually reliable at making sure your opponent can’t set up a play in response to the devil’s machinations. As with many “polymorph” effects, it becomes a fine line of risk versus reward, and you may have to weigh if this is the spell you want to get rid of. That said, swapping their key spell out for one they might not be wanting to cast is huge in and of itself, and this being red opens up a lot of trickery, pun intended, for decks to strike from another angle.
This is a spell that looks interesting, and while I’m not yet sure that it’s good, it has several places where it’ll happily find a home. It also pairs well with effects like Trinisphere, Drannith Magistrate, and Teferi, Time Raveler, which may be reason for those decks to dip their toes into red.
Constructed: 3.25 (this is probably not a mainboard card, but it can do a lot of damage if you deploy it with care)
Limited: 3.5 (hit their bomb, and they might not have another)
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