Future Sight vs. Tidings   2 comments

Some recent online chatter comparing Future Sight and Tidings in the Cube got me thinking that I need to do a comparison for the Cube public. There seems to be way too many people who believe that the cards are about equal in value in Cube (“they are both worth 4 cards”), and I will attempt to prove otherwise thorough a highly scientific battery of tests in which I will determine all the answers!

Let’s start with the biggest talking point in the discussion, Card Advantage.

Card Advantage

Tidings: +3. The end. No more, no less, and always the same on turn 4-5 or turn 15.

Future Sight: Well, depending on when you cast it (aka available mana after casting), your odds can change quite a bit of flipping a playable first card. Limited decks are typically 42% lands (17/40), so you can take those odds and add any free/cheaper artifacts in your deck if cast before a land drop is made and it is turn 4-7. If cast later, the odds of being able to cast spells from it goes up significantly (since you should have more available mana after casting), and each card you gain from it allows you to gain another. However, if you hit a second land, the engine could be over for the turn (unless you have other draw/manipulation spells). Counterspells also mean the end of the engine for the turn, but that also means your opponent will also be forced to play around it and may force your opponent into a mistake. If you do counter something, you could also hit another instant/flash spell. What we do know for sure is that having Future Sight in play is a permanent hand size change oF +1 for most intents and purposes.

The ceiling on Future Sight is a LOT higher but the floor is also lower (Worst-case scenario, you flip a second land for the turn and FS gets destroyed).

Edge: I think it is Future Sight for the higher ceiling, but some people value consistency over all else and would say it is Tidings.  Since this is the crux of the whole post, let’s look at other factors.

Casting Cost

Future Sight is 2UUU, Tidings is 3UU.

Edge: Tidings, but I’m not convinced that the extra U matters that much in decks that want to cast these spells.


Future Sight and Tidings must both be cast at sorcery speed 99+% of the time in most Cubes.

Edge: None.


Tidings can be countered, and is awful when your opponent has Underworld Dreams or a Consecrated Sphinx. Future Sight can be countered or disenchanted/destroy target permanent’d.

Edge: Tidings, with the caveat that FS being a permanent is what gives it both its weakness AND its main strength.


Tidings plays well with Niv-Mizzet and Lorescale Coatl.

Future Sight works great with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Brainstorm, Ponder, Preordain, Sylvan Library, Crystal Ball, Condescend, Magma Jet, and the most absurd of them all Sensei’s Divining Top. With Top + Future Sight in play, you effectively have an engine in place that says:

1: Draw a card.

Oh, and you get to manipulate your top card to get a ton of value. Nice interactions.

Edge: Future Sight, by a mile.


Tidings means news, and getting some cards could be considered news; I’m not sure news is the same as spells, though, especially since news implies the past and new cards are the future (of the game).

Future Sight implies a mystical ability to look into the future, which is exactly what the card does. If someone could do that, they could also affect what happens in the present; Future Sight allows you to do that too, since you can cast cards from the ‘future’

Oh, and they named a Magic expansion after the card.

Edge: Future Sight
















One of these is pretty boring and just represents a mundane act (using a signet ring on a document to seal it), while the other one reminds me of a Jim Croce song. The blue colors used in the Player Rewards promo combined with the ‘catching lightning in a bottle’ makes for a really nice effect, however.















Future Sight only comes in one artwork; not only does it include three scenes from Magic storyline history (featuring Ixidor, Akroma, Kamahl, and Phage), but it also has some tribute work to the art of M.C. Escher.  Way cool.

Edge: Future Sight

Fun Factor

Tidings draws you four cards, which is pretty cool.  Sometimes you can Regrowth/Eternal Witness it, and do it again.

Future Sight is like a mini-lottery.  Am I gonna win by flipping something I can play?  Ooh!  I’ll play a land from my library and…this signet!  Let’s see what is next…a Counterspell.  That’s OK, at least I have one now.  OK, let’s draw that spell…hey a land-let’s play that and this Morphling!  Thirst for Knowledge is next; let’s cast that on the end of your turn…

Edge: Future Sight


My game record after untapping with Future Sight in play is ridiculously good.  It was also the part of a pre-SCG Legacy combo deck, ‘Sensei, Sensei’ which used Helm of Awakening, Top, and Future Sight to draw your library and generate lethal storm counts.

Edge: Future Sight

5-2, Future Sight wins!  Fans of the other card are in for…

…ill tidings.




Posted July 21, 2011 by antknee42 in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Future Sight vs. Tidings

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The MPR version of Tidings is, literally, my favorite Magic art ever printed. For this reason (and the minor fact that I don’t own a copy of Future Sight), it gets the nod in my own cube. That being said, I appreciate your balanced comparison of the two.

  2. I appreciate your balanced comparison as well even though, for me, it’s not close. I have never almost decked myself by casting a Tidings, and there are quite a few games I got close with Future Sight. That’s actually a nod to Future Sight, because it means I “drew” a sick amount of cards along the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: