Beyond the Norm: Core 2019 Checklist

Ryan Normandin
July 06, 2018

Core 2019 prerelease is just around the corner, and the traditional strategy is to try to build the best deck you can from your pool and win games. But sometimes, winning is just too easy. If you’re looking to do more than just win, see how many of the following you can achieve:


  1. Play Liliana, Untouched by Death and have it actually impact the board.
  2. Cast Scapeshift, then begin doing Valakut math out loud, explaining to your opponent that they’re dead. Hand them a Valakut to read.
  3. Cast an Omniscience off of an Apex of Power.
  4. Cast Isolate on one of the 18 legal targets in the format.
  5. Neigh whenever you cast one of the Mare cycle.
  6. Cast a Nexus of Fate. Wait a minute…
  7. Bring a sticker of Genie (from Aladdin) to stick onto Djinn of Wishes.
  8. Ask your opponent if they’re happy with Goreclaw as the execution of a legendary bear. Whichever side they take, take the opposite.
  9. Win a game with Liliana’s Contract.
  10. Laugh as your opponent plays Gigantosaurus, state, “Dies to Doom Blade,” then spend no more than two mana to kill it.
  11. Mill yourself with Mentor of the Meek.
  12. Cast Infernal Reckoning and shout, “Die, Eldrazi scum!”
  13. Play Lathliss, Dragon Queen and smile at your opponent. “Yo dawg, I heard you liked Shivan Dragons. So I put Shivan Dragons in my Shivan Dragons so I can Firebreath while I firebreath. Wanna trade it for a Black Lotus?”
  14. Never cast Thud without the accompanying sound effect.
  15. Have the seventh point of toughness granted by Aegis of the Heavens be relevant.
  16. Use Aegis of the Heavens with Arcades Sabboth to kill your opponent with a 0-power creature.
  17. Play every copy of Stitcher’s Supplier you open. Mill yourself, then complain that you just never found your payoff.
  18. Doublecast an Apex of Power.
  19. Cast Fraying Omnipotence in a Two-Headed Giant game and be the first person ever to sideboard for a Game 2.
  20. Cast Alpine Moon and name Urza’s Tower.
  21. Build a RB Burn deck with Lightning Strike, Shock, and Sovereign’s Bite.
  22. Cast a Suncleanser and excitedly discuss how this might finally be the Energy hate card we’ve been waiting for.
  23. Kill a Gigantosaur with a Nightmare’s Thirst.
  24. Build Turbofog with Root Snare, Sleep, and Arcane Encyclopedia.
  25. Cast Lich’s Caress on your opponent’s creature, and before they can put it into the graveyard, gently caress it with one finger. Maintain eye contact with your opponent.
  26. Cast Anticipate, then take no actions. When your opponent prompts you, just explain that you were building the anticipation, and can now look at the top seven cards and take two of them. When your opponent says that’s not fair, scream, “FREE DIG THROUGH TIME!!! DIG THROUGH TIME DIED FOR TREASURE CRUISE’S SINS!”
  27. Sacrifice Catalyst Elemental, then pull out a Storm Counter.
  28. Cast Colossal Dreadmaw, then clone it with Mirror Image and Metamorphic Alteration. Whenever you do, pull out an older, recent version of Colossal Dreadmaw to use as a reminder.
  29. Have a discussion with your opponent around whether Two-Headed Zombie needs twice as many brains to eat.
  30. Assemble Elder Dragon Tron (all five Elder Dragons in creature form on the battlefield under your control.) Then, accept your ban for cheating; nobody is that
  31. Every turn, put a Rupture Spire onto the battlefield under your control from yoru graveyard with Crucible of Worlds, sacrifice it, then announce, “Landfall.”
  32. Turn Nicol Bolas into an Ox.
  33. Play Amulet of Safekeeping. “It’s a rare, so even though I don’t understand it, I’m sure it has to be good.”
  34. After seeing a Chaos Wand in Game 1, sideboard into a mono-land deck so that when they activate it in Game 2, you can triumphantly demonstrate that you have outplayed them.
  35. Put Tezzeret into a creatureless control deck, ultimate him, then every end step, search through your library and announce, “Fail to find.”
  36. Play a Turn 3 Phylactery Lich with an artifact, then win casting no spells for the remainder of the game.
  37. Kill a Hungering Hydra with a Suncleanser.
  38. Lament the good old days when Pelakka Wurm used to be an uncommon.
  39. Use Mistcaller’s ability to do something powerful like counter Tezzeret’s +1.
  40. Use Suncleanser to remove the corpse counter from a creature returned by Isareth. Comment on how cool and relevant that was.
  41. Run every copy of Bone to Ash you open, and explain that, “It’s basically Cryptic Command.”
  42. Make a 20/20 Ajani’s Pridemate.
  43. When you play Angel of the Dawn, shake your head and explain that it should be a Black-Green card.
  44. Switcheroo your best creature for your opponent’s worst creature, then still win the game.
  45. Aggressively trade for everyone’s Vampire Sovereigns. When people ask why you want them, pause, give them a somber look, then move real close. Whisper into their ear, “Do you not remember Siege Rhino? I do, my child. I do.”
  46. Whenever you play a Human, sigh and loudly complain, “Welp, another tool for Modern Humans! I guess the deck just wasn’t good enough already, amirite?”
  47. Whenever you activate Goblin Motivator, give a motivational, Friday Night Lights-style speech. Be sure to customize for the creature being motivated!
  48. Give your opponents’ creatures haste with Goblin Motivator at the end of their turns. Work it into your speech.
  49. Scoff at any copy of Rustwing Falcon you see: “It doesn’t hold a candle to Storm Crow.”
  50. Whenever you cast or activate Vivien Reid, announce her as “Nissa” and see if anyone notices.