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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Arc Lightning
Image from Wizards.com

 Arc Lightning
- Khans of Tarkir

Reviewed Jan. 6, 2015

Constructed: 3.33
Casual: 3.33
Limited: 4.38
Multiplayer: 3.00

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

Arc Lightning
It's hard to believe this card hasn't been reprinted in a regular expansion since Urza's Saga, especially when M14 had Flames of the Firebrand. I mean, Chandra is cool and all, but there are more ways to represent damage than fire, and lightning has been part of red's domain since Alpha. In terms of gameplay, Arc Lightning has always been a solid card, and it still is now. There is less of a focus on fast cheap creatures in the current environment than there was in Urza's Saga, where the original printing wrought havoc on Wild Dogs and Birds of Paradise, and further increased the value of Soltari Priest. Nonetheless, the flexibility and versatility of this card will no doubt be valued by modern red decks.
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5 

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Arc Lightning which is a three mana Red sorcery that deals three damage divided as you choose between one, two, or three target creatures or players.  Burn or removal at sorcery speed is always less desirable than faster options as it reduces options down your two main phases only and not during combat or opposing end steps. 

Still, three damage divided is very efficient as it can potentially be a two or three for one and for one mana more than the average Lightning Bolt successor.  Overall the flexibility, even held down by timing, makes this a very strong card for Red and one that will be popular maindecked or sidedecked in current formats while it is in rotation.
In Limited this is a viable first pick in Booster if the rare is weak as it is removal, direct damage, and potentially a small scale board sweep all in one.  There are few situations where having this in hand or topdecking it isn't beneficial and it should always be used when running Red in Sealed.  The possible three for one or even just three damage is enough in the format to make this a key card and the single Red in the cost works well in any two or three color builds.
Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.0


Deck Garage

Arc Lightning
Sometimes cards are good because of raw power. Lightning Bolt does three damage. It's much more powerful than Arc Lightning as it can deal the same amount of damage for 1/3 the mana and it does it as an instant. But Arc Lightning has one thing Lightning Bolt doesn't: versatility. If you use your Lightning Bolt to take out a 1/1 creature, 2 points of damage are wasted. With Arc Lightning, you can take out THREE 1/1 creatures. Or a 2/2 and a 1/1. Or a 1/1 and deal 2 to an opponent's face. Or two 1/1's and a 1/1. You get the picture. 
Don't read this and leave thinking that Arc Lightning is better than Lightning Bolt, because it's not. But Arc Lightning is a card certainly worth considering - at least as a sideboard card - because of the versatility it provides, and it's a legitimate first pick in limited.
Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 2.0

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