Flame Rift For Four?

[Irrelevant to the rest of the article intro rant: -Trix is everywhere. -Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999. Because it friggin’ is. -Good thing is gone. , too. -As much as I like and support WoTC, they suck. End intro rant.] [Begin yet another one right here: I might as well hop on the…

[Irrelevant to the rest of the article intro rant:

-Trix is everywhere.
-Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999. Because it friggin’ is.
-Good thing Dark Ritual is gone. Mana Vault, too.
-As much as I like and support WoTC, they suck.

End intro rant.]

[Begin yet another one right here:

I might as well hop on the bandwagon of the Aaron Forsythe/Michelle Bush saga that I am sure will be huge. I’m writing this on Monday afternoon after reading Michelle’s response to Aaron’s piece.

Get ’em here:



While Aaron makes a bunch of salient points and Michelle does too, there is one point that she made that, to me, bears further exploration:

"…That there is nothing bad about being any sex or any sexual orientation. By using these terms as if they were derogatory, people who use this language are insulting the very core of who we are."

Well, here goes all of my credibility…

I don’t give a rat’s B-hind if you are gay or straight. That’s right – I don’t care. At all. Contrary to popular belief, I’m straight – but hey, if you are gay, then good for you. As I have said before, "You do your thing and I’ll do mine." And I mean it.

That shouldn’t be taken as an insult to homosexuals, although I am pretty sure that some will consider it so, but more of a total apathy regarding anyone’s sexual orientation. I’ll judge you by YOU, not by what sex you like to watch as they walk away.

But, Michelle seems to put a certain group that is well vilified into the quagmire of those who need to learn social graces: The Religious.

Far be it from me to care what religion any of you are, but I do realize that faith is VERY important to many, and the rules or doctrines of their respective churches are the word of God to them. That’s fine with me. Is it fine with Michelle that a number of those who will question her statement that there is "nothing bad about being any… sexual orientation" will be deeply insulted, as she has (unintentionally, I’m pretty sure), rejected their core beliefs?

"…insulting the very core of who we are."

Who’s insulting whom, exactly?

I guess I can sum it up in one sentence:

"People are people; the rest is just details."

When everyone stops wearing their badges, things will get better. Not one moment before.]

Now can we get to the real article, please?


Flame Rift For Four?

Undermine. Lin-Sivvi. Fact or Fiction. Wrath of God. Blastoderm. Yawn. Kavu Titan. Urza’s Rage. Chimeric Idol. Finish yawn, then yawn again.

Yeah, yeah, they’re good cards (except for Chimeric Idol). But must all of you look at the "these are the only cards that have been deemed good by the Gods of Thine Net" list before constructing your deck? Wait, no one actually "constructs" decks any more – what I meant to say was "before copying and pasting your deck." My bad.

There are a plethora (anyone who uses this word without crediting "The Three Amigos" should be shot) of overlooked gems out there that you are not (and probably will not ever think of) using in your decks. But you should. Dammit.


Why the hell aren’t you using Flame Rift? Four damage for two mana. Isn’t that effective enough? Does it really matter that you also take four damage? If it does, then you suck at playing red, thus, should be banned from the color of fury forever, and WoTC should confiscate all of your red cards and give them to die-hard White Mages.

Four friggin’ damage! Two friggin’ mana! What the hell is wrong with everyone? How can you lose a race like that when you will have oodles of additional burn to unload? Not to mention that Urza’s Rage can’t be countered! How can a red deck ever lose a friggin’ game now?

Don’t even think about how good this card could be in Extended Sligh.

Wake up people! If you are playing red and NOT using Flame Rift, then you suck something awful, really.


No one uses Ashen Powder. Are you kidding me? Are you all scared to death of Cremate? You don’t think twice about using Bribery to fish out a Blastoderm, why wouldn’t you pay one less and pick through the boneyard with extreme prejudice? It’s friggin’ black! Black friggin’ kills stuff. When it kills stuff, it gets put in the friggin’ graveyard! Do math.

Since Undermine was printed, everyone and their mothers are splashing black into formerly mono-Blue control decks. Do you think that Ashen Powder might fit EXTREMELY WELL into this deck? Counter big, giant, fat, scary creature. Tap UUBB and put said big, giant, fat, scary creature into play on your side.


Is something wrong with Canopy Surge? Hurricane was good enough for years as a mono Green finisher, but, somehow, Surge doesn’t cut any mustard in the new millennium? Just think of how many decks use Birds of Paradise to get all cute with their mana. For a paltry 1G, you can have the severe pleasure of destroying all those flashy mana dreams, and smack the dizome for one to boot. I won’t even mention the kicker, which makes Hurricane seem just a little overcosted. Okay, I will mention it: Four damage for four mana.


