Friday, 29 March 2013

Raging River

Raging River
Long card is long. Basically, whenever you attack, your opponent's blockers get put into 2 piles (chosen a la Do or Die) except with a few differences. First, they divide the piles, not you. Second, you gets to pick which pile each creature can be blocked by (your Commander Greven il-Vec gets blocked by one pile while your Qumulox gets blocked by the second pile).

This card is awesome. Seriously. It halves your opponent's blockers, and if you make the stacks correctly, it can force them to effectively sacrifice some important creatures via blocking. It's also a really cheap card mana-wise, making it a perfect fit for aggro decks. Now, it doesn't split the flying blockers up, but that's not a huge drawback (honestly, if it did split all blockers, this card would be crazay broken). Still, awesome card!

Pros: Allows some choice in blockers by attacker, halves available blockers, cheap
Cons: Doesn't split flying blockers, allows opponent to split blockers
Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Artist: Darrel Riche

Time for another artist review! What is there to really say about Darrel Riche besides that his art is great? Well, he seems to have a predisposition to drawing people with with one arm up (Ana DiscipleDisruptive PitmageDusk UrchinsForcemage AdvocateGilt-Leaf Seer, and Lava Dart (I swear, it's Disruptive Pitmage in that art!)).

Best Art: Far Wanderings
Far Wanderings
Yeah, I know it's a common, and not that great of a common either, but I think this art is great. This is something that I'd like to have a 3' x 3' canvas painting of so that I can hang it on my wall. The simplicity of it is what makes the art great. Art doesn't have to be busy to be good.

Worst Art: Rorix Bladewing
Rorix Bladewing
Something about this art just doesn't feel right. Maybe it's because Rorix looks like a cross between a giraffe and a T-Rex or the fact that the wings look a little tattered, but I'm just not a fan of this art at all. 

Funniest Art: Phyrexian Infiltrator
Phyrexian Infiltrator
This art makes me giggle a little every time I see it. It looks like the Phyrexian Infiltrator just exploded out of some guy's chest and only now are the elves realizing it. I kind of wonder what the instructions were for the art on this card. It probably said "A phyrexian has infiltrated a group of elves" but didn't specify how it got there. Good on you Mr. Riche!

Darrel Riche's art is pretty top-tier. I can see why WotC has kept him around for so long.


Ah Reweave, the situationally-better Polymorph. This is card also serves as a lesson as to why making new card types can be dangerous if you don't pay attention to older stuff (before errata, a Reweaved Diviner's Wand could become a Consuming Bonfire because there were both Tribal cards). Anyway, let's get back on track. This card is great because it's one of blue's only hard permanent destruction cards  (Reality Acid is blue's only other destroy permanent option without going into colourless) and it cause the permanent to be sacrificed so it gets around indestructible too (so you're Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre is now a... Chimney Imp). This is also at Instant speed meaning you can pull off some great combat tricks (like turning your opponent's Akroma's Memorial into a Wayfarer's Bauble). However, the major problem with this card is that it costs 6. Sure, it only costs 4 when you splice it onto an Arcane spell (Splice is an underrated mechanic in my opinion since it's essentially Buyback) but you're paying at least 1 for the Arcane spell so you're actually paying 5. However, Polymorph only costs 1 less for Sorcery-speed creature destruction, so I guess that's not too expensive...

Pros: Hits any permanent, forces controller to sack it, Instant speed
Cons: Controller gets a replacement, costs 6 (or 5)
Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Perilous Research

Perilous Research
Scientist: "Hey Sad Robot, do you want to help with my experiment?"
Sad Robot: "...Okay"
Scientist: "Good! Now, can you reach over and hand me that test tube?"
Sad Robot: "I guess..."
Scientist: "Huh. I guess robots aren't immune to golf clubs..."

This card is pretty great. It's draw two at instant speed! Sure, you have to sacrifice a permanent to do it afterwards, but that probably won't be a problem for blue. Blue has a lot of cards that only have ETB triggers (such as Sage of Epityr or Augur of Bolas) and thus have served their purpose by the time you sacrifice them. If you're worried about not having a blocker, use the counter magic you just drew to prevent the thing from being summoned in the first place. Actually, you could probably build a nice deck around cards like this...

