Review: Incite War

Draft Priority: 1

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 1
Cut.

Discussion:

The inclusion of Incite War is testament to my willingness to try virtually any card in Type 4 as long as it’s an instant and little else. Sketchy limited junk, Incite War lived up to the antihype by being universally detested by drafters and rarely played. I do recall it getting played once and getting the caster killed thanks so some kind of combat trick. In theory, it’s not all that bad since it uses a mechanic that doesn’t see much play, but maybe there’s a reason for that: it sucks. It’s especially bad when you can’t cast a follow-up spell like Retaliate.

An easy cut.

Overall: One mohawked futuristic soccer goon out of five

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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

Review: Lone Revenant

Draft Priority: 1

Impact: 1

Stack Status: 2
Marginal. This is a pity 2, because it’s just not good anywhere.

Discussion:

I remember opening this as I ended up with a bunch of packs of Avacyn Restored. I thought, “hmm, rare blue creature at over four mana? This must be good.” I’m sure if one could have mounted a camera in the room and recorded my face as my eyes scrolled down the text, it could have made for a hilarious .gif file that could haunt message boards for years to come. The transition from interest to confusion, then sadness, and finally rage probably would have been Oscar-worthy. Instead I’ll just tell you this card sucks, and I figured it might have a chance in Type 4 between the relatively empty boards and Hexproof. Instead, all it does it get pushed and the person who gets it resents it.

Overall: One Know Your Meme link out of Five

Review: Cho-Arrim Alchemist

Draft Priority: 1

Impact: 1

Stack Status: 2
Questionable. This is abject junk pretty much anywhere, but in Type 4 so much damage can happen in a single stroke it at least sort of has some potential, sort of. I’m being generous here.

Discussion:

Mercadian Masques, the antidote to the cluster-touching overpowered madness of Urza’s block (well, more accurately like a dozen cards from the whole block, but who am I to correct a bunch of people who never actually played it but have heard about it on the internet from people who started playing way back in Lorwyn), provides us with a real multi-faceted gem with your main Alchemist here. Look at that art. Read that effect. Peep the rarity. You know you’ve gotten yourself into something truly excellent.

Why did I ever put this into my Stack? Well, the story and my rambling rationale is actually more exciting than analyzing what’s really a boring-ass uninspired card in a block of boring-ass uninspired cards.

There’s this site, HalfPriceHobbies.com. I placed an order with them and they sent me a MASSIVE group of ‘bulk rares’, which was pretty awesome since they did it for free. I can’t help but wonder if it was just to clear up their inventory since most of them ended up in a special category of cards called ‘The Unspeakable’ in my collection box, but I don’t really want to second guess the charity of others. Anyway, within that pile of cards were some gems for Type 4 and being the cheap loser I am, I wanted tot ry to get maximum mileage out of this unforeseen bounty.

Needless to say, the Alchemist has since ended up sealed back away with The Unspeakable.

Overall: One promo-gone-right-sort-of out of five

Review: Glissa’s Scorn

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 1
Cut. It’s only in here because my stack is so big and I need the removal.

Discussion:

This group of cards from New Phyrexia really nailed the flavor of the expansion. “Make an old card, but cost somebody 1 life.” The first time I saw one, I was left reeling, as though I had seen snow for the first time. It’s just brilliant.

Anyway, this card basically sucks but I use it because

a)      I was trying to get some mileage out of New Phyrexia packs (tough)

b)      I have such a big stack that I need to shoehorn in extra removal just to keep things even

Once you’re at the point of putting in Glissa’s Scorn, you might also be at the point of considering using duplicates of good cards like Ray of Distortion or Slice in Twain. But that’s no fun. Still, with this ongoing project, I’m going to cut it as I expect to lose about fifty cards from the Stack this year.

Overall: One ass shot out of five

Review: Manaplasm

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 1
Cut. I put it in because it’s sort of uniquely appealing in Type 4, but it’s not very good most of the time.

Discussion:

Another card with 3 Xs in the text, so I put in the stack. Theoretically, given the deep-South-obese spells you’re throwing casually in Type 4, I figured Manaplasm might do some pretty good work, even if he tips the scales at “pencil neck nerd” when he first hits the scene.

Unfortunately, even when you put Manaplasm on a significant bulking cycle of steady “good for EDH players” ChannelFireball set review cards,  he usually just has a flash of riod rage, then fizzles out. It’s just not very good.

Overall: One X in the rules text out of five

Review: Voltaic Construct

 

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 1

Stack Status: 1
Cut. It’s not very good, until it’s too good.

I kind of feel bad for cutting Voltaic Construct. He’s not getting any love elsewhere and I bet he’s really trying to improve his physique with his new air-punching workout. I respect a guy who’s just doing him and holding it down for the squad. When one of his artifact homeboys gets in deep you know he’s rolling up and taking him off the job.

Unfortunately, Voltaic Construct’s regimen of shadowboxing is pretty unimpressive to outside onlookers like myself and other players at the table… until he enables an infinite combo with the Clockwork creatures or some other gibberish. These don’t happen often, but they’re the only time Voltaic Construct does something other than offer up Vigilance for artifact creatures.

It just sucks having to draft him, unless you know playing him will instantly win the game.

Overall: One Liquid Sword out of five

Review: Cradle to Grave

Draft Priority: 1

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 1
Benched. Once your stack is huge, you may need to get cards like this in there to balance all the crazy new creatures, but I don’t need it that bad yet.

Discussion:

Not a bad card by any means, but it’s pretty limited. Granted, there’s a lot of stuff in Type 4 that needs killin’ and needs it now. Cradle to the Grave will punt said creatures into the pooper as well as a Terror. But… it’s no Terror. Time-sensitive removal is a bit of an oddity.

The thing that turns Cradle to Grave into a truly obnoxious-type space-occupying misery machine, though, is the sheer depth of competition. In virtually every set, the power level of cards gets ratcheted up, and even if it isn’t there’s a new laterally-equivalent card. Remember for instant-speed removal in Type 4, a two mana card has to compete with a six mana card doing the same thing.

Even if Cradle to Grave was good enough at one point, it was inevitably going to get bumped off.

Overall: One Jet Li/DMX collabo out of five.

Review: Rebound

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 1
Endangered. It’s probably the worst redirection spell. Unless you have a really big stack, don’t bother.

Discussion:

One of the worst Shunt-type spells, but it’s still a Shunt, so it goes into the Stack. I’ll take it out when another power-creeped spell with the similar function is released.

Overall: One Wilt Chamberlain out of five.