Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gatecrash Art Challenge 12 — Richard Wright

Today we're covering Richard Wright's art.

Both Jules and I immediately thought this could be new art for a reprint of Culling Sun.

C. I also figured it might be an update. Something similar, but not quite the same. I rate Consuming Orb low because it could/should be mono-black.

B. Nich at least saw that this card should be more black than white.

C. The name's lazy, but fine for a playtest card. The effect would be miserable to play against—sometimes better but sometimes worse than Armageddon. That said, Orzhovicate is very black-white, splashy and mythic rare.

B. The ability to pay 10 and wipe out all creatures CMC 7- doesn't line up with Reaping of the Meek's flavor. Aside from that and the awkward-but-not-unheard-of X+1 in the mana cost, this is a very good Orzhov design.

C. Holy crap. I'll grant that seven-mana rare sorceries should be haymakers, but Blot Out keeps you from losing, keeps your opponent from winning and kills them dead. You can use Blot Out when Wrath would be its absolute worst—with only your creatures on the board—and not only come out even but on top. Is it better than Cruel Ultimatum? Not in every deck, but in some decks Blot Out would be much better.

B. Sphere of Annihilation is a colorless Wrath of God, the cost for which is a hefty chunk of your own life each turn. Should blue and green have access to this kind of permanent, mass creature removal at any cost? Is Sphere relevant to black and red players who have some mass removal, but nothing this strong in Standard?

A. It's fascinating to me that three different designers used Kill All Then Deal That Much Damage for this design. Chah's version isn't as lopsided as Blot Out, as you'll still suffer card disadvantage from hitting your own guys and your opponent could still have threats to cast afterward, but the life swing could still be significant. I'd be curious to see how often a Boros player uses Wrathful Helios as a finisher.

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