Review: Lost in the Mist

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

The done did it here. Referred to as “Trapped in the Closet” for a long time in my group (then transitioned into “Urban Opera” before finally reclaiming the proper title of “Lost in the Mist”), this card is a real Type 4 powerhouse that meets all the criteria for being an awesome Type 4 card. It’s common, cheap, terrible in other formats, and has a tremendous impact on the board. Even if there’s not a particularly opportune spell to counter, somebody is casting something all the time and if you need an emergency bounce spell you can usually find a way to make it happen. It also let us reference R. Kelly, probably the most important thing of all.

itic

 

Hmm Real Talk

This is obviously dissolving into an R. Kelly reference-fest, which isn’t bad, but not why you read this stuff (like anybody does).

Anyway, Lost in the Mist is a real powerhouse counterspell, maybe one of the best in the format. A surprise hit!

Overall: Five “Did she say there were other guys there?” out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

 

Review: Stormtide Leviathan

Draft Priority: *6*

Impact: *6*

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

I know I’ve mentioned this creature in passing a few times when referencing generally-awesome Type 4 creatures. There’s a reason it’s one of my go-to mental bookmarks in Type 4–it’s just one of the best creatures for the format, period. And it does it all without having some crazy activated ability that exploits infinite mana or a stupid ETB ability. No, instead, just just puts everyone on an island.

The way a Stormtide changes the game is pretty much immeasurable. The game starts to revolve around the mammoth creature, but not in the shitty way. It’s enjoyable. The guy with his stupid horde of tokens is suddenly rethinking his whole game, desperately looking for a way to kill the Leviathan. The guys who have been getting beat down are looking for ways to protect it and keep it around. It might just look like a stupid brute-force beater on the surface, but in multiplayer it’s much more interesting and fun than that.

It’s simple, powerful, and costs more than six mana. What else could you ask for?

…well, maybe a retroprint from The Dark with Quinton Hoover art…

Overall: Five Tidal Krakens in the unemployment line 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: 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: Oblivion Stone

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: *6*

Stack Status: 5
Stacker Pentecost, obviously.

Discussion:

Oblivion Stone is obviously insane in a format with infinite mana. There’s really not much room for discussion on that topic other than some sort of interesting political notes and strategy sides. One is that since you don’t care about mana, sometimes it’s worthwhile to make somebody’s else’s permanent Fateful and let it survive the Stone’s implosion. Leaving a single creature on the board in the hands of a wounded opponent (who ideally you can snipe with a quick burn spell if they start pulling their leash) can provide great long-term gains as they strike back at their aggressors, leaving you unscathed and doing your dirty work.

But that’s all, really. It’s awesome. So the real question is… why only one reprint? C’mon, Wizards. Core sets and such. This card is obviously a staple in so many formats. Players need it for all kinds of stuff,. and it’s price is sitting at like ten bucks! Just do everyone but filthy speculators and hoarders a favour and release an easily-accessible reprint.

Still, obviously insane, use it, etc.

Overall: Five Glares of Approval out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

Review: The Mimeoplasm

Draft Priority: *6*

Impact: 5

Stack Status: 5
Stacker Pentecost (again!). Nothing special about it for Type 4, but it’s so good.

Discussion:

I’m torn. Help me.

I hate this card so much, but at the same time I love it dearly. Here’s the deal; at the time, when it was spoiled, I was pretty giddy. Reasons included the name, Ooze creature type, and the fact that it looks pretty goddamn dangerous on paper. I was also looking forward to the possibilities of creating superbeast versions of regular creatures, piecing them together form whatever the graveyards provided in a sort of MacGuyver-meets-The Undertaker sort of way. That sounds tremendous to me.

Unfortunately, as I should have suspected for a card in this colour combination, it immediately turned into a card that represented the most degenerate and least interesting archetype of EDH deck (the graveyard recycling deck with some easy, built-in combos) where there was little improv, but a lot of easy setup into effortless wins. Why I didn’t see this coming is beyond me. I guess I’m just kind of stupid. I would have loved to see it only work on cards in other player’s graveyards.

