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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Image from Wizards.com

Genesis Hydra

- M15

Reviewed April 28, 2014

Constructed: 3.63
Casual: 4.25
Limited: 4.38
Multiplayer: 3.88

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

Click here to see all of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Genesis Hydra
So, this is George Fan's idea for a Magic card. I dunno, it doesn't seem very Plants vs. Zombies-ish other than being a big carnivorous plant; but then again, I don't know if it would necessarily have to be. It reminds me a little bit of Genesis Wave, which is always fun, but it trades the ability to possibly put your whole deck into play for providing a gigantic creature in addition to your free spell. That's not too bad a trade, in my opinion. 
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Genesis Hydra which is an X and two Green 0/0 with X +1/+1 counters and you may put a card from the top X cards of your library with converted casting cost of X or less into play.  This really requires a decent supply of mana to do much, but with enough mana as X to cast the average creature in the deck you get quite a bit of power into play from this one card.  This effect is very similar to Cascade which was a powerful and popular effect in the Alara block and it is likely this will see some play across most formats, particular in acceleration builds.
In Limited this can be a game changing play that can dominate the endgame if another powerful card is revealed.  Even without that nearly any X creature is strong in Limited and that is only enhanced by the effect.  A clear first pick in Booster that can still allow other colors, though it lessens the value slightly in the early game as the percentage of Green mana sources in play needed to cast it would be higher.  In Sealed this is a strong foundation for a deck using Green as a secondary or primary color and any acceleration in the pool gains added value as support.
Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.0


Deck Garage

Genesis Hydra
We're getting to look way into the future now - all the way to M15! This set won't be out for a few months, but let's look at what kind of craziness awaits us.
At first glance, it seems Genesis Hydra is just another boring green monster. Closer inspection reveals much more. Notice you get the extra card when you CAST the Hydra, not when it enters the battlefield. What's the difference? The bonus card happens even if the Hydra gets countered or for some other reason doesn't ever hit the battlefield under your control. That means the extra card you get from the Hydra is uncounterable, because you're not actually casing it - only putting it onto the battlefield! If you can somehow manipulate what's on the top of your library (scry, anyone?) you can make sure to play the Hydra at the right time to get a powerful uncounterable card.
The only real problem is the mana cost. To get something worthwhile out of the Hydra and the extra card, you're probably going to want to make X at least 4, and that's a pretty significant investment, but when has a high mana cost ever been a hinderance for green. And in this case, the opponent can't destroy your whole investment with a simple Doom Blade since you'll have two cards for the price of one!
The more I look at this card, the more excited I am to use it when it comes out. It's going to be a favorite in casual and multiplayer (those formats love big fatties), and of course in limited. Time will only tell if it will fit very well in standard when it comes out, but I expect it will have a home.
Constructed: 4
Casual: 5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 4.5 

Michael Sokolowski

My my, what have we here? Fancy new card design? Cool font updates? Awesome art style? What you're seeing today is a preview of a Magic 2015 card, Genesis Hydra!

There are actually some really neat things to note about Magic 2015, as well as this card in particular. Most notably is that several very big names from the gaming industry were asked to design cards for M15. As you can see on this card, in place of flavour text is actually a credit to George Fan, who was the designer of the game Plants vs. Zombies.

I almost wish that the card he had designed was an actual Plant Zombie instead, but Hydras have become pretty popular lately too, with their many powerful options. Let's see how this one stacks up!

This card is definitely something of a mana sink. I feel like it's got casual player written all over it. The main ability reminds me a bit of the cascade keyword, except not as good, although in actuality it has both pros and cons over cascade. Genesis Hydra, as with most Hydras, gets better the more mana you're able to pump into it. The con it has compared to cascade is that you can only look X cards down into your library to find something to play, you don't keep going until you find a card. So for example if you pay 4 mana and X = 2, you only get to look at the top 2 cards and hope that one of them costs 2 or less mana to put into play. The pro, however, is that you get to select the card if there's more than one option! And if say you pay 8 mana, and X = 6, being able to look at the top 6 cards of your library and then being able to put into play any one of those cards that cost 6 or less mana is GREAT versatility. Oh, and getting a 6/6 out of it is good too I guess. That's Genesis Hydra's strength, but also its weakness.

Because Genesis Hydra really only gets good when you're able to pump tons of mana into it. If you play it for 3 mana, then X = 1. That means you get to look at the top card of your library, and if it's a non-land card with converted mana cost of 1 or less you can play it, otherwise the effect is wasted. And of course the hydra itself would be a generic 1/1 in that case. I suppose its alright to have the option, but really if you ever ever do that you must really be desperate to chump block something.

It doesn't have cool abilities that make it more powerful and add additional +1/+1 counters, and it also doesn't have fun combat abilities like trample. But don't think of Genesis Hydra as purely a creature spell. Think of it as a sorcery that lets you dig X cards into your library for something that costs X or less... and as an additional bonus, just happens to also throw in an X/X creature for free. Play this in a green mana ramp deck with some cool other cards you'd love to sneak into play, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Be on the look out for other M15 cards designed by big names from the gaming industry! Also how cool is that hydra-with-venus-flytrap-heads art?

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 4

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