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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

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- Urza's Saga

Reviewed Nov. 1, 2016

Constructed: 3.13
Casual: 4.38
Limited: 4.38
Multiplayer: 4.50
Commander [EDH]: 4.50

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

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Card of the Day Reviews 

David Fanany

Player since 1995

For many years, it was very hard for Wrath of God variants to get a lot of consideration in tournament play, because as long as the original was in print, it tended to be the last place people looked when they just had to deal with creatures. That's a little sad to me, because the variants often had text that offered interesting alternate lines of play. Catastrophe is an excellent example of that; while it's a little expensive for aggressive white decks, especially considering that Armageddon was still in the most recently available core set when it came out, it suggests a versatile option for a slower deck with acceleration, in the style of Erhnageddon. Now that I think about it, I wonder whether there's actually some deck of that type that's possible to make using the Standard card pool of that time. There are all sorts of surprising decks in the Swedish-invented 93/94 format that we never dreamed of at the time, ranging from Verduran Enchantress combo to Nether Void prison, so why wouldn't that be true of Urza's Saga too? Combo Winter doesn't sound like a friendly place for green-white midrange decks, but if you account for the fact that things like Tolarian Academy, Yawgmoth's Bargain, and Memory Jar spent as much time banned as legal, what would rise to the top?
I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Catastrophe also answers popular EDH cards like Nykthos, Mystifying Maze, and Homeward Path, but I can't help but feel like some groups might throw something heavy at you if it's your regular first line of defense!
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 5/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
EDH/Commander: 4/5
James H. If you’ve had to debate between Wrath of God and Armageddon for your deck, why not go with the card that's both of them at once? For two more generic mana, Catastrophe is your choice of Wrath of God or Armageddon. The flexibility afforded is worth the cost in casual, though six mana is way too much for any constructed format when you can have either half at a much more affordable rate.
The other thing, though, that makes Catastrophe scary is that, despite its appearance, it is not a modal spell. You do not have to choose whether you’re blowing up creatures or blowing up lands until everyone says “yep, it resolves", affording you a bit more flexibility in the politicking and if people try responding to the spell by bouncing a mass of creatures. Any white EDH deck has some reason to consider Catastrophe, acting as two of white's most infamous spells in one slot.
Constructed: 2.25
Casual: 4.75
Limited: 3.75
Multiplayer: 5
Commander: 5

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