M14: Dismiss into Dream

As a precursor to determining whether it’s worth running enchantment removal maindeck, let’s complete evaluating the remaining enchantments whose quality is still to be determined (listed as “?” in the spreadsheet).

The first of these is Dismiss into Dream. 7 mana is a pretty hefty price tag for a enchantment that probably won’t affect the board on the turn you play it, and may not affect it at all unless you have the right cards to go with it. If you get passed it late, you can determine whether your deck has is sufficiently slow and has enought targeting effects to take advantage of this, but I’d like to determine whether it’s worth taking a little earlier in the draft.

Let’s start by looking at the reusable targeting effects in the format, along with their rarity and the mana cost associated with the ability and any restrictions:

  • White: Master of Diversion (common, 0), Ajani Caler of the Price (mythic, 0)
  • Blue: Zephyr Charge (common, 2), Air Servant (uncommon, 3, flyers only)
  • Black: Blightcaster (uncommon, 0, when you cast an enchantment spell), Liliana of the Dark Realms (mythic, 0, if she has 3+ loyalty counters)
  • Red: Barrage of Expendables (uncommon, 1, requires sacrificing a creature), Chandra Pyromaster (mythic, 0), Scourge of Valkas (mythic, X, when a Dragon enters the battlefield under your control)
  • Green: Oath of the Ancient Wood (rare, X, when an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control)
  • Artifact: Rod of Ruin (uncommon, 3)

So there are 2 common and 3 uncommon reusable targeting effects. The 2 commons are in white and blue, but a W/U deck would prefer to run tempo spells like Disperse, Frost Breath, and Time Ebb to fend off the largest creatures temporarily while it wins in the air. There are also 3 uncommons, but Rod of Ruin is the only one I’d be happy to use with Dismiss into Dream, and it won’t usually kill a creature until the turn after Dismiss into Dream is played.

Let’s look at the remaining targeting effects. I won’t list removal that can usually handle large creatures by turn 8, even if it is slightly conditional (e.g., Doom Blade), requires a permanent to remain in play (e.g., Banisher Priest, Pacifism) or requires a condition that can usually be met on turn 8 (e.g., Hunt the Weak), since those would often be just as effective without Dismiss into Dream.

  • White: Divine Favor (common, 2), Show of Valor (common, 2), Blessing (uncommon, 2), Indestructibility (rare, 4)
  • Blue: Disperse (common, 2), Frost Breath (common, 3), Time Ebb (common, 3), Illusionary Armor (uncommon, 5), Domestication (rare, 4)
  • Black: Dark Favor (common, 2), Festering Newt (common, 1, has to die for effect), Mark of the Vampire (common, 4), Wring Flesh (common, 1)
  • Red: Act of Treason (common, 3), Goblin Shortcutter (common, 2), Lightning Talons (common, 3), Pitchburn Devils (common, 5, has to die for effect), Shock (common, 1), Thunder Strike (common, 2), Flames of the Firebrand (uncommon, 3), Shiv’s Embrace (uncommon, 4), Thorncaster Sliver (rare, 5)
  • Green: Giant Growth (common, 1), Trollhide (common, 3), Briarpack Alpha (uncommon, 4), Enlarge (uncommon, 5)
  • Artifact: Vial of Poison (uncommon, 1+1)

Blue and red have the most number of playable targeting effects at common, but M14 U/R decks are usually aggressive and would prefer to use cards like Goblin Shortcutter, Trained Condor, Lightning Talons, Seismic Stomp, Disperse, Frost Breath, and Time Ebb, to underrun the opponent, than to cast a 7-mana enchantment that allows you to remove the opponent’s creatures permanently.

In short, M14 does not have a lot of cheap, reusable targeting effects to support Dismiss into Dreams. It may be playable as a sideboard card in certain control mirrors, but is otherwise just as unplayable as you probably think it is.

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