You know, I haven’t used this card yet. It’s tough to get enough of the right creature type in Sealed to make the Avatars work. In draft, I’ve never opened him. Could be a good card in a Goblin-heavy W/R beats deck, as it powers up Sparksmith, gets the benefit of the Goblin Taskmaster, and hits hard if you get to four mana by turn 4 (which isn’t always the case when you play fifteen to sixteen land).
My proposed flavor text: “By reading and trying to understand this card, you wasted fifteen seconds of your life that you will never get back.”
Sadly enough, Risky Move would actually be very good in a creatureless deck – pure control – if it cost something like 2R. As it is, it works as a Persuasion that only hits the worst creature, half the time, and can only be used in a creatureless deck.
Did you hear what I said?
Worse than cancer.
You might recognize this guy from the Prerelease, where he kicked your ass because there isn’t any removal that can do squat to him. I could tell you Rorix is good, but you know that. I could tell you that he may find a place in Constructed if any sort of Ponza-style high landcount Red deck appears, but you know that, too.
So I won’t. Instead, I’ll twiddle my thumbs for a while.
I’m twiddling many a thumb.
Still twiddling, but not my thumbs.
Okay, let’s move on.
Pretty straightforward. Doesn’t change the board position any, but sometimes it might go a long way towards removing target opponent from the game. I’m pretty sure it’s slower than sin and therefore unfit for draft, but in Sealed you never know what’ll happen. If you open two of them, why not give it a shot? Let me know how it goes.
Shaleskin Bruiser can get pretty ridiculous. One other attacking Beast makes it merely amazing; two make it insane.
You know what to say when you attack with Shaleskin Bruiser and two other Beasts, right?
Yeah, you do.
“Ten-four, good buddy!”
Over and out.
And important card for the W/R beats deck. Shock is even more vital than usual in this limited environment for two reasons: Almost every turn 3 play is going to be a 2/2 Mystery Meat, and the best common creature in the whole environment is a 1/1 for 1R (Yes, Sparksmith is that good. If you pass it and you’re in red, you’re an idiot. Seriously. I will never pass a Sparksmith. Ever. Ever. When I was tooling around in the Swiss with my U/G deck, what was my biggest fear? Sparksmith. When I was steamrolling through the Top 8, what made most of the games into chess for chimps? Sparksmith.)
Man, is this card good. Along with Battering Craghorn, this card creates a deadly turn 4 guessing game with red morph creatures. Block and get the first strike treatment? Or let it through and get wrecked by Skirk Commando?
Once morphed, Skirk Commando is excellent with Dirge Of Dread – I had James Beeton use this combination against me several times during the early Swiss, and it never failed to put me on the ropes. Kill a creature, draw a card. What’s not to like?
Like many other red creatures, Skirk Commando is amazing with Crown of Fury, and it’s important to note that he doesn’t actually cost double red, since you can just morph him with single red. This is important when you have to stack your manabase to fit in Gustcloak Harriers.
Skirk Fire Marshal
Junk. Better in draft than in Sealed, but still usually awful – you can never guarantee being ahead on life, and who wants to draw the game? Give it a try if you draft a really, really fast Goblin deck, and see if I’m wrong. If you do draft the aforementioned deck, the Fire Marshal could be a good finisher at the top of the mana curve.
And boy, they dropped the ball on the flavor text. It should have been “Fire Marshall Bill Burns here! LET ME TELL YA’ SOMETHIN!”
Awful, but sometimes you have to play him because you need more one-drops, or you need to power up a Reckless One or Sparksmith. As a side effect, this card lets you control how much damage you take from Sparksmith – a factor that is sometimes important when life totals are running thin and sweat is running thick.
If I wanted something that was nearly strictly inferior to Treespring Lorian, I would ask for it. Skill tester, garbage card, urinal clogger, bottom of the barrel, desperation inclusion, frequent exclusion.
Slice and Dice
A wrecking ball – and, along with Infest, the uncommon card I fear most when playing W/R beats. Amazing with Broodhatch Nantuko and Symbiotic Elves and Beasts. Cycles to wipe out Sparksmith and almost any Goblin, and draw you a card. Play as many of these as you can open up in Sealed, and snag them in draft even if you have to steal them from other players.
A slower, crappier Skirk Commando that works with Aether Charge and Wirewood Savage. Morph cost should have been 4R. And what is a Thragg? A Gourna? A Valesk? A Brackus? They sound like the exclamations of a man in the throes of violent regurgitation.
“Man, I’m really hammered.”
“MMMPH! Crap, I shouldn’t have mixed…”
Great removal, and a first pick. Cycles to kill the best creature in the environment, goes to the dome more often than the Blue Jays; where do I sign up?
Start the music!
I means you’re theillest fool who pings stuff,
N is for the newfound power of red,
S is for the surefire way you win games,
A means that they’re angry when they’re dead,
N is for the nasty power of Goblins,
E is for the end of Green/White/Blue,
Put them all together they spell INSANE; when a Sparksmith hits the table, mise well scoop!
Don’t pass it.
One mistake I made during the early portions of the Rochester draft was to take a Unified Strike over this card. Spitfire Handler is insane with Crown of Fury and the pick was a flat-out mistake, since I ended up with only six Soldiers in the deck. Both Unified Strikes ended up in the board, and I was forced to play Foothill Guide to have enough creatures. I would have loved to have Spitfire Handler.
Man, mediocre or what? This is the beast that you hope you don’t have to play.
Bizz-omb. A wrecking ball in Sealed and draft, amazing with Broodhatch Nantuko and just ridiculous in general. Wrath of God is good, right? So is this. Don’t pass it, and if you have it in your Sealed deck, try really hard to play Red.
Flat-out solid fat.
Man, that sentence made no sense.
Anyhow, I like the Tephraderm – costed at 2RR and as a 4/4, it would have been a nice card for Constructed. As it stands, it’s a great card for Limited and it doesn’t leave an opponent many outs. It’s splashable, too!
“If your opponent is playing bad cards, he may gain control of this creature sometime during the game, if your removal and Sparksmith doesn’t get rid of the 1/1 after he pays 2U for it.”
Thoughtbound Primoc is the best three-drop in the environment, bar none. Even the amazing Gustcloak Harrier is harder on the color requirements, and just not as good. The drawback only becomes a problem when playable Blue creatures like Mistforms show up, or when you get screwed by a random Embermage Goblin or Bloodline Shaman that you can’t kill. If you see a ton of Mistform guys, side him out. Otherwise, just send the beats.
It’s even a Beast, so you can pump it with Snarling Undorak, dome for four with Aether Charge, and draw cards from Wirewood Savage.
I’m having trouble getting a handle on the true power of this card. I always used Ray of Command-style effects to screw opposing creatures during combat. This card obviously can’t do this, but it might be very good in an aggressive W/R deck. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, though.
Obviously very playable with Nantuko Husk, it also serves as creature kill for opposing Sparksmiths and other pingers. I’m thinking it’s going to make the cut, and might even turn out to be very strong!
Thunder of Hooves
Could theoretically be a wrecking ball, but I haven’t seen it put to good use yet. A good way to get rid of opposing Goblin hordes while you leave your 5/4 and 7/6 beaters untouched. Of course, if you have a 5/4 and a 7/6 against a bunch of Goblins, you’re probably going to win anyhow. Also deals damage to players, meaning it can clear the way for a lethal assault quite easily.
Wave of Indifference
Ferrett pointed out to me at the prerelease that this card was key to the Sealed environment because there is no Fog of any kind in the whole set. I’d just been wrecked by it once, but I wasn’t convinced that it would work with smaller creatures. Well, after watching another five rounds of play and seeing numerous Wave-kills, I’m sure he was right – the inclusion of at least one Wave is pretty much unconditional, if you have it.
A good kill card in both slow decks that take a while to pile up the forces, or in fast decks that run out of gas and have to get those last few points through.
Words of War
A card with a lot of potential, it’s already been put into the Cube at Future Pastimes, and we’re having a lot of fun mixing it with Sylvan Library, Memory Jar, Wheel of Fortune, and other T1 cards. Drawing a Shock every turn is pretty damn good in Limited, so you obviously want it there.
Now, will Words of War have T2 applications? Will we see it at States/Provincials? I honestly can’t tell you. It could be a good finisher in a Red deck that comes out quick – insuring a Shock every turn, and we’ve already discussed how the Words could be used with Merfolk Looter to get free Shocks on an empty hand.
Words of War could be a good control card, as a re-usable source of removal, and it could also be a good aggro card, as a re-usable source of damage. In a way, it’s a poor version of Cursed Scroll: The Scroll made you use every card you drew in order to keep the hand empty, whereas the Words doesn’t let you draw at all… Likewise keeping the hand empty. The Scroll was better, but sometimes a bad Cursed Scroll is all you need to put you over the top.
Whew; all done! I hope you guys had as much fun reading this as I did writing it.
Take that in whichever manner best suits you.
I’ll be back tomorrow. See you later, all.