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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Illusory Gains
Image from Wizards.com

Illusory Gains
- Dragons of Tarkir

Reviewed March xx, 2015

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

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

Illusory Gains
I know that this card might sometimes "trade up" and give you something scarier than what you originally stole. I know that it holds the promise of attaching itself to something you'd otherwise never see stolen, like Thrun or Plated Slagwurm. I know this, but I also can't help thinking about what happens when the opposition can use a one-cost creature to effectively force you to trade back. Of course, sometimes it won't always matter - just like the Doom Blade that everything supposedly dies to, they won't always be able to pull that off, and sometimes you'll just win before they can even try. This card clearly isn't as dominant as its famous predecessors, but it may have a role to play.
Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno Today's card of the day is Illusory Gains which is a five mana Blue aura that gives you control of the creature and whenever a creature enters play under an opponent's control the aura becomes attached to it.  This is an interesting control magic that on the surface may appear to take whatever strongest creature the opponent plays as the game goes on, but can easily be disrupted with stockpiling a second card and playing them in a beneficial order.  The lack of control makes this weak by itself, but supported with counter-magic it is very powerful and can make winning very difficult for any creature based deck.  This will see play in Casual and possible at some competitive levels, but outside of a more chaotic theme it is difficult to rely on in Multiplayer and is more for fun than power.
In Limited this is at worst a two for one by removing a creature from the opponent's battlefield and adding it to your own.  This is a solid first pick in Booster even if the opponent can mitigate it as it puts them on the defensive against the card first which allows you to apply additional pressure.  In Sealed the two Blue out of five mana is a little high for a splash, though the power and psychological aspects make it worth the effort if the pool can even moderately support it.
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 3.0

Deck Garage
Illusory Gains
Have you ever run into this situation? There’s a marginally troublesome creature on your opponent’s board. You have a removal spell in hand. You know they have bigger threats in their deck, so part of you wants to save the kill spell in case they come out. But, on the other hand, the smaller creature is pinging away at your life total right now, and it could really add up. What to do?
Enter Illusory Gains. Instead of destroying the creature, gain control of it AND discourage your opponent from playing their bigger threats. It’s certainly possible that they make a token creature and you get downgraded, but the deterrent to playing a bigger threat is still there.
I’m not sure it’s predictable enough to see much constructed play, but it sure is a fun card for casual and multiplayer formats, and stealing a creature in limited is very powerful.
Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.0

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