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Pojo's Duel Masters Card of the Day

Image from Wizards Duel Master site

  Crath Lade, Merciless King

Card # DMS3

Date Reviewed: 07.13.05

Constructed Average Rating: 2.25
Limited Average Rating: 1.5

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

DimAssassin Crath Lade, Merciless King

I'm here once again to review a new card for you guys today. And today's lucky card-to-be is the Darkness super rare from Thunder Charge. His name is Crath Lade, Merciless King. Let's take a look.

Name: Crath Lade, Merciless King
Cost: 8
Civilization: Darkness
Race: Dark Lord
Rules Text:
Instead of having this creature attack, you may tap it to use its ability.
Your opponent discards 2 cards at random from his hand.
Power: 4000
Mana Number: (1)

At first look, Discarding two cards from your opponents hand seems to be quite devastating, And it is. But once you see his Power/Cost ratio, Most people look another direction.

The only perpose I see for this guy is in a discard heavy deck. But given all the other discarding abilities out there, This guy falls behind. I would much rather use Lost Soul for only 7 mana and Discard my opponent's whole hand than pay 8 mana for a 4000 power creature that wouldn't beable to use his ability until the next turn. Which leaves him open to cards like Terror Pit, Death Smoke and even Tornado Flame. And if he manages to tap and discard 2 random cards, Chances are he'll only beable to use his ability once. Given his measly 4000 power, Your opponent should have a creature bigger than him ready and willing to take him down.

What else could I play?
- Like I mentioned earlyer, Lost Soul is a much better choice. Discarding your opponents hand for 1 less mana seems like a better idea to me.
- And if you wanted to get creatures on the board and still discard cards from your opponent's hand. You could play 2 Locomotiver. Same effect, Same cost. Only thing different is that the Locomotivers don't have to tap to use their ability and would beable to attack and break 2 shields on the turn that Crath Lade would tap to discard 2 cards.

Constructed: 2.5 / 5 Used in the right deck, He might be useful. But there are much better choices of cards to use than this guy.

Limited: 2 / 5 If you come across this guy, I wouldn't pick him up. Discarding 2 cards is great in Limited play, But at the cost of 8 mana with only 4000 power? He's to easy to attack and destroy in limited.

Well that's all for today folks. Looking forward to reviewing tomorrows card. Be sure to check back in for more reviews!

You can contact me on AIM as XvDimAssassinvX or E-mail me at XvDimAssassinvX@aol.com .

And be sure to come back to www.pojo.com for all of your TCG needs!

Till next time Pojo readers. DimAssassin -out


(Top 4 at
2004 GenCon - Indy
Crath Lade, Merciless King

Instead of having this creature attack, you may tap it to use its Tap ability. Tap ability: Your opponent discards 2 cards at random from his hand.

Hand discard = way to hinder your opponent's mana development, cripple his ability to make his key plays, and prevent him from answering your key plays. Hand discard, whether random or not, is proactive control = rather than just sitting back waiting for your opponent to play a card like Lancer and then you have an answer for it in your hand like Terror Pit, you actively try to prevent that card from hitting the board period by taking a random/non-random shot at knocking it out of your opponent's hand. That way, your opponent has less options for you to worry about. Hand discard doesn't always grant card advantage (think Ghost Touch), but sometimes it does (think Lost Soul).

Hand discard as become a hot commodity lately. An overwhelming number of top
4 Invi decks are packing some form of hand control, usually two or more of the following: Locomotiver, Lost Soul, Horrid Worm, and Ghost Touch.
Propeller Mutant will be joining the ranks shortly. Now we have Crath Lade, a creature that taps to pitch 2 cards from your opponent's hand. That is a sweet effect. In the lategame a hand really matters, especially versus a Control deck. If you run out of options and haven't sealed a win yet, then you're in a great deal of trouble because Control decks will just turn around and pound you with their card advantage or you'll be without answers to halt swarmers. Crath Lade is a shot at keeping your opponent's hand down to a pitiful size in the late-game, which is helpful because your opponent will usually be sitting on enough mana to cast the most expensive cards in his deck or mutiple cards late-game. If you can get this guy out early (paging Nature's acceleration) and keep it guarded with other hand discard, creature destruction and a few blockers, then you may have a discard engine on your hands. And, when your opponent doesn't have a hand to speak of, Crath can spot some 4000 or below creatures or break a shield. Great, right?

The problem is that Crath Lade costs 8 mana.

4000/8 mana.

