Wrap Up

I spent one year working on the Academy of the Infinite. After almost 400 posts of mostly-original content, plenty of baseline articles to provide newbies a foothold into the world of Type 4, and a truly dizzying array of stupid images, I feel that I’ve done a satisfactory job of providing a dedicated resource to Type 4 players. Now that I’d down to writing just the daily reviews, I feel there’s a large enough catalog of them to supply players with good insight into some specific gems, as well as pick up on a pattern of what makes a good Type 4 card, so my ‘expertise’ is no longer required. Not that it ever was.

For those just landing here and looking to learn about the format, start from the beginning; then, if you’re looking for something specific, hit up the Content Index to see all the matieral ever published here in a nice, organized fashion. For the Reviews, there’s a specific Review Index as well where the reviews are sorted by colour, scores, and accolades.

Enjoy what you find useful and send yourself hatemail about what you don’t like!

TYPE 4 IS THE BEST

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Review: Tainted Strike

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 4
Staple fo sho.

Discussion:

This costs only one mana. What a stupid card

…or is it?

Well, sort of. It’s the ultimate stupid gimmick card, but there’s so many dumb gimmicks that it’s worth using because they’re all kinda funny when they happen. I guess in a way Tainted Strike is a bit like a charm card, where it has a few modes.

One negates damage from a creature, as unless it’s going to do over ten damage, there’s no many other ways to do poison counters in the stack, if any. But it’s a high-risk move as when you hit that Dragon Mage or whatever and suddenly your man shouts about some Might of Oaks, you’re boned.

Another is ghetto creature removal or weakening, as it turns even a sacrificial attack into an effective way to diminish a big dangerous beast.

The third is the intended mode, I guess, where you one-shot somebody with poison counters. Also the least exciting and most maddening.

Overall pretty good.

Overall: Three “what” out of five

Review: Repulse

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple fo sho. You need this card.

Discussion:

I feel bad about this score. It’s not like I’m going to argue it’s a bad card–quite the opposite. Repulse is tremendous in Type 4 for providing an effect that is virtually always useful, sometimes has an extremely high impact, and has virtually no opportunity cost. It’s probably among the best ‘utility’ spells out there. I really think it should be in every Type 4 pile, and given the recent reprints and low price, there’s not much reason not to keep it around. The issue is I can’t give repulse a much higher score that it’s going to get because for all it’s efficiency and effectiveness, those things kind of hurt in Type 4. I don’t want efficiency, I just want nuclear explosions. While it’s true sometimes you need a combustion engine before you get nuclear fission. Repulse is that un-glamorous combustion engine propelling you towards the moments where mushroom clouds pop up over the corpses of your enemies.

So, I love this card. I wholeheartedly recommend it (I also recommend trying it in non-Type 4 multiplayer formats). But I can’t score it higher than, say, Bloodfire Colossus. It’s just not it’s place.

Overall: Three desperately overly-sentimental reviews of cardboard out of five

Review: Shivan Meteor

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 3
Staple. Because it has a 13 on it and it’s awesome.

Discussion:

I really wish there were more cards that had this sort of flavour. That really pinpoint, total devastation. Is thirteen damage necessary? Absolutely not… UNTIL IT IS.

Which is ALL THE TIME.

Hitting a guy with a meteor is awesome so if you don’t like it go lay down and pee on yourself. While the card itself isn’t a top-tier removal spell, it’s not much good elsewhere and thirteen damage is actually a useful range in Type 4 so it slips into the stack on that basis alone. Then you factor in the excellent Suspend ability and then next thing you know Oxidda Scrapmelter and Hystrodon are stuck alone on the battlefield, quaking as they await their inevitable demise.

Use it because it’s fun. Use it because it works. Use it because it lets you hit people with a meteor.

Overall: Two and a half terrified Hystrodons out of five

Review: Svogthos, the Restless Tomb

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 2
Borderline, but I didn’t cut it… yet.

Discussion:

So, I’ll disclose my biases at the beginning of this review: I hate this card. The terrible, overly-complicated name, “Plant Zombie”, and only counting the dead critters in your own graveyard? Bitch please, back the fuck up before you get slapped the fuck up. Everything is stupid and I hate the world.

And yet, for some reason, every time we play Type 4 somebody drafts this without complaining and nobody complains about it’s mediocre-to-terrible performance. Nobody seems upset with it’s perpetual lack of impact on games or it’s general weakness. So this leaves me thinking… is it just me? Am I the problem instead of ‘Svogthos’ (retch) being the problem?

It’s tough to say objectively, but when I sit back and analyse the whole affair like Rza would recommend, I can see my expectations are clouding my vision and making me expect too much out of a mediocre card that is clearly designed to pull ‘gotcha’ victories in draft games or something. I’m expecting a Wrath-ducking Mortivore, which isn’t what this is. It’s something else.

Something worse, though. I stand by that. Still, I’m keeping it around for the time being and trying to just… be fair with it.

That name though… c’mon son

Overall: Two AWFUL fantasy names out of five

Review: Etherium-Horn Sorcerer

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 4
Major money. This is a Type 4 card through and though.

Discussion:

Etherium-Horn Sorcerer is a great can that initially appears to be completely out of control for Type 4. Repeatable Cascade and a fairly bulky man that can be bounced at any time? What form of madness is this?

Unfortunately, even with the broken rules of Type 4, the Sorcerer is too fair to achieve real greatness. But he has a pretty good run. Think of a Mr. Perfect type of role–always a solid performer but not quite stealing the spotlight, and elevates everyone around him. A real solid company man.

