Alright, so while I said that my next article would be on aggro decks, Knut told me he wants me as a Featured Writer so yeah, I do feel kinda obligated to get one of these set reviews out. That said, this is probably going to be a short set review, since it takes a lot for a card to be playable in Type 1. But fear not, gentle reader because you will still get to learn how Carl Winter is like Dazzler.
Some of these guys have impressive stats, some… less so. The pretty generic ones, like Arcbound Bruiser and Arcbound Lancer, aren’t going to see play. There’s just no way that those creatures can stand up to Juggernaut, Su-Chi, and Solemn Simulacrum. Arcbound Crusher has a cool effect, but it takes too long to get started. If you play that guy turn 1 with Mishra’s Workshop, you can probably get it to 3/3 on turn 2 and maybe a 5/5 on turn 3, but then again you could also have just cast a Juggernaut turn 1 and always have the five power.
The coolness comes up with Arcbound Overseer, Arcbound Ravager, and Arcbound Reclaimer. The Overseer is obviously never going to get hardcast, so you’re pretty much required to use Goblin Welder to put it into play, but in TnT you can a kill with this and Triskelion. Arcbound Ravager works in much the same way.
Arcbound Reclaimer looks interesting for two reasons. The obvious one is that in TnT, you can use Survival of the Fittest to get the creatures back, making this more mana-efficient (although more difficult to set up, and not usable on non-artifact creatures) than Genesis. The more subtle reason is that it lets you foil opposing Welders that try to Weld your stuff away.
I just need to say that I’m confused here. Why does this need a drawback?
At first I thought that maybe if these cards cost about half what they did they would be playable. Then I remembered that Swords to Plowshares exists. I’d be extremely surprised if any of these showed up aside from Darksteel Citadel, which might sneak it a random artifact deck here and there.
The effect on this looks interesting, but you need to remember that to generate card advantage with this, you need to have fewer of every type of card than your opponent. The problem here is that seems to make this card turn into a seven-mana Balance, which is just begging to get countered. Especially since they should have more cards in hand than you.
I thought these looked interesting, until I remembered that Fire / Ice and Rack and Ruin already exist and are better cards anyway.
Call me crazy, but I really like the idea of running this in the sideboard of TnT for use against other Workshop decks. My reasoning is that it isn’t very expensive because of affinity, and because its ability makes it completely impossible for them to try to play around it with Goblin Welder to keep permanents they like in play. Of course, I’m probably horribly wrong here, since they’re probably better off just running Artifact Mutation or whatever, but this does only take up one sideboard slot.
The issue here is the four-mana casting cost. If you can manage it (coughcoughMishra’s Workshopderfderf,) this is simply an incredible sideboard card against decks running Bazaar of Baghdad. Otherwise, it’ll probably come out too late for you to take enough advantage of it, in order to negate the advantage that your opponent most likely already generated.
If your opponent plays one of these, or worse yet, a foil one (the horror!) you are supposed to get angry at him because he is using new, non-Beta cards in Type 1. And worse yet, one with the evil new card face, which will kill Magic in much the same way that Chronicles and 6th Edition rules before it did.
I think this card can heavily alter the dynamic of control-on-control matches in Type 1. Most of these come down to the resolution of one key spell, usually Mind Twist, Yawgmoth’s Will, or Balance. There are also only one copy of these spells in control decks. This makes it almost essential for them to set up with Duress or Xantid Swarm, or else they have to know that they won’t be able to resolve whichever one of these spells they go for first. In a similar way, since most control decks tend not to run more than a few Stifles, this can be used to be 100% certain that your cycled Decree of Justice gets you your tokens.
I don’t think that artifact decks nowadays run anywhere near enough Blue to support this guy, which is a shame since it would be a gamebreaker in the mirror.
I personally think that this is a really good, well-designed card because it will always produce mana, and if you’ve got a little bit of time, it can produce free colored mana. But you can blame fetchlands for making any kind of non-dual multiland obsolete, outside of using City of Brass in a combo deck.
Everyone knows how good this is. What still needs to be figured out is when this is the proper choice. It still needs to compete against Naturalize/Disenchant, Rack and Ruin, and Artifact Mutation, and all of these have really specific purposes. For Oxidize, I’d probably end up running it as a Wish target, and as artifact removal in extremely mana-light decks, such as Food Chain Gobvantage. Otherwise I’d consider ponying up the additional mana for Rack and Ruin or Naturalize, since Survival of the Fittest is still a big threat.
