everyone! Now that Planeshift has been out a
while, we've had a couple weeks to look over
the Planeshift set, do a
playing, and examine the cards in more detail.
What I'm going to do
this week is provide some comments on cards I
think are decent, or at least have potential.
As is my style, I tend to
stay away from the obvious, and go for some of
the less popular cards, so
you won't see me sqwaking about how good or
bad Shivan Wurm is, instead, I
may try to come up with a use for Meteor
Crater. Ok, maybe not. I'll also
harp on a couple of overrated cards, as every
set has their share.
On to the cards!
Kicker W (You may pay
an additional W as you play this spell.) Target
player can't play spells this turn. If you
paid the kicker cost, creatures
can't attack this turn.
So I say that I'm not
going to state the obvious and then I bring up
this relatively hot rare. The reason I
mention it is because people I talk
to seem to know this is a good card, but they
don't know what to do with it
exactly. To me, it is obvious.
There's a small number of mono-white
control decks running around that feature
Howling Mines, Wrath of God,
Disenchant and others. Orim's Chant
seems to be a natural for this deck,
the style of the old Turbo-Abeyance decks.
The four Chants aren't quite
enough on their own, though. That's
where blue comes in, namely, the card
Recall. You simply use Chants early,
drop Mines, Recall the Chants, and so
on and so forth. Your kill method would
probably be best in the form of a
Millstone or two. They're cheap to cast
and just one activation will win
the game for you. I'd build the deck
with all white producing sources of
mana, making use of Adarkar Wastes and Coastal
Tower for the blue mana you
need. While you won't need blue mana
right away, you will need tons of
white mana immediately.
For those of you who aren't aware, the Familiars are
cycle of five creatures that each cost two
mana to cast and reduce the
casting cost of allied spells by one mana
each. The Stormscape Familiar,
the blue one, reduces the cost of black and
white spells by one.
These guys have
potential, but I'm not sure if they're worth it.
Tempest had the Medallions, which were
similar, and the only one that saw
play was the blue one in a mono-blue deck.
How good is it to be casting a
small creature second turn to reduce the
casting cost of spells of a
I've seen people try
various styles of decks with these creatures, all
based around a Familiar hitting turn two that
is followed by two spells the
next turn. For example, I saw someone
discussing a black/red deck that
would drop a second turn Nightscape Familiar,
followed the next turn by two
Stone Rains. To me, this seems
exceedingly fragile, at best.
I think the most
potential lies in a deck that has the ability to
up for the relative loss of cards that the
Familiars create for you, which
of course means blue is in order.
Accumulated Knowledge for U instead of
and reducing the costs of counterspells like
Thwart and Foil would seem to
be the most advantageous.
As an additional cost to play Diabolic Intent,
sacrifice a creature. Search
your library for a card and put that card into
your hand. Then shuffle your
that lets you search and put the card in your hand
deserves a serious look. The question
is, how good is sacrificing a
creature? Well, when you need a Decree
to stop Rebels, or a Perish to slow
down Fires, it's pretty dang worthwhile.
As I mentioned last time, I think
this card also has synergy with graveyard
recursion effects like Twilight's
Call. I'm looking at this card for a U/B
discard deck featuring gating
creatures and Ravenous Rats. When the
Rats have served their purpose, pop
it to go get something you really need.
Without playtesting much, I'd be
inclined to say you don't run more than three
of these in any single deck.
Creature - Zombie 3/3
Kicker-Pay 3 life. (You may pay 3 life in
addition to any other costs as
play this spell.) If you paid the kicker cost,
Phyrexian Scuta comes into
play with two +1/+1 counters on it.
This is one of those
overrated cards I was talking about. Everyone
calls him "The New Juzam", and while
he does fit that bill rather well,
doesn't mean he is a good card in Type II
The simple fact is
that the major decks in Type 2 can all handle this
guy with relative ease. Rebels will
either Parallax Wave him so that he
comes back stuck as a 3/3, or they will just
block it forever with a
Nightwind Glider. Fires looks at its
army of 5/5 creatures and laughs.
Scuta may come out a turn faster with Ritual
than a Blastoderm will, but
Fires will definitely have the long-term
advantage as it throws down
Saproling Burst and Shivan Wurm to follow.
Nether-Go can block the Scuta
forever with a Spirit until it draws a Recoil
or some other, more permanent
answer. This is definitely a card to
keep an eye on as Type 2 evolves.
When Mercadian block drops, or 7th comes in,
the cards may be around to
this guy into a beating. But on March
1st, he's just an over-valued rare.
These creatures all cost two colors of mana to cast
and force their caster to return a creature of
one of those two colors to
their hand when the creature comes into play.
I'll just go over the ones I
think are the best briefly:
This is UB to cast for a 2/1 flier that you can
to your hand by paying one life. It has
natural synergy with Ravenous
and can taking three or four from a Blastoderm
as opposed to 15 or 20 is
always nice, too.
Shivan Wurm. He
costs 3GR to play for a 7/7 trample. This guy
downright nasty in Fires, allowing you to pick
up Blastoderms and crusing
your opponents. The gating might be
problematic, I would consider two or
three of them in a typical fires deck so as
not to get stuck with too many
in your hand early on.
This beastie is 2UB for a 2/3 flier that, when it
deals combat damage, you get to look at your
opponent's hand and make them
discard a card. Actually, again, this is
an overrated card, at least at
this point. I love the card because the
art is absolutely amazing, but it
just isn't very playable right now.
theoretically, you could fit it into a
U/B control/discard deck. You can't cast
him with Dark Ritual unless you
play something like Maggot Carrier or
Nightscape Apprentice, and then
playing with bad creatures. If you wait
to play him until turn four, what
are you going to return that makes this guy
wirth your time besides
Rats? This guy could become a force, but
until then, don't go trading your
Rishadan Ports for him.
This is taking longer than
I expected, so I'll trim it here and pick
back up next week with the rest of the Planeshift
cards I think are worth