Review: General’s Regalia

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 4
Rock solid. It’s only good here, anyway.

Discussion:

If you’re anything like me–and I sincerely hope you are not, for your own good–you love throwing other people under the bus. You’ve reached that advanced level of thought where you know responsibility is ridiculous and life is easier if you just let somebody else eat shit for your own mistakes. General’s Regalia is like that in card form (unfortunately, not Pog form, but perhaps that is one day coming). Got a man? Somebody attacking you? Aaah, fuck it. He can take it. Burn spell? lmao @ creature.

While in effect this can serve as a Fog, it’s a fairly effective deterrent to damage in the first place as long as you have creatures. But there’s the dark flip side–people start looking for ways to directly kill your creatures. The Regalia doesn’t have a neutral impact at all–if just shifts people’s focus in my experience. Because of that you need to play it carefully. It’s true the creature you get in Type 4 are generally more robust if not indestructible, but it’s still easy to kill them with the Regalia’s effect.

So, is it great? No. But it’s TERRIBLE everywhere else and usable in Type 4, and that alone pretty much warrants inclusion.

Overall: Three and a half “is he kidding?” moments out of five

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Review: Dragonlair Spider

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 5
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

This card reminds me of something you might have never experienced if you are:

a) Cleaner than me (virtually a given)

b) Less lazy than I (pretty likely)

Have you ever been posted up at your place just doin’ YOU when you spot a spiderweb? Maybe even a spider in it. And you see it doin’ it’s thing, and you’re doin’ yours, and you just figure “aah fuck it it’s just a spider”. So you leave it be out a combination of laziness and apathy, with that middling thought in the back of your head you’re not entirely sure about that a spider in the house might keep the lesser bugs at bay. So in a way, it’s an asset.

Time passes. You’re not exactly getting familiar with this arachnid visitor…you’ve probably forgotten about it. But then one day you look at the same web and it’s FULL OF SMALLER SPIDERS.

What now?

Dragonlair Spider can nicely replicate that whole scenario in a game of Type 4. Granted, if your opponent is one of those idiots or pendants who’s constantly reminding people of triggers (and probably flicking cards around in their hand), then it’s unlikely you’re going to be playing and suddenly realize that there’s a dozen spiders sitting around the Dragonlair Spider in a lethal formation of too many legs. But if you’re playing with regular peopel you need to keep an eye on this token-producing beast. It’s not a great creature unto itself but a quick counterspell slapfight later it’s bringing considerable backup. The fact that the tokens have Reach also gives tremendous bonus points for being really good chump blockers.

Another great entry from Planechase 2012!

Overall: Four “Why”s out of five

Review: Terror

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 3
Staple.

Discussion:

One of the Oest of OG creature removal spells, Terror is the perfect storm of excellence. Ron Spencer art? Check. Incredibly awesome old-school wording? Obviously. A pretty good effect that still plays well today? Of course. Consider we’re still getting slight tweaks on this card like Doom Blade and they’re seeing serious competition play and you know Terror was doing it up rightwise for like twenty years. It’s too bad old copies of this card are so expensive now because having the original wording just makes the card better in Type 4, but even the new art with the three guys… or skeletons… or whatever you’d say, eating each other is perfectly passable.

Speaking of renditions, Terror is one of the few cards that was never graced by truly shat art despite getting many reprints. There’s only three arts and they’re all pretty good. Some people debate the Mirrodin one but I like it, at least. The art is clearly related to the name and the effect. It’s all you can really ask for when most cards are looking more and more like generic comic book panels with little relation to the game.

There’s not much you can say about a card like this. It’s like trying to review oatmeal.

Overall: Two and a half decades of getting wrecked by this card out of five

Review: Planar Portal

Draft Priority: *6*

Impact: *6*

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost, because… uh…

Discussion:

You’re free to like whatever you ant in life. That’s fine as an independent person. But after a while you have to stop feeding delusions and bring people back to reality. Let me tell you a story about Planar Portal (or PP as the cool kids call it).

During a draft, PP comes up. My friend passes on it as his first pick, taking something like – who gives a piss b it’s Planar Portal -. Immediately the shit talk starts to rain down, basically pouring sideways. And he’s all “oh yeah that card is mad overrated in Type 4 I don’t know what youse guise are always going on about it with.”

coff

mfw

This quickly broke down the shit-talking and transformed into an impromptu summit on card evaluation, consisting of my “friend” either crazily trying to justify making an impossibly stupid pick and refusing to back down, or really believing that this card isn’t good. Either way, when it concluded the delegation had decided that this guy was terrible at not only Magic, but life, and that Planar Portal was one of the very best cards to pick in Type 4–period. There’s almost nothing you should be taking before it, regardless of your special snowflake feelings.

Overall: Five firm groundings in reality out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

Review: Fireshrieker

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Bretty gud I guess XDDDD

Discussion:

Math lesson.

I like the use Titanic Bulvox because it’s a big dumb card that’s only good in Type 4. Anyway, it does seven damage per attack and has trample. That’s what you want in your straight-up strongarm thugs. The Morph trick facilitates it, sure, but in the end that ‘7’ power value is what we’re after the most.

Suddenly, Fireshrieker. Going off the above data, we can infer doing seven damage in one attack is good. What happens if…

MATHI don’t know why this piece of shit uploader distored my brilliant Paint image, but you can probably make out the gist of what I’m saying.

