Island of Wak-Wak is not one of the more exciting Arabian Nights rares, but being able to tap a land to negate the damage from a flying creature is certainly worth playing against some decks. It was a long time sideboard option, and little more, and certainly not one of the more notable rares in an otherwise very interesting set. This would actually be a card that might be an interesting re-print, as it’s not too overpowered and while few people today would sideboard it, it’s not the worst card to pull out of a pack, even as a rare. But considering its relative mediocre usefulness, staying on the Reserve List will at least maintain its collectors’ value.
Archive for May, 2012
Ah, only if Black-White tokens with Sorin were actually a really, really good deck… well, actually they are! Let’s just say Vault of the Archangel is a pretty good reason why said deck is competitive. While 2WB seems like a high cost to pay for a tap ability, the fact that it can greatly change the complexion of the game in one swing is quite relevant. All creatures you control gain deathtouch and lifelink. Suddenly swinging for the fences is an awfully good strategy if you have this card to back you up. It makes people think about how they’re going to block or if they’re even going to block. I’ve always loved cards that both toy with your opponent and can give you that decisive push for game simultaneously. This is one of those cards, and if you play black and white together in a deck, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of these in your library.
Ifh-Biff Efreet is one of the more interesting cards in Arabian Nights. With his ability, either player can pay a single green mana to do 1 damage to each player and each creature with flying. Considering that you can activate this ability as many times as you have green mana to pay, this is a pretty powerful card, especially if your opponent isn’t playing any green mana sources. On top of that, it’s a 3/3 flyer for 2GG. It’s not hard to see why this is on the Reserved list, as it’s actually quite powerful.
I really, really like this card. Not only is he an absolute pest in Limited, but his Fateful Hour ability is, believe it or not, a lot more relevant than you think. While Doomsayer is really little more than a 2/2 token pooper otherwise, he is extremely good at what he does. Again, with how good humans are right now, Doomsayer is certainly a guy worth considering in a token-based Human deck.
Here’s an interesting Zombie card, an uncommon from Arabian Nights called Khabal Ghoul. For 2B, you get a 1/1 zombie that gets a +1/+1 counter at each end step for every creature that died that turn and wasn’t regenerated. Potentially, this guy could get pretty darn big in a hurry. If you’re looking for a nice little card to put in your Zombie-based Commander deck or want to run some crazy rogue Legacy deck and you have about $20 to spare per copy of this guy, Khabal Ghoul is worth a look.
There are many rares in Dark Ascension that are particularly not fun to review. Thalia is certainly an exception. While she does not tend to be a main-deck option, she is a major thorn in the side of control type decks whenever one has to face her boarded in. She herself is not bad, a 2/1 with first strike for 1W. With all of the Human support with which the Innistrad block hath blessed us, Thalia is becoming more and more relevant. She’s currently (as of this writing) a five-dollar card. I don’t think that with the rotation this price will remain constant. I think you need to hand over that 20 dollar bill now and grab your playset.
For 2BB, Juzam Djinn gives you a 5/5 that makes you take 1 damage during each of your up-keeps, which is OK. However, it’s easily one of the weaker cards on the reserve list. Yet, a single copy of Juzam Djinn sells for about $150-200 USD. It is certainly worth taking that 1 extra damage with just how big this guy is, and at the time, this was a really massive creature. But he’s not worth the secondary market’s price tag at all if you’re thinking of playing him.
I don’t have to go into how ridiculously insane Sudden Disappearance is in Limited. Not only do you get a possible swing in for game with this card, but even then, your opponent literally has NOTHING on the board during their next turn until the very end. It goes to show how much the Wizards of the Coast developers put into sets that seem to only benefit the Limited format. Let’s admit that the draft format is perhaps the most commonly played form of Magic the Gathering. So if you were at a draft or sealed deck to open this card, then you’d be pretty happy. It’s fair to say if you get passed this, you got a steal. You don’t have to commit to White with this card, as it’s only got a single White mana symbol in its cost. That 6 mana will be worth the investment by the time this card is needed, too.
Now let’s look from a competitive Magic player’s or collector’s point of view… this card is crap, and unless I pulled a foil Gather the Townsfolk, foil Think Twice or one of the uncommon Lord cards, that pack is a total dud. This card has next to no relevance in Constructed formats. This isn’t to say it’s not a fun little trick in EDH to take out an annoying player at the table, but that’s really the only real use it has outside of Limited. Still, you have to give the set designers credit. At least it has a purpose. I just don’t ever want to see another one in a pack opened by me in a non-Limited environment.
This is what it says: “As long as Guardian Beast is untapped, non-creature artifacts you control can’t be enchanted, they’re indestructible, and other players can’t gain control of them. This effect doesn’t remove Auras already attached to those artifacts.”
Basically, in this card’s heyday, your Power artifacts like the Mox cycle were safe from anything that can destroy artifacts. It also kept your opponent from stealing any of them. It’s also a 2/4 creature for only 3 and a black, so it’s not too bad a card at all. Any EDH/Commander decks that revolve around Artifacts can certainly have fun with this card, and it has a decent body for a creature with such a good ability, too. It’s a nice card to have around.
If any archetype was boosted more than Humans by Avacyn Restored, it would be the Angels. Now this is an obvious development considering that Avacyn is, obviously, an Angel, but it should not be overlooked that suddenly once thought relatively unplayable Angel cards suddenly have a little value. I think Requiem Angel is very glad Avacyn is now free of the Helvault! (So something good did come out of that awful mythic rare!)
Requiem Angel is a 5/5 flyer for 5W and has a decent effect, whenever another non-Spirit creature you control dies, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the board. For 6 mana, this is certainly OK. But you add in a card like Herald of War and certainly you can have a 5/5 flyer that can produce even more flyers for as little as 2 or 3, potentially only ONE mana. I don’t know how great Angels will prove to be competitively but you have to admit that once “jank” rares like this now have some potential. I wouldn’t say buy gobs and gobs of these in hopes of turning a sweet little profit, but Requiem Angel is now at least a card that should garner a little interest on the trade market.