There are numerous cards in the game that allow a player to effectively steal and/or copy cards from the opponent’s field. Only one, however, allows them to take cards directly from their deck: Mindgate.
- The use of Duality (Mindgate’s skill) costs 2 to use, and can be used once per turn
- Mindgate only generates copies of the opponent’s next card in your hand, and cannot be used if you have a full hand
- Cards that you copy via Mindgate do not disappear from the opponent’s deck (they will still draw the copied card the following turn, excluding certain effects)
Mindgate is an Aether permanent (5 unupped, 4 upgraded) that, when used, allows the player to basically generate the opponent’s next drawn card. Mindgate’s ability, Duality, can be used only once per turn. Duality costs 2 for both card versions, but it does not steal the card from your opponent’s deck - it only adds a copy to your hand, meaning that your opponent will still draw that card the following turn (excluding a few counters). Note that Duality’s effect is useless if the opponent has no cards left in their deck, or if you have a full hand.
However, the usage of Mindgate can allow the player to outmaneuver their opponent as they can figure out how to counter upcoming cards (or even play them) to deny certain strategies. For example, assuming a player with Mindgate has generated enough quanta by duplicating the opponent’s pillars, they can counter the effects of Steal by using the duplicated Steal card on their own stolen permanent. A duplicated Antimatter via Mindgate can help reverse the debuff effect immediately if it’s played on one of your creatures. Even a duplicated Gravity Pull can be used to redirect damage from one of your creatures to another (assuming it’s still alive by the end of your opponent’s turn). Many other cards can be copied to give the player another way of effectively negating the use of certain control cards, including various creatures.
From the last statement, the power of Eternity | Eternity becomes wonderful to use in combination with Mindgate. Since Eternity places a target creature back into the owner’s deck (as the next drawn card), one could use Eternity’s ability to rewind certain creatures to either Mindgate them (making it an alternative copying effect to Twin Universe). The other tactic is to use Mindgate before rewinding a creature, allowing one to gain another type of card rather than the creature (which can be useful if it’s something involving permanent or creature control). One could also achieve a similar effect by using Nightmare on any non-playable creature (allowing them to be unable to draw their next card), but in either case, both of these tactics don’t work as well against those who have increased drawing techniques ( Hourglasses).
Dimensional Shield | Phase Shield becomes another great candidate for synergy with Mindgate. Against opponents who lack permanent control, having a Dimensional Shield can allow a player to stall and deny all creature damage dealt to them while they continue copying the opponent’s deck - the fact that they both cost moderate amounts of quanta also makes it viable strategy in Mono-Aether decks. However, because Mono-Aether decks are generally limited in outside quanta generation (compared to Immolation), Dimensional Shields can also provide additional turns to hopefully draw the opponent’s pillars or pendulums for non- quanta generation.
To counter the situation above, Nova | Supernova assists with Mindgate’s quanta issues. Depending on the opponent’s deck and variety in cards, Supernova greatly eases the problems of having a certain quanta type to play the creature, permanent, or spell that was copied from Mindgate. In various rainbow decks, Supernova is a favorite for fast quanta generation to play as many different card types as possible, and with Mindgate, one could turn the opponent’s own deck against them fairly quickly without waiting turns for pillars and pendulums to trigger.
Other Cards With Synergy
All in all, Mindgate is one-of-a-kind (for the time being); while many other cards from Aether and other elements allow one to technically take and copy cards from the opponent’s field, Mindgate goes beyond and duplicates cards from the opponent’s deck, making it a versatile card to counter the enemy with their own cards. Aside from permanent control, one should think carefully when facing an opposing Mindgate - depending on what card you draw next, your opponent might have the same (dis)advantage…
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