Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Phyrexia EDH Set Review: Part 3 - Black

This being New Phyrexia, you'd think Black would get the lions share of goodies. But this is NEW Phyrexia, not OLD Phyrexia. These hippie robots are all about sharing the love with all the colors. It's a rainbow coalition of murder and slavery! Rejoice!

Off to a bad start. I want my removal to be faster than this OR repeatable. Paying three mana for a 2/2 that MIGHT kill something seems stupid when I have Bone Shredder, Shriekmaw or Fleshbag Marauder available.

 Playable along two lines: as straight card draw for yourself against decks with zero Infect, or as a supplement to your own Poison strategy. I suspect many a Skithiryx deck will play this happily. I'd consider it in any deck that doesn't have access to Blue or Green for better card draw options.

And what looks to be the best of the Chancellor cycle actually gets diminishing returns in EDH. The 3 point drain life will be vastly less powerful in a 40-life format, and at 7 mana, a Flying Lifelink-er just isn't super appealing. It's certainly not so terrible a Vampire tribal deck couldn't make use of it, but it gets a big "meh" from me.

Does anyone else think this looks like a flying robot dog with a cape?

Hmm, I'm usually not to impressed with cards like this in an EDH setting. But the potential to cast this for as little as 1 colorless AND the fact that it's -5/-5 as opposed to the more usual -3/-3... well it actually kills a vast number of relevant things. Spearbreaker Behemoth is suddenly not so scary, is it?

I usually skip reprints, but this one is already a pet card of mine, and is quite good in EDH. In case you missed it the first time, this is a fine EDH card. The old art was way better, though.

A slightly better Gravedigger is still terrible. I have to ask myself at this point why WotC felt the need to print a cycle of creatures at uncommon, name them in such a way as to call attention to the fact that it is a cycle, and then make every member of the cycle suck balls. WTF?

In multiplayer EDH, I only like cards that make all players sac a dude. The lifeloss seems pretty insignificant too. Could be playable for 1v1, but I think your still better off running removal where you get to choose the target, not your opponent.

Ugh, I hate this. I can't imagine running this over Phyresis. Yeah, it comes back when the creature dies, but it also kills that creature without your opponent having to do anything. Zur decks might make use of this, I guess. Still seems bad to me.

Another proliferate helper. I'm not nearly as sold on this as the Blue options, but I haven't really played a heavy Proliferate strategy yet. Presumably Skittles decks will be fine killing some little blocker whilst Proliferating merrily on their way to victory. 

I liked this until I saw the cost. Better options include: Damnation, Black Sun's Zenith, Kagemaro First to Suffer, and Bane of the Living. If I'm running ALL of those and still need more sweepers I might give this a chance. (Worth noting that this is uncommon, though. Sweepers of this power are practically non-existant at Uncommon, so Pauper EDH players watch out!)

Ha ha, this is funny. It's almost terrible in EDH, because almost any deck worth it's sleeves will be able to recur guys in some fashion. Usually you cringe when your opponent casts Buried Alive, so why would you help them out by giving them a free one? Well, if you drop Bojuka Bog immediately after casting this... that's pretty awesome. Still, the risk of setting up your opponent's Living Death for them seems high.

(Chatter on the web tells me this is going to be a bit more popular than I give it credit for. Still, every time someone uses this and then gets owned by a Living Death they helped fuel, I will laugh smugly)

Holy power creep, Batman! Will this be good in EDH? Will it be affordable enough to matter?
I just don't like this card. On one hand it's like the perfect fusion between Timmy and Spike: a big scary thing to turn sideways, yet efficient enough to appeal to the tournament crowd. But on the other hand, I just feel like this should not have seen print. Even if it utterly fails to break whole formats and winds up a $5 card (not likely!) I will still feel that this just set a bad precedent.

I can't remember: have we seen a non-Phyrexian-Mana version of this? It just seems so damn familiar, but I'm too lazy to hit up Gatherer to check. Oh well. Seems cool-ish; I do love me some recursion. But is the Haste worth the loss of permanence? I don't think so, but time will tell.

Alright, yeah, I can work with this. It's a bad Extract at worst, and in some groups it'll never be more than that. But in my group nearly every deck I see is three colors, so the overlap means there will almost always be someone at the table overlapping into my colors. Which means this will be a Bribery, Acquire or Knowledge Exploitation fairly easily. Okay, yeah, I still have to pay for the spell, but the versatility of getting ANY card is pretty awesome. Oh, and it can even get lands and artifacts too, so even against a Mono deck, you'll find something worth Grasping.

(Hint: Get their Sol Ring!)

Good Praetor is good. Reya Dawnbringer is officially obsolete. I still like Elesh Norn a little more simply because she'll usually have some impact on the board immediately, whereas Sheoldred has to live a little while to do anything. Regardless, she fits the definition of "must answer" to the letter. If she lives, opponents will die.

Yeah, by now you should know there are better forms of graveyard hate, especially in Black. 

Cool interaction between the poison and the discard mechanic. It'll get played more because it's an Infect flyer than anything else, but the discard is added value.

And with that, Black is now reviewed. Once again the Mythic Praetor is the elephant in the room, but Sheoldred is at least way cooler than Jin Gitaxias, and while not quite as poweful as Elesh Norn, she's probably more fun to play. And of course the Obliterator is certainly playble if you are heavily in Black, but it's probably not worth shelling out for. If you open one, you'll be happy to play it. Praetor's Grip is probably the most exciting card to me right now, because using my opponents cards against them is always cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment