Six Of One And Half-Dozen Of Another?

Twice! Twice in a row I’ve gotten on Meridian Magic. Well, ain’t I just the most honored writer on the ‘Net? (Answer: No.) But, last week, I promised my faithful readers a serious article – so enough about me. I was having a discussion about how two cards added up to each other a little…

Twice! Twice in a row I’ve gotten on Meridian Magic. Well, ain’t I just the most honored writer on the ‘Net? (Answer: No.) But, last week, I promised my faithful readers a serious article – so enough about me.

I was having a discussion about how two cards added up to each other a little while ago. I was dead set on believing that Multani, Maro-Sorcerer was better than Maro. That discussion gave me insight for this article. I’m going to compare some cards and give you my two cents about how they add up. All in all, when this is through, you’ll have some nice opinions when deciding what to put into your decks and in which cards to invest.

First up, of course, is Maro and Multani.

Creature – Elemental
* is equal to the number of cards in your hand.

Multani, Maro-Sorcerer
Creature – Legend
Has power and toughness each equal to the total number of cards in all players’ hands. Cannot be the target of spells or abilities.

Let’s take a look, moving from the top of the cards down.

NAME: First of all, they both have to do with "maro-ish" stuff. One is a Maro-Sorcerer (that is, he uses Maro-Magic) and one IS Maro-Magic. This one goes to Maro. (However, Multani has a bigger effect on the story line, so it’s pretty much even.)

CC: More, importantly, though, the top of the card gives us casting costs. Maro’s 2GG is less than Multani’s 4GG; however, I don’t see this as much of an issue. The most important part of their casting costs is the "G;" i.e., they both have access to the mad mana that green can produce. Green can make six mana by turn three, but, as far as I know, there is no way to make 2GG on turn two. Therefore, the casting cost factor goes down.

ABILITIES: Next, let’s take a look at the abilities (in this case, power/toughness as well). Maro can be a big creature. However, you can’t be playing too many of those cheap green spells that green likes so much. Multani, on the other hand, is virtually twice as big, and untargetable to boot! See ya, targeted removal! With Multani, you can play out your hand, and still have an opponent-dependent Maro. Plus, Multani is everyone’s nightmare in multiplayer.

OTHER: Finally, we’ll look at other qualities, in this case, other people’s opinions. Though Maro is older and has been in more decks, InQuest Gamer gave Maro four stars and Multani five.

VERDICT: I think that the ayes have it . . . in favor of Multani!

I think that I’ll go for one a little more difficult one next: Masticore and Flowstone Overseer.

Artifact Creature
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don’t, sacrifice Masticore.
2: Masticore deals one damage to target creature.
2: Regenerate Masticore.

Flowstone Overseer
Creature – Beast
RR: Target creature gets +1/-1 until end of turn.

Again, let’s examine the cards from top to bottom.

NAME: Masticore? What is that? Whatever it is, it has three mouths. Flowstone Overseer, though strange, is a bit more understandable. The weirdness award goes to Masticore here.

CC: One of Masticore’s greatest qualities is its colorless casting cost. Thus, it can go into any deck. Flowstone Overseer, however, is extremely red-intensive, costing RRR to cast and RR to use its ability. For cost alone, Masticore wins this one.

ABILITIES: Let’s see what they have in common. They both take care of creatures by dealing a point of damage or reducing toughness by one, effectively doing the same thing. However, the Overseer also pumps power, thus making any of your creatures a force to be reckoned with, especially under Sixth Edition rules. The Overseer itself can serve for seven, and that’s a big creature! The Masticore regenerates, but it also costs you a card a turn to keep it out. The Overseer takes care of itself, but when it’s gone, it’s gone.

P/T: They’re both 4/4’s. What can you say?

VERDICT: I’d say that overall, the Masticore is better because of its colorless mana investment and regeneration. However, come November, Masticore will be sadly missed by Standard players and handed off to Extended players to see if they have a use for it. Flowstone Overseer, however, will stick around. Also, if you’re building a non-Wildfire red deck, and you want to include one or the other, I’d go for Flowstone Overseer if you have any other large-ish creatures. I guess this is kind of a bitter draw, eh?

Okay, how about something a bit on the lighter side, eh? I know I said I’d try to help you with DECKS, but I just couldn’t help myself. For, my next comparison is: Okk and Veteran Brawlers!

Creature – Goblin
Okk cannot attack unless a creature with greater power also attacks. Okk cannot block unless a creature with greater power also blocks.

Veteran Brawlers
Creature – Soldier
Brawlers can’t attack if defending player controls an untapped land. Brawlers can’t block if you control an untapped land.

NAME: Okk SOUNDS cool. It’s only until you read the card that you get disappointed. Veteran Brawlers says to me "punks" because of repeated fighting. Okk gets the point here.

CC: Both 1R. No contest.

ABILITIES: Okk can’t attack or block until something bigger does. So, what’s the point of getting it out second turn if you have to wait for something bigger? Veteran Brawlers can be used for the first couple turns it’s out, but it dies in the late game. It can only block if you don’t want any non-ACC surprises open for your opponent, and it’s not likely to get through when all your opponent has to do is play instants during, gasp, YOUR turn.

P/T: (See P/T of Masticore and Flowstone Overseer.)

OTHER: We don’t have much in the ways of red fatties for Okk to abuse. Perhaps it would go well with Lightning Dragon, being able to attack Turn Five. Whoop-dee-doo. Veteran Brawlers, on the other hand, at least has a cast of support that can help it be a useful card. There are a lot of cards in Prophecy that deal with tapping your opponent’s lands, so you have a "darned if you do, darned if you don’t" situation.

VERDICT: It’s hard to say that Okk is better than anything. The award goes to Veteran Brawlers.

And finally, our last topic: Carnival of Souls vs. Brand.

Carnival of Souls
Whenever . . .

Never mind. Even I won’t go there!

Well, I hope that this analysis has been somewhat insightful and a little helpful. Unfortunately, these particular examples are all cards that are rotating out versus cards that are staying in. Perhaps more of these comparisons would be more helpful around the time of rotation among the Masques Block. It is an idea upon which to ponder.

Until next time!

Daniel Crane
[email protected]