Review: Nucklavee

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 1
Cut. Sure it has a pretty good body and effect, but when you can’t be assured of your deck’s composition, it’s a lot less excellent.

Discussion:

Nucklavee has a tremendous name that’s fun to say, but not much else about it in Type 4 really stands out. Sure, in throty the ability to collect two cards from the pooper while getting a reasonably-sized body seems like a great deal. But Nucklavee is too choosy about what kind of garbage it’s willing to retrieve. That’s the great thing about dogs; they aren’t choosy. If I ask most dogs to grab something out of the garbage, they just go and get it. I mean, sure Wyluli Wolf isn’t actually going to retrieve me cards, but he pumps indiscriminately, unlike the racist Nucklavee.

In short, I like dogs that eat out of the garbage. Also, I’m 100% confident that local bylaws would not permit owning a Nucklavee, so there’s that.

100% superb

Ultimately, the choice to cut Nucklavee is driven by seeing it played and not drafted very highly. Nobody seems to really want what has an excellent chance of ending up a generic 4/4 creature, even though you often have some kind of counterspell or bounce spell to retrieve… and even then, just getting that effect can feel pretty underwhelming.

Overall: One and a half trash-eatin’ Wyluli Wolves out of five

Review: Syphon Flesh

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 3
Staple. An excellent card that doesn’t really benefit from the format.

Discussion:

This card is obviously very good, so there’s not much to say here. But the art makes me think of Action Bronson in an unflattering light.

I guess, comparatively, he looks pretty good here, but hopefully that opens the door for all kind of alterations of the card for you.

Overall: Four Steve Wynns out of five

Review: Fool’s Demise

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 3
Staple. This is a pretty good card that isn’t especially great in Type 4, but it’s serviceable regardless.

Discussion:

“uuuuh i dies but this metroid thing is gonna bring me back to life sweeeeet”

Man, does that corpse ever look… corpse-y in that art. You know that dude got played out. But don’t worry, a brain came down to rescue his spirit, first blessing it with some sweet tentacle love in a brief and ultimately empty incorporeal fling before returning to the moral plane for the brief and brutally unpleasant existence of a creature on the average Type 4 board.

It also does engage the usual ETB shenanigans, provides some card advantage, and is all-around pretty good… except that is basically takes up an entire sorcery phase to maintain your current board position. It’s great to solidify what you’ve got going on, but if you’re way behind this can be a SUPER dead draw, so be warned before you expect some ghost-brain action to solve all your problems.

Overall: Three and a half tentacle romances out of five

Review: Volcano Hellion

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 5
Rock solid. This card is extra fun in Stack.

Discussion:

When it comes to firin ur lazor, not much is more dangerous than a lazor that sprays your very own vitality all over your opponents. It’s like trying to drown them in your own blood, one of the most treacherous and risky moves of all. This is the card equivalent. Granted, without cool setups like Stuffy Doll, Spitemare, and ways to give it lifelink guaranteed, it’s stock goes down, but it’s still eminently usable.

Granted, it’s actually kind of awesome in a blood-feud/vendetta-to-the-max kind of way. And given the type of creatures out there in Type 4, sometimes it’s worth it to burn over a quarter of your life total to get them off the board. It’s risky and rewarding, but at least you know you’ve got that Echo covered. The Hellion also coincidentally has an enormous body.

Overall: Three and a half Spitemares out of five

Review: Blunt the Assault

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 5
Boss money. If you like Fogs, you should like this.

Discussion:

Elf 1: Hmmm… those dudes down there look crazy stressed.

Elf 2: …what?

Elf 1: Y’know, they’re going to beat the piss out of the barricade and get in here eventually. I’ve seed Dawn of the Dead like six times.

Elf 2: The new one or the old one?

Elf 1: …both.

Elf 2: Hmmm.

Elf 1: …well, the new one five times of the six. Anyway, they’re wilding. I think I can help them chill out.

Elf 2: Where are you going?

Elf 1: I rolled like a million spliffs last night. If we distribute them to the zombies, they’ll stop hammering away at the stupid barricade you did such a bad job of building.

Elf 2: On a scale of one to ten, with one being the worst and ten being the best, this idea is an easy million.

Elf 1: no u (throws spliffs into zombies)

…that’s not really how it goes down, I’m guessing, but who knows? Maybe mirrians have some incredible metal-dope or something. In any case, this is another winning fog.

Overall: Four Honey Serums out of five

Review: Opt

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 3
Solid roleplayer. Are there cards that do more in similar categories? Sure, but can you ever have too many?

Discussion:

Everybody likes to sort their cards. It feels so good, it’s almost like cheating, which I guess fits right into blue’s colour pie. You get to know what’s coming up and maybe even change the future, while your IDIOT opponent has to sit there oblivious to the upcoming cards in their deck like some kind of ignoramus. Opt is one of the lowest-impact card-sorters out there, but pretty much all these cards are good-especially if they’re instants. There will be turns where you have no meaningful instants to cast, so there Opt is always worthwhile. It feeds your opponents nothing and at worst, it cycles.

This is why it’s in the Stack. It’s a card I had sitting around that offers a reasonable benefit at almost zero opportunity cost. Is somebody going to counter Opt, or hit it with Parallectric Feedback? No, unless they’re idiots or it wins them the game. It’s a nice, compact package that adds a bit more sawdust to your sandwich to fill it.

