If Once upon a time was White or Red I think it would be stone unplayable in vintage. Black could be fringe because the decks sometimes make black mana or play unmask/contagion. As a green card, or if it was blue, the fact that it pitches is a substantial part of the sales pitch.
I see this primarily as a SB card - and that's coming from a Hatebears pilot. Of course it's great against Storm of various sorts, and although the effect is also good vs Xerox, your matchup as a the Hatebears pilot should already be pretty good against Xerox - especially against the Dreadhorde versions. However, the card simply doesn't do anything against Shops and Dredge. Against Dredge that's just a minor concern as the maindeck is already packed with cards that don't do much in that matchup, but you really just need to find one of your maindeck Yixlid Jailers/Containment Priests/Grafdigger's Cage to win game one against Dredge. But you simply can't afford to play too many dead cards against Shops - especially when they come without legs.
That said, I do think this deserves maindeck testing. I'll probably start by replacing some copies, or all, of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben with it.
Nexus of fate was the wincon for that list, but not the engine. Being able to double your effective mana and play your turn and your opponents turn really was. That deck can easily still exist between Frilled Mystic, Nightpack ambusher, and this.
That being said, I stand by this card representing what a modern day intentionally pushed card looks like.
I love that the wording allows you to “nah, keep them” if there’s nothing worth 2-for-1ing yourself over.
They had to edit the rules text down to make room for the flavor text, but the original wording included a sentence that said "If you do not choose a card, remove all copies of Specter's Shriek from your deck after the game ends."
I'm not high on this card at all. "Sometimes" counter a spell? "Sometimes" kill a dork? And the opponent can control when the condition is satisfied?
In the early game, when cheap, targeted removal or countermagic is at its most powerful, this card is most likely to miss. And, if your opponent knows you have this, they can plan around it. As the game goes long, this is a decent enough spell, but then it starts to have competition.
Ultimately, this feels like another card kind of like Dimir Charm or similar effects. On the edge, not there.
Like I said, I could imagine amulet of vigor / Fastbond strategies wanting this solely because 6 mana is where you need to be to cast Titan, if that is the way that deck goes. That list would obviously never run cradle because it just does not have creatures in play.
If anyone was curious, Brian Kelly was quite offended by this blatant anti-Dromoka, anti-Gisela, anti-Arlin, anti-Vraska hate card. I'm not sure who has it out for Brian at the DCI, but they deserve a raise for this killer design.
@protoaddict Goyf is being played a lot because it hurts Shops. Anyway, go to the topic to discuss it. My point was only that it's different from Into the Story because not only it's not a blank while the condition isn't met, but that it has few similar cards to it while Into the Story has a lot, and better ones. Doesn't mean Goyle is playable though.
I don't mean cycling for free though. If it was:
R - Instant
Do 4 damage to any target.
You can only play one spell named ~ each game.
that would be powerful but still have a substantial downside vs Bolt, after the first one.
It is still pure upside where none existed before, and it is still in the light of a very specific downside they put on the card to balance it.
The interaction with painter is way to significant to ignore. It may only see play in 1 deck but may push that deck from relative obscurity to a deck that can steal weekly challenges and league 5-0s.
This card has to be worse than red blasts 1-8 in painter though right? Do you have room for 9+ of that effect? IN all the old build of painter i played i struggled to play more than 4 and even with MM restricted I can't imagine playing more than 6-7.