Monday, June 24, 2013

Familiar Cards: Part 3

To quote the "Rewards" page on the official site:
"The Spectral Garden is the pinnacle of HEX card collection, plain and simple. We spent a lot of time making sure the total package for this would be perfect, because we knew we wanted a seriously awesome reward for the true TCG fans that are going to kickstart us at this tier."
Do you think this is a coincidence? For those of you who do not know, Black Lotus is the most valuable Magic card ever printed in a set (often reaching over $3,000 a piece). Every deck can benefit from 4x Black Lotus, and Cryptozoic designed Spectral Lotus to be the same way. From the very beginning, the most powerful card in both games is a zero cost artifact "lotus" that gives you 3 resources; I find it kind of sentimental!

Spectral Lotus isn't without flaws (potentially anyway). Since the lotus permanently turns into a different card, you can't recur it from your graveyard and your willingness to play the card may depend on whether or not you can afford a replacement. Negatives aside, Spectral Lotus is still way better than Black Lotus. It's free to cast and replaces itself (so it's always worth playing). Upon use you get a free creature (Black Tiger a reference to WoW TCG's Spectral Tiger) which you can cast using the 3 threshold you just got, then the tiger can draw you another free card. If you don't want to use the Lotus's ability it still may be worth including in an artifact deck. Since the lotus lets you draw a card when it enters play, it's essentially a free artifact to synergize with artifact dependent cards. Spectral Lotus is unjustifiably good, completely overpowered, and you will want 4 in every PvE deck.

Giant Growth was also printed in the very first Magic set and has since been reprinted over a dozen times. While this card seems like a staple, it received very little competitive play; maybe that is why HEX's Wild Growth decided to go for the +4/+4 right from the start. Magic has tried a few times with cards like Might of Old Krosa and Vines of Vastwood, but HEX has Magic beat with Wild Growth in terms of power level. These cards are both offensive and defensive, usually best when used as a surprise in combat so your creature lives and your opponent's creatures die.

Thanks to Rydavim over on the forums for pointing this one out. Just one (B) mana shy of being the exact same card. Murder is actually pretty reasonable; the card that is. Magic preferred to print conditional kill cards, starting with Terror and only recently (2013) have they finally given us this simple one in a core set. (3) instead of (2) for a direct kill card is a pretty huge difference and maybe that is why HEX is starting off with this one. Power creep tells us that these kill cards are only going to get more interesting; I'm looking forward to what else Cryptozoic comes up with.

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't the 'gain 3 threshold' text on the spectral lotus correspond to gaining 3 colored mana? I think this means you can bump, say, your sapphire threshold to 3 immediately, plus you gain 3 temporary resources.