Persistent Petitioners is a creature with a few components:
- Pay and to make opponent mill one card
- 4 cards with the Advisor type to make opponent mill 12 cards
- A deck may have any number of this card
Let’s begin with that final piece of text that effectively removes the usual limit of 4 copies of a card per deck. There is currently only one other card with that ability in Standard: the ever popular Rat Colony. With that card, the idea is that you flood the board with multiple copies as each one provides the others with a +1/+01. Persistent Petitioners has a slightly different tact in that multiple versions of it don’t do anything in particular; it’s the fact that they have the advisor type which feeds into that second ability for a powerful milling technique.
Currently there is only one other advisor in Standard; Teysa Karlov. Unfortunately she is a legendary creature so you can only have one of those in play at a time which won’t add a huge amount of help to this ability2. Historically there have been several advisors with the most recent being in the Kaladesh block. I’m personally hopeful we’ll see more of them in the upcoming sets as I think they are a wonderful piece of casting; who doesn’t love having a Gríma Wormtongue style character to perform their shenanigans?
In any case, the power to tap 4 of these (or 3 and a Teysa) gives you the incredible ability to have your opponent mill 12 cards. That is the most powerful single milling technique I can find in history, let alone in Standard, with the exception of Nicol Bolas, the Ravager // Nicol Bolas, the Arisen ultimate. Of course, getting to that stage is going to require a lot of these cards — 18-22 in fact if a recent stream by Sean “Day” Plott is anything to go by3 — and even then it is going to be a tricky manoeuvre to pull off.
The real dilemma is that posed by many a milling deck: how many hits can you take before you empty their library? The current favourite milling tactic is to simply play 4 copies of Psychic Corrosion and then play cards that let you keep drawing; that can easily do more than 12 cards per turn and the fact that they are enchantments tends to make them stick around a bit more than creatures. That said, having a creature on the board with 3 toughness is not a bad place to be in for a milling deck and the fact that you can get a couple of single card mills in early is a nice benefit4.
For now, I’m cautiously optimistic that this card will be elevated to greatness once future sets are released. To really unlock the potential there need to be a few more advisor cards and some of them should preferably have some synergistic abilities with Psychic Corrosion be that the ability to counter something as a defence mechanism or the ability to draw a card to further the milling. Given some extra friends, these petitioners would be far more persistent.
Some closing thoughts surrounding the artwork. What are they petitioning? Why would you sign a scroll in the middle of the horizontal rather than at the bottom of the vertical? Why does the one on the right look like Lady Olenna Tyrell? Why are there 3 of them pictured when you need 4 of them to do the ultimate mill?
She is also the wrong colour unless you are building a milling deck (and who in their right mind would do that *cough*). ↩︎
Although I would have much preferred it if the price was just a rather than paying as well. I guess to do that would have necessitated a move up to uncommon and that is at odds with the “have as many in a deck as you want” philosophy. ↩︎