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Pojo's Duel Masters Card of the Day

Image from Wizards Duel Master site

  Cranium Clamp
Epic Dragons of Hyperchaos

Card # DM27

Date Reviewed: 10.26.05

Constructed Average Rating: 4.7
Limited Average Rating: 4.95

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

Lee Sandow
Continental Championships are coming up this weekend!  Yays!  I'll be going, but since I have to catch a flight Friday, I might not have time to do a COTD.  You can expect a tournament report upon  my return though.  Also, I plan to soon update my "War in the DM World" article, since Epic Dragons gave me tons of new material to work with.  Anyways, I do have an AWESOME card to review today, so let's get our game on!

Cranium Clamp
Cost: 4
Civilization: Darkness
Card Type: Spell

•  Your opponent selects and discards two cards from his hand.
Mana Generated: 1
Rarity: Rare

I took one look at this card and freaked out.  This card is....  Evil.  More than women, more than movie villains, this thing is EVIL!

Civilization: This is a darkness card. It fits the theme of darkness very well, and it comes on a turn where darkness usually doesn't do too much.  Aside from Loco or a Death Smoke (or Proclimation of Death, if you're into that kind of thing), not much goes on here.  So it fits good.

Cost: This is (as I mentioned above), a good cost for a darkness card.  It doesn't compete with much, and it's completely worth the cost.  THink of it this way:  For the same cost, you could use two Death Smokes for about the same effect, bt then you'd be lacking hand advanatge.  THis card is supposed to GIVE YOU ADVANTAGE.

Abilities:  You discard two cards from your opponents hand.  On turn four, this hurts VERY, VERY badly.  It will put you severly ahead of your opponent, and take away from them several important cards for their strategy.  This is very nasty.  YOur opponent chooses what to discard however, so they'll likely pitch out what they don't need/can't afford at the moment.  Or they'll discard Dava Torey, on which point you can have a nice day.  Still, this card is a total beefcake, and is worth the risk.

Constructed overview: What can I say?  We have on our hands another near broken card.  I personally think this is the scariest card in the set, even worse than all the big dragons.  I plan to use this, most control decks could stand to use this, because really, what do you stand to lose.  Just watch out for Dava Torey (which will probably see more play just because of this card). 4.5/5

Limited overview: Your opponent will hate you.  There isn't much draw power in this set, and even less discard, so using this will give you such a leg up that your opponent will probably never recover.  Plus, there's no Dava Torey here.  5/5
Anyhow, I'm doing a little contest at the moment.  Look at the underlined part of my review (not the next time line, but something else), and tell me what that line is from, or where I got it from.  Today, I told you to figure out next weeks theme, by looking at this weeks.  The first person to e-mail me five times with the correct answers will win a copy of the card we reviewed that day, plus a little... Bonus. 
Yeah, I used the word AWESOME 12 times on Monday.  That is many, many times.  However, I also used the word AWESOMEness, which as Lyinginbedmon correctly pointed out, is not the same thing.  He got the question right first.
As for todays bonus, the first five people to wish Team Galactic Quest luck at regionals all get a point.  Have fun!

Next time in the review:  Tornado Flame on a stick!
Cranium Clamp
Cost: 4
Civilization: Darkness
Card Type: Spell
• Your opponent chooses and discards 2 cards from his hand.

Civilization: All hail the darkness civilization known for hand discard effects above most other things. Famous brethren of Cranium Clamp such as Ghost Touch, Lost Soul, and Locomotiver either discard 1 card or a situational amount. In no situation is hand discard ever a bad thing to have considering mana and hand control are key in this game.

Cost: The ranks of 4 mana cost often seems like the black sheep since most players have to debate between various options. For darkness the debate more often than not seems to revolve around Death Smoke, Locomotiver, and now Cranium Clamp. Very efficient for its cost, Cranium Clamp will find its way into almost every deck that run darkness (splashing darkness being the exception).

Abilities: Despite this card receiving a revision before it hit the American scene, your opponent having to discard to cards from his hand is powerful.
The only time this will be less effective is when your opponent either keeps a draw card or has a duplicate copy of a discarded card. Dava Torey, Seeker of Clouds is the only card that will really make Cranium Clamp backfire.

Card Efficiency: Cranium Clamp is efficient at the standard 2 for 1.

Constructed: Control sees play in every metagame there is so unless Dava Torey, Seeker of Clouds hiding in a player’s hand this card will always be worth its rating. 5/5

Limited: I lucked out pulling 2 copies of Cranium Clamp at my release tournament. This card is event deadlier in a limited format but most players play 3-5 civ rush in limited so it is only so effective. 4.75/5
Christian Okay, let me start by saying I'm sorry for not being on line for the past few weeks, but now that school is settling down, i will probably be able to write to this site more often...now for Cranium Clamp, the card which is in my opinion the most broken card from the new set

Name: Cranium Clamp
Cost: 4
Civilization: Darkness
Type: Spell
Rules Text:
Your opponent chooses and discards 2 cards from his hand.
Flavor Text:
"Hold still! This is the only headache remedy I know. I promise, soon you won't be able to feel your head at all!"

