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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Hooded Hydra
Image from Wizards.com

Hooded Hydra
- Khans of Tarkir

Reviewed Oct. 31, 2014

Constructed: 3.75
Casual: 4.00
Limited: 4.63
Multiplayer: 3.88

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

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Deck Garage

Hooded Hydra

A very interesting take on Hydras and Morph. Hardcast the Hydra and gain the flexibility of X, or play it early as a Morph, and get it as a 5/5 for 3GG instead of 5GG. Do you hold back the Hydra until you can amass more mana, or risk it dying as an ignomious 2/2 for the chance at a turn-five 5/5? The conundrum is only made worse by the Hydra's on-death trigger. If it lives to die face-up, you get a brood of 1/1 Snakes as a consolation prize. But it needs +1/+1 counters on it for that to happen. All the more temptation to hold off until you've got eight or nine mana to drop it. But while you're waiting, what's your opponent doing? What if you lose because you didn't play that creature?

I like X spells, and Morph creatures, in general because they help force "the oenophile's quandary" (look it up) on a player, and that adds a great deal of complexity and strategy to the game.

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

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Hooded Hydra
I have to give Chase Stone credit for this art - the hydra looks both snakelike and plantlike, neatly combining the two strands in Magic's hydra art. The concept for the game text is also pretty cool, although it's notable how much text it takes to generate something that could have been relatively simple. I suppose the association between hydras and X spells is pretty strong at this point, though, and with all the emphasis in new green cards on searching for lands and the like, having something suitably strong on which to spend that mana is welcome.
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Hooded Hydra which is an X and two Green 0/0 that enters play with X +1/+1 counters, has Morph for five that gives it five +1/+1 counters, and when it dies you get X 1/1 tokens equal to the counters on it.  This is one of the cards where Morph is noticeably useful as it gets the 5/5 into play two mana sources earlier than without it.  The tokens make killing it inefficient for most opponents and sacrificing it, possibly to Scourge of Skola Vale for a mini-hydra theme, a viable strategy.  This will see some play in Casual and Commander, but other hydras like Genesis and Mistcutter will compete with it for slots.
In Limited this is a clear and obvious first pick in Booster that can be a serious threat as a 5/5 or larger even before the threat of a token swarm is considered.  The double Green is a bit more than a splash in Sealed, so it depends slightly on the strength of the color in your pool.  Whenever possible it should be played as even without evasion or Trample the large body that turns into an equal power swarm is just too much of a card advantage to overlook.
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 3.5


Deck Garage
Hooded Hydra
One of the problems with creature decks is that creatures die. This especially can be a problem when you pay a lot of mana for a creature, and someone pays three mana to take it out with a Hero's Downfall. You spent all that mana and have nothing to show for it. The creatures that end up being the most popular are often ones who have ways to either make it harder to get rid of them or give you some benefit when they die. The fact that Hooded Hydra gives you a lot of little babies when it dies is the reason this is good. There will be times where there's a standoff of big creatures and you might even kill it yourself to get a bunch of tokens. 
The morph is just another option here. If you're low on mana or need an early blocker, you can cast him as the 2/2, then make him big later for 5 mana. Morph creatures also leave an air of uncertainty for your opponent. What is that 2/2 going to turn into? A Rattleclaw Mystic? A Jeering Instigator? A Hooded Hydra? That uncertainty gives you a psychological advantage, as anytime you can have information that is hidden from your opponent, you have the upper hand.
Of course, sometimes none of this trickery is needed and you can just pay 10 mana to have a huge 9/9 creature and smash their face in. That works too.
Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 4.5

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