…if your Stack was a sandwich…

…and you worked at Subway…

…or something.

Overall: Two and a half $5 footlongs out of five

Review: Kuro, Pitlord

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost. Overcosted fatass with an upkeep? Yes sir!

Discussion:

In the proud tradition of powerful monsters who are always siphoning your resources, we have Kuro, cut in the vein of Triple OG Lord of the Pit. As a proto-nWo design, Kuro doesn’t quite have all the bells, whistles and upsides-only design of most modern creatures, but the glimmers are there. He won’t try to eat you if you can’t pay him anymore, at least, which the LotP had an awful habit of engaging in. He also comes with a nifty removal capability that provides you with great power, but at potentially lethal cost. This is what makes him great.

Using Kuro’s -1/-1 ability is like a test of character. Sure, you can have him pop up, be all “yaaaah” and kill everything on the board, but it will likely end up killing you in the end. But using his ability to quietly threaten people and manipulate combat math? That’s the moneymaker right there. Kuro works when he herds traffic, turns combat into lose-lose for your opponents, and then goes around punching people in the necks. It’s a great card that’s all-around fair, and every stack should have one.

Overall: Five LotPs out of five

Review: Blood Oath

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 5
Stacker Pentecost, because this is one of the only places this card should ever be considered for play.

Discussion:

Handshakes! We all know of them, and some of us even engage in them. As ritualistic gestures of greeting, the handshake has ended up like most facets of Western society; over-civilized to the point of weakness, tinged with an arresting fear of genuine human contact and with the ever-lurking spectre of state intervention over the possibility of ‘violence’ behind any kind of bodily contact.

Blood Oath is obviously a fiction, because that handshake is too manly to have come from anything in the West from the last thirty years of hyperfeminine indoctrination and fear-mongering to keep the masses placated by the Masonic Illuminati and their nWo (which is, in fact, for life). Blood Oath portrays the kind of handshake G Gundam characters would endorse.

yuh meng this how we greet

So while Blood Oath is conceptually awesome, so are all kinds of cards. Natural Selection, for example, which features my man Tigercrow offering you a dope-ass snack of some kind. But it’s not really awesome enough during the actual game to justify including in the Stack. But fortunately for all our testosterone levels, Blod Oath holds up pretty well to the rules imposed on us when playing MtG by our nerd overlords.

I don’t think this is especially usable in any other format, but in Type 4 is actually shines because of a combination of silliness and potential for catastrophic damage. Imagine you call creatures on your man, and he’s got four on deck (not a tough thing to do)? Twelve damage at instant speed. Very gratifying. It also makes somebody reveal their hand, which is always a plus for fear-monger the table into a whipped-up frenzy of laserbeam hatred.

Overall: Four “East is burning red”s out of five

Review: Energy Storm

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 1

Stack Status: 2
Cornercase. It’s not just a cornercase-use card, but it’s especially good in Type 4. But…

Discussion:

…cut.

Another Hal Price Hobbies masterpiece, this is kind of like Pegasus Sanctuary in that it provides some insulation from certain types of damage. Unfortunately, because of the unpredictability of your own deck in Type 4, it’s hard to use these types of cards that need some building around. Energy Storm is almost good enough to keep around just because it has that unique fly-as-all-hell Ice Age flavour to it, but when you’re the one forced to draft that flavour it becomes a lot less sweet.

There is a role for this card in Type 4, but most people don’t want to play with it, so for that reason alone I cut it. Did I draft it? Sure, on the second round fairly frequently, especially if you’re seeing direct damage spells. But even then it’s not necessarily worth it. It’s just too cornercase, even for me.

Overall: One and a half Age Counters out of five

Review: Diabolic Tutor

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Roleplayer. It’s good, if uninspired.

Discussion:

Take one of the most powerful cards ever used, dummy it up, and you still have a pretty damn good card; in Type 4, Diabolic Tutor is effectively Demonic Tutor. That’s dope as fuck, obviously. But you plunge a bit deeper and stat wondering if it’s really all that crazy, or just very good? Spoiler alert: you already know because the numerical scores are up-front in the review.

Diabolic Tutor is a sorcery. That’s a problem. While it lets you go on a quick quest within the tiny dungeon of your deck for a great answer to any problem you’re currently it, it means you can’t deploy it now… you have to wait. If said answer isn’t an instant, you might have to wait an eternity for a chance to use it. While it seems tremendous to have the chance to find any blockbuster you want, oftentimes using up that crucial sorcery phase for that isn’t worth it. Especially when you consider how fast a Type 4 board can change, maybe the big problem (let’s say Soul Foundry with Verdant Force imprinted) is solved by the time it’s your turn, and there’s some other must-answer thing going on. Maybe you’re better off using your tutor to just find your own mega-threat and rolling like that.

This isn’t to discount Diabolic Tutor, it’s very good, but it’s not an overachiever by any means. Don’t snap to it; let the thirsty noobs thinking of their regular, boring Magic do that. Beating noobs is the best and makes you a better person, plus if you kill them and eat them after, you can gain tremendous benefits in antioxidants and some other health food-bullshit (probably).

Coming to your local Whole Foods soon.

Overall: Three and a half not-quite-Diabolic Tutors out of five