Selecting 9th Edition Dilemma: Glorious Anthem!

People obviously need a voice of reason for these votes because they just keep screwing things up. Since this is the last set of cards we will be voting on for another two years, I figure it’s time to recap and look at where the public went wrong this time around. Oh, and I get to beat up on Ben one last time, too. This should be fun.

My plan this week was always to make Bleiweiss go through this long spiel about why Shared Triumph is better than Glorious Anthem and then not respond. I figured after how I’d trounced him thoroughly in the last two votes, I didn’t even need to put up an argument anymore… Ben would do it for me. It would be payback for making me”argue” my valid points against his odious antics. He’d spend hours concocting some silly scheme to deflect your attention from the fact that the card you are reviewing is absolutely horrible and you’d automatically vote against it because you are all smart people.

Then I remembered the earlier votes in this whole Selecting 9th Edition, and my whole plan fell apart. People obviously need a voice of reason for these votes because they just keep screwing things up. Since this is the last set of cards we will be voting on for another two years, I figure it’s time to recap and look at where the public went wrong this time around.

Week 1 – Emperor Crocodile vs. Jade Leech

Earlier in this series, I laid down some ground rules about picking the right choice, and one of them said,”Choose the most efficient card.” This vote happened before Ben and I came along to help you, but it appears some of you took my advice a bit too literally. You see, Emperor Croc is awful. Yes the Croc doesn’t make you pay more many for further spells, but he’s a sitting two-for-one any time your opponent decides to use some removal on one of your other creatures. You also can’t play him right after a Wrath of God, and he screws up combat as well because you always have to be sure that Croc plus one other creature will survive. Yes he’s a 4/4, but his drawback is so bad as to make him nearly unplayable.

Jade Leech may seem less efficient to many of you because he makes your Green spells a tad more expensive, but he has none of the drawbacks that Emperor Crocos*** does, thereby making him a much better card. To those of you who voted for the Croc because you really wanted to see more crocodiles and alligators in Magic, you win. I can’t argue with that and you obviously chose wisely. Bravo.

Week 2 – Blinding Angel vs. Dawn Elemental

Another rule I pointed out in a previous dilemma was that any time you have to choose between an Angel or a Dragon and Card X, the Angel/Dragon automagically wins. These two cards are basically a push (though Dawn Elemental is nearly impossible to cast in some formats), so it didn’t matter anyway.

Week 3 – Mana Leak vs. Memory Lapse

I’ll be honest with you, I like Leak better. Arguments can be made for both cards, and while I would have liked to play with Memory Lapse on a stick (Isochron Scepter), 9th Edition premieres at a time that would make that mostly irrelevant so I guess I have to use Extended for that. I think this is the one counterspell vote in two years that players have chosen correctly.

Week 4 – Havoc Demon vs. Yawgmoth Demon

Havoc Demon bad, Yawgmoth Demon less bad. We’ll see if future blocks make this card a solid Black finisher or if his drawback and a lack of decent artifacts makes him unplayable.

Week 5 – Persuasion vs. Confiscate + Rewind

This is the vote that breaks my heart and forced Ben and I to start writing this series in the first place. Persuasion is an excellent card. Confiscate and Rewind are not. Not even if you are into the new math. If folks had voted in Persuasion, we probably could have had Dismiss in the main set, remedying last year’s horrific vote while giving us Persuasion as a nice little bonus. Instead we’re still stuck playing Rewind in our X/Blue decks and get the unplayable Confiscate to boot. How very lucky.

Week 6 – Balduvian Horde vs. Goblin Goon vs. Rathi Dragon

Dragon makes any words I would say against him irrelevant. Good thing I don’t have any.

Week 7 – Temporal Adept vs. Time Elemental

The voters chose Temporal Adept, thereby assuring that decks that run colors besides Blue can’t play a repeatable bounce spell. Time Elemental was probably the right choice here, but it isn’t completely obvious, so I’ll let it slide.

Week 8 – Viashino Cutthroat vs. Viashino Sandstalker

The vote was structured so as to be obvious. Thankfully, the readers agreed.

Week 9 – Shard Phoenix vs. Hammer of Bogardan

This was probably the toughest vote in terms of actual card quality that Wizards gave us. Zvi and I actually argued briefly about this set of choices and he thinks that Hammer is clearly the better pick because it’s more efficiently costed, while Shard Phoenix has all of the drawbacks I detailed in my side of the Dilemma (somewhat facetiously) and isn’t powerful enough to overcome those. I actually thought Phoenix was the right call here, as I find it more interesting from a design standpoint and it’s been out of rotation for a while, but I’ll admit I could be wrong.

Week 10 – Blackmail vs. Addle

I can’t talk about this one. How people voted out a card that has Jennifer Lopez in the artwork is beyond me, particularly when Blackmail is asstastic. Addle isn’t Cabal Therapy, but it’s close enough to make me wish we had it back. Bad voters, bad!

Week 11 – Animal Magnetism vs. Weird Harvest

One of these cards sees a lot of casual play, the other one is not the Green Fact or Fiction. Yawn.

Week 12 – Furnace of Rath vs. Gratuitous Violence

Note to self: Feed Bleiweiss to the Furnace at next PTQ.

Week 13 – Not Crusade (Shared Triumph vs. Glorious Anthem)

Here we are, the final vote we get to make in Selecting 9th Edition. The problem here is that this is another screw up from last time, but this time we don’t get a chance to vote in the good card like we did in the Persuasion vote. You only get worse card or worser card when compared with Crusade. Instead of railing on about why Shared Triumph is sooo much worse than Glorious Anthem, I’ll propose a card I’d rather see in this slot and then show you what Bleiweiss had to say about Shared Triumph.

Efficient Creature Boost – 2W

Choose One: White Creatures get +1/+1 Or Non-White creatures of the color of your choice get +1/+1.

Entwine – Pay 5 Life

Is it any good? Definitely. The question is whether it’s overpowered. It’s closer to something that would see a lot of play than either of the above choices, and it would be a house in Limited, but it could probably use some balancing. It’s not as if I have time to try the R&D thing very often. Yes obviously Entwine won’t be in the main set. That is not my concern, peoples.

Anyway, that’s all for today. Ben’s obviously on my side on this one. When I asked Ben what he really thought of Shared Triumph, he had this to say – probably the most lucid point he’s made in our entire Dilemma series:

Good choice, Ben

Ted Knutson

The Holy Kanoot

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