I know that this card is a little bit of a joke, since everyone who grew wood over Isochron Scepter/Time Walk can now finally Win The Prize. The five-mana casting cost is prohibitive, but this card is almost a one card combo because of the fact that you can tutor for it and imprint your tutor in order to get Time Walk. A turn 2 Intuition for this, followed by casting it turn 3 allows you to Win The Prize on turn 4, which is still pretty sound, since this deck could be control or combo, and even if it’s combo, it can still run Force of Will, the best card in Type 1.
I probably wouldn’t worry about this card and combos. The big reason that Hurkyl’s Recall got unrestricted was because you need a lot of artifacts in play in order to make the card anything better than a weak Dark Ritual. Retract even loses the bonus ability of being able to use it to bounce all of your opponent’s copies of Chalice of the Void and Sphere of Resistance at the same time.
This will be one of the most closely scrutinized cards in the set, for good reason. This card is nothing but trouble. I can’t see a control deck wanting to run it, since they tend to not need to aggressively mulligan, and this card is effectively a dead draw after the opening hand, since you can’t really count it as a mana source even though it works like one. Aggro won’t really want it, since its draws are all redundant anyway. That leaves combo, where this card will either be broken or unnecessary. It will probably never be bad, it just seems to me that there simply might not be a need to make the deck more heavily focused on the opening draw.
This gets my pick as the best card in the set that won’t see any play. Honestly, what creatures besides soldier tokens would you want to put this on?
Like Arcbound Overseer, this thing is going to have to be Welded into play. But other than that, this is incredible. It has huge stats, and with all the dual lands that get used in Type 1, can kill 3-4 lands on the other player’s side when it comes into play. I would be surprised if TnT decks didn’t at least run one in the sideboard.
This is the one card that’s received the most buzz so far, and rightfully so. This is just like Chalice of the Void. First, it looks amazing. Second, it probably won’t completely wreck decks once people start testing with it. It’ll probably just get used as a Sphere of Resistance replacement in Workshop decks. I’m not really sure what other decks would be able to pull this off, anyway.
This guy is pretty obviously going to be a staple for Green decks. TnT will probably still take Elf Replica over this, but it has a big advantage over Elf Replica in that it can be used while under a Null Rod.
As [author name="Ben Bleiweiss"]Ben Bleiweiss[/author] pointed out, this is a two-card infinite mana combo with Metalworker. The actual kill card should probably be Magma Mine. Clockwork Dragon, Blinkmoth Nexus, Mishra’s Factory, and Rocket Launcher come in behind Magma Mine, since they all have summoning sickness so you can’t pull of a turn 2 kill with them.
Completely Arbitrary Top 10 List Time!
And now, a public service announcement:
One day on the Paragons mailing list, we noticed that our member Carl Devos was:
A) a teacher
B) had a degree in genetics
C) has no hair
D) is six feet tall
E) has telepathic powers which he uses in order to build top-tier decks
This prompted us to come to the conclusion that he was Professor Charles Xavier. But he wasn’t the only superhero in our ranks. Our fearless leader Darren Di Battista was also moonlighting as Cyclops, since both of them can channel their sexual frustration into concussive optic bolts. They’re not the only muties around.
It should be perfectly obvious to anyone that Oscar Tan is really Jubilee. Carl Winter is actually Dazzler, one of those X-Men that everyone forgot about. More important than his power to convert sound into light, Carl is an aspiring pop star. He actually made it past the first round on American Idol. Me and Smmenny were glued to the teevee just watching to see how far the little guy would get. After three weeks, he got eliminated, but oh what a run it was! He just bowled Simon over with his rendition of”Greased Lightning.”
Remember kids, just because you read something on The Intarweb, no matter how awesome it is, you don’t have believe it. Especially if it’s written by a self-aggrandizing writer with Munchausen Syndrome. Then again, if you say a lie enough times, it becomes truth.
This is how I won the battle of the bands at my high school during a year when I wasn’t attending it, by playing songs that hadn’t come out yet. Or how I managed to get an A+ on a group presentation in comp lit class last year by doing a Sailor Moon cosplay (I was Tuxedo Mask.) And let’s not forget the time when I went to Victoria’s Secret and acted out the scene from Chobits where Hideki is paralyzed in front of the lingerie store and only somehow manages to pull himself together long enough to buy Chi some panties (which I did in exchange for getting my hair dyed blue and black so that it looks like Superman’s hair.)
You could have ended up just like Smmenny and spent a month watching American Idol looking for Carl… but in all seriousness, I swear that dude looked just like him!
jpmeyer at cwru dot edu
PS: I need to write up a little biography blurb for my article page on SCG, so if you’d like to have your words horribly twisted and taken out of context, drop off a note in the forums or send over an email. And”pls give me article suggestions tks.”