At Crath Lade's asking price it shouldn't be grabbing deck space away from the previously mentioned "big 5" hand discarders. Without acceleration, this guy does his trick on turn 9, and likely just once. Plus, it's competing with 8 cards like Vampire Silphy and Ballom that can grant card advantage the moment they hit the board. The earlier Lade can be played, the better.
Don't get me wrong, being able to continously knock two cards from an oppponent's hand is killer, but as a very late-game tap effect this puppy likely will not get going before being slammed with one of the numerous creature kill cards that will likely have be drawn by your opponent once you have 8 mana. Control decks that do a lot of drawing are likely to be the decks where your opponent will be sitting on a healthy hand lategame, and therefore where Lade's effect could be more useful. And, yet these decks pack ample kill and discard themselves and have many chances to prevent Lade from doing his thing. Lade is the type of creature Corile loves, and Pit, and Smoke, and Vortex, and Vise, and ... I'd rather just stick with the big
5 discarders, and Lost Soul is my lategame discarder of choice = all cards gone. Groovy.

[Where To Deck]
A Control deck running mana acceleration, like BAT, Life, and Mulch Charger.

Having Lade as your only discard option is likely to be a very wasteful use of the whole hand discard mechanic = surround this guy with other discard like Lost Soul and Locomotiver. Hit your opponent's hand constantly = very evil when you can hit is field with destruction too.

[Format Ratings]
Constructed: 2/5 in deck with ample Nature acceleration to get it out and discarding early. Honestly, and you can call me crazy if you want, but I'd rather play Vampire Silphy for the same price.

Limited: 1/5. Speed is really key in this format, and the cheaper hand discarders are the best here, like Propeller Mutant. I think Limited decks should be built for Beatdown, unless you can draft/pack some control stuff like kill and blockers and go Aggro-Control. You'd almost always just want to swing with a creature to break a shield or kill another creature here rather than use a tap ability--still that's what decision making is all about...tap to hit or tap to prevent = you decide.

Random Factiods: I've been reviewing DM cards at Pojo for more than a year!
My Invi is this weekend! I like 80's music!
Steven Cantrell

Yes, I am finally back. My family went on our summer vacation until last Sunday night, and I didn’t feel like drafting Monday’s review the next morning. But you can expect the regular CotD and tourny report write-ups from here on out until my retirement at the end of August. We will be covering the new expansion cards from Thundercharge of Ultra Destruction for a while.


Crath Lade, Merciless King

Type: Creature

Civilization: Darkness

Race: Dark Lord

Mana Cost: Eight (8)

Rules Text:

Instead of having this creature attack, you may tap it to use this ability:

Your opponent discards two cards at random from his hand.

Flavor Text:

“Mortals are my crops. The souls are my harvest.”

Power: 4,000

Rarity: Super Rare

Set: Thundercharge of Ultra Destruction


Power/Cost: These are normally the first two things people notice when they look at a new card. Unfortunately for Crath Lade, his Power-to-Cost ratio is not a pretty sight. Eight mana is far too expensive to warrant his average attack and mediocre ability. One of the few good things in this category is that Crath Blade can at least survive the increasingly devastating Searing Wave.


Civilization/Race: Darkness makes its living through hand destruction. This means Crath Lade fits right in, but he also has solid competition to deal with. Better hand discard options include Lost Soul, Locomotiver, and Horrid Worm. As for his Race, the Dark Lords have minimal support. They also lack any evolutions whatsoever.


Effects: This effect looks potentially devastating at first glance. Two cards gone from my opponent’s hand? Great! But that is assuming Crath Lade lasts another turn to use his tap-effect, and assuming your opponent has two cards in his hand at all. The extra turn gives your opponent time to see it coming. In that situation they will attempt to destroy him, or use up their entire hand.


Limited: 1.5/5

Not too exciting here. Mana generation is very “limited” in drafts, so Crath Lade will be even slower without the needed accelerants. Draw power also doesn’t show up often in draft, meaning that the opponent will be topdecking with a hand fairly often. There are much better choices.


Constructed: 2.5/5

Bottom line is that Crath Lade has an above average ability with an above average price tag. Avoid him if possible, but he could be okay in a Black n Green control variant. That’s all for today...

Name: Crath Lade, Merciless King
Cost: 8
Race: Dark Lord
Civilization: Darkness
Type: Creature
Rules Text:
Instead of having this creature attack, you may tap it to use its Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
Tap ability.
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
Tap Your opponent discards 2 cards at random from his hand.
Flavor Text:
"Mortals are my crops. Their souls are my harvest."
Power: 4000
Mana Number: 1
Artist: Eiji Kaneda
Rarity: S
Collector Number: S3
I love his art.  This card is a very nice discarder.  Wow, that is a real word.  If you cast lost soul turn 7 and then summon this turn 8 and tap turn 9 your opponent will have no hand again.  If you use blue / black attack with crystal lancer, then tap this and your opponent won't get any cards.  I wish I had this card...  It can be devastating. 
Constructed: 5/5 (in the right deck)  It has infinite uses.
limited: 3.5/5 Not enough mana excel
art: 5/5 Ahhhh
toiletheadbrett@aol.com or aim at toiletheadbrett if you have questions or are going to MD for invitationals this weekend...

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