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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Lightning Strike
Image from Wizards.com

 Lightning Strike
- Theros

Reviewed March 26, 2014

Constructed: xx
Casual: xx
Limited: xx
Multiplayer: xx

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 


Lightning Strike

This seems to be the current solution to the "2.5 damage debate" that has loomed over Magic since the printing of Shock. Lightning Bolt is just too strong, but Shock is underpowered, and there doesn't seem to be room for anything in between, does there? Lightning Strike is a compromise, hitting as hard as the Bolt for one additional mana. Incinerate, Lash Out, Lightning Helix, and the like have all sought to shore up the controversy, and each one was in its time one of the best burn spells in Standard. But each of those had an extra rider on the damage they do. Can the comparatively-vanilla Strike hold up as well?

Drafters are certainly mroe than happy to see this come around-- it's been called the best red common in Theros block. In Standard, well, people prefer removal that isn't tied to toughness most of the time, but dealing the last three to an opponent's face is a useful talent as well.

Constructed- 3
Casual- 3.5
Limited- 4
Multiplayer- 3.25

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Lightning Strike
I have a confession to make: I like Volcanic Hammer. I always have, ever since the first time I saw a Portal version. The concept just seemed very cool to me, despite the fact that its game text and sorcery speed compared unfavorably to Lightning Bolt (which I think was even still in Standard at that time). Lightning Strike, which is very nearly the same card, feels somewhat different in the meta-game sense, not least because Lightning Bolt was in Standard again just a couple of years ago and there's almost a subtext of "this is what a balanced lightning-themed spell looks like now". Maybe it's also a BioShock Infinite-style peek behind the veil of the multiverse, in which there's always a lightning strike that kills a creature, but the details (and numbers) are different. Those who follow the rotating formats like Standard and Limited are very grateful for that fact, but sometimes I wish Wizards of the Coast could find a way to design things that doesn't invite constant comparisons (on only one axis to boot).
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Lightning Strike, or Searing Spear as it was called in the Magic 2013 set, which are both two mana Red instants that deals three damage to target creature or player. This is a solid and playable card, that of course is not as efficient as Lightning Bolt, but will continue to be played in decks in the current Standard formats that can't use the classic one mana option. Also, with the new name it does add the option of running even more one or two mana three damage spells for the pure burn builds.

For Limited this is effective and low mana cost removal that is an automatic inclusion in Sealed for decks using Red mana and possibly worth splashing if other removal options aren't available. For Booster this is a strong second or third choice and even first pick with a weak rare.

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

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