– Planar Chaos
April 15, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.33
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I like art from Raymond Swanland, Ron Spencer, or Wayne Reynolds just as much as the next man, but Magic should do other kinds of emotions too. It is, after all, a Multiverse of infinite diversity. When Magic tries, it does poignant just as well as anyone else – and Timbermare is, in its own way, one of the most poignant cards. It has a connection to Jamie Wakefield and his late wife, Marilyn; but he could probably explain that better than I can, so I’ll link you to the place where he did so, thirteen years ago.
Everybody back? Cool, because it turns out that Timbermare is also a pretty good card. We might be used to seeing creatures with lots of comes-into-play abilities and activated abilities in tournament Magic; but the main point of creatures has always been to attack and block, and there’s something nice about a creature where you just pay the mana, get high power and toughness, and hit someone in the face with it. The effect of tapping all other creatures adds some trickiness to it, on top of that – for example, a popular trick in 2007 Standard involved using Chord of Calling to pull it out of your library and lock down an opponent’s attackers. Nowadays, you also have a lot more options for flickering it, which can not only keep attackers away, but gets you way ahead in a damage race when combined with its haste.
Timbermare is a fairly unique creature for green, a four-mana 5/5 with haste that taps all other creatures as it comes into play. The tap ability is both boon and downside, as it takes your blockers off for your turn…and takes away most, if not all, opposing blockers in the process. Even if you opt not to pay the echo cost of Timbermare, a near-guarantee of 5 damage in one turn is actually a pretty good value for four mana, and it has value as a trick to thwart combat if you have a way to trick it in (with flash or another cheating effect).
It’s a fairly unusual effect in green, even if it’s ultimately a touch too “fair” for today’s game. It’s still a unique trick in green’s arsenal with a cool backstory to it (Timbermare was done as a reference to the late wife of a famous member of the professional scene, Jamie Wakefield, a card he would play on his own that doubled as a bunch of references to his beloved wife), and that uniqueness gives it value in decks that might not have the ability to dip their toes into other colors for a similar effect.
Constructed: 2.25 (playable, but four mana creatures have gotten a lot better since Planar Chaos)
Hello guys and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! You may have noticed I’ve been a bit MIA as of late and it’s because I had a bit of a health emergency and am just now getting back on my feet. So while I’m on bedrest let’s take a look at some neat cards this week.
Today we’re looking at Timbermare, a Planar Chaos card that is in reference to Thundermare with the exact same abilities, except a very lethal echo cost!
This card is a weird one, namely in that when it lands it creates a hole for itself to swing in and get in 5 points of damage. The only problem is that it taps your creatures to which prevents an alpha strike option akin to Overrun Variants which Green is known for.
So unless that 5 damage is the lethal you’re going for, and you’re definitely hoping your opponent doesn’t have removal, it’s going to be very hard to justify this creature because it’s going to leave you open for your opponent to crack back.
The abilities are lackluster and the heavy echo cost makes this not worth dropping on turn 4 and even then getting timewalked on turn 5. So it’s definitely not going to cut it in Constructed formats.
In Commander tapping down everyone’s board might create a situation where swings are traded back and forth but it’s definitely going to invite people looking at you for their freshly untapped crew of creatures.
In Limited I would have said this was a bomb if it didn’t tap down ALL other creatures, unfortunately this card doesn’t enable alpha strikes from your end as it does your opponents and only having a 5/5 blocker against a team doesn’t seem too spicy in that format.
I also don’t like this card much for cube for the same reasons I don’t like it in limited, albeit Cube can be like a constructed limited environment so the strikes against it are double there.
So that’s it for me today, I’m going back to bed and hope you guys stay safe, and stay healthy!
Constructed 1/5 – Not worth playing even in FNM Modern Jank Decks.
Limited 1/5 – Not worth the rare draft in TSP/PC/FS draft, go for a winning uncommon instead.
Commander 2/5 – …Maybe if you want to make an Alliance with the guy on your left for a winning alpha strike against a problem player?
Cube 1/5 – Much better cards in green that promote the ability to get your team in there for lethal damage.
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