Okay, that is one doozy effect for a four mana spell, isn't it? Let's look at some good points of the card.

Being darkness helps the card some, as killer removal and other awesome hand discard is in that civilization, so it goes along nicely with the theme there. I also find one of the best things about the card the fact that it is only four mana. Not only is it cheap, but if you get someone top decking on the fourth turn, we can bust out our favorite creature the next turn and put them in the all so hated,"Corile Lock." But what if they draw a card like Brain Serum to replenish their hand after it has been so handily destroyed? Either play a Locomotiver or something, or treat this as an example to why a deck could defifitely use 3-4 copies of this card.

The only bad point I see on this card is that it lets your opponent choose the discarded cards. Normally, that would still devastate their strategy, but Dava Torey could hurt you, so act cautious if you happen to be playing against a deck running some light. Now for the final ratings!

Limited- 5/5 (duh...)

Constructed- 4.75/5 (Just cause of Dava Torey)
Brandon Schmidt Name: Cranium Clamp
Cost: 4
Civilization: Darkness
Type: Spell
Rules Text:
Your opponent chooses and discards 2 cards from his hand.
Flavor Text:
"Hold still! This is the only headache remedy I know. I promise, soon you won't be able to feel your head at all!"
Mana Number: 1
Artist: Akifumi Yamamoto
Rarity: R
Collector Number: 27
Set: Epic Dragons of Hyperchaos

Cost: Cranium Clamp is an overall weak cost, at only four mana. This card is very impressive and think that four mana is right for this card. Now Control decks have a new four drop card that is awesome.

Civilization: Cranium Clamp fits into the whole darkness civilization perfectky with its discard ability. Darkness spells are most of the time usable and this card is definatly usable in any deck that used darkness, espically control decks.

Effects: Cranium Clamp makes your opponent choose two cards in his hand and discard them. This is a great card at any time. Even if they choose its two cards, most likely cutting their options in half. If they only have two cards oh well, I guess they are topdecking for a while. Imagine two in a row or the same time. This is perhaps one of the few cards from the set I fear, use, and love.

Limited: 5/5 No problems here. This card is awesome in Limited, as in Constructed. Making your opponent discard two cards from his hand in Limited is like using Lost Soul in Constructed.

Constructed: 5/5 Im defiantly looking foward to seeing this card in almost every deck. They will probably make a promo out of it which would be sweet.

Have fun everyone thats going to Continentals! Team GQ all the way!

MaskOfRestrict3 - AIM

CrystalPaladin06@yahoo.com -EMAIL
Steven Cantrell

Cranium Clamp

Type: Spell

Civilization: Darkness

Mana Cost: Four (4)

Rules Text:

  • Your opponent chooses and discards 2 cards from his hand.

Flavor Text:

"Hold still! This is the only headache remedy I know. I promise, soon you won't be able to feel your head at all!"

Rarity: Rare

Set: Epic Dragons of Hyperchaos


Known by the name Skeleton Vise in Japan, Cranium Clamp was one of the most anticipated cards from set eight. This baby used to torch two of your opponent’s cards randomly. That turned out to be too powerful on turn four, so WotC wisely decided to tone down the ability a tad for its English release. Cranium Clamp still smacks two cards, but your opponent will be able to choose which two are discarded. Take a look at how Cranium Clamp could affect other cards and our metagame prior to Nationals this weekend:


1)      Increased play for Essence Elf. This one’s a no-brainer. Just smack down the Elf on turn two, then you are free to cast Clamp a turn early. Nasty    stuff.

2)      Dava Torey making an appearance in most decks running Light. The ultimate hand control counter just took a huge jump in usefulness. Personally I plan to run 2 or 3 copies of Dava, since you can choose to ‘discard’ it when your opponent casts Clamp, thus gaining a free creature.

3)      Locomotiver now has competition as the ideal turn four drop in control decks. Who else has noticed that there seems to be a huge lack of solid 4 mana cards in general? Well now Cranium Clamp helps to solve that problem, acting as an alternative discard mechanism.

4)      A decrease in power for Lost Soul might be just around the corner. Much like Locomotiver’s situation, Cranium Clamp offers a powerful hand control effect that could become more popular than Lost Soul and even Ghost Touch. Keep this in mind.


Limited:  4/5

Hear me out before you swear that I’m crazy for not handing Clamp a perfect rating. Yes, hand control is normally great in draft, but playing Clamp means you probably skipped a creature drop. The only time I played Clamp in my release, Fordham ended up winning because he kept dropping creatures while I could not. Wining in this format often comes down to who can attack with the most force, not who can pull off the neatest tricks. Keep that in mind.


Constructed: 4.5/5

In normal play however, Cranium Clamp is indeed an up and coming staple of control decks everywhere. Two-for-one trades are just nice no matter how you look at it.


Steven Cantrell

Thrash-494 on DMRealms


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