Pros: Draw 2 at instant speed for 2
Cons: Sacking a permanent
Rating: 4/5

Friday, 15 March 2013

Sword of the Ages

Sword of the Ages
This card is kind of like Soulblast, but your opponent gets tons of warning beforehand. In some ways, it's much better than Soulblast. First, while it still costs 6 mana to put down, it's 6 colourless mana, meaning it can go into any deck. Next, it sacrifices only the creatures you choose so you can keep that Vodalian Hypnotist around if you want. Finally, since it's an artifact rather than an instant, the activation of it becomes much harder to counter. However, not everything is sunrise and rainbow-flavoured lollipops with this card. The major issue is that it exiles the creatures rather than leaving them dead (if they're in the graveyard at the end of the resolution). This doesn't matter though if you're sacking tokens since they get exiled anyway, but you may be forced to exile a creature card or two. In short, this card really makes your opponent rethink that Final Judgement in her hand.

Pros: Selective Soulblast on a stick
Cons: Enters tapped, exiles creatures and itself
Rating: 3.5/5

P.S. For those wondering, yes the creatures sacked do hit the graveyard. It's really fun with Dragon Appeasement.

Monday, 11 March 2013


This card... this card... what do I say about this card? I like the fact that you can pump your life into it in order to deal extra damage (in case it gets through once and you have a shot at finishing off your opponent), but I don't like the fact that it costs 3 life to do it. However, I do like the fact that it's +1/+1 counters as opposed to just being until the end of the turn (that way, you can be funny with cards like BioshiftGhave, Guru of Spores, and Ooze Flux), but the fact still remains that it costs 3 life per counter! If this were printed today, it would probably cost phyrexian black for the ability, and I'd be okay with that since the base cost of the creature is 4. It would probably be a mythic rare due to: "one black mana: put a +1/+1 counter on this card" but it'd be better than this. Unless you're running some serious lifegain, I'd skip this card.

Pros: Funnels your life into +1/+1 counters
Cons: Base cost of 4 for a bear, costs 3 life for each +1/+1 counter
Rating: 1/5

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Timberland Guide

Timberland Guide
Yay! Battlegrowth on a dude! Now, it's not a great creature or a great ability, but at least it's kind of a 2-for-1. It's definitely a weaker Bond Beetle (since it costs twice as much and all), but it's still a usable card in formats like Limited. You know who loves this guy? Elusive Krasis (he's suddenly a 2/6). You know who loves him even moreChampion of the Parish or Champion of Lambholt since they get twice as many counters when it ETBs. That being said, I'd still rather have 2 Bond Beetles when I have my Champion of Lambholt out since she'll get 4 +1/+1 counters for the same price. Not a terrible card, but nowhere near great.

Pros: Gives a +1/+1 counter on ETB
Cons: A 1/1 for 2
Replacement: Bond Beetle
Rating: 1.5/5

Monday, 4 March 2013

Targeted Mass Colour Change

Dwarven SongHeaven's GateSea Kings' BlessingSylvan ParadiseTouch of DarknessSway of Illusion
Umm... Why? Why do these things exist? I guess one could argue that it can make things like Aven Smokeweaver and Melesse Spirit unblockable/invulnerable to a creature, but it seems like a waste of a card. Horobi, Death's Wail can use the black version as an instant-speed boardwipe, but that's about it. I guess they can combo with cards like An-Havva InnHellfire, and Yavimaya KavuJovial Evil would be funny too. It's just... these cards don't do much in 99.99% of decks they're put in. At least Sway of Illusion draws you a card, but it costs double the other cards.

Pros: Can combo
Cons: Only has dumb combos, useless on their own
Rating: 0.5/5

Friday, 1 March 2013

Elephant Resurgence

Elephant Resurgence
I really want WotC to make this token! This card is pretty hilarious, mainly because it involves an elephant. There are tons of decks that can use this card: Dredge decks, Karador, Ghost Chieftain decks,  Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord decks, Splinterfright decks, and Morality Shift decks, just to name a few. Even outside those decks, this can be really useful if you're losing in the late game. Now, there are two main problems with this card. First, it gives everyone an elephant, which means that if someone has more creatures in their graveyard it'll be bigger than yours (still, a Phelddagrif EDH could use it). Secondly, and more importantly, it's only sorcery speed. Unlike Svogthos, the Restless Tomb, you can't  make a super-Ted to block a Jokulmorder. Still, a decent card.

Pros: Makes an elephant Svogthos
Cons: Gives everyone an elephant Svogthos, sorcery speed
Rating: 3/5