In this age of really long games, why the hell isn’t Avatar of Fury hitting the board with alarming regularity? For every player that holds a few lands in hand, ten more smack down every one they draw in a quest to somehow feel all Rockefellerian in a Land Baron sort of way. Even good players can be counted on to drop seven lands like clockwork.

Is a 6/6 Firebreathing flier for RR not good anymore? Especially considering that it will be dropped mid to late game when you have
tons of land to pump that dude into the friggin’ stratosphere?


I’ve heard Necropotence is pretty good. Bargain wasn’t bad, either. Paying life for cards seems like a decent deal now and again, right? So why the hell aren’t you using Infernal Contract? That’s four cards for three mana, and, as long as you don’t Ritual it on turn one, a reasonable amount of life.

At what point in the game do you wish you could draw a bunch of cards? Yes, that’s right, mid to late game after you have emptied your hand and exhausted many resources. It’s no Opportunity, but it gets you the same amount of cards for three less mana. So it’s a sorcery. So it’s a chunk of life. The end result is that you stuff four cards into your hand.


How about these three similarly game-altering cards that have been banished to eternal suckdom by the Academy of Thine Net?

Elba resident number one:

Is it just me, or am I the only guy who thinks Fog is cool as hell?

1) All-out attack with impudence, knowing full well that most opponents will reciprocate next turn.

2) Tap ONE friggin’ green mana and say, "Try again next turn… oh wait, you’ll be dead by then."

Everyone laughs at Fog and the hundreds of variants, but put Fog onto the back of a Spike Weaver, and it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

‘Ere I was and stuff number two:

Relentless Assault is an upside-down Fog, or something. Serve for a lot, then do it again. For four mana, that’s one hell of a bargain. Put this dude in Fires and watch your opponent vomit repeatedly.

I saw a picture of Elba once number three:

Final Fortune is an upside-down Fog and Relentless Assault in a mirror. It’s a friggin’ Time Walk! Yet, you don’t use it because it says something like, "Take another turn, but you better win on said turn, chief, or I’ll kill you." How many times have you heard, "I was gonna kill him next turn, but…?" Well, play this card, and it won’t be you saying that. (But you could be dead anyway.)

Call me kooky, but I consider attacking for a bunch, casting Relentless Assault, re-serving for a bunch, and then casting Final Fortune to be cheating. Are you telling me that these two cards (the same color, by the way) can’t just be broken and battered beyond belief? Just don’t add Flame Rift, or you risk being barred from all DCI sanctioned events for life.

Yeah, a man, a plan, a canal, Panama. And there is no x in Nixon.

There is something wrong when no one uses Natural Affinity except in a combo deck. That’s a lot of friggin’ creatures you got there all of a sudden (like, instantly), chief. It can’t be that hard to wait until your opponent taps a bunch of lands, can it? Now, it’s no Ball Lightning, nor as broken as Waylay was, but methinks most players could sneak in six to eight really cheap points of damage on an unsuspecting opponent for THREE friggin’ mana.


In this age of multicolor decks and homogenous designs, is it unreasonable to think that Grinning Totem might have a use of two? When you can pull a card out of fifty percent of your opponents’ decks AND play it as your own there must be something good there. Even if you can’t use a card for your own greedy purpose, you can plop it into its owner’s graveyard for fun. How the hell can this be a bad thing?


Dealing two damage to a creature is good again, but never mind that Orcish Artillery is in Sixth Edition. Nah, killing a bunch of 2/2’s is extremely overrated, so, Aether Flash shouldn’t be considered either.


Am I the only one that thinks…

Credit Voucher might be good? Yes.

Blight might be good? Yep.

Pestilence might be good (again)? You know it.

Tangle might be good? Definitely.

Elvish Archers might be good? Tricky tricky tru dat.

Skull Catapult? Dry Spell? Two-Headed Dragon? Balduvian Horde? Volcanic Geyser? Complex Automaton? Squirrel Wrangler? Living Terrain?

Answer: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Grizzly Bears are good, right? But, does anyone actually use the original inspiration for the phrase? Yes, Grizzly Bears: THE 2/2 for two.




A lot.

Don’t worry about what I think. Ever. You shouldn’t ever worry when I throw down Overabundance and Manabarbs. And relax when I have Mana Maze and Blind Seer on the table. And you really shouldn’t even fret about that Zombie Master I just cast. Strands of Night? No problem, what the hell can I do with that? Seriously, don’t think twice when I cast that Timid Drake. Or Uphill Battle. That Phantasmal Terrain I just cast? Nothing to worry about. That Instigator? Just ignore her.

Don’t worry, be happy, just stick to The List.

If you ever see me lay a Plains, THEN you can worry.

Space for you to consider if I was just kidding with this article:

Space for you to realize that I wasn’t:

Space for you to laugh:

Space for you to claim I got lucky after beating your Net Deck:

(Well, it could happen.)

Realizing that he didn’t do the FrigginRizzo: <— thing,
John Friggin’ Rizzo