Judgment, Part 1 - Constructed All-Stars
* - I’d like to thank all who voted for me in
the past in CCGPrime’s Writer’s War. It is
gratifying to know that I have the support of the
readers here at Pojo, and uplifting to know that I’m
not a total screw up at something. Props to you
all, and win or loose come Wednesday, I am grateful.
Consider this what you will, a premature concession or
victory speech, but thank you all who voted, and to the
site for pulling for me. It’s really appreciated
in a way.
I was ready to throw a fit last week. Not over
some mere incident with a person, not over some untimely
break up with a girlfriend, or over a series of blown
drafts that had accumulated to 5 straight lost drafts.
No, I was ready to throw a fit over what I saw on the
Now many people around me are saying how great this set
it is, and broken so many of the cards are. I’ve
heard it likened to Tempest or Urza’s Saga in its
I beg to differ, as a matter of fact. I liken
Judgment more to Planeshift – a series of cards that
are ultimately good, but have no place in any format.
There’s simply better stuff. There were better
black creatures than Phyrexian Scuta, many of the
familiars fell just short of being considered decent,
and gating turned out to hurt you a lot more than it
helped, despite the lowered casting cost.
I think of Judgment the same way: there are better
creatures in Type II right now than most of the ones
printed in Judgment, many cards in general cost too
much, and a lot of the spells don’t provide enough
bang for their casting cost in constructed.
Still, despite this set being labeled the “Green and
White set,” it is all to clear from the spoiler that
red got the best deal in Judgment. Despite getting
a lot of poop, red got perhaps the best cards in the
set, and gained some dangerous cards that should never
have been made.
Red gains in this set some things it should never have,
namely card drawing. Among other things, it gains
a Wrath of God, a way to gain Threshold in almost one
hit, a playable version of Kamahl, as well as other
knick-knacks that will help any deck with red, as well
as make a few other decks become plausible Type II decks
with a chance of doing well in Type II.
Could Sligh reemerge as a dominant archetype? Most
likely not, because the red cards in Judgment with the
red cards in all other sets in Type II right now don’t
make a fast Sligh-ish deck, but perhaps for something
just as brutal.
One of the cards that is getting a lot of hype right now
is Browbeat (2R, Sorcery – Target player draws 3 cards
unless a player has Browbeat deal 5 damage to him or
Normally, I dispute a lot of this hype, dismissing the
card as “not as good as it really looks.” Not
so with Browbeat. Browbeat is awesome, and
provides any deck with red the dangerous weapon of card
drawing without playing black.
It’s already bad enough that if an opponent lets it
through, it’s 3 cards for 3 mana, but the fact that an
opponent can take that away from you for 5 damage makes
the card even better.
Much like Fact or Fiction, which made an opponent be
torn over how to separate cards out so that you don’t
get one thing, you can make an opponent worry.
Either option can be potentially devastating.
Five life can be the difference between a win and a
loss, but the deciding card could be in those 3 cards,
and the game could still be over.
It is quite clear that Browbeat is going to be the card
in the set to beat from red. I may be going out on
a limb right now, but I think that many decks in Type II
will be made or broken by this card.
If it doesn’t run it, it will have to beat it.
If it does run it, it will have to beat all other decks
That’s what happened with Fact or Fiction during the
IBC Season, because if a deck could not handle the card
advantage, then it died, simple as that. We will
have a similar scenario in both Type II, and OBC in my
Red also gained Breaking Point, adding to the new wave
of “Wrath of God” type cards (1RR – Sorcery
–Destroy all creatures unless a player has Breaking
Point deal 6 to him or her. Creatures destroyed
this way cannot be regenerated.)
Breaking Point joins Mutilate and Kirtar’s Wrath in
block to give people three different options in which to
try and screw over creature in one flash of mass
genocide, but there are some subtle differences to
Breaking Point besides its color that set it apart from
the other two, and on a much broader scale, from Rout
and Wrath of God as well.
For one thing, the possibility of making this card do
nothing for a hefty 6 damage. No other Wrath of
God type card has ever provided you with an option to
say no by other means than a Counterspell is a drawback
to this card, unlike how the same punishment mechanic is
an advantage to Browbeat. This is so, because
taking the 6 damage would not be detrimental to ones
goals if they had a large creature horde, or a creature
that you could not handle.
A player in control of the board with creatures is
better of taking damage to save his or her control of
the board, then not taking anything, and saving the
life, and risk loosing both to an opponent’s creature
horde if they fail to draw favorably.
Another thing that sets Breaking Point apart form all
the other Wrath of God spells is the fact that it drops
for 3 instead of the usual 4, 5, or 6 mana. The
only major problem is that now Breaking Point is cost
effective for red, making it fit into the usual 3 mana
sphere of speed decks.
I personally like this card, because I like the concept
of a Wrath of God for three with a drawback, but not
necessarily for red. Whether this card will really
see play is remaining to be seen.
Despite this set being the “Green and White Set,”
Judgment doesn’t have a lot in the ways of
groundbreaking cards for those colors, which is a huge
difference for what Torment did for black.
Green-White does still gain the best creature in the set
– Anurid Brushhopper (1GW - 3/4 - Creature-Beast –
Discard two cards from your hand: Remove Anurid
Brushhopper from the game. Return it to play under
its owner’s control at the end of turn.)
Since Brushhopper disappears for two cards, he is
virtually indestructible. The worst an opponent
can do to this guy is bounce him, and even then, they
might not get that for fear of a counterspell.
