Review: Child of Gaea

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 4
Staple fo sho

Discussion:

Sometimes you want a fancy, elegant creature who can do ‘tricks’ and ‘outsmart’ somebody and sometimes you want to punch somebody in the neck so hard their neck becomes a second asshole. While that’s not possible, if it were, Child of Gaea would be one of your go-to sources for making it happen. It’s a rat… thing… with trees growing on it’s back. But it’s also huge, and obviously spends TONS of time in some kind of giant-sized gym for monsters doing sick routines and laughing at people who do Crossfit injuring themselves. A very prescient thing for a card printed in 1998.

Regardless, I like this type of card in my stack because it just propels a game towards victory for one player and nothing else. It’s ok on defense but obviously that’s less-than-ideal. You use it to end games by stomping people into spaghetti sauce. It’s also a useful historical touchstone as for a good while this really was one of the biggest and best beaters, overtaking old-school classics like Force of Nature. In ’98, this looked like some of the new stuff coming out does now when you put it neck to Child of Gaea.

Overall: Three and a half throwback beatdowns out of five

Advertisements

Review: Beast Attack

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 4
BEAST ATTACK

Discussion:

BEAST ATTACK

A card with a name like that isn’t here to fuck around. It’s here to do one thing… twice… I guess. MAKE BEASTS

AND THEN U GOTTA ATTACK WITH EM

Although you can use it as a blocker (which is especially satisfying when you use it to surprise-block somebody looking for a little poke with a stupid utility creature and you scream BEAST ATTACK at their neck and rip up the creature the beast blocks), it’s obviously meant more for ATTACKing. But since I can’t be everywhere at once yet enforcing this, use it however you see fit.

TO ATTACK

Overall: BEAST ATTACK

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

Review: Explosive Impact

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 5
Stacker Pentecost. AGAIN MY GOD WHATS HAPPENING ITS ALMOST LIKE I CHOOSE GOOD CARDS

Discussion:

This card should just be called ‘PUNCH IN THE FACE’ with the all-caps. It’s basically just that. Sometimes a punch in the face is exactly what you need, though, and these type of higher-end burn spells are totally needed in Type 4. They keep people on their toes and help prevent stalemates, so I was quite pleased to see another high-cost, high-damage instant-speed burn spell get printed. I wish there were dozens of slight variants of this spell, they would all go into the stack.

Here’s some strategy tips on using Explosive Impact: use it on targets to kill them

Overall: Three and a half allcaps out of five

Review: Minion Reflector

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 5
Stacker Pentecost. I’m wondering if I’m into a higher-quality area of the stack or something…

Discussion:

How many episodes of the original Star Trek revolved around Kirk having to deal with an evil clone/alternate reality version/transferred body version of Kirk?

My wfie has been watching the original show lately and he’s mentioned this plot point comes up with almost disturbing irregularity. There’s always some faint hint he’s not right–usually eyeliner, as seen above–but the Enterprise crew are in a binary state of being either hyper-intelligent or impossibly stupid, so it takes a while to figure it out when the ‘stupid’ switch is thrown.

Anyway, Minion Reflector lets you sort of live out a fantasy episode of Star Trek where the evil Kirk and real Kirk team up. The results when it works? Well…

Yes, it’s predictably awesome. The thing with Minion Reflector is that it requires a lot of moving parts; a creature that’s good at attacking or has a powerful ETB ability, an opportune attack avenue, casting said creature to be the right move, and the permissiveness of your opponent. Minion Reflector is pretty much shit-tier when you end up copying… like… Havenwood Wurm or something. But in the right circumstances, it can make repeatable, devastating plays and help put you over the top. It just seems to work out less often than it should.

Stuff, it belongs in your stack because it’s definitely uniquely suited to Type 4–it sucks everywhere else.

Overall: Three and a half evil eyeliners out of five

Review: Praetor’s Grasp

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple.

Discussion:

First point: the Praetors are stupid, I hate their stupid name/title, and the cards were shitheads.

But I have to admit, this one is pretty dope because it’s a Jester’s Cap-style effect. Those are always awesome, and this card’s predecessor Grinning Totem is fun as well (and also very good in Type 4). But Praetor’s Grasp is especially good because of the way it interacts with the Third Commandment. You’re basically burning your own main phase spell for a non-spell. Then, the question is do you take a powerful instant to cash in on immediately? Or risk waiting to play a big creature or sorcery on your next turn? The applications are endless, as are the mind games, because you don’t actually show anybody what you’re stealing out of their decks. It’s psychological warfare, and it pretty much rules.

Overall: Three and a half stupid new creature types out of five

Review: Living Death

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: *6*

Stack Status: 4
Major money player.

