Well, the response from my Mom and brother were so overwhelming that Mr. The Ferrett has asked me to finish what I started. (Either that, or he’s as anal-retentive as I am and just can’t stand leaving anything unfinished, no matter how bad it is.) Part two covers blue, a.k.a. the color of winners.
Can you believe this? Card drawing based on a specific creature type. It’s not”Choose a creature type. Draw a card for each creature of that type in play.” It’s”[d]raw a card for each Bird in play.” Is it my imagination, or are we being fed decks?
Sorry; I’m trying to make it sound good. But even with my command of the Queen’s English, I just can’t do it.
The flavor text for this is supposedly,”He brews trouble.” It should be,”He blows. Bubbles.”
Given the fact that this doesn’t require five or eight or eleven other guys to use, and that he can be part of the process the turn he is cast, this could be pretty good in a control deck. If not, you can use him in your bicycle spokes.
Arcanis, the Omnipotent
It’s good to see that they’re trying to balance out the colors again. Let’s see, white gets Jareth, a four-power creature that gets absolutely huge… If he stays back to block. Blue, on the other hand, gets the weak Arcanis, a legend who is nothing more than a LIVING, REUSABLE ANCESTRAL RECALL!!!! (I would use many more exclamation points… But my system has a small allotment of them, and I may have to use some later on.)
Yeah, that’s what I call balanced. God, I hate blue.
Clearly, the creature-type theme is strong in this block. This card is going to be either (a) extremely useful or (b) so bad that I’m glad it’s a rare (because it will almost never show up once per box).
Boring. Flying, but boring.
Great comes-into-play (hereinafter,”CIP”) ability. Nice flying body. Great activated ability. Costs way too much to get into play. Also, a perfect description of my last girlfriend.
If morphing creatures get used a lot, this will be big. You’ll at least need it against Grinning Demon and Blistering Firecat. Great in Limited, but probably a sideboard card (at best) in Constructed.
It seems like this whole set is nothing but sideboard cards.
Too complicated for me. Toss this one back.
Chain of Vapor
Dueling bounce for the cost of a land? This is great for blue control decks that run 25 or 26 lands. What opponent is going to want to sac lands? Not many. I hate blue.
Gee, yet another reason to hate blue. Tap this. Untap that. Annoy the hell out of your opponent. Shouldn’t this game be about beasts and dragons and monsters beating up on each other, and not some skinny wizard saying,”Time to go to sleep”? This reminds me of a football game that goes down to the last second: Forty-four freakishly large guys on offense and defense battle and sweat for 59 minutes and 57 seconds. Some of them get broken bones and concussions. All of them will be sore and bruised. And after all of that grunting and hitting, the score is tied, the smallest guy on the team skips in and kicks a field goal as time runs out to win the game.
Does that seem right to anyone? Well, neither does bouncing and tapping and countering.
I won’t be able to afford any Grinning Demons. But I can afford Clone. So hopefully I can slap a Clone down when you have a Grinning Demon in play. Then I can bounce yours. And then counter it when you try to recast it. I hate blue.
This counters a spell, or it counters a spell and draws a card. You know what I think? I think I hate blue.
Wow, what an overpriced creature with an almost useless ability! If you have my luck, when playing Sealed you’ll get two in your tournament deck (one will be foil) and one in each of your two packs.
Crown of Ascension
So, if I make a blue/white deck entirely out of birds, I can use this to give them all flying? How thoughtful of R&D! (Of course, I’ll actually use it in a red/blue deck to give all of my goblins flying.)
Great. A counterspell that also sets up my opponent’s next four draws. I… Aw, heck, you know.
Hmmm… I’m playing a nearly creatureless control deck with 26 lands. What can I do with all of those extra lands? Think, think, think, think, think. Dang, I’m stumped. Maybe it’ll come to me later.
This is either going to be great, or it’s going to bite big lizard butt. I want to compare it to Disruptive Student from Urza’s Saga… But you can’t really do that because there were a lot of great cards in that block that got lost because they weren’t Rancor, Masticore, Morphling, Yawgmoth’s Bargain, Stroke of Genius, or Yawgmoth’s Will. So since it’s blue, I’ll just say it’s going to be great. After all, it is a permanent, conditional counterspell.
The good news is that they could have reprinted Undo, which does the same thing, sans cycling, for two less. The bad news is that it’s more bounce. Can you not just kill my stuff and be done with it? Grow some new ones and play Disenchant or Dark Banishing or something already.
Either (a) a great way to protect a 2/2 flier for 3, or (b) a 2/2 flier that is going to bounce an awful lot because of all of the cycling out there. Only time will tell.
Blue players will point to the fact that, golly, I’ll be giving you information about my next card. Everyone else will point out that it’s like the blue player is playing with an extra card.
If all this did were give +2/+2 to a wizard, it wouldn’t be bad. But that Zephid effect is just all up in my face. I’m pretty sure that wizard decks will pack this guy. Then, again, maybe we won’t see a wizard deck. Ha ha.
No, seriously, maybe we won’t.
The good news is that this guy costs six to cast and doesn’t give blue mages much for what they’re paying. The bad news is that it’s uncommon, so you’ll get way too many of them when you buy your packs.
All right already, Mr. Buehler. I’ll make a dang wizard deck.
