Review: Volition Reins

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost. This card is in an ideal environment in Type 4.

Discussion:

“C’mon guys, don’t steal my big creature, I haven’t even gotten to do anything with it yet.”

Have you ever heard that while grinding through a game with some EDH players scrubs? If so you understand the pleasure of a well-timed control enchantment spell like the old standby Take Possession. Here, in a new and upgraded form, Take Possession now goes the extra mile of untapping whatever crap you’re stealing, because after a while every dickhead starts trying to tap things before you take them away. This card’s tiny new effect is actually a big deal (getting a gigantic Draining Whelk you can block with VS one that will leave you open to revenge-killing?) and a magnificent “fuck you” to those jerkasses trying to deny you some pleasure.

After all, why would they do that? You’re not going to use the card on them probably, because then you LOSE it. What a bunch of short-sighted mental midgets trying to stunt your genius. It should probably be legal to sue people over Magic.

These cards are especially wonderful in Type 4 because the battlefield is bound to be rich with fabulous targets. Stealing somebody’s Prahv always gets a good creation.

Overall: Four and a half salivating lawyers out of five

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Review: Keep Watch

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple. I know it might not seem like one, but it totally is.

Discussion:

I’ve always had a certain fondness for this card, mostly spurred by winning a few drafts back in the day because of it. But I actually see it as a pretty useful tool in a multiplayer toolbox as somebody is bound to be playing dudes, and they will probably be attacking with them. Also can also use it with your own token-swarming deck as well. In Type 4, token swarms are still present and attacking still happens all the time, so this becomes a pretty decent low opportunity-cost option for some quick card draw.

Also, when you cast this spell, you become The Watcher. Choose which one you want to be (there’a all kinds of them, from this freak above to the Rear Window variety) and be sure to let opponents know you’re keeping an eye on them.

Overall: Two and a half comic books are terrible out of five

 

Review: Cast Through Time

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 4

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost. …obviously.

Discussion:

– opera singer approaches mic –

Caaaaaaaaaast

Caaaaast through tiiiiiiiiime (n shit)

Epic enchantment-ico

Don’t know if opera rhyyyyymes

<music builds>

Get a rebouuuund

From Cruel Ultimatuuuum

And make your dick explodeeee

Seeeeeeeeemen everywheeeeeeere!

CAAAST THROUGH

<mad dramatic pause>

tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME

– mic drop, lights fade, wild applause –

Overall: Five butcherings of classical art out of five

Review: Myojin of Infinite Rage

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 5
Must-have SON. There’s a lot of reasons for it, but a big one is that it’s pretty bad elsewhere.

Discussion:

Disregard basically everyone on the card for a second and just imagine it’s a 7/4 that is indestructible if it comes into play from your hand. That alone would certainly get the Myojin a spot in the Stack. It wouldn’t be a top-tier ass-beater but would make the cut, I’d think. But as-is, it fulls a crucial role of being a card that interacts with lands while being playable otherwise.

Lands in Type 4 are powerful, but I don’t use a whole lot of them. As a result, I also shy away from cards that only really hit lands because you might be playing in a game with no land at all, making the cards dead. It’s frustrating for everyone. By seeing out cards that remain useful without a land or two in play and even better with them, everyone wins.

The Myojin is in that same category as Helldozer or Rith’s Charm. By itself, it’s not an out-of-control Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval-winner, but it’s still usable and when the lands start to become a factor, having one of these cards in your hand is suddenly money instead of a regrettable drafting decision.

Factor in the fact that this card is dirt cheap and useless almost everywhere else, you you have many of the makings of a pretty good Type 4 card.

Overall: Three and a half confusing whirlwinds of arms out of five

Review: Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 5
Boss status. This is a great Type 4 land and needs to be used.

Discussion:

In the past, I’ve mentioned this card’s ability to completely take over a game if not regulated immediately by wary opponents:

Vitu-Ghazi is kind of like a much less productive, but safer Sprout Swarm. You’ll never come close to the ruthless expansion of critters that Sprout Swarm will give you using the City-Tree, but your whole operation doesn’t get blown up by an opponent with a counterspell, either. The solutions to the slow trickly of craprolings Vitu-Ghazi provides rests in a limited selection of land-disruption cards and killing it’s controller.

That last one sounds bad, but this card lays on a sweet spot in the threat-level continuum. Sure, it provides a steady flow of a valuable resource, but those resources are individually low-impact. Additionally, the fact that it supplies things at a measured pace makes them less valuable to predatory eyes with something like Take Possession because the immediate payoff is so minimal when you could abduct that other guy’s Hatred or something. This leaves the City-Tree on the table as an annoyance to your opponents, but probably something that they’ll not really deal with by itself. There’s almost always going to be something more dangerous to consider killing.

