The Toolbox – The Opulence of Telepathy

Telepathy | Art by Matthew D. Wilson

Knowledge is True Opulence

Welcome back to The Toolbox! Here we take a look at underplayed cards and evaluate where they ought to see more play.

Today we are taking a look at Telepathy and Curse of Opulence! These one-mana enchantments pack a load of value for how little of an investment they require. So are they worth that one mana? Or are they just random enchantments that belong in bulk boxes? Let’s find out!


Show Me Your Secrets

“Knowledge is power.” This is something a lot of Magic players agree with; there is a reason mechanics like Scry are so desirable. Telepathy takes this concept even further: it makes all your opponents play with their hands revealed!

Why do we really care about this kind of effect though? Let’s look at the EDHREC page to find out!

Knowing what is in your opponents’ hands can be useful in general for knowing what to play around, when to hold up a counter or removal spell, when to play your own threat, or even just comboing off.

Sen Triplets may be a bit redundant in her effect of revealing an opponent’s hand, but being able to see their hands gives the Triplets more information about which opponent to choose. The one thing that Baral, Chief of Compliance is known for is hard Control builds, and with Telepathy you don’t have to fall for those tricky bait spells! The really tricky one though, is Zur the Enchanter, he is classically built as a blend of Combo, Enchantress, and Control. While the controlling aspects are mainly to protect your combos, Telepathy aids in this, can be tutored up with Zur, and can act as a way of knowing when to combo off.

These are some great decks to play Telepathy in, but what are some other places it should be played?


Let Me Drive the Boat

Hanna, Ship’s Navigator really just wants to drive the Weatherlight. Oh! A Hanna Vehicle brew could be pretty sweet… that’s for another time, though! Hanna has to stay as the Navigator, at least for this article!

Hanna is a 1/2 Human Artificer that can tap and pay three mana to return an artifact or enchantment from your graveyard to your hand. This is a pretty cool effect that is not very widely seen in Magic, it can be used as recursion in case something gets destroyed or even possibly generating some crazy combo with Paradox Engine.

Now you may be asking, “Why should Hanna run Telepathy?” If you did, great, because I have an answer! If not, I still have an answer for you anyway!

Hanna is obviously a very strong Enchantress commander, and with enchantments being a staple throughout Magic’s history, a huge diversity of utility enchantments have been printed.
So when you have Telepathy out, and you cast an Enlightened Tutor, it is way easier to decide on a tutor target when you can see your opponents’ hand. For instance, being able to see your opponent has a big Blightsteel Colossus and then being able to say, “Oh, I’ll find this Solemnity to take care of that!”

In a deck filled to the brim with silver bullets, those bullets are way better if you know exactly which one to use or find. Seriously, you can run anything from Aura of Silence, Imprisoned in the Moon, or even Consulate Crackdown. Just take a look at the decklist to see all the options for yourself!

Give Me the Keys

Commander (1)
Creatures (9)
Instants (6)
Sorceries (6)
Artifacts (9)
Enchantments (32)
Planeswalkers (37)

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No! It’s My Boat!

Even though Hanna may want to drive the Weatherlight, Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is the true Captain. Jhoira is a 3/3 for four mana that draws you a card whenever you cast a historic spell. Wow, just wow. I have played some broken commanders but dang, did someone say Combo?

When I’m playing a combo deck, the scariest thing is hidden information. Starting your turn when opponents have open mana is risky; your opponents could have removal or a counterspell, and you have no say in it. There are some different ways to handle this, such as forcing the combo through by sheer number of cards, outnumbering the removal your opponents have at the ready, or perhaps by defending the combo with counterspells of your own. This can be very effective, but counterspells are a little more limited when you have three opponents and card numbers are tough to navigate in a one-versus-three scenario.

This is where Telepathy comes in, to fill the role that Gitaxian Probe used to fill for Modern Infect. Though it does not draw a card, it is also not a one-time use spell. It enables you to see if your opponents have interaction and then know when you have enough cards or counters to fight through that interaction and win. It can even simply tell you how long you’re able to wait until you must try to go off. Plus, if an opponent spends a Krosan Grip on it, that’s one fewer removal spell for them to use on your super important cards like Krark-Clan Ironworks, and you can’t really complain there.

This kind of effect is sorely underrated for what it does, just think of all the times a little bit of information could have gotten you the win!


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Curses!

