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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Prophetic Bolt

Reviewed August 30, 2005

Constructed: 2.25
Casual: 3.25
Limited: 4

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

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Jeff Zandi

5 Time Pro Tour

Prophetic Bolt

I have loved blue and red together for a long time. Going way back, I never figured out a way to do it successfully, myself, until Justin Gary won the U.S. Nationals with a blue/red deck led by its MVP Frenetic Efreet.

Prophetic Bolt is just about the best thing you can do with five mana at the end of your opponent's turn. How can you lose? Four points to a creature OR PLAYER and the ability to "Impulse", to replace the spent Prophetic Bolt with your choice of one of the next four cards in your library. The only thing that isn't absolutely fabulous about this card is the casting cost.

I'm not complaining, mind you, because this IS a great spell, but this card is obviously only going to fit in a narrow group of decks thanks to the need for blue and red mana. Furthermore, this card, which was an obvious BOMB card in Invasion block limited play several years ago, is a little expensive for current constructed formats in which it is legal.

Tim Stoltzfus Prophetic Bolt

There were many interesting efforts to mix card effects in the Invasion block when mixing up colors. In the case of Prophetic Bolt, it was a cross between Impulse and Lightning Blast, and somehow managed to lose a mana off the combined casting cost in the process. Prophetic Bolt is a very solid card, but in most tournament formats it never caught on simply because it was a bit expensive, and Blue/Red wasn’t the best two color combination available. It also had to vie for space against cards like Fire/Ice and Flametongue Kavu, which both turned out to be environment-defining cards. Prophetic Bolt is very solid in multiplayer games, which tend to be a bit slower, and allow for slightly more expensive cards to be played. In limited, if you’re in the colors it is an automatic first pick.

Constructed -- 2.5
Casual –3.5
Limited – 4


Prophetic Bolt

Apocalypse gravitated to the use of opposing (or enemy) colors to pull things off. It created some strange bedfellows, especially in draft where the first two sets of the block, Invasion and Planeshift, used friendly colors for the first 2 packs. You drafted colors next to each other on the color wheel, then you opened Apocalypse, and you ran into a lot of cards that had one of your colors, but also colors you weren't drafting. Very weird, and sometimes a bit frustrating, but the block tried to give you some mana smoothers to help you through the quandry.

Bolt uses very typical abilities of the opposing colors Red and Blue - the Red gives you the destruction, and the Blue gives you card draw - all combined into a single card. The feeling is a bit strange in my opinion, since you may have a need to use one of the abilities, but not the other...it just comes as a side thought. Not that it's not useful...it's just weird and a bit unfocused. It's cost is a bit much too, when you want just one or the other ability, you are forced to basically pay for both, want it or not.

The highly anticipated Ravnica block seems to be heading in a similar direction as Invasion block of lots of mulitcolor cards (we'll have to see if they go with opposing colors in one of their sets). This time they really are making sure you have the tools to work with the varied mana problems. Birds of Paradise will be back, and a toned down version of Dual Lands is set to hit, too - now THAT is cool! 9th Edition has brought back all the pain lands. I really expect Ravnica to bring Magic into one of the best times since Invasion block.

Constructed - 2
Casual - 3
Limited - 4
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