Fireshrieker is good in Type 4. It might look a bit odd at only three mana, but really, it’s more like six mana, and from then every attachment is all gravy. Consider that the effect also scales for the average size of the monster you’re stomping people with and it’s value goes up considerably. It’s simple but it works.

Overall: Three .png distortions out of five

 

Review: Night Dealings

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 4
Rock solid.

Discussion:

You can’t just be like “yo Night Dealings” when you play it. You should be whispering it, wished, drawing it out a bit to build up it’s presence and create an appropriate atmosphere. You should be like “Night Dealingssssss“. Maybe emphasize the fight syllable of “Night” and pause briefly.

Night         Dealingsssssss

…that’s how we get it done. That’s how you give this card the RESPECT it deserves. Night Dealings is great because it’s not overpowering, it’s self-limiting, and for dolts like me, it lets you look at your deck so you can have some idea of what’s inside of it, which helps.

I suppose I could have scored this card higher in a few respects. But in terms of Draft Priority, it’s rarely going to be first-pick materal. It might be if you already have a lot of quality thugs, instants and some card draw, but then you could draft just about anything. It’s pretty Impactful, no doubt, but it’s also only able to work if you’re already doing good things, so it usually won’t single-handedly reverse you a game (thought it’s great to help clinch a victory). And for Stack Status, I guess this could be higher but I’ve seen this card used more and more to good success in other formats, so I thought a four was fair.

Night         Dealingsssssss

 

Overall: Four dramatic pauses out of five

Review: Armored Guardian

Draft Priority: *6*

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Penetecost.

Discussion:

I remember cracking open the very pack that holds the Armored Guardian inside my stack to this day. It was during an Invasion limited event of some kind. I remember looking at it somewhat confused and wondering exactly what the hell it was supposed to be–both from a fluff and gameplay perspective. It’s a”Guardian”, sure… what is it a cat, an ape, or what? And what’s with the supremely stupid hat with the little banner coming off of it?

In game I was equally confused initially as well, because I was wondering who the hell has enough mana to use those abilities after casting a 2/5 for five? It turned out it was actually an ok ability for stalemates but not a whole lot else. Armored Guardian was just kind of a confused mess.

But infinite mana has a way of sorting out things that are even grossly unclear. For Armored Guardian, the guiding hand of copious resources makes his job pretty obvious; he’s support staff for your whole team, handing out invincible auras and remaining largely untouchable by himself. In a way, Armored Guardian might be considered too powerful for Stack because he’s pretty tough to kill once he’s on the table, and extends these immunities to the other creatures you control. It’s truly devastating. But I haven’t seen him single-handedly escape with a game yet, and on his own, with only 2 power he can’t really hose a table down all that quickly.

Overcosted pile of crap in other formats. Perfect Type 4 card.

Overall: Five rugby-cap banners out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

Review: Gigadrowse

Draft Priority: 2

Impact:2

Stack Status: 3
Bretty gud :DDDD

Discussion:

A long time ago, I think it was Dennis Leary did a skit on NyQuil, where he referenced that he preferred ‘extra drowsy’ formulas that would basically let him get high enough to sleep without breaking the law. I was going to factor in that little reference to my review, but when I searched for ‘extra drowsy’ (doing it with ‘NyQuil’ just got me stupid product images) I got this horrifying grab bag.

Seriously, what the fuck is this? Those monkey things? A bunch of horses?

I hope you get the same results as me or I’m joint going to seem looney. Regardless, Gigadrowse, extra-drowsy, I’m sure you can trace this roadmap to hilarity without my guidance.

It’s an ok card, nothing more or less. Love them Twiddles.

Overall: Two and a half mind-benging Google journeys out of five

Review: Assert Authority

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 4
Bretty bangin

Discussion:

Overpriced counterspells are absolutely a Type 4 staple, in pretty much all forms. Conditional or not, and counterspell-plus especially.

There’s not a lot to say about this one, because it’s not that interesting unto itself. But it’s plenty good.

Overall: Four magic Jazz Hands out of five

Review: Crystal Ball

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 2
Borderline.

Discussion:

There’s quite a bit of powerful card sorting available in Type 4. The issue isthat a lot of the Scry-type of effects are cards that are good because they’re cheap and efficient. They help facilitate a deck moving forward smoothly towards it’s well-organized game plan. While their impact is small-ish, so is their opportunity cost, and when you have a well-defined game plan those incremental advantages quickly compound on themselves into momentum.

In Type 4, you have few of these elements. There’s no clever, well-defined plan. You might not even know what’s in your deck. You need high-impact abilities and spells to go toe-to-toe with your opponents, and you can’t clog up your limited number of draws per game.

On the other hand, Soothsaying is too good and there’s other effects like it that I don’t use because they’re just too powerful.

Crystal Ball straddles this line and kind of ends up looking gimpy. Sure, it won’t overpower games, but if you can spare a main phase to cast it there’s a good chance it will survive to the end of the game and give you a lot of card selection. But without the ability to plan ahead and ensure shuffling, it can also just be a frustrating peek at the next two irrelevant draws in a tough situation. This makes it super-fair, but for the most part, you don’t want anything too fair. Crystal Ball might be too fair for some stacks. If it’s a big one like mine, then it’s a servicable inclusion, but don’t be surprised to see it get pushed a lot.

Overall: Two Cristal Ballin’ out of five