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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Hydra Broodmaster
Image from Wizards.com

Hydra Broodmaster
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed May 8, 2014

Constructed: 2.80
Casual: 4.10
Limited: 4.25
Multiplayer: 3.75

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

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Hydra Broodmaster

If you tried to figure out if this card is good, looked at all the X's on this card, and your brain just stopped, don't be ashamed. You're in good company. I needed a jump-start myself. Let's talk it out together.

When you first cast the Broodmaster, it's a 7/7 for six mana. It doesn't have trample, or anything else. What is your opponent doing at six mana? In Limited, he's probably moved to the Bestow stage of the game, which means he likely has a 4/4 or 5/5 with plenty of combat abilities. He may also be getting ready to Monstrosify his own Monstrosities, which means a 7/7 is either outclassed or is about to be. In Constructed, the best six-drop right now is probably Elspeth, who laughs at your 7/7 while she drops three chump blockers per turn. This Hydra doesn't hold up well in Constructed, but it can at least take pride in the fact that it can block and kill Boros Reckoner without dying.
On your next turn after casting the Hydra, or whenever your next land drop comes, you'll have seven mana. Activating Monstrosity then is as good a time as any, and with seven mana, X=3. Then, you'll have a 10/10 and three 3/3's. That's nineteen points of attacking power total for thirteen mana. Not a bad deal, really. You should be able to parley that into a swarming alpha strike. Especially if you also run something like Overrun.

Really, this is the kind of card you run in a casual ramp deck. Getting X up to 4 or more just isn't happening without you ramping, and since none of these creatures have any abilities to make themselves more resilient or evasive, you need to be running something like Coat of Arms, Beastmaster Ascension, or even Invert the Skies to get your mana's worth.

Constructed- 2
Casual- 4
Limited- 3.75
Multiplayer- 4.25

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Hydra Broodmother

Though it's still early in terms of Journey into Nyx's impact on the Magic world, I've already seen this card in action. It is not to be laughed at. The late-game numbers on this hydra get absolutely ridiculous. While you always have at least a short opportunity to do something given that it's not hexproof or uncounterable, you'd better hope you can take it right away, because that sort of game plan goes straight out the window when it becomes monstrous: what would be considered a low to medium value of X on other spells is an explosion of power and tokens that many decks can't reasonably answer. And that's not even when the deck is specifically built to take advantage of the Broodmother (did anybody say Doubling Season?).

Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Hydra Broodmaster which is a six mana Green
7/7 with Monstrosity for X, X, and a Green that also puts X X/X tokens into play. The potential for this in a Casual mana acceleration build is fairly impressive, but it takes massive mana generation or a mana boosting combo to gain the most from the effect. It is far too slow and lacking in combat effects to see much if any competitive play, but with support in a dedicated build this can be an excellent card for Casual or Multiplayer.

In Limited this is a top level threat that can easily win games as 7/7 for six that becomes a 10/10 and three 3/3s on the following turn, with one extra mana beyond the casting cost. The two Green is easily managed in multicolor decks and this is well worth running the color for in Sealed if the remaining pool is even mediocre. For Booster this is a first pick for yourself or as a hate draft and should not be passed outside of extraordinary circumstances. The board presence it offers with no support is one of the best single cards in the format and should not be underestimated.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 4.0


Deck Garage

Hydra Broodmaster

A 7/7 creature for 6 mana is pretty good to begin with. For the cost, you can put through some pretty serious damage. Aside from costing a lot (which green can usually deal with), there are a couple of problems with big creatures. First, if the creature doesn't have trample, flying, or some other way to get around blockers, it's going to get chump blocked by some random little creature. Secondly, you spent a lot of mana on your creature, and your opponent can get rid of it easily with a 2-mana Doom Blade. Truly great big creatures have ways to get around these two weaknesses.

The Hydra doesn't exactly get around either of these very well - at least not immediately. If he's able to survive one turn and you can come up with a 7th mana, you can monstrous him to give you three 3/3 hydras to come along side him. It's a lot harder to kill a 10/10 and three 3/3's than a single 7/7. But having him survive a turn and investing enough mana to make his monstrous worthwhile are both pretty big deals.

Conclusion: He's a worthwhile fatty, and his potential is huge, but most of the time he's not going to be better than any other big green creature. In casual, where mana can abound, this could get crazy fun. In limited, big efficient creatures are high picks.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4

Michael Sokolowski

Theros sure does love its Hydras. I feel like this set has almost single-handedly revived the Hydra subtype. Seriously, there are only 26 Hydras in all of Magic, and 9 of them are in standard right now. There's your trivia for the day.

So, Hydra Broodmaster. Well, you certainly get your mana's worth with this one. 6 mana for a 7/7. Green's been getting a lot of that kind of cost efficiency recently. How playable does that alone make this card? For limited, very yes, and for everywhere else its a maybe.

Let's take a look at that ability now. Goodness, that's a lot of X's! For those not familliar with double X, both X's in the cost have to be the same number, so if you want to have X = 2, then you're paying 4 mana and then that 1 green for 5 total. For that investment, you get X +1/+1 counters on the Broodmaster itself, and X X/X creature tokens. Meaning one 1/1, two 2/2's, three 3/3's, etc. Four 4/4's would cost 9 mana total, but give you 20 extra power to play with if you add up the tokens and counters. That's quite a lot!

Consider that you'd already need to have 6 mana to play this thing, meaning most likely you'd activate the monstrous ability when you got to 7 mana, so that X would equal 3. The total investment would be 13 mana (6 to cast the hydra, 7 for the ability) and you would be rewarded with a 10/10, and three 3/3's. 19 power to throw at your enemy in total.

This card really wants to be in some kind of crazy mana-ramp deck though, as it does very well in limited and casual. It won't have much of a home in faster formats, even with its impressive power/toughness to cost ratio. Overall I really want to like this card, and it IS good. But it doesn't wow me and blow me away. It's not really a combat trick or a token generator, because of its one-time-use that the opponent can predict nature. It's powerful, but bland. But if you see it across the table from you, don't underestimate it.

I'm kind of amused that this card can create offspring only once. I choose to believe this is because Hydra Broodmaster is in a very committed relationship, and they've decided that having X kids is enough for now and they don't want anymore yet. Not until they get that big promotion at work and move to a nice place in the country they've had their eyes on. You know, that big hydra broodnest of their dreams.

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

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