Discussion:

These numbers might look all kind of mangled. But the impact of Living Death in a format of mostly-monstrous creatures is undeniable. THe only issue is whether you want to be pulling the trigger or not on it. Because Type 4 isn’t like regular Magic, the effects of specialized cards like this similarly need to be carefully considered. A typical Living Death deck will involve lots of ways to make timely deposits of your own beasties into the shitter to your benefit or directly, either with the ol’ Buried Alive or some stuff like Zombie Infestation. Secondly, you can control your opponents gravy plots with your Suffer The Past, Cremate and so on. That way, when you pop Living Death you’re the only one gaining much.

That’s the traditional gameplan. You’ll notice it needs a lot of carefully-position support pieces–all pieces you probably can’t draft in Type 4 cohesively. So instead, Living Death is a major game-changer that flips everything, and can often fail to work to your benefit. Imagine a game’s worth of giant creatures all coming back into play, all triggering their ETB abilities, and then your opponents often get a turn without summoning sickness before you.

It’s downright treacherous. That doesn’t mean you shoouldn’t play it because it can convert no-win situations into crushing victories like few other cards, but it needs a lot of careful consideration most of you mouthbreathers can’t muster.

Kidding.

mostly

Overall: Three and a half Van Damme clutch classique bangers out of five

Review: Barter in Blood

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 3
Staple. A lot of these solid roleplayers lately.

Discussion:

The paltry cost of four mana makes Barter in Blood look weak when compared to effects you can also be casting with much here mana costs, but the unique environment of the format favours this card heavily and amplifies the value of that four mana. Let’s take a look at why.

1) There are usually less creatures under each player’s control. In Type 4, each individual creature tends to be very threatening and therefore tends to be tremendously resilient (Darksteel Gargoyle) or just a rough customer that needs to die soon or it will kill you (Stormtide Leviathan). A spell that can eliminate a few such creatures all over the table is welcome, and being ‘only two creatures’ tends to mean ‘all the creatures’ a lot of the time in Type 4.

2) It can kill robust creatures. Indestructibility, regeneration, and protections are all common features of Type 4 thugs. Barter in Blood gets around that nicely. While it’s true token swarms do show up, they tend to be less common than a small, elite grouping of threatening creatures, which Barter specializes in cleaning out.

3) It sounds like an awesome metal song.

4) It scales well regardless of the number of players. Some Type 4 cards are better with more people, others are worse; this one is pretty much as good with three players as it is with ten.

So, in a surprisingly serious and analytical post, that’s why Barter in Blood is a definite staple.

wet fart noises

Overall: Three and a half deceptively low scores out of five

Review: Isperia, Supreme Judge

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 3
Staple. It’s not a super-Stack-y card or anything, but certainly fits.

Discussion:

This is a really good card that unfortunately happens to just be in a category of cards I don’t especially like. It’s decent on it’s own. The six power on a flying body is nice. But the ability is something your opponents have 100% control over. While attacking people is usually going to happen, you never know when, and your opponents might decide to wait for Isperia to disappear before doing so. Or, as I recently witnessed, they might say “If anybody removes Isperia, I’ll attack whoever they want.” This type of card is supposed to turn eyes away from the person controlling it, but every now and then you play with a bunch of stubborn bastards who resent being told what to do and will turn it around on you badly.

The other thing is that this is a ‘new’ card that was just obviously designed to be hammered into decks for being generally ‘good’. It’s not especially interesting or unique, it’s just ‘good’. So boring. Ugh. Although to me most of the new Ravnica block fit into that category.

– incoherent mumbling shit-talk –

Overall: Three and a half bitter endings out of five

Review: Rain of Thorns

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 4
Boss money hustle.

Discussion:

“But it’s a Sorcery!”

“I like this card but as a main phase spell it’s asking too much.”

“This is getting cut for new spells that are instants or have more impact.”

…all things that won’t be complained about in the Rain of Thorns review, because this card is pretty good for what it is. While the sorcery clause isn’t ideal, for the sheer versatility and potential impact of a 3-for-1 including the always-useful Land Removal That Isn’t Just Land Removal, it’s entirely worth it. It can spread the love or be used to devastate one player’s board; it can be used in an emergency on a single target to keep a player from rinning away with the game with an out-of-control Dawn of the Dead and stacked graveyard or something… you get the idea. I’ve liked this card a lot for multiplayer since it was released, and it doesn’t lose it’s shine in the flaming crucible of Type 4.

Highly recommended as one of the most Type 4-ish utility removal cards. If my stack wasn’t Singleton, I would probably have multiple copies of this in here.

Overall: Three and a half deke-out quotes out of five