I concede. In spite of winning the Weird Harvest Dilemma with Orlove by my side last week, Bleiweiss was better. This week, in spite of getting”the better card,” Bleiweiss trounced me before I could even write a word. How can you follow up anything quite so sublime and ridiculous as what Ben wrote this week? I don’t know, and I don’t even think I want to try.
Look folks, I’m the martial artist… I know all about Gratuitous Violence. Who’s the guy that wrote The Boxer Mentality? Me. Who’s the guy that loves to watch Boxing, Pride Fighting and UFC? Me. Who’s the guy who’s willing to take on all comers at Worlds in a submission wrestling bout? Oh yeah, baby, that’s me.* But in spite of all my qualifications, I was going to tell you that Furnace of Rath is just plain better than Gratuitous Violence. Then Ben did his little song and Timmy routine and even I was won over. That’s right folks, I concede… he wins. I can’t deflect his ludicrous assertions with cold hard facts anymore. Go right now and vote for Gratuitous Violence and just appreciate the fact that you are not the one assigned to battle the Penguin and his dastardly arguments week after week.
Wah wah wah!
If I were to play the straight man once again to Bleiweiss’s Danny DeVito, I’d point out that Gratuitous Violence is just bad. It hasn’t seen Constructed play at any time since it was released, and limiting the cool factor to damage dealt by creatures really constricts the applications of the card. Plus it costs five mana, three of which is Red, blah blah sucks. Furnace of Rath, on the other hand, is a combo engine that makes Red decks better. For the investment of one card, your Shocks do four, your Volcanic Hammers do six, and Shrapnel Blast now equates to one half of your opponent’s life. Sligh decks used to use it to put the smack down on Tradewind Rider decks, doubling the amount of damage their little beaters would do to blow up walls and then smash the Tradewind player with double-power Fireblasts to the dome. Furnace is the natural choice for any player who…
You know what, f*** this. You guys know Gratuitous Violence may as well be named Gratuitous Unplayable Crap, but let me try a different tactic in explaining why Furnace is good.
You know Donald Sutherland’s character from Backdraft, the one named Ronald? In case you haven’t seen Backdraft (and you need to), Ronald is a pyromaniac who is locked up but happens to be an expert on (what else) fire, while Robert DeNiro is the chief fire inspector or some such who is trying to track down who’s causing the latest outbreak of really brutal fires. Here’s a brief exchange of dialogue that is probably the best scene in the movie:
Sutherland: And you watched him dance with the animal. You saw your dad burn.
DeNiro: F*** you Ronald. Who’s doing this, huh?
Sutherland: Did it look at you? Did the fire look at you? It did. Whoa. Wow. Our worlds aren’t that far apart after all, are they? So, whoever is doing this knows that animal well, don’t they? They know him real well, but they won’t let him loose. They won’t let him have any fun. Now who doesn’t love fire?
(later at Ronald’s parole hearing)
DeNiro: And what did you do to that little girl Ronald?
Sutherland: Hmm? I… I…
Deniro: WHAT DID YOU DO?
Sutherland pauses, looks up, and smiles: I burned her.
DeNiro: What about the world, Ronald? What would you like to do to the whole world?
Sutherland *huge, ferocious grin*: Burn it all.
Furnace of Rath is the f***ing engine for the pyromaniac in all of us. If you are the type of player whose fingers leave little trails of smoke behind when you sling your spells and there are scorch marks on your seat after you’ve reduced your opponent to nothing more than a pile of burning embers, the choice is obvious. Let’s you and me, together… together we can burn it. We can burn it all.
Who doesn’t love fire?
The Holy Kanoot
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* Actually I’m not quite sure I’m this crazy, but I’d at least consider it. Wrestling with people of various sizes, shapes, and nationalities is good times. Of course, in my younger days I preferred that my opponents were female and coyly referred to this practice as”dating,” so my current conception of this activity may be jaded. Besides, you still have to worry about the stench factor with MTGers… sad but true.