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Pojo's Duel Masters Card of the Day

Image from Wizards Duel Master site

  Flood Valve

Card # DM15

Date Reviewed: 08.26.05

Constructed Average Rating: 4.5
Limited Average Rating: 3

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst. 3 ... average.
5 is the highest rating.

Lee Sandow
Well, it's finally Friday.  That means this week of awful cards is finally over.  For today, we're going to step away from Thundercharge (a set which most people think is bad), to Rampage (which I think is the worst).  This card has interesting combo potential, and can be fairly useful.  Let's review!

Flood Valve
Cost: 2
Civilization: Water
Card Type: Spell
• Shield trigger (When this spell is put into your hand from your shield zone, you may cast it immediately for no cost.)
   Return a card from your mana zone to your hand.
Flavor Text: "Open up freshwater valve 23D. I'm thirsty."
Mana Generated: 1
Rarity: Uncommon
Card Number: 15/55

Why are we reviewing it, you ask?  Well, I'll tell you why I chose this card.  People have been playing Thrash Crawler a lot lately, namely for his ability to return a card to your hand later in the day.  I'll discuss this more below.  This is a cheaper, though less beefy alternative.  Obviously, I'm going to be comparing them from time to time.  Let's review...

Civilization: Yay for water!  This automatically gives this card a good amount of versatility.  Water is a commonly played Civilization, so this can fit into any deck using it.  So, this is a good thing. 

Cost: Two mana.  Cheap.  I like this.  You pay the cost, use the effect, and you can probably cast/summon whatever you return the turn you use this.  HINT:  Tap whatever you're bringing back as part of the cost.   Why?  You'll save a mana that way!

Abilities: Firstly, this bad boy can be a shield trigger.  This means you won't have to pay for it at all.  That's RARELY ever a bad thing.
Ability two is where things get fun.  You can return one card from your mana zone to your hand.  This can be really helpful late game.  Did you set that Crystal Paladin on turn one, and need him now?  Did your Bronze-Arm Tribe send that Pyrofighter to your mana zone?  Do you just NEED that Terror Pit you were forced to part ways with?  Spend this card, and a measly two mana (one, if you think about it, since you can tap whatever you return), to return a card to your hand.  Sure, you lose some mana, but late game this doesn't matter so much.  Your hand size actually remains the same, so no harm done. 
This effect is awesome!  It allows you to 'protect' a card until you need it by putting it in the mana zone, where it is quite safe.  With Lost Soul running rampant, the hand just isn't a good place to hold something.  It also allows you to take back a card you couldn't afford earlier.  Many of us have set our Terror Pits, Merfolks, or Bazagazal Dragons on turn one because we couldn't afford them.  Now we can take them back and make our opponents suffer!

Ok, now that I've reviewed these stats, let's see how they stack up...  Actually, let's do a comparison first. 

COMPARISON:  Flood Valve V.S. Thrash Crawler

Like I said in the intro, I think this card is quite like Thrash Crawler.  But which is better?  Personally, I think this card is.  Don't get me wrong, I think Thrash is a nice card, but he has some nasty weaknesses that this card really doesn't seem to have.  Sure, this card may be useless early duel, but hey, it makes great mana.

Thrash, though, suffers from being a creature.  He's a blocker, which is fine and dandy, but that just subjects him to all the blocker hate in the metagame.  Further, he is incredibly weak to Corile, which is one of the most widely used cards everywhere.  Additionally, he is also near useless early in the day, and best late duel.  I've seen duelists *COUGHfordhamCOUGH* who re-summon this over and over and lose most of their mana.  This also hurts your tempo, as it might set you a mana behind.

The main problem with thrash is that his effect is mandatory.  If you want to summon him, you bounce a card.  Plain and simple.  A reason I like Flood Valve better is because it is OPTIONAL.  If you don't want to lose a mana, you don't have to play the card.  But sometimes, circumstances will FORCE you to play thrash as a blocker.  Then you're out of luck.

Let me wrap this comparison off by saying this again.  Thrash is a nice card in the hands of someone who knows how to use it.  I just personally think the versatility of Flood Valve makes it better.


Constructed overview: I've said nearly everything that needs to be said about this over the course of this review.  BUG decks might like this card, control might like this, and any deck that's using blue could stand to try it out.  I personally really like it, and plan to play it at nationals.  Cheers!  4.5/5

Limited overview: Less useful here, but still good.  You can retrieve that fatty you had to set early on, or just use it to get another creature to swarm.  The main reason I don't rank this card so well here is because Rampage is a rather poor set to draft from.  If you are doing this set in combo with something else, I might try this.  But still, tread cautiously. 

Next week: What's a pirate's favorite kind of card?  A block-arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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