Another booster pack and, amazingly, another day with a new card. I had a few interesting cards such as Open the Gates, Rubble Reading, and Spirit of the Spires but I’m predictable going to discuss the rare find:

Smothering Tithe

Smothering Tithe is a 3 Generic ManaWhite enchantment that asks an opponent to pay 2 Generic Mana whenever they draw a card; if they decline, then you get a treasure token1.

This is an interesting card as you are giving the opponent the choice of giving you a single piece of mana or losing two of their own at least once per turn. If they are using a lot of card draw spells like Chart a Course, Chemister’s Insight, or any of the RNA lockets, then that is going to be a far higher penalty.

For me, this card is looking particularly nice for my milling deck for a few reasons:

  • It helps give me just a bit more mana that can be immediately used for counter-spells. This is especially useful with Syncopate where mana advantage over your opponent is required.
  • It would really hurt decks that use Niv-Mizzet, Parun which I’ve been struggling against over the past few weeks. Letting my opponent burn through their mana or give me extra mana would be a consolation when Niv Miz is constantly activating!
  • It potentially wastes an opponents turn by getting them to use an enchantment destroyer such as Mortify or Crushing Canopy; I’d much rather have them waste that on Smothering Tithe then on my Psychic Corrosion.

If I was being picky, a tithe is specifically 10% of income. It would have been cool if there had been a way to work that into the card, perhaps tying the penalty to the number of cards in play or total mana spent during the game. That said, a 2 Generic Mana mana penalty is more than reasonable and certainly pricey during the early stages of a game.

I’m definitely going to playtest this card in Arena over the coming days with my milling deck to see if I should include it in the Standard Showdown I’m playing in next week. I have a feeling it might be a keeper…

[13-03-2019] Update: Something I hadn’t considered (which was suggested to me by a player at the Standard Showdown) is that this could pair really nicely with Revel in Riches. A very interesting proposition!

  1. Which can be tapped and sacrificed to give one mana of any colour. Coincidentally I read an interesting piece on “treasure” tokens the other day over at Daily MTG answering a question as to “how did treasure tokens end up becoming deciduous?”. ↩︎

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.