Friday, May 16, 2014

Digging Into the Box VIII: The Last of the Magic: The Gathering Cards

Once again, it's time to return to the gigantic box of cards that my brother gave me not all that long ago (but it's been long enough that I now have a second giant box of cards from him waiting to be sorted)!  Today, we finish off the Magic:  The Gathering portion of the box with four more cards that I found interesting.

As I think I mentioned already, the cards my brother sent my way were basically free to me - so it wasn't totally surprising that the Magic cards were all commons (except for two stray uncommons that somehow slipped through my brother's grasp).  As such, today we look at three more commons plus the final uncommon from the Return to Ravnica set - and we try to decide whether or not they are any good.

Let's start with the uncommon:  Seek the Horizon.

For 4 mana at sorcery speed, I'm not terribly impressed.  However, finding three lands and putting them in your hand can be really important for green - especially janky green decks who run tons of big creatures (I used to have a treefolk deck like that that would have loved this card).  In my very-much-nonprofessional-opinion, I would say this card generally sucks but it will have a home in specific decks.

Also, did you notice the scantily clad woman there looking out over the city?  Weird.

Next, we turn to three different gold commons from the box beginning with:  Common Bond

Gold cards are a bit tougher to evaluate in the sense that they require (at least) two different colors to play.  As such, a combined mana cost of three for this card seems cheaper than the combined cost of four for the first card, but it might be more difficult if you don't own lots of dual lands (I almost always sold any dual lands that I pulled from packs so that I could buy more packs)!

As for the card itself, I think it has potential.  There are enough cards that use +1/+1 counters that this could be useful there - plus getting +2/+2 (if you wish) at instant speed...and permanently we might add is nice.  Of course, you could Giant Growth instead for one green but that isn't permanent.  I don't think I'd ever use this card outside of a deck that manipulated +1/+1 counters - but much like Seek the Horizon, in the right deck this could be solid.

The third card for the post is a cool one:  Sluiceway Scorpion

This one is pretty much perfect!  The deathtouch effect fits exceedingly well with the scorpion theme of the card - and the scavenge ability is certainly useful as well.  Notice that the scavenge ability on this card isn't all that different than what Common Bond might do for a player!  The only real downside I see to this card is that it's a 2/2 for four mana (2 toughness creatures are generally fragile) and that scavenge doesn't work at all with reanimator decks (which many green/black decks are).  Even so, this is fun little card that I would certainly use.

We end the Magic:  The Gathering discussion with one more gold card:  Hussar Patrol

Now, I have always liked the white/blue deck color combination but I've found it to be generally lacking compared to other color combinations.  Part of that, undoubtedly, was due to my relatively limited number of appropriate blue/white gold cards - but the other part was due to the fact that most blue/white cards emphasize turtling (that is, sitting around building up an impenetrable defense before winning by dropping some sort of bomb creature or spell).  That can be a fun style once in awhile, but in general I found it to be boring (and entirely unreliable)!

The Hussar Patrol aims to mitigate some of the turtling while maintaining blue/white's identity.  Let's not kid ourselves, this card is primarily a defense-first card - the flash basically assures that.  However, after using the Patrol for a surprise block (which it will likely survive thanks to its toughness of four), the Hussar Patrol can then go on the offensive turn after turn while maintaining defensive abilities thanks to having vigilance.

I think if I ever were to get back into the game of Magic, I would use this card in a blue/white deck with the hopes of building some sort of faster, stronger (more consistent) deck - but in the end I have a feeling that I would remain underwhelmed by the card.  It's one of those "seems good at first" but then you realize that vigilance and flash really don't belong on the same creature...especially for four mana.

Once again, a bit thanks to my brother for the gigantic box of cards!  We are almost through the first box...just in time to start digging into box #2!


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