– Theros Beyond Death
January 16, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I think the speaker in this card’s flavor text must be a student of the legendary Toggo. I also think Toggo would appreciate this card’s unsubtlety that nonetheless leads to some fun plays, and occasionally some intricate ones. Making every creature in your deck cost only one mana sets everyone’s sixth sense a-flutter, even if you only keep them for one turn. One turn is really all you need when the creature in question is Emrakul or even “just” Primeval Titan. You don’t often see Sneak Attack in slower or fairer decks, but you actually could: you can use it as a single part of a multi-step interaction that involves death triggers or getting things into your graveyard. As such, it’s arguably more interesting and definitely more widely applicable than some of Magic’s famous tournament cards.
Sneak Attack was actually the first Card of the Day I reviewed on Pojo, so it’s cool to see my first card come back up. Nonetheless, not a lot has changed around Sneak Attack, even if Magic has continued to offer it toys with which to have absurd amounts of fun at the expense of your opponents. It’s still the eponymous card of Legacy’s Sneak Attack decks and a bit player in decks like “Sneak and Show” and “Omni-Tell”: the point of it is to use a crazy amount of fast mana to get Sneak Attack ahead of schedule (think turn 2), cheat in a big and dumb creature (like Griselbrand or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn), and ream your opponent faster than they know what hit them. While it’s the same overall mana investment as a card like Through the Breach, the fact that Sneak Attack is just one red mana for a creature (as opposed to having to cast Through the Breach for five or splice it onto more spells for four mana) means that Sneak Attack will, ideally, end the game on resolution. (Of course, nothing stops you from running both.)
Sneak Attack does come with a clear downside: it’s an all-in strategy where you’re gambling on the early win with your creatures. If Sneak Attack gets thwarted (a very real possibility in Legacy, a format with Force of Will as a backbone), you’re back to square 1 having blown a lot of resources in an attempt to pull off the win. What it lacks in intricacy is more than made up for in sheer power, though, and Sneak Attack will continue to win games out of nowhere for as long as Legacy is a format. It’s definitely risen a bit in prominence since my last review, hence the higher score, as it’s not merely a back-up card to another deck that runs Show and Tell.
Hello and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! In honor of Theros being an Enchantment based block we’re going to take a look at some of the most powerful enchantments that have ever been printed in Magic.
Today we’re taking a look at the most infamous Red Enchantment that is so powerful that it birthed its own archetype that still exists today in one of the most powerful formats, Legacy.
The ability is pretty easy, for R you put a creature into play, it gains haste, and at the end of turn you sacrifice the creature. The last part might be a drawback if it weren’t for the fact that creature power creep has allowed people to cheat in cards like Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, which when swinging in provides lethal damage but Emrakul also provides a backbreaking effect of making the opponent sacrifice six permanents!
This card is directly powerful and most useful in 1v1 formats where you can simply combo off, in formats like Commander and Multiplayer it is seen more as a threat to the table in addition to personal threats. Now you can use this card in a combo based Commander deck but it’s pretty hard to build your deck around a single enchantment, but I can see this in a cheaty deck like Kaalia as part of a theme rather than the focus.
In Limited this definitely shows weakness since there aren’t as many bombs to go around the table and even then you don’t want to chuck your creatures as a makeshift Ball Lightning without trample.
Cube is the only other real place for this card and here it shines so well. In Cube you’re basically trying to draft a singleton constructed deck and an early Sneak Attack pick will allow you to snag up chonky bombs like Emrakul, Griselbrand, and Craterhoof Behemoth to name a few.
Constructed 4/5 – Part of the namesake Sneak and Show in Legacy that has been pretty resilient for over 10 years.
Phat Pack Magic is a channel dedicated to Magic: the Gathering and creating awesome coverage of local events for formats like Cube, rare pack drafts, and now FNM Pioneer videos! Check it out at YouTube.com/PhatPackMagic
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