Literally! This little piece of gold from Commander 2017 is so overlooked but so powerful. It’s also a one-mana enchantment, this time enchanting a specific player, and when that player is attacked, the attacker gets a Gold token, and if the attacker is your opponent, you get a Gold as well.

This is a great political card, encouraging attacks on someone else, giving you free mana, while remaining inconspicuous and subtly keeping pressure off you, all for a one mana investment! You can even enchant yourself if you’re getting targeted and need mana. this card is rarely dead and always causes some interesting lines of play.

Here we have the ultimate political commander himself, Mathas, Fiend Seeker. Mathas is all about politics, misdirection, and encouraging your opponents to kill each other, so what could be more perfect than these two together? Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer is also an amazing match because Curse of Opulence ramps you up to Brudiclad, then makes tokens that can become other tokens, like 2/1 Myr. This card is just straight value in a deck like Brudiclad!

Then there is the big daddy, The Ur-Dragon. This is probably a holdover from the Precon Effect, since Opulence was in Ur-Dragon’s original preconstructed deck, but it still works here. When you are trying to do something like cast a bunch of giant Dragons as fast as possible, any mana advantage is great, so Curse of Opulence fits the bill there. It also draws attention away from you and your giant Dragons, which is exactly what you need to buy time in the early game.

Where else should Curse of Opulence be played, though? I’ll give you a hint: you may find a couple places in the rest of this article.


*BOOM*

This time, the Shattergang Brothers are up to bat! Or throw bombs. Same difference. Like the other two commanders above, Shattergang is also an Artificer! Wasn’t intentional, I promise. The Brothers can pay three mana and sacrifice an enchantment, artifact, or creature to force every other player to sacrifice one as well. Yay, mutually assured suffering! I mean fun!

Shattergang Brothers is all about shattering things, so why not shatter some Gold tokens? Curse of Opulence gets you mana, creates artifacts that you can sacrifice to Shattergang, and keeps people from attacking you! You can also sacrifice the Curse itself in a pinch.

Past that, the Gold can be sacrificed to common Shattergang cards, such as Trading Post, and they’ll give Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest tons of counters, and they’ll trigger Revolt on Aid from the Cowl. There’s a ton of synergy, so take a look at the decklist and check out all those cool interactions!

Artificer Tribal

Commander (1)
Creatures (28)
Instants (3)
Sorceries (7)
Artifacts (11)
Enchantments (11)
Planeswalkers (1)
Lands (38)

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Not an Artificer

We have finally broken the pattern of Artificer commanders! This time, we’re on Warrior Tribal, helmed by Najeela, the Blade-Blossom. Najeela is a 3/2 Human Warrior that creates tapped and attacking 1/1 Warrior tokens whenever a Warrior attacks. Notably, this is symmetrical, so you can create tokens for your opponents when they attack with Warriors if you really want to. Najeela can also pay a mana of each color to boost your team with a bunch of excellent keywords, untap them, and give you an additional combat phase. Again, this can be used on an opponent’s turn to give them an extra combat, if you really want to give your enemies extra combat steps, because, you know, why not?

Curse of Opulence is a great fit for a Najeela deck. She loves to attack, and Opulence loves it when you attack, too. You can use the Gold to cast your Warriors, like Gruul Spellbreaker or Lovisa Coldeyes, or you could use it on the actiavted abilities of Brutal Hordechief, Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Jazal Goldmane, etc. You could also just use it on Najeela herself and get those extra combats, but where’s the fun in that?

The political leverage and aggressive style is exactly what you want in a deck like this, so Curse of Opulence is a great addition. This card has too many interactions, frankly, so it’s time for the decklist.

Big Stick Policy

Commander (1)
Creatures (30)
Instants (10)
Sorceries (6)
Artifacts (9)
Enchantments (9)
Lands (35)

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The End of History

Well maybe not, but it is the end of this article. Thank you all once again for your continued support for the series. What’s your favorite underrated card? Do you agree or disagree with my take on Curse of Opulence and Telepathy? Where do you think they should see more play? Please share in the comments below, and as always, have a great day!

Elijah is a mildly obsessive EDH player from Georgia. He started playing during Battle for Zendikar with Green/Black Eldrazi Aristocrats and still pays tribute to the plane with his Omnath, Locus of Rage storm brew. He is always excited to innovate and try new things in Magic and Life. Elijah is currently a full time student looking to go into Computer Engineering but also has a bit of an artistic streak.