Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Omniscience Draft Rules in Magic
One of my favorite drafts, you'll find the unique omniscience format on MTG Arena. Like usual, you'll pick one card at a time from rotating boosters to form a 40-card deck, but when the game actually starts, players only have three cards in hand, but can cast any spells for free, just as if controlling blue's infamous "Omniscience" enchantment.
This drastically changes how the game works, meaning you'll have to adjust your mindset to succeed—here's five tips to win omniscience drafts in Magic: The Gathering!
1. Use High-Cost Cards
When you're drafting, remember that every spell is free. Price and color are not issues, so take the biggest and baddest spells you can. For instance, the above Gloom Sower is too costly for his payoff in regular matches, but when his taxing mana price is eliminated, he's a fearsome 8/6 who punishes blockers.
That said, each draft round you don't necessarily want the highest-cost card available if you can gain a bigger advantage from a lower one, possibly one that offers…
2. Pick Draw Spells
Draws. Draws are how you win omniscience. Anything that gives a net increase in hand size is absolutely essential. Remember, you only start with three cards, so each one counts, and since mana cost isn't an issue, you're basically getting cards for free.
So, even the lowly "Skyscanner" becomes one of the format's best cards. Sure, he's a puny 1/1, but with that ETB draw trigger, he's a free 1/1 plus another card. If you take nothing else form today's article, remember that draws are crucial.
3. Discard Spells Work Too
While not nearly as essential as hand-boosters, discard spells are also deadly—if you go first. Turn-one a Mind Rot, and your opponent will only have two cards (since they'll draw at the start of their turn) to begin with, a massive disadvantage.
Now, don't go overboard with these, because they're much less useful when you go second, but definitely draft them when the pool starts to thin. The threat of facing hand-attackers explains why another spell type excels in this format…
4. Use Counterspells
Counterspells are deadlier than ever in omniscience, since without casting cost, there's no need to hold mana open for them. When your opponent plays a Mind Rot or bonus-draw card, these are how you stop their game-winning combo.
Now, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, in omniscience, MTG Arena gives players five mana per turn for activated abilities. Thus, using things like "Lofty Denial" or "Mystical Dispute" (which counter spells unless extra mana is paid) won't work, so ditch these.
5. Don't Use Lands
You shouldn't under any circumstance choose to draft lands in omniscience, but sometimes you're stuck with one as the last card of a pack. Do NOT forget to take them out of your deck. Lands are basically useless here, as you don't need mana. I've faced players who forgot to scroll all the way down their decklist, didn't realize they maintained a basic land, and effectively wasted a card, giving me an easy win.
The only time I'd ever even consider a land is if it had a great activated ability, like "Labyrinth of Skophos", but even then, it should be low in your drafting priority.
Going First or Second in Omniscience?
While you don't have any control over going first or second in this best-of-1 format, which is better? You might think going second, because an extra draw really matters here (starting with 4 instead of 3). However, if you've built the right-deck, you actually probably want to go first, both to employ Mind Rots and because optimal decks can draw so much as to win on a turn-2 swing.
Either way, use today's tips to wreak havoc in the format, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill