@vaughnbros Maralen is really the only "dead" card. Symmetry is still fine with surgicals and fields, and surgical is solid on its own in a lot of matchups, especially with 6x duress and land destruction. But there's just not a lot of pressure and no value cards besides Agent. The deck is built to abuse agent, but without agent, there's just a lot of "okay" cards.
Vs Jeskai Mentor, which I happened to test against since I knew it'd be a tough matchup (as opposed to Doomsday which you should just blow out if you flash Agent in), they just have a lot of removal spells in addition to counters and a much more efficient clock. The Snapcasters and Arcanists flashing back bolts and plows just makes it impossible to fight through all that hate and stick an arcanist. Dack is also a whooping.
Testing vs Doomsday seemed pointless. I either have a turn 1/2 agent and blow them out, or I don't, and they ritual/DD/win. Vs bazaar, I either have a strip/surgical and hope they didn't just go turn 1 -> 16 damage on the board, or lose. Vs Shops, it seems it could swing either way as all shops matches go: I either get to play some mana and trade answers for lock pieces, or they turn 1 sphere me out and I never play magic. Jeskai seemed the only match that was "fair" but still tough...and their amount of removal just makes a resolved Agent near impossible to keep in play. BUG I haven't tested yet, but they have the decays and Oko in addition to counters, so I assume Agent is equally toast in that match too.
I fail to understand how turning witch claw talisman into a good card is less ambitious than stealing all of your opponents draws and turning the into DTs for you for the entire rest of the game.
Talisman is not a shitty card on its own, as is Malaren. You can't even PLAY Malaren without Agent already on the board, so bad it is. And if you do and they have an answer to Agent you're probably dead.
Talisman can also go get the Agent. Malaren + Agent is a hard lock, I know, but it's a lot of wishful thinking.
If that is what you mean thinking small is an incredibly bad choice of words but the point is valid.
Mill 26 and potentially boost storm for Brain Freeze.
What happens if the spell gets countered before Krark's trigger resolves? Does it still see a spell that doesn't exist anymore?