Prerelease Work! All About Surge!

Welcome back to Prerelease Week! Today we’re going to be discussing Surge- and no, not the 90s citrus soda that’s recently been brought back as proof that the universe is a kind place. Surge, the new mechanic from Oath of the Gatewatch! As we mentioned yesterday, Oath of the Gatewatch is actually designed partially for Two-Headed Giant. One of the biggest ways the set contributes to multiplayer formats is with Surge. Surge is an alternate cost, meaning you can choose to pay that cost INSTEAD of the cost printed on the upper-right of the card; so far, all the Surge costs are cheaper than the ‘base’ cost, but they do have a requirement: you can only pay the Surge cost if you or a teammate has already cast a spell that turn. In a regular two-person game you can still ‘enable’ Surge by just casting a cheap spell before your Surge spell, but it REALLY shines in 2HG. Thanks to you actually having a teammate in that format, they can play their spell and turn your Surge spells on without you having to pre-spend mana, making them a lot ‘cheaper’. You could play a Tyrant of Valakut or Crush of Tentacles on turn 5 thanks to that! The nitty-gritty for Surge is pretty simple too; it doesn’t care which of you cast the spell, and it doesn’t care if the spell resolved or not. If your teammate walks their spell into a counter, you can still Surge. If you want to PROTECT your teammate’s spell with a surged Overwhelming Denial while it’s on the stack, you can! Surge only cares that one of you CAST a spell, not resolved it. Additionally, a few cards with Surge get better if you use Surge- Tyrant of Valakut domes something for 3, or Crush of Tentacles makes an Octopus. Naturally, you ONLY get that benefit if you Surge the spell- casting it any other way won’t cut it! Finally, Surge is an alternate cost, which means it can’t be used in tandem with OTHER alternate costs. If something is allowing you to cast a spell for free (such as Bring to Light), that’s an alternate cost. If you cast Bring to Light to find a spell with Surge, you can’t Surge it! However, you CAN pay the Surge cost of a spell you target with Jace, Telepath Unbound– he’s letting you cast the spell from the graveyard, but it’s not an alternate cost! It’s just letting you cast it from somewhere weird. So to all of you two-headed giants in waiting: good luck Surging the castle!

Today’s Prerelease Tip was written by Trevor Nunez

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