Review: Slice in Twain

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 4
Must-have utility champion

Discussion:

I want to mark this card up for being the only Magic card with “Twain” in the title, but it doesn’t need any score padding. It’s one fo the best Disenchant variants available because it’s an instant that does ANYTHING and draws a card. In a format with limitless mana, I’m sure the appeal of this card isn’t lost. Like it’s crappier cousin Mystic Melting, this should essentially be in all Type 4 piles because it fills an important role in disruption while being something players will actively want to use; it won’t slow them down by consuming a main phase, it doesn’t cost them a card, and it can make a decent impact on the game.

It’s hard to ask much more of such an obvious throwaway design.

Overall: Four Twains 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: 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: Sunblast Angel

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 3
Staple. It’s certainly playable elsewhere but it’s very good here too.

Discussion:

You know when you’re driving around and somebody rolls past you with one of those CDs hanging from their rear-view mirror, and then you get the sun to hit it just right? you know, in that way you have no control over that makes you feel like a solar flare is jumping out fo the car next to you directly into your cornea? I’m assume that’s what the Sunblast Angel Experience is like for creatures on the battlefield. I certainly know that’s what it feels like to get blindsided and blown out by this effect. It also make you feel uper bad about yourself for not having the ability to divine the future and know your opponent had this card, which is irrational but shut up I’m busy feeling bad for myself because I’m a really good Magic player.

In any case, Sunblast is a really good card. That’s about as far as it goes. Some people drastically overrate this effect in Type 4, I think. It might have to do with knowing how good it is in limited  and cube, but in Type 4 there tend to be less creatures overall, and attacks are sometimes made pretty conservatively because the few creatures kicking around will leave you bleeding out with a shiv in your ribs while they plod off laughing like “huhuhuhuhuh”. Still, it serves basically the same role–bone-crushing counterpunch. Best paired with Fogs, like every other card.

Overall: Four of those damned disk things out of five

Review: Argentum Armor

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 5

Stack Status: 5
STACKER PENTECOST CLUTCH CLASSIC BANGER

Discussion:

SO HYPE WE NEED TO CRUSH THIS JOINT IN ALLCAPS, ITS ARGENTUM ARMOR CRASHING INTO THE BATTLEFIELD AT A WHOPPING SIX MANA LIKE WEARING GOLD-PLATED DIAMOND SPINNERS FOR PROTECTION

EVEN LIGHTWEIGHT NERDS CAN DON THIS INVINCIBLE BATTLE SUIT AND GET TO BUSINESS THROWING THEIR WEIGHT AROUND LIKE GOD DAMN TYSON IN HIS PRIME CRUSHING MOTHERFUCKERS IN ROUND ONE

THERE’S SO MANY SIXES ON THIS CARD THAT EVEN SATAN IS REPELLED BY THE DIVINE BALLER ENERGY PROJECTED BY OUR LORD OF SWAG GMCFOSHO WHO PERSONALLY OVERSAW THE DESIGN OF THIS CARD, TESTING ITS ENDURANCE AGAINST MANY RIFLE BURS AND SEEING IT EMERGE UNSCATHED

DRAFT IT BECAUSE YOU LIKE WINNING: PLAY IT BECAUSE YOU’RE A WINNER: THEN EAT IT SO NOBODY ELSE CAN EVER WIELD IT AGAINST YOU

Overall: FIVE CHARLIE ATLAS PROGRAMS OUT OF FIVE, STACKER PENTECOST GLARE OF APPROVAL

 

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Review: Volition Reins

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost. This card is in an ideal environment in Type 4.

Discussion:

“C’mon guys, don’t steal my big creature, I haven’t even gotten to do anything with it yet.”

Have you ever heard that while grinding through a game with some EDH players scrubs? If so you understand the pleasure of a well-timed control enchantment spell like the old standby Take Possession. Here, in a new and upgraded form, Take Possession now goes the extra mile of untapping whatever crap you’re stealing, because after a while every dickhead starts trying to tap things before you take them away. This card’s tiny new effect is actually a big deal (getting a gigantic Draining Whelk you can block with VS one that will leave you open to revenge-killing?) and a magnificent “fuck you” to those jerkasses trying to deny you some pleasure.

After all, why would they do that? You’re not going to use the card on them probably, because then you LOSE it. What a bunch of short-sighted mental midgets trying to stunt your genius. It should probably be legal to sue people over Magic.

These cards are especially wonderful in Type 4 because the battlefield is bound to be rich with fabulous targets. Stealing somebody’s Prahv always gets a good creation.

Overall: Four and a half salivating lawyers out of five

Review: Blunt the Assault

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 5
Boss money. If you like Fogs, you should like this.

Discussion:

Elf 1: Hmmm… those dudes down there look crazy stressed.

Elf 2: …what?

Elf 1: Y’know, they’re going to beat the piss out of the barricade and get in here eventually. I’ve seed Dawn of the Dead like six times.

Elf 2: The new one or the old one?

Elf 1: …both.

Elf 2: Hmmm.

Elf 1: …well, the new one five times of the six. Anyway, they’re wilding. I think I can help them chill out.

Elf 2: Where are you going?

Elf 1: I rolled like a million spliffs last night. If we distribute them to the zombies, they’ll stop hammering away at the stupid barricade you did such a bad job of building.

Elf 2: On a scale of one to ten, with one being the worst and ten being the best, this idea is an easy million.

Elf 1: no u (throws spliffs into zombies)

…that’s not really how it goes down, I’m guessing, but who knows? Maybe mirrians have some incredible metal-dope or something. In any case, this is another winning fog.

Overall: Four Honey Serums out of five

Review: Necrotic Ooze

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 5

Stack Status: 4
Boss. It works awesome when Type 4-worthy creatures start to expire.

Discussion:

This card is so awesome I can’t believe it got printed recently. Obviously it benefits enormously from Type 4 caliber fatasses lounging their newly-necrotic bodies in the graveyard, but one of the greatest elements of the Ooze is the tension it adds to games. It’s hard to say what will happen when an Ooze drops, especially in a game that’s been rolling for over ten turns. Sometimes, the whole affair pauses while everyone wonders–“Is the game over?” It’s entirely possible to almost ‘accidentally’ win the game using an Ooze, sometimes using it’s own chain of abilities to work up to that. One of my favourites involved using a dead Visara’s tap-snipe ability to blow up a Hateflayer, then using the Hateflayer’s ability in conjunction with some other stupid tap ability to kill everyone. It’s like some horrid, Oozy snowball of death.

All in, great card, tremendous fun.

Overall: Four and a half disgusting garbage juice messes you leave for your spouse to clean up after you go to work out of five

Review: Grasp of Darkness

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 2
Roleplayer. It’s removal that helps deal with indestructible and regenerating badasses, but the effect isn’t huge. Still, worth including.

Discussion:

I really like the –X/-X style of removal. It’s diverse, it layers well with combat interaction, and it makes creatures feel ‘deader’ to me. Sure that last one is nonsense, but this whole game is playing cardboard and pretending to be Wizards, so deal.

Despite looking like a low-impact, limited-environment removal of cornercase use, I have to say this card springs up all the time killing Brion Stoutarms, Seedborn Muses, or finishing off third-party creatures from a combat you were previously uninvolved it. It’s just not flashy.

Be sure to put in Sudden Spoiling first.

Overall: Two and a half nonsensical perceptions of death out of five