March 28, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 2.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Fatespinner is probably the precursor of Unstable‘s Clocknapper. That’s interesting because in many cases, it’s the Un-sets that provide inspiration for future “normal” design. Cranial Extraction and Memoricide are based on Look at Me, I’m the DCI; split cards started as a mechanic cut from Unglued; and Eldritch Moon‘s meld cards like Brisela have similarities with the augment/host cards, which were actually being designed at the same time as the second Innistrad block.
This card has a unique and potentially very powerful effect, although it can do surprisingly little under certain circumstances. For example, if your opponent has no creatures or is just a combo or planeswalker deck, they don’t lose much from choosing to skip their combat step every turn. For any deck with a more rounded game plan, or one that is trying to develop its game position, it can certainly be annoying. I’m not sure it really adds up to much more than that, as there are few relevant combos with it – the effect doesn’t even grow with multiples, as they can choose the same step more than once – but a lot of opponents may well be wary of having to skip steps or phases more than a couple of times, and against them Fatespinner will draw heat away from other creatures.
Fatespinner is one of those old, weird, and unusual creatures that can really screw over your opponents, if they aren’t prepared for working around it. They’re forced to give up their draw step, their main step, or their combat step each turn…which, in most cases, means that they’ll opt out of combat, since losing either of the other two phases is more of a detriment (unless they are already skipping one; hello, Necropotence). It’s more cute and target-forming than it is effective, as you’re not getting to choose what they’re forced to opt out of. It can buy you some time early in a game to set up, but it’s a 1/2 that will put a target on you all the same with time.
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