This card is not very good, but its design is
deceptive enough to fool you.
I first saw this card as an interesting way to
empty my opponent’s two card hand in constructed
decks. Optimistically, this card could be good
in both constructed and limited. I’ve tried to
be open minded about this card, but I just can’t
see it. Blue was the best color for draft in
Time Spiral, and it is still quite strong in
Time Spiral/Time Spiral/Planar Chaos. Too strong
to allow you to play Wistful Thinking. Sure,
sometimes Wistful Thinking could make your
opponent lose his whole hand, but more often, it
will dig them further in their deck for the card
they need. Playing Wistful Thinking on your
opponent with any thing besides one or two cards
in their hand is just suicide. Once in a while,
Wistful Thinking could be played targeting
yourself to help YOU find a needed card while
discarding cards you can’t really use right now
or, better yet, cards with Madness. Most of the
time, however, Wistful Thinking is just BAD
thinking. Situational with a capital S. If
Wistful Thinking is this bad in limited, what
are the chances it improves in an even faster
format like constructed? Not very good at all.
This card is another variation of draw/discard
that has been seen many times before. This is
probably one of the worst versions of that
mechanic. As the net gain of cards is -2 cards.
This can only be useful if you are in dire need
of putting things into the graveyard for some
kind of recursion or dredge. However, the key to
this card is "target player". It can be used to
screw up an opponent's plans. All in all not
probably not a card that should see any kind of
There have been a lot of cards similar to
Wistful Thinking in recent sets. "Sifting" can
be a powerful ability, especially since there
have also been a lot of reanimation cards in
recent sets, and we've also seen the return of
madness and flashback. Wistful Thinking is not a
card drawer, like Sift, Compulsive Research, or
Careful Consideration; it's more of a combo
enabler, specifically madness and flashback, in
the tradition of Careful Study. Unfortunately
(or fortunately, depending on your point of
view), the crop of madness cards in Standard are
less powerful than during the Odyssey block, so
I don't expect it to make too much of an impact
in constructed. Reanimator strategies will
probably prefer to stick with Compulsive
Research, since Wistful Thinking can easily
force you to discard that crucial Zombify; but
it's worth noting that it acts like Mind Twist
if your opponent has two or fewer cards in hand.
In casual, madness never truly went away, and
Wistful Thinking can be useful in certain kinds
of decks. It's also quite playable in limited,
especially if you also have cards like Call to
the Netherworld, Dark Withering, and Reckless
Let's keep this short.
There's pretty much no reason to use this on
yourself as Compulsive Research
does a much better job of discarding your own
stuff, so you're using this
against your opponent only.
It's a Mind Rot, but your opponent gets more
choice. Is Mind Rot played? Nope.
So should this be played? Nope, and it's
especially against Renanimator.
Constructed: 1/5 for the reasons stated above
Casual: 1/5 Reanimator's still common here, and
there's so much more funner
cards out there.
Limited: 1/5, it doesn't do anything.
Constructed: In Standard blue control decks may
use this in a discard based deck or in the
sideboard for the counterspell mirror match. Yes
you give your opponent 2 cards, but when they
have to discard 4 right after can make that
bonus moot if they had only 2 cards or less in
their hand to begin with (though if they had no
cards in hand it just plays like a bad Glimpse
the Unthinkable). Not so effective in the early
game as it gives your opponent a chance to
filter for their best cards, so it’s going to
play the best in the mid to late game. Extended
decks may get use out of this in U/G madness
Casual/Multi: Causal players just have access to
a lot more variety in their draw and discard
spells, mill spells or straight up discard
spells. It’s best use is going to be in a u/b
Megrim deck to deal your opponent 8 points of
damage which would make up for any advantage
your opponent might get out of the spell.
Limited: Black has quite a few madness cards and
this gives you more opportunities to cast them
if you’re already in U/B. If you can catch your
opponent with a hand of few cards this can help
clear out come fatties or combat tricks that
might be lurking in it (can be combined with
wipe away or Riftwing Cloudskate to put a threat
back in their hand if you want more long term
removal. Discard in limited isn’t all that great
though as they can come up as dead draws a lot
of the time (can be even worse if used against a
black player with their own madness spells too).
Best leave this in the sideboard and maindeck a
creature or something else that can actually
kill your opponent.
I highly doubt this will see much play. It costs
three so it can be used until third turn and it
nets you down two cards. Unless you are really
looking to reach threshold or possibly fire up
some of the empty hand abilities, then this card
won't be played.
Mind rot in blue that gives them card choice if
they have more than 2 cards in hand. I don't
really like it.
A very in-flavor blue discard spell. You end up,
overall, dropping their hand size by two,
although they get to pick the cards and before
discarding they get a couple of extra options,
like excess land. It's also a sorcery, which
hurts its playability a bit. Maybe in a U/B deck
if one pops up.
In casual, this would be fun to play with a hand
of 4 Basking Rootwallas. It is blue discard, so
if that tickles your fancy, try it out.
In limited, a low pick, but if you do get it and
play blue, maybe worth siding in against an
aggressive deck. Unless this would end up nuking
their hand completely, you just basically give
them two more chances to draw their bomb.
Constructed - 2
Casual - 2
Limited - 2
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