Wondering how to put Frantic Search to use, now that it’s unbanned? If Hapless Reanimator or Squee-Plenish (Juan Manuel Delgado’s deck in this post) is not your cup of tea, perhaps you might enjoy this one instead:
The deck is straight-forward. To get started you need a Sapphire Medallion or Helm of Awakening. Thereafter, Merchant Scroll becomes a one-mana tutor, and you can start browsing through your deck with Words of Wisdom, Meditate and Frantic Search, the latter acting as a blue Dark Ritual when you eventually get your second Medallion or Helm into play. Rinse and repeat a few times with Recall if needed, and finish off your opponent with one or two huge Brain Freeze (or 15–20 something, technically). With Words of Wisdom, you don’t even need to pass the turn, but you can win immediately by forcing them to draw a card from their empty library.
Lotus Petal oils the cogwheels a bit, by allowing you to drop a Sapphire Medallion or Helm of Awakening on the first turn, or simply by providing that one extra mana that let’s you cast the next crucial Frantic Search when you combo off with small margins.
Speaking of small margins, the main deck is almost void of interaction, so your opponent better not interfere too much with your plans, e.g. by destroying your Sapphire Medallion or Helm of Awakening. A pair of Arcane Denial (a hard-counter for one mana? yes please!) is your only line of defense, so use them wisely. The singleton Turnabout, which can be tutored for with Merchant Scroll, can be used as an end of turn Mana Short versus opposing blue mages, or even buy you a turn versus creature decks.
I did a fair amount of gold fishing when testing out whether Frantic Search was safe for banning. I found that it’s not uncommon to go off on turn 3, but turn 4 is more typical, or quite often on turn 5 even. I also found that the deck is not nearly as consistent as was Rector-Bargain, as I fizzled out completely a fair amount of times.
The sideboard is untested, and pretty much a rough sketch at this point. There are plenty of sharp sideboard tools to work with, however, and having Merchant Scroll is quite sweet as it allows you to put in some silver bullets. Back to Basics could be an interesting option, but it’s possible that e.g. Morphling is better or mixing up your game plan and dodging problematic cards like Gaea’s Blessing.
I’m sure that I’ve overlooked some cards, and that this is not the optimal version. How would you build it? I’m curious to hear your ideas in the Premodern social media channels!
Until next time!