But I do like it in Type 4 because there, you are pretty much forced intot he improvisational role by not only having no knowledge of your card pool before the game, but by how fast the game changes. And with the type of creatures Type 4 has access to, you are liable to see 10/10 Kaho, Minamo Historians and such, which is beautiful in a strange way.

Ultimately, to deny The Mimeoplasm top ranks and a Glare of Approval would be an academic mistrial. It is truly excellent for Type 4. But I still give it a sort of narrowed-eye glare every time I see it, because it really did help shit up an entire format for a while.

Overall: Five giant utility creatures out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

Review: Torchling

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

ME LIEK TORCHLING

Here’s a diagram that helps demonstrate why.

torchling

 

Once Torchling resolves, the game changes because Torchling MAKES IT CHANGE. Drawing on the infinite mana around it, it creates a swirling vortex of shenanigans that no player can truly escape from until the Torchling expires. Attacks have to consider the Torchling’s limitless blocking capability, and as an attacker WITH Torchling, you have the ultimate diversion as your opponent’s STUPID creatures run off in pursuit of it’s pretty mane of flame while your other creatures creep towards the opposing planeswalker with shivs. Spells? Torchling can absorb a lot of them, or throw itself on the sword of a Doom Blade or whatever.

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s a Morphling card and it’s good in Type 4. It’s not AS good as Morphling, of course, but the blue one isn’t as exciting as the red one (as usual) even if it is more efficient. Torchling is kind of like a Honda Civic of ass whooping in reliability, low maintenance, and accessibility, while Torchling is like that old snowmobile that you and your cousin rigged with wheels for inexplicable reasons. It’s of questionable quality, may sputter out at any moment, and utterly unsafe but it’s fun as hell to use while it’s working and people take notice.

smw

Surely not a cultural phenomenon limited to northern Ontario… right…?

Overall: Five SCIENCE out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

 

Review: Pulse of the Grid

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: *6*

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

You have to be pretty stupid to not see how good this is. Consistent, repeatable card draw that can be done as long as other people have cards? You’d have to be playing against the type of strategic masterminds who figure you should hit themselves with Wit’s End to shut down your Pulse to screw this up. It’s incredible potent, sometimes bearing on oppressive, but never seems to quite get there. It’s like Whispers of the Muse light. You simply must use it.

Most of the Pulses are pretty dope, actually, even the Sorcey ones because as long as you satisfy the ‘return to hand’ clauses, they’re a bit like cantrips. This one just happens to be a perfect storm of card advantage, instant-ness, and “do I really want to counter that?”-ness.

Overall: Five unnecessary explanations out of five

Review: Brilliant Ultimatum

Draft Priority: *6*

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

Fact or Fiction is like Mulldrifer in a lot of ways; it’s a very good card, it’s fun to play with, but people also just say it’s really good because they hear people say it is that they respect or want to be. Unlike Mulldrifter, Fact Or Fiction also isn’t so skullfuckingly obviously good and requires some finesse to play with and around.

So Brilliant Ultimatum is a super Fact or Fiction. This takes away all the subtlety and nuance but replaces it with Earth-shattering power. It’s obvious for Type 4 in every way. Take it and ALWAYS rip on the guy who splits the piles while secretly knowing you have no idea what you would have done, and always act like another split was SOOOOO obviously better.

MAGIC IS A SKILLZ GAEM

Overall: Five Mulldrifters out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

Review: Haunting Hymn

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

Hypnotic Cloud scored four out of five in it’s review, so you can safely assume this will score higher. I’m sure a cursory glace t this card will explain why. Some people have questioned why I consider this card so good, but that’s usually before they play against it a few times. An instant speed discard spell hitting two cards is pretty good already, but if it’s opportune, a four-card discard spell can be absolutely backbreaking. Make no mistake; this is spell that can be used as a stiff jab or an absolute haymaker, which is awesome in Type 4. Almost anything Instant with a bigger effect than Twiddle is probably worth using (and even Twiddle is good if it cantrips, of course), so this is clearly going to make the cut.

I only give it a draft priority of 4 because most people don’t recognize it as being so good. Sometimes it might even circle back to you on a second pick, though if this happens, wear a hazmat suit so you don’t catch stupid.

Overall: Five Hymns to Tourach out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval