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

 

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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: Crippling Chill

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 5
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

Alternatives to what this card’s art could have been:

  • Some dudes on the corner hanging out throwing up gang signs
  • My wife constantly complaining about being too cold
  • A bunch of guys in wheelchairs relaxing on a tropical beach
  • Anything other than the actual art because it’s boring and meaningless

In general, this is a perfectly playable card that nobody will remember when the game is over. An instant speed cantrip basically makes this card good enough to play, even if it’s effect was less than listed, so no surprise there.

I hate the newer verion’s art even more.

Overall: Three frigid bros throwing gangsigns out of five

Review: Fuel for the Cause

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple.

Discussion:

Counterspell plus. That’s pretty much all you need to know. Stuff you Stack with plenty of counterspells, whether they’re condition, weird, overcosted, whatever… just make you they’re in there. They provide a fail-safe for some cards that can take games over too easily, let people have a little more feeling of control over the game, and are an integral part of Magic anyway. Fuel for the Cause is an unconditional counterspell with a bonus effect that’s all upside, and doesn’t get used outside the occasional bizarre counter-based casual deck anyway, so it can use the opportunity to shine.

Also worth noting is that like just about anything else in Type 4, the counters here matter more, so the Proliferate effect actually has a chance at having a significant impact even if things aren’t engineered around it. For example, doubling up your divinity counters on those various Myojin is always solid; on the lower end, it never hurts to add some Theft counters to Night Dealings (NIGHT DEALINGS). It can also have some fun and unexpected political ramifications when other people have counters you can manipulate. Demand disproportionate favours for +1/+1 counters and see where it goes. Why not?

Overall: Three Theft Counters out of five

Review: Strider Harness

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 2
Bretty gud but nothin special

Discussion:

It’s hard to say when was the time the nWo’s tentacles really get wrapped around designer brains and started squeezing the part that said “colours should be distinct” until it started dying, but marking it around the time that Equipment was released wouldn’t be a coincidence. Was the idea cool? Absolutely. Is it mechanically smart? Sure. Is making abilities that clearly belong in certain colours universal on super-effective, relatively resilient cards a good idea? I’m sure you can guess where this is leading.

Equipment dumbs the game down in a bad way. I’m not opposed to the idea but I think that making them colourless artifacts was a major mistake. Why couldn’t Lightning Greaves have been U/R? Because of the tradition/inertia of artifacts traditionally being colourless? In that instance, I think violating the colour pie is a much worse and more potentially threatening break from tradition than coloured artifacts (which ended up happening anyway and nobody cared).

In short, equipment is degeneracy, and also notoriously bad for the health of not just game deisng, but the games they’re placed in. Umezawa’s Jitte? Swords of X and Y? Lightning “good for errythang” Greaves? Skullclamp? Batterskull? Cranial Plating? How many shitty equipments have ruined games, even formats? Is there a card type more degenerate?

Yes. Planeswalkers. But I’ll let it go for now.

Overall: Three and a half predictable boring rants out of five

Review: Eternal Dragon

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Reasonable inclusion.

Discussion:

Eternal Dragon is a card I’ll always imagine is more valuable than it actually is, because I longed for a set back int he day but didn’t have the money for it as I was super-broke. Now that I’m rolling in Internet Website money and can easily afford them, I don’t really want them anymore and even in Type 4 he’s a bit milquetoast. There’s nothing offensive or poor in terms of Eternal Dragon’s performance; he’s a dragon, he comes back, and continues to dragon around doing dragon thangs. But that’s a kind of narrow lane, and you can usually switch things up with a better Main Phase spell than “5/5 Flyer REPEAT FOREVER”. Worth including? Yes, especially in bigger stacks. A mandatory big-money player? Absolutely not. In long, grindy games or instant-heavy decks his value goes up but otherwise, he’s pretty meh.

Also a card victimized by a recent reprint, which is excellent, with awful art, which is unfortunate. The original art is sublime. The new art is some albino lizard on steroids eating it’s own tail.

Overall: Three Internet Website cheques 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: Hystrodon

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple. It’s a very good creature but nothing more or less.

Discussion:

Here’s another card I’ve always kind of liked, but has never been exceptional. But it says “draw a card” so it’s probably pretty useful. I also respect the use of any Magic card monster chasing down innocent antelopes, beasting on them in order to draw their controller cards. I also get the impression from that scale wildlife that this giant thing springs out of a much smaller morph ‘shell’, which is probably pretty dope physics-wise.

So, it has a combination of good abilities–morph, trample, drawing cards–but it’s only a 3/4. Given people are going to0 be assuming it’s a 1/2 regardless, the 3/4 is actually not a half bad size as it might trample over some chump blocking utility creature they imagine will be safe. But most creatures are going to demolish it in combat, so you need to play it carefully if you want to keep up the deception that it’s a Willbender or a Krosan Cloudscraper. Attack into grossly unfavourable-looking matchups or just go for the bonus poke against ‘undefended’ players. Maybe alternate between the two. The problem is that once Hystrodon falls down and bumps his head, then switches it on ’em, the gig is up. Everyone knows it’s a relatively weak creature that they don’t want to let make contact with a player.

It’s still plenty playable, but don’t expect miracles. Get a two cards and six points of damage, a chump block, and let the Hystrodon die with pride.

Overall: Three Krosan Willbenders out of five

Review: Guardian of the Guildpact

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 2
Roleplayer. It’s good in other formats as well, and it’s ok here.

Discussion:

This is a card I like, and is pretty functional in Type 4 despite costing so little and being a ‘main-phase’ guy. But he’s not a fireworks-and-Scorpions-concert play, more of an understated but solid kind of thing. It’s essentially a defensive powerhouse that can often sneak in some free pokes and that’s about it. But sometimes that’s more than enough to justify being drafted and played early on. This isn’t the type of guy you want to be picking up when you’re already behind the game, though.

I can’t give him any higher ratings because his performance is consistently unspectacular, people tend to draft him a little too early until they’ve played with it, and there’s a good smattering of overpriced gems from Invasion block in the stack so his value gets reduced. In some more limited and focused Type 4 builds I imagine this guy could actually be a budget-priced monster, but for me he’s always going to be just good enough to serve.

Overall: Three hurricanes rocking you out of five

Review: Hit/Run

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
A mealy staple.

Discussion:

I would consider both these cards individually good enough to include even if they weren’t on a split card, so having them both attached to each other makes this package even sweeter. Mind you, it might be a bit of overkill even… but whatever. Options is options, and for the most part it’s hard to fault a card for having too many useful options and none of them being viciously OP.

It’s kind of a funny paradox though: Hit works amazing against the board sparsely-populated with only one or two powerful items (a common scenario in Type 4), and Run is amazing when you have a board cluttered with garbage guys that you need to make dangerous. Either thing happens often enough that this card is virtually always good.

It’s unspectacular, but not every card needs to be utterly insane. This is another solid roleplayer that is unlikely to get mean mugged when it gets pushed.

Overall: Three overwhelming ranges of options out of five