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It’s always good to have a safety valve for standard formats. Graveyard hate and hate for certain colors are often good ways to include options for players to use in case a certain deck becomes too prevalent or powerful. For years, Pithing Needle was a standard safety net, giving a cheap option to players to stop a specific activated ability. This could range from Planeswalkers to any other permanent with an ability. Sorcerous Spyglass was later printed in Ixalan to fill that same role, and it’s back again in Throne of Eldraine.
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Sorcerous Spyglass lets you look at your opponent’s hand as it enters. Once it does, you may name any card. That card’s activated abilities don’t work (as long as they aren’t mana abilities). It’s a simple effect, but a powerful one. Magic‘s current Standard is full of Planeswalkers. With Sorcerous Spyglass sticking around, it should prove a solid counter to their prevalence. The Spyglass also hits any creatures, enchantments, or artifacts with activated abilities that could become too powerful. It’s an excellent safety valve that should help to keep Standard balanced.
As for Modern and Legacy, this card is an excellent reprint. There has been a debate about whether Sorcerous Spyglass or Pithing Needle is better, but both do see play in sideboards and in artifact prison decks. The extra information Spyglass provides can often be invaluable, while being one cheaper can be a hindrance. It’s often meta-dependant for which card you may choose (if either) for your sideboard. Still, it can never hurt to have more copies of the card floating around.
What do you think of this reprint (and sweet new art) of Sorcerous Spyglass? Do you think it will see main deck play in Standard? Is Pithing Needle just better? Let us know down in the comments below!