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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Dismal Failure
Planar Chaos

Reviewed February 20, 2007

Constructed: 2.90
Casual: 2.40
Limited: 3.00

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

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Card of the Day Reviews 


* Game Store Owner

Dismal Failure - Tuesday

This card is useful, but not great. It's better in a discard themed deck. Regardless, it still serves as a colid "hard counter." The casting cost on this card is definitely well balanced. If you are looking for a spell counter in limited, this is probably going to be your card of choice with the current card pool.

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 1.5
Limited: 3.5


Dismal Failure
For years, the benchmark for a counter spell was UU. Any more than that, and it had better have some good extra effect. Any less, and it probably isn't really a hard counter at all. Just recently, that benchmark was raised to 1UU. Dismal Failure here costs 2UU, 1 more than the standard (Cancel). It doesn't seem like much, but there are two other benchmarks for how much a counter spell should cost: less than the spell it's countering, and not too much to have to leave open on your opponent's turn. Personally, I don't approve of counterspells that cost any more than three mana. But this counterspell not only counters a spell, it also wrenches another card out of their grip, so in effect you're countering two spells. Or maybe a spell and a land. Since you're getting two cards, it's alright if the spell you countered cost less than Dismal Failure. But you're still leaving four mana open, which sends a signal to your opponent. And if your opponent reads the signal correctly and opts not to spend his mana on counterable spells, you've lost out on an opportunity to develop your board. You could argue that your opponent forfeitied the same opportunity of course, but this is still just the best four-mana counter currently in print.
Constructed- 3.5
Casual- 4
Limited- 3

KC MetroGnome

KC MetroGnome
2/20 - Dismal Failure

Blue control doesn't like this card quite as much as Dismiss. While it is still card advantage, blue would rather be drawing the extra card in the hopes of refilling its counterspell-filled clutches. Dismal Failure could shine in some sort of U/B deck that can force lots of discard early, but doesn't want to get backed up with the more expensive discard cards later. Now you've got a card that can continue to hit their hand, but does another job, too. As a hard counter, I would expect it to get some attention.

Constructed - 3+
Casual - 3-
Limited - 3

Jon "RaNd0m" Schweppe

Dismal Failure

"Nope, not gonna fly. Counter it, and discard a card, too."

Planar Chaos brings us a new counterspell that acts not only as a hard counter, but has a discard side-effect as well. At first glance, it seems worth a couple slots in a blue deck. After further thought, one notices there are many better choices. Blue has a lot of counterspells, and this simply isn't one of the best picks. I would definitely be running Cancel, Rewind (hard counters), Remand, Rune Snag, Mana Leak, and maybe even Convolute over this. Obviously in limited it is a very strong pick. Any countermagic is worth playing in limited.

Constructed - 2
Casual - 2.5
Limited - 4


Tuesday - Dismal Failure

A backwards version of Dismiss, a card we should have gotten in 8th Edition some time ago...but anyway, this is a better counter to have than Rewind in just about any deck that runs 4cc counters except for Dralnu du Louvre. This is the definition of card advantage; you're hitting 2 of their cards (the countered card and the discard) for just 1 of yours. This really isn't better than Dismiss, as I'd much rather have the draw than the discard, but it is acceptable and it will be played.

In casual, no one really likes counterspells. And if you're playing them, just play Dismiss instead.

In limited, I'm not a fan of counters, and this is no exception.

Constructed - 3.5
Casual - 1
Limited - 1.5
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