The Best and Worst of Fate Reforged

Joshua Vanderwall | 16 Jan 2015 12:00
Hexproof - RSS 2.0

The Bad

Daghatar the Adamant

Josh says: I might be a little off base here, but I have a strong suspicion that Daghatar is going to be the absolute worst of the new clan leaders. A 4/4 for four mana isn't terrible, but the three-mana "move one +1/+1 counter" ability just seems entirely too expensive for what amounts to zero gain. You might be able to finagle a favorable Bolster with it, but given that it's a public-information combat trick, you're going to be hard pressed to use it to much advantage in combat.

I'm not particularly fond of Blue's Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest either, but at least the Double Strike option in a Prowess-heavy deck could certainly turn the tides. At least moreso than moving a counter around at the cost of one additional mana.

Warden of the First Tree

Justin says:Here's the part where I pick on a mythic that's certainly not that bad, but I think it getting more attention than in deserves. Basically everyone that's been around Magic for a few years will recognize this as being similar to Figure of Destiny. It's a cheap one drop that you can dump extra mana into in order for it to get better. Figure of Destiny saw a fair amount of play back in the day, and everyone has been quick to assume the same for Warden of the First Tree. However, I think this card lines up much worse though when talking about constructed. For starters, while it's less color intensive Warden of the First Tree is much slower. I think the real kicker is a lack of growth in the second stage, staying a 3/3 means it can't attack through a bunch of creatures in the Standard format. Sure, you can repeatedly activate Warden of the First Tree's last ability to get bigger and bigger, but what game are you not winning if you had the time and extra mana to do that or where Rakshasa Deathdealer could play a similar and more resilient role?

Great-Horn Krushok

Josh says: Okay, yes, I'm picking on the filler cards. There are cards in every set that are objectively terrible, often designed to assist with balance in Limited formats. That said, it doesn't make the cards suck any less, and Great-Horn Krushok is a prime example of terrible. You might recall a creature from Khans of Tarkir that costs four mana instead of five. He's got an additional power and trample to boot. He also drains your opponent for 3 when he lands. Yes, I'm talking about everybody's favorite endangered species, the Siege Rhino.

I fully understand that not every card can be as amazing as our Rhino buddy, but I can't imagine that the Limited meta would breakdown if they'd made this Krushok thing cost four instead of five. Or be a 4/5 instead of a 3/5.

dark deal

Dark Deal

Justin says:You know I actually had kind of a hard time finding truly bad cards in Fate Reforged, which speaks well to the set's design. However, this card, I can't even wrap my head around it. So I guess this enables delve and you can knock some bombs out of your opponents hand during the mid-game when there is a greater chance it's in their hand than in the top few cards of their deck? But you've still down the Dark Deal and you're down another card as well when you redraw. If you're empty other than Dark Deal, then you only get effectively one card. This card actually makes Taigam's Scheming look reasonable. Well sort of reasonable, but that's saying something.

Crucible of the Spirit Dragon

Justin says:This card just feels like a waste of a rare land slot. For any older format, there's already a cycle of storage lands that don't have any tribal restriction and Crucible of the Spirit Dragon doesn't have any other upside attached to it. It could at least have made them uncounterable or something. It reminds me a bit of Sliver Hive, which also came out recently, but at least that card could tap for any color for Slivers and could pump out more. Prepare to be really disappointed every time you open this.


Josh says: I'm going to caveat this pseudo-rant with this: "If five-color Dragons becomes a thing at some point, I disavow the following statements."

Storing charge counters on land is a thing I can get behind. Mana batteries can be great. Charge them up, then unleash them for an explosive turn. The concept behind Crucible is perfectly sound, even if it is an incredibly slow way to ramp up your mana. But then you get to the useful ability, and it's got the devastating restriction: "Spend this mana only to cast Dragon spells or activate abilities of Dragons." Sadface.

This land is literally useless unless you're playing a Dragon-focused deck, which, while there is a huge push towards the Dragon subtype in Fate Reforged, still doesn't look to have nearly enough viability to see any real play.

Given that Standard currently includes one solitary playable Dragon creature (Stormbreath Dragon is no joke,) I find it incredibly hard to believe that this land will somehow make the Dragon theme deck viable. Don't get me wrong, there are some hilarious situations you can set up with the various "Whenever this dragon dude attacks..." abilities in the set, but since most of them cost 5-7 mana, plus the fact that you're committing two of your lands each turn you want to charge up your Crucible... I just... no. Absolutely not.

Comments on