After looking at Repeated Reverberation last week, I found a Drawn from Dreams in a booster pack at the weekend and then Scheming Symmetry today. That is a crazy streak where I seem to be picking up all of the alliteratively named double spells in this set cycle.

Scheming Symmetry

Scheming Symmetry is a Black rare sorcery that allows you and your opponent to search your library for a card and place it on top of their shuffled library. As the flavour text so eloquently states, “One for you, one for me; what could be more fair?”. Of course, it isn’t quite that fair as the card goes on top of the library for both players meaning you are going to need to wait until your next turn whilst your opponent will get their card first. For that reason alone you might be thinking why you would ever want to play this card? Well, you’re going to cheat.

The best thing about this card is not necessarily that it lets you locate whatever combo piece or trick you need right now in this specific game, it is instead the knowledge that you now know exactly where your opponent’s best card is; on top of their library. We don’t want it to end up in your opponent’s hand so we’re going to deal with it right now using a good old fashioned mill. For example:

Any of these cards will do the job1 but I prefer Ashiok for the way she not only discards the card but exiles it as well; she can also be used in mono-black which is very useful.

Whilst I think this “find and mill” technique is best, there is no reason why you couldn’t be more controlling and simply wait for the bomb to drop and counter it with something like Cancel, Dovin’s Veto, or Absorb.

Another thing to consider is how you get your card this turn rather than waiting until the next one. Thankfully the ways in which you can draw cards are numerous and you’ll likely look to a staple such as Opt to get the card for the lowest possible mana cost; late in the game, this should leave you with sufficient mana to cast whatever it is you need. Of course, there is no reason we can’t mix the two halves of this card together and do something like the following:

  1. Play a Psychic Corrosion at the beginning of your turn or have it in play on previous turns
  2. Cast your Scheming Symmetry and find your bomb card (that should ideally cost 2 mana less than you have available for this turn)
  3. Cast Opt; you now have your bomb card and your opponent’s one has been milled by Psychic Corrosion
  4. Profit

The problem with this card is that this trick of milling is predictable in a second or third match up against the same opponent. They may be tricksy and put a card on top that they don’t need in the hope you’ll mill that away instead2. The only real insurance against this is to use Saheeli’s Silverwing to take a peek at the top card of their library and decide if you should mill it or let it sit for a while.

I can’t talk about this card in detail and not mention the beautiful artwork by one of my favourite MTG artists; Seb McKinnon. I’ve mentioned before how much I love Seb’s art but he’s definitely done it again with this card. As with all of this double spell cards in this cycle, it shows a duality but I think this playing card mirror style is definitely the best of the five3.

  1. And there are several more. In fact, there are 17 mill cards in Standard right now. ↩︎

  2. A really clever player will put something like Narcomoeba on top as then if it’s milled it’ll end up on the battlefield. ↩︎

  3. I liked it so much I nominated it for best artwork in my Core Set 2020 Primer↩︎

This post is part of a weekday series where I open up a booster pack and pick a card to discuss. Whilst these are often the best cards from the set, I'll often pick one that is a bit niche or one that has cool artwork or flavour text. If there's a particular card you want me to take a look at, get in touch or join my Discord community.