Last week, I learned why Wizards hates Vintage players.
Seriously. I mean, honestly, if you were to ask me, I was sure that Pulsing Obelisk and Deathly Gamble were broken, but I was curious to see how people would do it. (And I always, always forget about Storm. He’s like Dre, I just forget about him.) But Deadly Dawn being a huge, format-altering card? Yeeeps.
In that day, walking the flood of decks from Deathly Gamble, I realized how much Wizards sits around going:
“VINTAAAAAAAGGGGEE!” they cry, sinking to their knees as they yell at the ceiling.
So I have a lot of decks. Next week, we’ll discuss said decks. But now, let’s look at bad cards.
In any case, here are the rest of the crappy cards that are actually good. They’re generally not great, but they’re obvious enough that someone would be happy to get them at some point.
Some of the suggested cards seem like they’d be not that good, but in Limited or multiplayer they’d actually work out just fine in some circumstances. And other cards are truly bad, but there are players who like them. Let’s take this one:
All elves gain +1/+1, Forestwalk, and “T: Add G to your mana pool for each elf you control.”
Under the guidance of their champion, all the elves of Titania went celibate and became priests.
– Craig W.
Akroma’s Memorial still goes for $4.00 and is out of stock. Yes, it’s gigantic in terms of mana cost and doesn’t do all that much for Elves, but Timmy is going to go nuts for this whether you want him to or not.
Now, does that make it a card that you, Mister Tournament Player, are happy to open? â€˜Course not. It’s crap to you. But one man’s meat is another man’s poison!
You may play this card only during your combat phase, after combat damage has been put on the stack. Remove target attacking creature you don’t own from the game, and search its owner’s library, hand, and graveyard for all copies of that card, and remove them from the game. Search target opponent’s library and put 4 creature cards from it into play, and shuffle that library.
“I fought with a man who had no friends….”
– Eban Murse
It’s not a good card, don’t get me wrong. But often, your ability to remove four Darksteel Colossus from the game and put in those four Mogg Fanatics is worth it. Yes, you have to take the hit to the face, making it considerably less useful, but there are times when it’d be worth it. Besides, a single prevention effect can help — Darkness to the rescue!
Each player secretly chooses a number. The player who chose the largest number draws that many cards. The player who chose the smallest number takes that much damage.
– Glen Patel
Look. Someone’s going to use this, simply because it can give someone an ugly choice: They’re low on life, and you’re looking to seal the deal.
Again, I’m not saying this is great, but it’s going to inspire a Johnny somewhere to try to break this. They won’t — it’s very well balanced — but they’ll try, and have fun doing it.
If a creature you control would be put into a graveyard from play, you may sacrifice a forest. If you do, that creature phases out.
Whenever a creature you control phases in put a +1 +1 counter on it.
When you control no forests, you lose the game.
But where will I live? — Squirrel Token
– Matthew Anderson
Expensive? Of course. But in multiplayer, having an anti-Wrath of God text is potent. I’m not saying I’d always play it — five mana is a lot — but the ability to bring, say, a Gleancrawler back with a bonus in response isn’t something I think no one would play with.
Plus, Wizards would probably template it to be more like Momentary Blink, and then there are lots of cards you can pair with this to be good because of the secondary clause.
When Spore Demons deals combat damage to a player, that player receives a number of 1/1 black/green spore creature tokens with “Flying; Controller loses 1 life during upkeep” equal to the amount of damage Spore Demons dealt this turn.
– Marc D. Poirier
Again, expensive, but a flying 3/5 that can cause six damage a turn (three on the first attack, three by the time you get to untap) is not a terrible card in Limited in most environments.
Paradox Golem 4
Artifact Creature — Golem
Paradox Golem is indestructible.
You can’t win the game.
If Paradox Golem is put into your graveyard from play, you lose the game.
A strong early play in multiplayer, all you have to do is combine this with something like Crystal Shard or Erratic Portal, and you have something that can put out a lot of early damage and not be too bad. Again, not so great that I’d be happy to see it in Sealed, but I know someone would like it.
Whenever you gain life, target opponent puts cards from the top of his library into his graveyard equal to the amount of life you gained.
My rewards are your risk.
– Travis H.
Hello. I cast Congregate with this on the board. I gain fifty life. You lose. I’d kill for this card in multiplayer.
Gargantuan Mana Panda
Creature- Giant Panda Druid
You cannot play spells with X in the casting cost.
