Hey guys, great podcast as usual.
I was surprised that you found Tragic Lesson so interesting; it seems to be that it's a big dud. I listened to you discuss how it bounces lands so it actually loads your hand with 3 cards, and how it has similarities to Thirst for Knowledge and Gush, and all of that. At the end of the day, though, I think you missed the forest for the trees.
The forest is this: Tragic Lesson costs 3, and for that price, you get to replace the card and dig 2 deep into your deck. This is Divination territory in a format where we can draw 3 mana for U.
Yes, you can also bounce your lands to generate mana, save them from wasteland, or simply keep more cards in your hand if you need to do that. But, these are situation-dependent uses.
The only use case that is likely to come up reliably is generating mana. "Right," you say, "and that's a lot of the reason why Gush is so good." Kind of. Gush is also free to cast, so the act of tapping UU and Gushing to replay a land generates mana. With Tragic Lesson, you have to spend 3 to get the ball rolling, so all that a replay does is gives you the option to play it for 1U if you do so at sorcery speed (because it has to be your turn still to get the land drop). Is a card that is situationally a Predict good?
Spending 3 mana to counter a wasteland is generally not a workable solution, since there will be many situations where the mana denial strategy prevents you from ever getting there. I love me some Rack and Ruin, but it sees no play over 1 casting cost removal spells.
And then we come to the comparison to Thirst and Compulsive Research. Thirst at 3 mana digs 3 deep and puts them all in your hand; and then it lets you put an artifact halfway into play by binning it. That's a ton of reliable, non-situational value that is better than Tragic's best case scenario.
This smells more like Research. You trade sorcery speed and 3 cards with discard for instant speed and 2 cards plus shenanigans. And while, as you mention, people tinker with Research, it realistically sees no active play today.
All in all, I think you guys may have gone too deep into this card. It's not a very nice-looking forest.