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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Viral Drake
Image from Wizards.com

Viral Drake
New Phyrexia

Reviewed May 24, 2011

Constructed: 3.33
Casual: 4.00
Limited: 4.00
Multiplayer: 4.00

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 

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Viral Drake
The infect-proliferate strategy's great strength is its inevitability - once a player is poisoned, the number is only going to increase. Viral Drake works at both the beginning and the end of a poison attack, and as such may find a place; that same flexibility, though, might work against it in the sense that an opponent can end both by eliminating the one creature. That risk might turn some people off playing it in 60-card decks; but it can easily get out of hand in limited, where a four-toughness flying creature is the epitome of relevance and there are artifacts with charge counters absolutely everywhere.
Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Viral Drake which is a four mana 1/4 Blue creature with Flying, Infect, and can Proliferate for four mana and does not have to be tapped to activate the effect.  This allows Blue to run an Infect theme without completely relying on artifacts and can give them a game winning play if infinite mana is available.  Used alongside the unblockable Blighted Agent and cards like Training Ground and you have the foundation for a solid deck.  In addition this strengthens the Blue/Green concept for mana acceleration and Infect/Proliferation as an alternative to the current Blue/Black design.  Overall this is a very good card with a high toughness, evasion, and a flexible Proliferate option which will definitely see play in combo decks for the foreseeable future.
In Limited having three of the big keywords in the format on one creature makes this one of the better cards to open up in Sealed and a welcome sight as a second or third pick in Booster.  The single Blue in both the casting and activation costs make it splashable and it should be played whenever Infect is part of your deck if possible.  The longer games of the format should allow multiple uses of the effect without costing tempo and the high defense makes it both a threat defensively and hard to remove.
Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 4.0


    Welcome to the Magic the Gathering card of the day section at Pojo.com. While you are here, let’s take a look at Viral Drake from New Phyrexia. Viral Drake is a creature-drake that costs three generic and one blue mana, and is a 1 / 4 flier. Viral Drake also has infect, and pay three generic and one blue: Proliferate.

    Now it is easy to say that anytime there is an infinite combo popping out, you know it catches peoples attention. The Viral Drake has the potential to produce infinite proliferation, it just needs some help. Training Grounds reduces how much mana you need to spend. One out and it costs two mana, one blue one generic. Two Grounds out means just one blue mana to proliferate. But of course you still need the mana. If you are running the Training Grounds, you probably know about the infinite mana combo with Filigree Sages and Khalni Gem. If not, I’m sure you’ll want to learn that. But there are other options as well. With the release of Scars of Mirrodin, the world got many new infinite combinations because of Myr Galvanizer. With a few mana producing Myr and two Myr Galvanizers, you have your infinite mana. And what is nice is you really only need one Silver Myr and two Palladium Myr to pull off the combo without the use of the Training Grounds.

    So what good is infinite proliferation? A ‘declared’ (not infinite) number of counters on a permanent, including planeswalkers is a good start. And if you are running artifacts, you are likely running a Tezzeret. Or maybe even a Jace. Imagine popping off a Planeswalker’s final ability right when it hit’s the table. But then there is another option. One Ichor Rats hitting the table gives everyone a poison counter, so a source of infinite proliferation means that everyone is dead, except you, unless you enjoy that kind of thing taking yourself down with everyone else.

    Even without the use of the above combos, this guy is still mean. I mean being able to infect and proliferate on a regular basis is just mean.

Limited: 4/5
Casual: 5/5
Multiplayer: 5/5
Constructed: 4/5

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