Review: Ana Battlemage

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 5
Overcosted, inefficient card with options that doesn’t see play anywhere? Of course it’s perfect in Type 4!

Discussion:

I wasn’t playing much when this card came out and I can’t remember how I found out about it, but when I did, I immediately blacked out and pissed myself thinking about how awesome it was for type 4.

“That’s a huge overreaction and certainly never happened, Andy.”

Entirely true, but for somebody who loved the Invasion battlemages so much, this card meant a lot to me. The Battlemages look awful for the most part now, left behind in the wasteland of obsolescence in the wake of the nWo’s design rampage. Once proud workhorses like Thornscape Battlemage look like Fred Ettish trying desperately to slug it out in a world that’s just too fast, competitive, and efficient for him to compete.

Despite holding some carve-out space in corner case formats nobody but me, my imaginary friends and my wife (who may also be imaginary) play, the Battlemages also exist in that special design purgatory populated by cards like Silver Knight and Serra Angel: ones you remember fondly and even did work in their day, but have been outclassed by new, delicious cardboard in lameass formats with rules like “mana limits” and don’t have the throat-rending impact or novelty to make the cut in Type 4.

Ana Battlemage isn’t playing that son. He’s at least on par with Mulldrifter, a card I previously addressed as mediocre, but you have the OPTION (very important if you’re the only one with an untapped fatty on deck) to also throw in a Delirium! In case you’re new, Delirium is pretty awesome in Type 4 is an eminently draftable. On a body that also provides three cards, even at sorcery speed, this is Battlemages nWo style. Draft it early and often.

Overall: Four bitter nostalgia-tinted memories out of five

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