Ixidor, Reality Sculptor
You know what? I think that I like this guy. Not too powerful, with a couple of useful abilities. Yeah, he’s nice. I even like that name. It sounds like it’s from a bad 1950’s alien invasion comic book.”Mr. President! The five-armed Ixidorians are here to steal the First Lady’s brain!””**gasp**,” said the crowd.
I’ve always been a fan of this kind of spell. All it really does is protect my guys or prevents you from doing bad things like playing Rancor on your guys… But they never seem to work quite as well as I hope that they will. I did get to use a Confound to save an 18/18 Cognivore once. I won that game. Other than that, not so much.
This will be great at the kitchen table in multiplayer games. See, you can get twenty or thirty of these and put them under that leg that’s short and that causes the table to wobble. This prevents spillage of beer and chips onto the playing surface, thus keeping your Child of Gaea and Teeka’s Dragon safe and clean.
You know what he’s shrieking? He’s shrieking,”I’m a 3/3 flier for five mana with a stupid ability! Somebody, please, shoot me!”
For one more than Fat Djinn, you get a 6/6 flier rather than a 5/6 flier. You also get that creature-type changing ability. One day, I’m gonna use it on this guy, and call”goblin” just so that I can say that I killed someone with a 6/6 flying goblin.
Could be useful in Limited. Other than that, the ability is too expensive. Gee, where have I heard that before?
I guess I’m supposed to be happy that I can make it so my wall can attack. But I’m not. I want walls to be suckers with butts that are six lanes wide and still take up part of the median, too. With walls, you’re supposed to be trading the ability to attack for the fact that only the biggest creatures can bring them down in combat. These 0/3, 1/3, 1/4, etc., things just don’t cut it. Give me Glacial Wall or Pitchstone Wall or Wall of Souls; not this.
I’m thankful that it doesn’t fly.
Talk about narrow. Whoa. Thank goodness it’s a rare. I don’t want to see more than one in a box.
Once this goes off, if you have multiple wizards on the board, I don’t see your opponent recklessly casting spells (unless for some reason they need your wizards tapped like for an alpha strike). So, what this really says is”2UU, Tap a wizard you control: Counter target spell.” Too expensive. Again, I’m glad it’s a rare.
See where it says”Dragon” in the name? That means I like it.
I really like this one, too. Anything that let’s me reload is A Good Thing. Also, it’s good for hosing decks that play with Flashback (like Quiet Roar), eat their graveyards (like Psychatog), or that use Haunting Echoes. Yes, this card is A Very Good Thing.
Invasion gave us Shoreline Raider with Protection from Kavu. Given the number of kavu that were played in the last two years, I would have expected to see more of that guy. But he was incommunicado except in Limited. Shows you what I know. I just don’t see this guy with his Protection from Beasts being played much… Unless I’m playing multiplayer against Jason. Then, I’ll need all of the beast protection I can get.
**sniff** **sniff** Yup, I smell a Dragon deck. Or maybe it’s a Legend deck. Either way, it’s bad news for Becky. (Dear John, that was for you. – Love, Romeo)
I like that ability. Too bad it costs so much to activate and that the creature is fragile. But what a great name! I picture my Uncle Gino up in his attic, his white hair flying everywhere, as he stomps around and yells,”I know it’s up here somewhere!” Gosh, I miss Uncle Gino.
You know those kids movies that go straight to video about some Pop Warner football team where the geeky kid drinks a special potion or gets struck by lightning or gets bitten by a turtle, becomes the star of the team, and wins the hearts of both Mary-Kate and Ashley? Those teams always have silly names like The Screaming Seahawks, don’t they? This one is screaming,”Oh, dear Lord, I am so lame!”
If, for some reason, you really need to hose an opponent’s mana or one of your guys has Islandwalk, then, well… This card still reeks like burned microwave popcorn.
Oh, I get it – you want Sea’s Claim for this guy in case your opponent doesn’t have an Island in play! How nice of them to name the cards so that they’re right next to each other numerically in case we couldn’t figure it out on our own.
“Will you build me a wizards deck, too, Daddy? I love you.” (And the crowd goes”awwwwww.”)
That’s just too much for me to do with one card. But what a great stall mechanism, since we now get to write everything down. Would it be considered illegal stalling if you brought a calligraphic pen to do your writing and had to have all your letters just so or you’ve got to start over? What if you also had a note from your shrink saying that you have OCD? If it flies, this card could be a winner for you.
With all of this creature-type changing stuff going on, there had better be some really, really good stuff in the last two sets in this block – because what I’ve seen so far does not have the impact of the Domain stuff in Invasion, not by a longshot.
You have got to be freakin’ kidding me! Get out some wizards, and wreck my library? Thanks a whole lot. Have I mentioned how much I simply despise blue?
Not too bad. Most people would say that it’s not good to help an opponent out… And it’s not. But at least it’s not lopsided. And it’s great in multiplayer for building alliances. I’ll bet Alongi loves this.
Too . . . many . . . choices. Must . . . stop . . . writing . . . with . . . ellipses.
Permanent counterspells. I think you know how I feel about these.
Wheel and Deal
I’m sure that Alongi likes this one, too. And it will be fun in multiplayer. It won’t see play in Constructed, though, which means people like us can get four of them cheap.
Words of Wind
More multiplayer madness! Alongi must be breaking out in cold sweats over the blue cards in this set.
Well, that’s it for blue. As usual, you’ve been a great audience. Please, sign my petition to ban blue. Thank you.