Let’s look at why.

  • Cascade score at 5. This is just under the tremendous power wall that six mana sets, where forever reason there’s an enormous jump on the raw strength of available card. Additionally, in Type 4, the lower mana scores tend to be populated by instants, many of which are conditional and their deployment during a Cascade is less-than-ideal. I’m not mad to get a five-mana spell for free–unless it’s Desertion.
  • Not individually impressive. Enlisted Wurm is a pretty tough guy at 5/5. I wouldn’t mess with it. The cascade makes the card playable, but when it’s around it can’t be ignored as even one or two attacks from him seriously jeopardize a player’s health. The Sorcerer, at 3/6, isn’t as scary. Sure, he can block a lot, but blocking sucks so who cares?
  • A serious time sink. Getting maximum value out of the sorcerer will lead to some potentially questionable plays. Because of the random nature of the cascade, you’re going to be recasting the same unexpectional dude repeatedly and not being able to formulate an actual strategy. You’re just throwing around random spells. A main phase is a huge resource in Type 4 and to get the most out of the Sorcerer, you might end up squandering a few on really unexceptional plays.

Despite all this criticism, this is still a good spell. It’s just a little too fair, and deceptive. It seems incredible on the surface, but it’s only very good. Is this a bad thing? Not at all. In fact, seeing a bunch more cards like this would be tremendous. But it’s also hard to get over that initial excitement for this card thinking you’ve got another Shawn Michaels on your hand.

Overall: Four wrestling references you’re all sick of out of five

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

Review: Flowstone Overseer

Draft Priority: *6*

Impact: *6*

Stack Status: *6*
BIGG HOSS STACKER PENTECOST. It’s so good it makes my body convulse uncontrollably.

Discussion:

I have mentioned this card five times on this website without reviewing it directly, and every time it has been in reference to the fact that it might very well be the best Type 4 creature that exists; it’s certainly the best red creature. I’m not sure how much more endorsement this card can use.

The Overseer embodies everything awesome about Type 4. This is a crap card from one of the worst sets of all time and here is a format where it can rise to the absolute top and serve as a stone-cold boss. It’s offensive, defensive, political and powerful all at the same time, but it’s a pretty easy card to answer for your opponents. Few cards cause such a radical shift in power int he game when they come into play, and the longer it stays on the board the greater a power well is creates, eventually drawing everyone and everything into it’s event horizon of excellence until some other jerkass kills it with Terror or whatever.

Pro tip: when the Overseer comes down, don’t just wipe the board. Leave all the creatures on deck, chillin’, and make them crash into each other with the enhanced power. The second they turn sideways and run at you, then and only then is the time to kill them. The Overseer leaves your opponents pretty compromised so their choice is throw their creatures at each other or lose them forever. Relish in their agony.

Overall: Five Nemesis superstars out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

Review: Bituminous Blast

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple fo sho. Instant speed Cascade like mmmmmmm

Discussion:

lol peep that angel gettin messed up thats what happens when u fuck with BIG OIL son #rekt

Cascade is brilliant, and even more so on an instant-speed removal spell. At least, it is in theory but in the context of Type 4, it’s less so. I’m not saying this is a bad spell because I gave it ratings of 3/5, which aren’t like vidya gaem ‘journalism’ scores that start at 7/10 for “terrible” and go up from there. Bit Blast is a respectable card that just loses some luster in Type 4 because the baddies are bigger and the spells that you cascade into are more likely to be context-sensitive instants and sorceries that might have no targets. There are a LOT of counterspells in the stack and cascading into one of those or something like Dawn Charm is always a kick in the dick. But that doesn’t mean you won’t spin the wheel and hope to come up on some pure value every time.

Overall: Three hashtags out of five

Review: Angelic Arbiter

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: 5
Mega-hoss. It’s a super-expensive, mega-splashy impact player that can’t compete with the money reanimation creatures.

Discussion:

An nWo Fairy Tale

The heavens opened and descending through a beam of heavenly light, an ominous angel approached the card game. “Y’all can’t cast spells and attack, get that straight.” It’s voice rung through the game store with heavenly authority. “I’m an angel and I get to establish the rules around here. That’s what white does in the colour pie.”

Then, some nerd rolled up acting all hard. “Uh excuse me but isn’t white supposed to establish universal sub-rules to maintain it’s theme of balance and order over chaos?”

The angel thought about it for a moment before stabbing the nerd in the kidney with it’s sweet rapier. “No,” It replied, “Because it’s 2013 and Hexproof has replaced Shroud because it makes people ‘feel’ better.”

“Arrgh” The nerd was on dialysis for like eight years and ultimately died.

– the end –

Some meta-quibbles aside (which were summed up excellently in the above fairy tale and yes I will write a book of them if you give me an advance), this is an outstanding Type 4 card. Actually, I think it’s a good fun card all-around but it’s just so much easier to enjoy in Type 4. It can be a bit frustrating but in that good “Fact or Fiction” kind of way instead of that bad “Stasis” way. It can be a pretty agonizing choice on whether to attack or cast spells, and even when it isn’t players have skin in the game of the Arbiter’s survival. This is what I like most about the card. You may not be the only player who wants it around, and occasionally you’ll develop frenemies because the players with few creatures will actively fight to keep the angel in play. It’s a great dynamic few cards produce.

One of the best white cards in the Stack in terms of both playability and fun, but it’s not as purely powerful as other choices and so falls just short of the Glare.

Overall: Five superbly-written short stories out of five