At the beginning of your precombat main phase, add six mana of any color to your mana pool.
– Nick A.
Six mana a turn is pretty decent, especially when you can just plop it into any number of creature pump abilities (think Firebreathing effects), or putting charge counters on things that require mana, or just accelerating into a number of gigantic creatures while keeping protection mana back in a control deck.
Play Desperate Strategy only during your combat phase.
Creatures you control get +X/+X, where X is their combined power.
At the end of the turn, you lose the game.
– Stephen W.
Again, this in Limited? Yes, a Fog will kill you, but most of the time it’ll turn a small group attack into instant death if they let one or two guys through. It’s a risk, but generally one that would pay off if they’re tapped out and let things through.
Every time target opponent gains a life, put a Soured counter on Soured Draught.
Sacrifice Soured Draught: Each player loses life equal to half of the Soured counters on Soured Draught, rounded down.
“Refreshing at first–the nectar of life requires strict handling to prevent spoiling.”
Again, in multiplayer, where we routinely have people playing with Beacon of Immortality and Congregate and Exalted Angel and Lightning Helix, we have something that can potentially take several players out in one shot. It won’t hurt the opponent in question, but it does give them incentive to gang up on him early.
As an additional cost to play Mindblast discard X cards at random from your hand.
Mindblast deals X damage divided as you choose between any number of target creatures and/or players.
Known for their prowess in battle, Wood Elementals also boasted powerful shamans.
– Matt P.
I’m still not sure if Matt was serious about this, or whether he knew that Firestorm was a very hotly-played card back in the day. Or whether he thought the randomness would make it so much worse. But in my experience, Sligh players were usually pitching their whole hand for victory anyhow!
When Dichotomy comes into play, put X 1/1 blue and red Spirit creature tokens into play.
At the end of your turn, sacrifice a creature. If the sacrificed creature was blue, return target permanent you control to its owners hand. If it was red, target creature you control can’t block until your next turn.
– Kaleb R.
Okay, not the greatest spell — but in the late game, you sacrifice a token to bounce Dichotomy to your hand and effectively get a repeatable effect for endless tokens. Particularly with a Tron in play, this could get nasty in multiplayer when combined with, say, Goblin Bombardment.
Flash (This enchantment may be played whenever you could play an instant.)
Combat damage dealt by blocked creatures is dealt to the attacked opponent instead.
All blocked creatures that deal combat damage this way are sacrificed at the end of combat.
– Sheldon C.
Again, we have a card that pretty much kills you in Limited for two mana, obviating the blocking process and acting as a combat trick. Potent. Very potent.
These were close. I liked them. But in the end, they weren’t quite so bad that they could win.
Creature- Human Wizard
Sacrifice Pushy Mentor: Search target opponent’s library and choose a creature. That opponent puts that creature into play under their control.
“Well, why can’t you channel the pure power of your thought to reach between the infinities and draw a corporeal entity from nothingness? It’s really very easy.”
SUPER PRO ANTI PHAGE TECH! FORCE THEIR BEST CREATURE INTO PLAY TO FACILITATE AN UNRELIABLE TWO FOR ONE TRADE AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE! TOTALLY HOSE THAT SINGLETON IVY ELEMENTAL YOU’RE SO WORRIED ABOUT!
I do love the idea. But actually, in some cases — crap though it might be — it’s a great card to pull out the turn before the Wrath of God hits. “Hey, here’s your best guy! And he’s dying. Thanks.”
Creature – Human Wizard
Remove two cards in your hand from the game: Draw a card and add R to your mana pool.
You can’t play more than one spell each turn.
“I know it’s in here somewhere. Where’s an index in this thing?”
– Rincewind the Wizzard
“Looking at this guy gives me the same sickly feeling that I felt witnessing Carnival of Souls for the first time. â€˜This has to be good. I should break it before someone else does.’
“The aggressive body recalls Dark Confidant. The ability’s cost reminds you of Mind Over Matter. Sure, it costs more, but you also draw a card! And who ever lost to a Rule of Law, anyhow? (The answer: Blue combo players.)”
– Alex Kenny
Really, I should have put this in the “Break this Crappy Card” pile, but I missed it. But really? It can’t be good. Prove me wrong. A strong contender.
Creature – Goblin Shaman
Whenever a Goblin you control is put into a graveyard from play, deal 2 damage to target creature or player. Mogg Artillery deals 3 damage to you.
Draw a card for each card in your hand.
