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

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Review: Kamahl, Pit Fighter

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 4
Solid. He deserves to be in here, but isn’t especially great or anything.

Discussion:

Kamahl is a pretty rad card for such a pitiful weakling. I guess he’s like a nerd who can throw his bodyweight like a spear at a target, but if somebody breathes on him the wrong way he dies. He should probably have some thick-rimmed glasses and spacers in his ears, but this was originally printed in 2001 so I can’t remember what the style was at the time for Hungry Skelly Hipsters.

One thing that never goes out of style is Lightning Bolts. Even in Type 4, lightning bolts on a stick are pretty good. His ability to become a mega-bolt if an attack lane is wide open is a nice twist as well, though we have a running joke where Kamahl always dies if he goes for n actual red zone attack. A creature with Flash, a cycled Slice and Dice, it doesn’t matter… he never gets to successfully attack. That pitiful 1 toughness body is just too easy a target. I think today he would probably have First Strike.

Maybe you could scribble it in on the card with a marker if you want him to be better, but for now he’s pretty good anyways.

Overall: Three and a half hipster spears out of five

Review: Second Thoughts

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost. It should be in every Stack.

Discussion:

I recognize that I spend a lot of time here at the Academy bitching like a total loser. In fact, peep this self-depreciating graph about how I spend my time writing:

graph

Microsoft Excel: Finally good for something

But this is one of the cards that’s going to fall into that narrow green sliver of the pie.

Second Chances is a card you probably don’t remember unless you played quite a bit of Odyssey block limited, and even then… eh. But I do recall making use of it and being semi-satisfied with the results. This type of obscure, conditional removal with the cantrip condition are truly the perfect poster children for Type 4 as a cheap, low-entry-barrier format. Second Chance is a card you might find in a dumpster for free, and will be treasured during games with your Stack by players of all stripes.

It’s just a card that sucks ass by most accounts and benefits perfectly from the Type 4 format. It pleases me tremendously. Add up the excellent flavour text and pretty sweet art and you have yourself a winrar.

Overall: Four and a half pirated copies of Excel for one graph out of five

Review: Ancestral Tribute

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Baller as they come. This is, again, the only environment I’ve seen this card is good in, and it’s totally awesome.

Discussion:

A bit like Heroes Remembered, this card breaks the lifegain barrier of purpose-built lifegain cards usually being a waste of time by just being an epic quantity of life… TWICE. In games that drag on past the sixth turn, the Tribute is almost certain to pay off in a major way and bring your life above the starting total. The longer the game runs the better this is, which actually makes it not only effective but a pretty interesting and fun choice. There’s also the Flashback element; do you pop it back-to-back, or do you want and hope to draw out some counterspells and maybe have your opponents forget you can use the Flashback?

Surely, when drafting with unfamiliar tryhards, one of them will likely take a moment out of ensuring their ass crack is visible at all times to talk smack about your draft pick. Remember, some people only understand cards in terms of the blue colour pie, so if you explain this card essentially time walks many turns of the opponent’s efforts to kill you, they might decide to leave you alone and go back to choking on some disgusting off-brand deep fried snack they’re eating.

A superb card for Type 4, but I feel it’s just shy of truly elite company and thus, I’ve denied it a Glare of Approval because I’m a cruel jerkass.

Overall: Five arbitrarily denied awards out of five

Review: Mirari

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 4
Staple fo sho. “what do u mean it’s not a 5 Andy u stupid idiot im gonna come to ur house and force-feed you Javex!”

Discussion:

I know those ratings might seem a bit low. After all, the Mirari has a storied history of blowing up spots and not even apologizing a little bit. You’d think when mana becomes a non-issue, this effect would be endlessly compounded. But the rating I give this card is based on having seen Mirari get played a lot, and while it’s certainly awesome and should be a priority when drafting it, snot a table-breaker unless you’re probably already winning.

The issue is with only one spell per turn, the likelihood you’ll play a Mirari and somebody will just blow it up is very good; the chance it will survive long enough to get back to your own Sorcery-casting phase and let you drop a twin Beacons of Tomorrow is even less probable. Unless you manage to jam your deck full of sweet instants, the Mirari might not be the best thing to draft, but then you gotta hate draft this joint or you KNOW your opponent will be getting a double Beacon of Tomorrow off on you.

It’s still pretty bangin’ to get four beast tokens out of a single Beast Attack card, and even duplicating smaller spells like Jilt isn’t bad by any means. But temper your expectations with Mirari.

Overall: Four impossibly high expectations out of five

Review: Fervent Denial

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost. This should be fairly obvious.

Discussion:

This is one of the best Type 4 counterspells that exists. It’s unconditional, it’s multiple-use, and it sits in the graveyard threatening everybody with having their favourite spell countered. There’s not a whole lot to say here.

In short, the picture of the guy in the card is what your reaction should be like if you’re able to pick it up in a draft, right down to the brain popping out the domepiece and the tentacles flipping out in the background.

Overall: Five impending tentacle bangs out of five, Stacker Pentecost glare of approval

Review: Cabal Patriarch

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 4
Stack-only expert. This card sucks everywhere else, but here it becomes average. MY TIME TO SHINE

Discussion:

Odyssey must have been a strange time in the development world ofr Magic, because while we were seeing such awesome, efficient and fun cards like Call of the Herd and Wild Mongrel, as well as some busted stuff like Psychatog and Entomb. It seemed like as long as a card cost less than four mana, there was a different design team working on it and once you were over that, you got… the B-team, I guess.

At the low, low cost of six mana and meeting two separate conditions, you too can give a creature -4/-4… but only after playing a 5/5 for 7.

Welp… that’s that. The Patriarch is certainly garbage in pretty much all arenas, but in Type 4 you can feed his greed endlessly for some potential mileage. The sad thing is that he goes from being miserable to mediocre.

Overall: Two and a half “oh yeah Upheaval will be fine”s out of five

Review: Stone-Tongue Basilisk

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
It’s the kind of card that goes into Type 4 piles because everyone has it, and it’s not much good elsewhere.

Discussion:

Ahhh, Stone-Tongue Basilisk. Who doesn’t remember seeing one or opening one back in the Odyssey days and dreaming of building a deck with them? After all, it’s what you always wanted your other basilisks to do anyway! And it’s got Wayne “Pointy Serpintine Things” England art to top it off! What could go wrong?

Well, 2001 came and went, you never quite collected four of them for your awesome Stone-Tongue Basilisk/Arcane Teachings deck. You gained some pounds, got your heart broken, and ended up being thrown into the spiritual meat grinder of adulthood. Playing Magic is about as good as popping Zoloft so why not? Anyway, during those years, the nWo’s takeover of WCW—sorry, WotC’s Magic department—has been fully realized and consolidated. That Stone-Tongue Basilisk is truly an embarrassment now, though thinking back on it with the wisdom of age, you realize it probably always was.

At least now you can use one of the two you collected way back then, play it, and think back to when people were enraged that Counterspell was no longer going to be considered acceptable to print in core sets and Shroud wasn’t too complicated or frustrating for us troglodytes to understand.

Type 4 is kind of like a graveyard for our fond memories in that sense.

Overall: Three angular creatures with open mouths looking to the right out of five

Review: Ray of Distortion

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost. Should go in any and all stacks as a premier disenchant.

One of the best disenchants. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it works. Don’t forget to be an asshole and hide your Flashback cards deep in the graveyard to help ‘outwit’ your opponents.

Also, on the art: “Aaah why are we dancing in this brown void”

Overall: Five badly forged swords out of five