His size is also amazing. Brushhopper makes Noble
Panther (1WG, Creature-Cat – 1: Noble Panther gains
first strike until the end of turn. - Invasion Rare) a
useless card for G/W. Brushhopper simply replaces
Noble Panther in G/W decks right now, if there was one
Brushhopper, unfortunately, doesn’t make Green-White
Beatdown a legitimate deck in Type II. Like
Breaking Point, it will be determined if any of the
white cards in the set will be good enough to create a
green-white deck of any sorts. As of right now
there isn’t, and judging by the spoiler, there won’t
Still, I would still expect to see Brushhopper in other
decks besides Green-White. He has possibilities in
control as a creature to supplement Enforcer in a lot of
decks. I foresee it undercutting Call of the Herd
in Enforcer-Go, because Brushhopper’s ability has a
lot of potential, and can avoid a lot of the stuff that
Elephant tokens just bow to.
Judgment is the first set to lack a special ability in a
long while. Instead we got Wishes and
The Wishes are all kind of extraneous cards for Type II,
because Wizards ruled that you can only get the cards
from your sideboard. Some of them, such as Living
Wish, might see play as a way to get such things as
Spellbane Centaur, but other than that, there is really
The Incarnations, on the other hand, are plenty good,
with the worst one for constructed being Filth and
potentially Glory or Genesis, and the best one being
Anger. Even then, Glory is not that bad, just ill
suited for any deck with white that could arise, or is
being played right now.
Anger is awesome, especially for the already existing
green-red speed decks (with the exception of Frog in a
Blender, which just sucks no matter what gets added to
it in Judgment.) Anger can be a potentially
devastating card (3R – 2/2 – Creature –
Incarnation – Haste, All creatures you control gain
haste as long as Anger is in the graveyard.)
What Anger primarily does is lessen the time an opponent
has to live by about a turn or two, because it gives all
those creatures you played this turn, the ability to
It gives your opponent no chance to draw an answer, and
it might potentially force a response from then that
they may not want to do, such as chump block, or play a
card drawing spell in response to try and draw an
Either way, Anger can potentially force a poor,
desperate move from an already worried opponent, thus
giving you the game.
Genesis is not bad, but is a lot like Glory. Both
take up mana that can be otherwise better invested in
creatures or spells. Both of them have cool
abilities, but they eat of mana. Glory’s ability
needed to cost one less, and Genesis needed to return
the creature to play instead of to your hand for them to
Glory reads: (3WW – 3/3 – Creature –
Incarnation – Flying, 2W: Target creature you
control gains protection from a color of your choice
until the end of turn. Use this ability only when
Glory is in the graveyard.)
Genesis reads: (4G – 4/4 – At the beginning of your
upkeep, if Genesis is in the graveyard, you may pay 2G.
If you do, return target creature from your graveyard to
Wonder is an okay card, but in constructed it’s kind
of a dud, because the creatures you’d be playing for
blue would either be flying already, or wouldn’t need
it all that much (3U – 2/2 Flying, As long as Wonder
is in the graveyard, all creatures you control have
One of my personal favorites in Judgment is Wormfang
Crab (3U – 3/6 – Creature- Nightmare Crab –
Wormfang Crab is unblockable. When Wormfang Crab
comes into play, an opponent chooses a perminant you
control, and removes it from the game. When
Wormfang Crab leaves play, return the removed card to
play under its owner’s control.)
The reason why I like this card is because it is a BIG
creature, and cheap at that. Also, the way I read
it, you can do something similar to the
3-Faceless-Butcher-My Turn-Will NEVER-End trick…
although I cannot verify if that is how it works, or
even if Wormfang Crab will read like it said in the
If my twisted logic is right…. This is my take on how
to make it so your turn never ends: (Stupid as
this sound, it’s just stupid enough to win… Also,
people, don’t ever take this to a tournament, because
people will try and hurt you severely if you won….)
- You play Upheaval, and return all
permanents to their owners hand, leaving four man
- Now assuming that your opponent doesn’t
float mana, you play Wormfang Crab. He resolves,
and your opponent has to choose a permanent – the only
one being Wormfang Crab
- Wormfang Crab leaves play, thus returning
to play the card he removed, himself….. and it keeps
Let me say this – this is amazingly stupid. Lord
knows what I was smoking when I thought it up, and if
you know this to be wrong, then by all means, correct
Even without the pointless combo that may not even work,
Wormfang Crab can be a potentially devastating card for
blue, especially if a mono blue deck can ever be played
(which I sincerely doubt.) He’s a hard to kill
creature, can’t be blocked, and kills Elephant tokens
(a big thing for creatures these days).
Putting all that aside, Judgment does add a good amount
to the format. It adds viable counterspells to
block, more good creatures, and some potentially evil
The big downside – it all cost so damn much.
Geez, so many good cards, and they all cost so much…
Mirari’s Wake, Crush of Wurms, Mist of Stagnation,
Spelljack, almost all of the Wormfang, Treacherous,
Phantom, and Gorger creatures!?! What gives!
Still, don’t let that get in your way. There are
lots of cards, numerous ways to break them. Take
chances, and try different decks. You never know,
you might make something that can win in this format.
- John “The Happy Heretic” Hornberg
I can be e-mailed at HappyHeretic01@netscape.net
for any questions, comments, etc. Thank you for
reading. I will be back most likely later in the
week with part 2-4 of this Series, so stay tuned!