THS: Flamespeaker Adept

I’d evaluated Flamespeaker Adept as exceptional in both my original and updated evaluations. However, it’s never actually been stellar for me in practice because I’ve never had enough scry effects to go with it. I’ve wondered whether this is because I haven’t been valuing scry effects highly enough, whether I haven’t been in the right color pairs to make best use of the card, or whether it is unavoidable because Limited deck cannot run enough instants/sorceries to make good use of the card.

Here are the scry effects in Theros by color. They’re common instants with one-time effects unless otherwise noted:

  • White (2 commons + 1 uncommon): Battlewise Valor, Gods Willing, Vanquish the Foul (uncommon sorcery)
  • Blue (6 + 3 + 1 rare + 1 mythic): Aqueous Form (enchantment/recurring), Lost in Labyrinth, Omenspeaker (creature), Prescient Chimera (creature/recurring), Stymied Hopes, Voyage’s End, Dissolve (uncommon), Horizon Scholar (uncommon creature), Sea God’s Revenge (uncommon sorcery), Prognostic Sphinx (rare creature/recurring), Thassa God of the Sea (mythic enchantment creature/recurring)
  • Black (1): Read the Bones (sorcery)
  • Red (4 + 1): Portent of Betrayal (sorcery), Rage of Purphoros (sorcery), Spark Jolt, Titan’s Strength, Magma Jet (uncommon)
  • Green (0 + 1): Artisan’s Sorrow (uncommon)
  • Multicolor (0 + 1 + 1): Battlewise Hoplite (uncommon creature/recurring), Reaper of the Wilds (rare creature/recurring)
  • Artifact (0 + 1): Witches’ Eye (uncommon artifact/recurring)
  • Land (0 + 0 + 5): 5 Temples (rare lands)

I’m usually not excited to be playing Vanquish the Foul, Lost in Labyrinth, Stymied Hopes, Rage of Purphoros, Spark Jolt, or Witches’ Eye maindeck. Excluding those cards, blue has the most scry effects by far (13.7 in the average draft), followed by red (6) and white (4.8). Blue also has 5 of the 7 recurring scry effects in Theros: Aqueous Form, Prescient Chimera, Prognostic Sphinx, Thassa God of the Sea, and the multicolor Battlewise Hoplite. Perhaps most importantly, blue has all but 1 of the creatures with scry effects and it is these creatures that allow you to get a critical mass of scry effects while still running enough creatures.

It might be possible to draft an occasional R/W deck that makes good use of Flamespeaker Adept, but it seems that the best color pair for it is U/R, perhaps in a deck that also runs Spellheart Chimera, Mnemonic Wall, and Meletis Charlatan to take advantage of the higher than usual number of instants and sorceries in the deck. If you’re drafting that deck, keep an eye out for Aqueous Form and Prescient Chimera once you have a couple of Flamespeaker Adepts. (Aqueous Form turns Flamespeaker Adepts into an unblockable 4/3 that scrys on each attack, which seems strong in a format that has relatively little removal.) However, this deck is specific enough that Flamespeaker Adept probably just merits a rating of good rather than exceptional.

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