Having a 3/1 creature for 2 mana is good enough. But she also has an ability that may remind you of a poor man’s Dark Confidant and Phyrexian Arena rolled into one. At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, if that player has no cards in hand, you lose 1 life and draw a card. The beauty of this ability is that it’s a pure bonus
While people have built plenty a Madness deck and taken them to their Local Game Store, the Madness mechanic hasn’t quite broken through as a major contender in competitive play. Quite a few of these Madness creatures have made noise on Magic Online, though, so it seems that Asylum Visitor and friends have been a bit underappreciated. But with Asylum Visitor leaving Standard in October 2017, her time to potentially shine would be over... in Standard.
Asylum Visitor in Modern Mardu Madcap Experiment!
It turns out that one clever deckbuilder found a way to work Asylum Visitor into a Modern deck! This Mardu Madcap Experiment list came in 8th place at SCG Modern IQ Ludlow, and it’s a cool one! Like Asylum Visitor, Madcap Experiment is a card that plenty of deck builders have brewed around, but it hasn’t found a consistent build just yet. Fortunately for Madcap Experiment, its drawback of potentially burning you to death is negated by the emblem of Gideon of the Trials, which prevents you from losing the game if you control a Gideon planeswalker.
So how do three copies of Asylum Visitor make it into this deck? This deck has two planeswalkers that will require you to discard a card on occasion in Liliana of the Veil and Nahiri, the Harbinger. Ticking these gals up and essentially getting a free creature puts you ahead on tempo. Faithless Looting also requires you to discard a card, so the Visitor can come down in that case, too. Asylum Visitor is also nice as a choice to discard when an opponent activates his or her Liliana’s discard ability. The potential card advantage from her conditional Phyrexian Arena type ability is just gravy.
The best part about Asylum Visitor is her price. On Magic Online, she’s often been available for a mere penny. In paper, she’s hung around $0.50, and has been under a dollar since June of 2016. If you’re looking for a penny stock to invest in with some Modern playability, Asylum Visitor is definitely a good target. Beyond simply being a good Vampire for casual players to eat up, as well as Vampire Tribal Commander decks, Asylum Visitor could find a home in this Mardu Madcap archetype going forward. You really can’t lose much either way.
While you’re at it, you may want to take a look at Madcap Experiment, which is around the same price or lower.