But over the course of the game, the overall value that you’ll get out of this remarkable land–both in pure number of bodies and in removal spells spent elsewhere–makes it a strong pick in any draft.

Overall: Four Craprolings out of five

Review: Drogskol Reaver

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 4
Staple fo sho. I see this card played elsewhere and to better effect, but it needs specialized support. Here, it works fine on it’s own.

Discussion:

Maybe it’s just me but I feel like this is just a card that was made by rolling dice with ability names on it. I get it, you’ll draw cards twice when it hits stuff. And it can be used in unconventional decks where you build up life totals slowly and pick at your opponent’s using B/W’s ‘leeching’ mechanics. But this still just feels like a bundle of random abilities. A card doesn’t have to have a lot of stuff to be evocative (see: Shivan Dragon), but I think it’s more important that they’re bundled together into a package with manages to resemble something we relate to using abstract rules.

What do you think when something flies and uses something like fire to do more damage? A dragon fits the bill.

…so when what the hell is this? It flies, but nothing else about it seems ‘spiritly’ (NEW WORD).

I didn’t mean to make this into a bitch post but that’s how it went. I feel like we get some really cool, new flavourful cards these days as well, but it’s always disappointing to see something in the Mythic slot that’s just a pile of game mechanics.

Anyway, all that aside, Drogsolk Reaver is a good big beater but not really exceptional given the competition. The card draw is very nice, of course, but I’d often prefer to use something more guaranteed for card draw (like Greed) and have beatdown specialists instead of picking up generalists… but that’s just my own strategy. You can certainly run away with a game using ol’ Drogsolk, especially with something like Pulse of the Fields on deck.

Overall: Four Shivan Dragons out of five

Review: Geth’s Verdict

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple. It’s just a good card.

Discussion:

Diabolic Edict is one of my favourite all-around removal spells. Back in the day that none of you care about, my man had a mono-black Necropotence deck (yeah we allowed everything) that used this card to haunt my dreams. Just when thirteen-ear-old Andy was pretty sure he had the game wrapped up using Rathi Dragon and Mystic Veil in-hand for backup, this shattered any concept of personal security I ever had and to this day I trust no-one and nothing to stay stable in my life.

The original Edict is still a very good card. This is close, but got that patented post-2000 R&D touch of ‘MBS originality’ with the leeching of some life. How thoughtful. In Type 4, this is a straight upgrade to the original cool. It’s great in-a-pinch removal. Are there better cards out there? Of course. But this is another perfectly reasonable utility card that should go in just about any pile of Type 4 playables.

Overall: Three dead Rathi Dragons out of five

Review: Delirium

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple. This is one of the only places you’re like to see it.

Discussion:

Well… they printed Backlash, which is very similar┬áthis card with different restrictions. As Delirium contains an important cause that allows it to target already-tapped creatures, AND it nullifies combat damage, that makes it uniquely suited to Type 4 and multiplayer in general; it’s one of the few cards you can play after people have declared who attackers are beating on, then decide if you want to nullify it and and potentially do some major damage to the creature’s owner.

In Type 4, with big fatties lumbering abot on the regular, this card gains considerable value; not only will the afflicted creature be doing a lot of damage in all likelihood, but it’s also a pseudo-fog, which is money.

The art also depicts some kind of creature tearing it’s own head off, which is exceptionally metal. Get one of these and you’ll be surprised by how well it works for one of those stupid old clunky cards.

Overall: Three Leisure Worlds out of five

Review: Avatar of Woe

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: 5
Major money hoss status. Sure, it’s good in most multiplayer formats… but that just means you should have a spare lying around.

Diuscussion:

Oh, look! The Good Card From Prophecy!

Avatar of Woe is a well-known badass in the multiplayer community. After all, when the graveyards look stacked as they do in war crime trials as tends to happen in multiplayer, what’s going to be a better deal in creature excellence-to-mana ratio? Not much.

Whether it’s an opponent or a creature, if it needs killin’, this is your jam. Take it early and often and just enjoy a taste of the legacy of power that players have been enjoying with this card for almost fifteen years now.

…to some of you that might not sound weird, but remembering when this card actually came out and playing with only two in a deck for a long time is a real memory for me.

Also major props to WotC for reprinting this multiple times. It’s a card people actually want and making sure they can get them is something I’m always on board with.

Overall: Five value-traders staying mad out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

Review: Foster

Draft Priority: 1

Impact: 1

Stack Status: 1
Cut.

Discussion:

Ugh, what was I thinking? I have no idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody willingly take this and play it unless they’re super hard-up, and even then, people often don’t want to activate the ability because it’s not like you’re going to use it to burn through to combo pieces or something.

A kind of interesting card, but definitely not for this purpose. Avoid the poop out of it.

Overall: One avoided poop out of five