Artifact – Equipment
Equipped creature gains double strike and defender
– Reuben B.
Reuben B makes some of the best Magic YouTube videos, when he dares to. He’s funny, and cutting-edge, and sometimes a little dirty. I love Reubs. He needs to make more videos, so he can surpass Evan Erwin. And the crappiness of Glorious Epiphany is just wondrous. Five mana to win more when you’re winning, to lose more when you’re losing.
Tap all creatures you control. Gain 3 life for each creature tapped by
– Marc D. P.
The fact that it’s a sorcery makes this really, really beautiful. It’s terrible. And yet Timmies and beginning players like lifegain so much you know someone would play it. I love it.
As long as Actuate is on the stack, spells cost 2 less to play.
True success is the uncompromised realization of one’s goal.
– Matthew B.
Ah, Matthew. A beautiful card. But it does nothing! It’s so blatantly obvious that you have to cast at least three spells a turn for it to break even, it won’t work. If you had tacked on something like “Do two points of damage to target creature or player,” it might have been awesome.
Blinding the Sameness
Reveal a card in your hand. All players reveal their hands and discard all cards with the same name as the revealed card.
– Kevin T.
Cards that rely on you having the same deck as other players: Always something that Wizards seems to love. But always, always crap.
Black and red spells you play cost 1 less.
Whenever an opponent plays a spell, Combustion Chamber deals 2 damage to you.
– Matthew K.
Too little of a benefit for a duel. Absolutely deadly in multiplayer. But it seems like the reduction should be used somehow.
Cards in play that you control, cards in your hand, library and graveyard with a converted mana cost of less than 6 have a converted mana cost of 6.
Each spell that would cost you less than six mana to play costs six mana to play. (Additional mana in the cost may be paid with any color of mana or colorless mana.
For example, a spell that would cost 1B to play costs 5B to play instead.)
“Turns out that clash isn’t such a crappy mechanic after all.”
– Matthew Y.
Someone would try to break this. They would fail. But this is on the bubble; Wizards might print it, but chances are this is so poor (unlike Trinisphere, which was at least cheap and affected other players) that it’d never work. It’s a great crap rare, but unfortunately it’s too good for the room these days.
Whenever a creature goes to a graveyard from play, you may search your library for a creature card and put that card into your graveyard.
During your upkeep, if you have seven or more creature cards in your graveyard, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
– Craig W.
This one’s all about price. At two mana, it’d be an awesome choice for a Reanimator deck. But at five, it’s too late to do anything. And as such it’s not worthwhile, even though it seems good.
You may only play this card during your first main phase.
Gain an additional combat phase for each card target opponent has drawn this turn.
“Exhausted as they were, upon seeing the glee of their general at the latest news, their wroth bubbled up of its own accord.”
Again, a solid crappy design, but the way it’s worded means that nobody will ever play it, and Wizards knows it. Who draws cards during your upkeep? Unless you target an opponent, in which case it’s so terrible you’re losing.
Put target face-up creature card that’s removed from the game and owned by an opponent into play under your control until end of turn. At end of turn remove that creature from the game with 1 time counter, it gains suspend.
“Your delving into time has proved lucrative. Thank you.”
Hi. I hose suspend. A mechanic that wasn’t particularly abusive. At four mana.
Whenever a spell is played put a counter on Spell Block and counter each spell with a converted mana cost equal to the number of counters on Spell Block.
Whenever a spell is countered remove a counter from Spell Block.
“WTF?” –Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
“The card could potentially counter multiple spells your opponents cast; it has built in ways to add and remove counters at instant speed, and could be further controlled by Clockspinning or Power Conduit type effects. But it would be a pain to work around, and often won’t provide much more pay-off than a hard counter, and clever opponents can utilize it, too. Plus if you don’t have a means of readily controlling the counters, they’ll balloon up to useless quantities. I’m sure a Johnny could build with this, but it would take as many or more hoops than the touted Carnival of Souls, and Spell Block lacks the end reward of reaching an â€˜arbitrarily large number.'”
– Pat R.
You almost won. Good job. Sorry.
Pay 2 Life: Remove target creature you control from the game. Return that creature to play under its owner’s control during your next upkeep, and deal four damage to it.
“Yes, you can hide in that fire… but are you sure you want to?”
– Evan D.
Again, the four damage is brilliant flavor. Wizards wouldn’t print it, but by God this is awesome flavor.
If you would draw a card, instead add UU to your mana pool.
