Another theological deep cut from the “O Antiphons” today. Like the last slightly less obviously Christmas-y pack, Lawgiver, this antiphon is a plea for liberation: that the Key of David would unlock the gates of the imprisoned, open the path to Paradise, and bar the gates to Hell.

Magic often associates keys and gateways with unblockability, so this pack focuses on pushing our creatures past opposing defenses, either with their own abilities, or with our assortment of keys.

Advent 20: Open to Wonder

Creatures (6)
Corridor Monitor
Gate Colossus
Gateway Sneak
Keeper of Keys
Keymaster Rogue
Sea Gate Oracle

Artifacts (3)
Cloud Key
Manifold Key
Skeleton Key

Spells (3)
Fall from Favor
Open into Wonder
Lands (8)
Azorius Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Gateway Plaza
Izzet Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Snow-Covered Island
Rogue's Passage

An abundance of guildgates means that this pack is off to a slower start than some of the others: we will often find ourselves waiting a turn to use the lands we drop. With luck, the time we sacrifice fiddling with our keys will pay off in the cards we draw from Gateway Sneak, Open into Wonder, and Opt (the Eldraine printing, of course), and a Gate Colossus that comes down at a steep discount. Flavor-wise, this pack also evokes the Kingship of David with the monarch mechanic, and the references to wonder are meant to hint at the divine continuation of this lineage that is celebrated at Christmas.

Multi-colored guildgates mean that this pack has the capacity to blend with any combination of colors and provide some accommodation for an abundance of colors. However, any pack already containing islands will speed this one up substantially, enabling the keys to open the way for creatures that otherwise might lack evasion. Let your opponents know who the monarch really is with Fall from Favor and Keeper of Keys, and open wide the gates of victory.

Jacob Torbeck is a researcher and instructor of theology and ethics. He hails from Chicago, IL, and loves playing Commander and pre-modern cubes.

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