Review: Tidings

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: 4
Boss status. True, it’s not perfect for the format or anything but it’s very effective and nobody is using it much of anywhere else.

Discussion:

Magic Card Game Strategies for Big Winners and Nerds

If you don’t have any cards, you can’t make plays and usually you won’t win the game. You need to get more cards, so cast Tidings (during your own Main phase, because it is a Sorceries) to get four more.

TIDINGS FACTS

  • When you cast Tidings, you will have drawn five cards in that turn
  • Tidings lets you “draw” four cards
  • Using Tidings means you will get more cards (four more)
  • There is an illustration of a person placing a wax seal on a letter on Tidings
  • Tidings has had two flavour texts
  • Tidings
  • If you cast Tidings while playing the Naruto CCG you won’t necessarily get to draw four cards
  • When you play Tidings, make sure your opponents know that you are using it as a spell

Overall: Four and a half FACTS out of five

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Review: Greed

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple. It’s perfectly reasonable card-draw permanent.

Discussion:

Aaah, Greed. One of the best cards that went through an art genesis. The original art, “eatin money coinz”, stands out as a superb example of the Foglio style of the era, as well as an all-around banger that really drives home the point: this dude is straight greedy. He’d rather chomp down on those monies that have been passed between countless grubby hands, no doubt ingesting trace elements of poop and other vileness, than share it. Also take note of the major-league player status housecoat with the frilly fur cuffs and everything a la Joe Namath 2014. Do you think regular brothers get to rock that style? No dice. The Illuminati sends you that shit once you achieve boss status. It’s on some “We Made It” ish.

So the original art is tight. Then white borders came along and took a dump on things, but 7th Edition of course made everything worse. 7th is kind of the dark ages of Magic art, but this one maintained a little class. The paladin is posted up on a big pile of money (and there’s probably a bunch of beautiful women nearby).

Not the total disaster a lot of 7th edition joints were, but pretty sub-par compared to the original. The paladin lacks that money-eating, fur-wearing swagger. Instead, he rocks armor with fake washboard abs and jailhouse face tats. While admirable in their own right, it’s not the good look an elevated player is going for when laying down after a long, hard day of studies at Ball So Hard University. He needs to check that shit and also probably sub out the weird metal-segment boots for some Wallabee Clarks.

Flash forward to 2013.

At this point, top scholars on Ballerology are still debating whether having so much money you actually throw it up is awesome or whack. I’m going to land on the ‘awesome’ side in this debate because if an ATM for gold bullion was two fingers and an open mouth away I wouldn’t care what anybody thinks.

That’s justice.

Overall: Three fields of dead rabbits for Joe Namath’s tailor out of five

Review: Skullclamp

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 2
Roleplayer. It’s infinitely worse than in ‘normal’ Magic, but then it was incredibly unfair there so maybe that isn’t a bad thing.

Discussion:

If anybody can clue me in on how to pronounce this I’d appreciate it.

Skullclamp is a bad card for Magic. It makes almost every game it’s involved in worse by virtue of being incredibly unfair and unfun. If you look it up, you’ll see it’s banned in a lot of formats. This is all for good reason as Skullclamp along with Disciple of the Vault was responsible for one of the great exoduses of players from the game wholesale in the Darksteel era, when the game simply stopped making sense and so had R&D.

Fortunately, Type 4 is crazy enough that Skullclamp is actually pretty tame here. Will it draw you some cards? Almost certainly. Is it likely to break the game in half? Not in the least. If it’s even been fair, it’s here, because Skullclamp’s incredible efficiency is undercut by Type 4’s Trans-Am like ignorance of efficiency, producing only raw power.

Sk… skuuuulllllll claaaaaaammm-p

Overall: Two and a half Derpmandercasts out of five

Review: Syphon Mind

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple. It’s a good utility hitter card. Nothing fancy, easy to find, and no real reason not to put it in.

Discussion:

Syphon Mind has been a well-known commodity in casual Magic circles for a long time. It’s a card advantage beast, a relatively cheap draw spell with no drawback in Black, and tons of players who are in four-plus player games routinely have recognized that value for their purposes. This is all consistent in Type 4. It’s a pretty good spell, but nothing outrageous. It’s kind of odd to see how well is scales to hanging well with some pretty heavy-hitting cards, but in my experience players draft it early and often. Despite being a little runty, it’s definitely in no danger of being cut.

Overall: Three corny-ass flavour texts out of five

Review: Honden of Seeing Winds

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 2
Nothing special in Type 4, but still a solid utility pick.

Discussion:

A Honden of Seeing Winds isn’t going to draw you as many cards as a big Recurring Insight, but it’s also a lot less likely to get Spelljacked or Dismissed. And that’s part of the value here: there’s something to be said for the slow trickle of extra cards flying under the radar of your opponent’s best removal options.

As far as the Hondens go, this is the only one I consider worth using in Type 4 because you have to look at them independently. Sure, it’d be nice to have three of them in play, but given low the likelihood of more than one will show up in a given draft, you can forget that bonus for pluralism.

Overall: Three cycles with only one good card out of five

Review: Farsight Mask

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
It’s not uniquely suited to Type 4, but it’s a good solid card in there nonetheless.

Discussion:

I’ve had a lot of people talk poop about Farsight Mask to me in the past but I still end up using it in plenty of decks, and it still draws me cards. In white decks with lifegain, red decks with a deficiency of card draw, and even in the occasional “other” deck, I find I usually get a return on mana at least equivalent to something like Ambition’s Cost.

In Type 4, the damage delivered to players tends to come in either an avalanche or a trickle. There are a lot of spells and effects that damage everyone globally and you’re just peripheral damage. Either way, it’s card draw, so take it when you can. On the plus side the card is often underrated so you can sneak it in as a lower pick than it probably warrants.

Overall: Three crappy cards I insist on using out of five

Review: Arcanis the Omnipotent

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Boss. Arcanis sees play all over the place but is more at home in the stack. In some stacks without ample countermagic, Arcanis might actually be a bit oppressive, but I would have to see it to believe it.

Discussion:

With infinite mana, Arcanis goes from being that cool-but-corny guy who can give you all kinds of trivia on demand into the intellectual equivalent of The Terminator. Sure, you can slow him down, you can make him pause shortly, but he’ll be back, and after a short time he’s going to drive a handful of cards through the poorly-constructed façade of your board position and reduce your whole existence to ruin.

Overall: Five awesome original flavor texts that they made worse later out of five