Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mangara's Tome

Mangara's Tome
I really like this card because it sort of stacks your deck, but leaves in that random chance as well. Also, unlike stacking your deck, this can't be ruined by an opponent forcing your to shuffle your deck. Removing up to five cards from your deck and drawing them in a random order might not seem like a very good idea, but in the right circumstances it can be quite an effective strategy.

Let's take the example of an EDH game at turn 6 (the turn after you play this) to demonstrate this. By this point, your deck would have gone from 99 cards to 86 (assuming no extra card draw at all), which means you have a 6% chance to draw one of the 5 cards you want. However, if you played this, you know have a 20% to draw the card you want. This also works in the opposite fashion as well. Let's say, in the same game, you have 5 cards that you don't want to draw. You can take them out of your deck and you no longer have to worry about drawing them.
The other, and probably more overlooked scenario where this card can be good is in a self-mill deck as a backup plan. Let's take a blue self-mill deck running 4 copies of Laboratory Maniac, but it hasn't really gotten going yet. Your opponent plays Clear the Land and you're thinking that's great because it means less cards in your deck, but lo and behold, the top 4 cards were your Maniacs! Okay, that's a little far-fetched and unlikely, but something like that is possible. As you're playing your first Maniac, it gets a Counterbore flung at it. Your opponent's knows what type of deck you're playing and calls for Maniac during Cranial Extraction. But, probably the biggest worry for this scenario in a self-mill deck is that you mill one Maniac and then Extirpate targets it. With this card, you can still play your mill cards (against other people and the group ones as well) without have to worry about drawing out. Not a perfect solution, but a backup.

This card is close to perfect, but it does have a couple drawbacks. The fact that you have to shuffle the exiled cards is a bit of a pain, especially if one card is more important than the others. Now, you could use this for a tutor of sorts, but it does cost 7 to work (and has to wait until you draw next). Then again, it is colourless. Finally, the risk of it being destroyed and the cards along with it might not be worth the risk, especially against red or green.

Pros: Pseudo-stacks your deck, draw-out prevention, removes unnecessary cards
Cons: Cards are vulnerable to destruction, shuffling the cards may prove risky
Rating: 4/5

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