to the Madness - A Preliminary Assessment
By John "The Happy Heretic" Hornberg
I've got something to apologize for, so hang in there
for a paragraph or
Yes, I'm sorry for not giving you anything in the past
I have not had anything to write about...... well, aside
from the e-mails
labeled "Break this Rare," which I thank
everyone for. I have started
articles on them, but none of them are very good, so I
haven't sent them in
or finished them for that matter.
Also..... yes, people, I am guilty of poor editing.
I write my articles,
spell check them, and send them on their way, then I
read them the next day,
after it's posted. So, I'll try to do a better job
of that, but please bare
with me, I've got finals this week, not to mention I
most likely just got a
D in Pre-Calculus with a terrible score on the final, a
rarity for me, and a
heap of English homework to do. So, I usually
don't get to the computer
until after ten at night, and I'm sure all of you know
how senile we are
when it's late on a school night, and we're trying to
write an essay or an
So, my sincerest apologies for the poor editing job on
my articles, I
really do regret that, and I will try to do better, but
this compete's with
school a lot, and school is still my priority. I
will keep writing, but it
will be sporadic, and will go with the new sets as they
are released most
likely, with some stuff in between.
So, there's a new set coming out in less than a month.
I'm sure many of us
are ready to cast aside Odyssey for right now, thanks to
it's lack of
Great commons, and a lot of playable non rare cards, but
value wise the set
left a lot to be desired.
Well, getting off that topic, Torment will introduce the
new mechanic of
Madness, which allows you to play a card for less if it
Essentially, if you discard a card for Gerard's Verdict
or to Wild Mongrel,
and if that card has madness for 1G, you can pay 1G
right then and there to
play that card.
This can be helpful against blind discard spells
(Discard spells where your
opponent doesn't choose the discarded cards), which
could run rampant thanks
to Torment, which is being referred to as "the
Hmmm, I wonder what there is a lot of here....
Could it be black cards?
It ain't called the black set for nothing!
Although I haven't really seen much of the set, I can
tell you this much,
especially considering what a disappointment most of the
Flashback cards in
Odyssey were - don't expect much of Madness right at the
moment. I see it
being a considerably better ability than Flashback is,
but odds are Wizards
tagged the ability with the most useless cards, like
artifact" type cards.
Still, while it good on paper, so did flashback, and
look at half of all
the cards with Flashback.... crappola!
Okay, what I see this ability doing is ruining some of
the black main stay
cards right now, namely Bog Down. This card will
become useless will such
cards as Basking Rootwalla, which is a 1/1 for G which
has a Madness for 0.
Pulling Bog Down off on the second turn with such a card
as the new Dark
Ritual, called Cabal Ritual, on the second turn.
Stuff like this, if it's
not played first turn, will be discarded here, and
people will take
advantage of it.
So, all I have to say is kiss good bye to all that blind
discard that's out
Still, Madness will effect the sideboard more than
anything. People will
sideboard against black by sticking cards with this
ability into the
sideboard, and decks playing something like Compulsion
main deck, so that
they can discard a card with Madness, and play it for
it's Madness cost.
A down side to Madness that I can foresee is that not
all cards are going
to have great Madness costs. Like flashback, and
even going back to kicker
costs and Rhystic Magic, some of the cards will have
utterly poor madness
casting cost, so if your opponent makes you discard it
early, then it won't
Such will be the case with a lot of the high casting
cost cards in this
set, which will result in many cards not seeing play.
The resulting saying
that will be attached to Madness: The lower, the better,
which is true of
just about everything except for Rhystic magic in
Prophecy (You wanted that
high, very very high!).
Now, this article was written before we even know what
the majority of the
cards in this set will look like, and I for one will
have no idea on how
much Madness will effect the format until the set is
released, and actual
play with it really begins.
So, in a way, I'm taking an unusual chance by making a
prediction on this
ability, and hoping for the best.
So, my final conclusion - madness gets my stamp of
approval, and I think it
will negate a lot of the black cards that are going to
be put into the next
set, because of how they beat up on black discard that
doesn't involve your
opponent choosing the card. However, this ability,
like many others from
the past, has the possibility of being a disappointment
through how many
playable cards are put in the set.
Too many high casting cost cards, with high Madness
costs will result in a
crop of pointless cards, with an ability that is
useless. The saying
"cheaper is better" applies here more than
anywhere due to that.
Well, that's my article, I just have one thing to say
before I leave: Ugh,
slops to Wizards for their Sengir Vampire picture in the
Torment set!!! The
picture is good and all, but it doesn't look evil, it
looks like the old
fogy in the ratty old house across the street!
At least make it look evil, and that, unfortunately
isn't evil. Give me
four of those Beatdown ones, I'll take that art any day!
That's all, thanks for reading!
John "The Happy
It you wish to get a hold of me, feel free to do so at
I'm not taking any "Breaking Stupid Rares"
strategies right now because I've got other things to
write about right now,
and my time is also taken up with my English and other
assorted finals. I
wish all of you best of luck for the rest of the week,
because I know a lot
of you are taking those awful excuses for tests right
now, and I sympathize
with you. I really do!