Review: Island Sanctuary

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 1
Cut. I’ll explain this one in the body of the review.

Discussion:

You may find this review a bit short on my usual scathing wit because discussion this card contains some genuinely interesting facets of stack construction and card choice. So, to get the humour quota out of the way, imagine the following:

– Generic crack about Mark Poole art
– Unnessecary jab at Bronies out of misplaced attempt for a cheap pop
– Reference to old rules formatting on the card (“I love declining to draw a card” etc.)

Let’s be honest, that should cover the bases and whatever you come up is probably funnier than anything I can anyway.

I cut Island Sanctuary during the review. Not because it’s a bad card, or because it has a low impact, but rather because it really didn’t fit into the Stack very well. Why?

  • It’s aggressively costed with fair limitations. In a realm where you can just play Moat or Blazing Archon or whatever on the same turn, it makes the Sanctuary look pretty rough. Granted, it does redirect a lot of offense, but it’s at a pretty steep cost with no additional effect. I actually like and use this card in some one-on-one decks where it works pretty well as a ghetto Solitary Confinement, but that’s because it squeezes into a great spot on the curve and those decks only have one opponent.
  • Speaking of which, this card’s value PLUMMETS in multiplayer environments. Why? Well, in addition to having more people looking to kill the card by virtue of numbers, the fact that it does nothing to protect you the turn it shows up on board tends to mean people think “oh well, better pound on the Sanctuary guy while I have the chance.” In most games of Magic, this might be a pretty good tradeoff, but when those creatures tend to lean towards the Angelic Arbiter side of the scale than the Winged Coatl side, those three attacks of opportunity might kill you, or at least put you on the back foot pretty badly.
  • This is the other big issue; for a player on the defensive, this card buries them. The inability to draw card can just leave you sunk, especially if you get hit by a sudden Hypnox out of nowhere. Then your Island Sanctuary is a suicide booth that you’ve decided to build around yourself for some reason, and this seems to happen more often than anybody liked.

So while Island Sanctuary isn’t a bad card, it just didn’t work out in this environment. A shame.

Overall: One and a half stacks of Half Price Hobbies rares out of five

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