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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Setessan Tactics
Image from Wizards.com

 Setessan Tactics
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed June 10, 2014

Constructed: 3.88
Casual: 4.25
Limited: 4.38
Multiplayer: 3.50

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

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Setessan Tactics

This is probably one of the best cards to use as a Heroic trigger-- extra targets are cheap, and it grants a solid benefit that a Heroic fighter would appreciate. Too bad it's the rare in the first pack of a draft, so you don't know if you'll be able to grab and solid Heroes before picking it. Even so, it's second only to Time to Feed for green removal. The "fight" mechanic is actually a pretty solid way to take out creatures, since getting to pick who fights who is a huge advantage. If you've got bigger creatures than your opponent, more of them on the field, or a few with deathtouch, then giving all yours the ability to Fight can practically be a one-sided field-wipe, and those are three "ifs" that green can easily make true.

Constructed- 4
Casual- 4.5
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 2.5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Setessan Tactics which is a two mana Green instant with Strive at one Green that gives target creatures +1/+1 and tap to fight another target creature. This is more or less a form of mass removal for Green with a few limitations, but on the whole fairly flexible and quite playable. The +1/+1 by itself is a situational combat trick with even a few mana to augment an alpha strike, but more often will be beneficial to edging out a few opposing creatures with a fight on their turn during combat. Three mana for two possible removals on an opponent's turn is extremely efficient and that only improves with each extra mana, so this will see competitive play and slots in multiple formats.

For Limited this is low cost potential mass removal tool for Green, making it an easy first pick in Booster and cause to draft that color beyond a splash to manage the Green cost for Strive. Mono-color is by far the best when using this, though splashing another color for support may be necessary. In Sealed this is weaker, particularly with a poor pool or when lacking Heroic targets, but can still be playable as a supported splash color if removal choices are slim.

Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 4.0


Deck Garage

Setessan Tactics

Green has always been short on ways to kill opposing creatures. It's preferred way has usually been to have bigger creatures than the opponent and force them into unfavorable blocks. Recently, we've seen an increase in the fight mechanic, and Setessan Tactics is the biggest and best of the cards sporting this ability. It plays on the same theme as having bigger creatures than your opponent, but Setessan Tactics pumps your creatures a little bit, and you don't have to hope they will block in a certain way - you get to choose who fights who!

It's certainly not going to kill opposing creatures every time. There will be times your opponent has bigger creatures. There will be times when something has hexproof or protection from green. There will be times when the opposing creature is indestructible. But, more often than not, you're going to be able to knock out multiple creatures from your opponent's board, leaving them open to a potentially huge attack next turn.

Don't forget that this also works very well with two of the block mechanics. In addition to hopefully killing one of your opponent's creatures, you can give your creatures +1/+1 or whatever the heroic ability might be or give you a way to tap your creatures to untap for inspired.

If you're playing a multicolored deck, there's usually more dependable answers, but for a mono-green deck with lots of big creatures, this could be the answer you are looking for.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 3.5

Michael Sokolowski

Would you pay 2 mana for an ability that said "Tap target creature: Destroy target slightly weaker enemy creature"?

You should. Because that's pretty awesome.

It's important to remember what colour you're playing if you use this card. Green. Green is THE colour of awesomely powerful creatures. If you are playing green, and your creatures aren't some of the best on the field in terms of power and toughness, you might be doing something wrong. Green doesn't usually get access to direct-ish removal, which is what makes cards like this such a rare treat to see.

The fact that this gives your creature +1/+1 before it fights is really very helpful, as is the fact that this is an instant. That opens up a lot of tactical windows. Say you have one 3/3, and your opponent has two 3/3's. Your opponent attacks with both. You block one of them with your guy, then cast Setessan Tactics on him. He's boosted to a 4/4, and you then tap him to have him fight the 3/3 you DIDN'T block. He deals 4 damage and takes 3, killing the other attacking creature and still living to block and kill the first attacking creature before finally dying. And that's just one example of how Setessan Tactics can suddenly turn the tide against your opponent.

If you have a token deck, and a lot of mana in the late game, strive will basically decimate your opponent's board. An army of suicidal 1/1's boosted to 2/2's can wear down and destroy even the strongest and toughest of your opponent's creatures. Strive is what helps add card advantage to this piece of removal. You could very easily have this be a 1-for-1 or 2-for-2 trade, and that'd be fine. But with some extra mana and strong creatures, you can fairly easily have 2 or 3 of your creatures destroy your opponent's creatures and live to see another day.

The downsides to this card are that the creatures need to tap, meaning they can't attack the same turn you use this, but it will generally be worth the price to remove your opponent's threats. Because either your opponent's creatures are a threat and you need to get rid of them right now before they do massive damage to you, or they are not a threat to what you have out and you don't NEED to use this card yet. You also need to actually have creatures out to use this, but come on. You're green. If you're green and don't have creatures, you're already in a lot of trouble.

This also has quite a lot of synergy with heroic as well as inspired, but it's so good that you shouldn't even feel bad casting it without them present. And you know what else really loves fighting things? Indestructible guys. Just throwing that out there. Removal is always really good, in all formats. Inexpensive green removal is rare and extra valuable, because otherwise green relies on combat to take out what the enemy has, and your opponent has control over which of his stuff attacks or blocks. So troublesome creatures with abilities and/or evasion like flying and unblockable become mono-green's bane. But they're also usually quite fragile, and with this card green could wipe out an entire field of them.

In the right situations, even the +1/+1 multicreature pump could prove useful for getting that last bit of damage in to kill something, survive something, or win the game. But "Tap: Kill something as strong as or weaker than this guy" for 2+ mana in a colour with very few other kill methods is nothing short of a godsend.

No, not the sword, it's a figure of... never mind.

Constructed: 4
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4

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