The next Duel Decks product, Sorin vs. Tibalt, is coming out in about two weeks. As I pointed out in my article about Sorin’s possible rare cards, in planeswalker-versus-planeswalker Duel Decks the mythic slots are taken up by the planeswalkers themselves, leaving five rare slots to be filled with whatever the development team thinks is appropriate. So what, exactly, will the Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded deck have on hand to devastate its foe Sorin, Lord of Innistrad? Let me try to guess:
1. Increasing Vengeance
Tibalt is less popular than a lot of other planeswalkers due to his unfortunate tendency to just throw valuable cards in your hand away. That recklessness is a lot more easily forgiven when your deck is packed with flashback cards, as I suspect this one will be. The red member of the Increasing spells cycle from Dark Ascension is a natural fit for a planeswalker who likely revels in tossing off rapid-fire spells without a thought to whom they’ll harm. This one actually benefits from being in your ‘yard, so it won’t feel so bad to randomly discard it to Tibalt’s +1-loyalty ability.
2. Vexing Devil
It’s cheap enough to come down on the first turn and has the stats to deliver an absolute beatdown if it survives. In exchange, this card gives your opponent a choice about whether it lives or dies (this is the sort of “joke” that Tibalt likes to play, I would imagine). Here’s the thing – neither choice is actually a good one. Sure, choosing to kill it will result in whoever played it having an empty board on the first turn, but it also means you start with 16 life, definitely not a good thing against a burn-supported aggro deck. And letting it live only means you let your opponent have the most undercosted vanilla creature of all time.
3. Stalking Vengeance
Another card with Vengeance in its name, and one that loves to see your own creatures die. Tibalt isn’t much for caring about the life expectancy of his servants, and this creature allows your other creatures to explode at your opponents with one final assault, which will work well with the many sacrifice abilities that will probably be in this deck.
4. Wild Evocation
Wild Evocation is a relatively obscure card simply because it was a forgettable rare in a core set, and one that comes with some crazy risks to use. But Tibalt’s deck, of all decks, could make good use of this. If you can manage to empty your hand of everything but your finisher while you have Wild Evocation on the board, things will get very messy very quickly. And if Tibalt is good at anything it’s blowing through cards in hand like a hurricane through a leaf pile.
5. Devil’s Play
I hate to pick a totally obvious choice, but Devil’s Play works so well with Tibalt it’d be criminal not to include it. He’s half-Devil, he likes getting spells into his controller’s graveyard, and he likes burn. It’s a match made in Devils’ Breach.