“Sure it’s a great idea! Now DO something with it!” — Loquatus, Cephalid Inspirational Speaker
“This one looks like an engine, but it just doesn’t pan out. Blue loves to draw cards, and it loves big mana, and this offers the possibility of turning quality blue card draw into a mana flood. When blue has big mana, often it goes back into drawing cards to keep up its options. That’s where Fertile Ideas runs into problems. Without some acrobatics, you’ll probably never be able to see another card for the rest of the game. I have trouble picturing any blue-leaning deck that would want to shut down all of its draws in exchange for mana, especially when those draws will get you more land anyway. As a kicker, since this is blue, you probably aren’t playing a good way of getting rid of this enchantment if you decide you want to fill your hand back up again.”
Each land in your library is basic.
“Some see homes in these trees, some a stronghold. Some see lines of mana and some see firewood for tonight. Me? I see a forest.”
This is obviously meant for Vintage and Legacy, and it makes your fetchlands incredibly potent… But is it worth the four-of card slot to be able to Tutor up a Mishra’s Factory on demand? It looks oh so good, and maybe it is, but when you think of the value of the four cards you have to take out for it to work, it’s most likely gonna be pure crap in the format it’s most usable in.
But that’s darned close. What’s the winner? I love this card, because it seems like it’d be useful, but it can’t be.
Arm the Soul
Pay 2 life: put a 1/1 Soul Fragment creature token with Defender, Lifelink, and Bands with Other Fragments into play.
“With a score of booted heels, I stamp out all resistance.”
“I believe this is the crap rare which you seek because it is the basis of so many bad combos. Its true potential seems just out of reach. It also wins by having the best use of Bands with Other ever conceived. This card will create aneurysms on both sides of the table as you consult dusty rulebooks to even figure out how this complicates combat math and life-gain. Various dead-end ideas include:
” â€˜It’s a token engine! If only I could give the tokens +1/+1, then I could chump block my opponent forever!’… Except for evasion and trample. Even so, with Bands with Other you could wind up ahead on life if you could ever figure out what the ability does, and your opponent attacks into you after seeing what happens.
” â€˜Well, what if I gain life when tokens come into play!’ Sure, but that takes at least two Soul Wardens to break even, and a four-card infinite combo that doesn’t kill your opponents on its own is going to be a hard sell (yes, you could add Pandemonium, but now you’re looking at a four card combo in three colors that relies on a six-mana card and 1/1 tokens).
” â€˜Well, what if let them attack or Fling them!’ Great, you’ve just broken even on life swing (maybe), And you have to do all the paying first; one Night of Souls’ Betrayal and you’re locked out.
“This card is bad, but it looks just like an engine if you squint really hard, and I think it will drive many Johnnies insane during its lifetime.
“Arm the Soul has all the hallmarks of an olden-style crap rare:
“Arbitrary and large mana cost? Check.
“Creature type that will never be used again? Check.
“Too many eldritch keywords? Check.
“Name and flavor text with a stupid veiled pun? Check.
“While this card began its life in R&D at 2BW, someone in playtesting built a combo deck with Soul Wardens, so now it sits sad and forlorn at six mana, screaming to be built around but never delivering on its hints of promise.
Whoo, Gareth, you make a damn fine point here. This is craptacular! But not craptacular enough! Because in Limited, it could be okay. Maybe. Not great. No, the winner must be….
Creature — Bird
When Thieving Sadpie deals combat damage, draw X cards where X is the damage dealt.
When combat damage is dealt to Thieving Sadpie, discard X cards where X is the damage dealt.
Evolution is a process driven by trial and error.
“This guy has an ability that is potentially disgusting…all you have to do is give him some power! Too bad he has shroud so ~95% of ways to buff power don’t work on him. The cards I can think of that can give him power all require a heavy investment in white or green, namely Glorious Anthem (1WW) and Overrun (2GGG). Thieving Sadpie’s cost at 1UU makes casting him and an enabler in the same deck a crapshoot. Short of that, he’s an overpriced wall that you really don’t want to block with.
“To add insult to injury, he’s a flightless bird.”
– K. Quayle
To which I can only add, “Whippoorwill for the win!” Yes, it may not be the worst card, but this is perfect — because Wizards might well print this, and you’d go crazy trying to find a way to break this, and you never would. That’s the awesome bit.
Anyway, it is late. And I am signing off.
The Here Edits This Here Site Here Guy.