Thursday, July 7, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge Review 062416—Eddie Smith

Hey all. Anastase here. I am lagging with my reviews but hopefully they will keep coming!

Here is the challenge I am reviewing.

Let's get to the cards!

Pasteur has given us a nice pair of cards. I am afraid that the wording of the Ravager is a bit confusing but that could be clarified by changing "that many" to 'X.' As individual cards they are quite interesting, but as a story pair I do not see the connection... I guess the fact that the trees counter the Ravager by shutting it (or the lands that power it) down is the missing link. Mana denial is a scary place to go, and unusual in green, but it feels green enough.

Bolas's Remains
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R Stech gave us two lands that are interesting but dangerous. Black being able to sacrifice enchantments was pointed out in the comments as a flaw for Bolas's Remains (black is not supposed to be able get rid of its problematic enchantments, especially with a land). Personally I was a bit confused as to the interpretation of the artworks as lands. They do tell a story—of powerful beings' remains turning into lands—and would make many players happy to play them.

Theo's cards are quite unequal. The Wilting Dryad plays in the same space as Dryad Arbor which has been acknowledged as an error by wizards. The reduction of power could be seen as a mitigating factor, but the risk vs reward of land creatures is something that worries me. The story of Despoiler of Landscapes eating the Dryad is interesting. The Despoiler is quite expensive and offers 8 cards and a 6/6 body at 10 mana. I think it would need to have a cast clause instead of an ETB clause in order to prevent cheating it onto the battleground and denying mana from your opponent.

I really like Jack's cards both individually and as a combination. The Dryad is not overpowered, since it does not give you card advantage, and an exploration stuck to a 3 CMC creature is more than acceptable. It's an uncommon that many people would want to have, but it is not that strong. Enrage the land is very unique. It is a kind of upheaval, but it is at its best in a green/red deck ready to abuse it. It will also close the game quickly after being cast. As a combination it feels very Green Red, and it shows the land progressively mobilizing more and more.

Jay presents an endangered spruce whose environment is being destroyed by an Elemental Dragon. The 3 damage the dragon deals can kill the spruce if it is on your opponent's side of the board, and the Spessartine (a cool name inspired by a nesosilicate) will eat the lands where it lives on your side of the board. All in all a cool pair of cards.

Kevin's pair of creatures are telling an interesting story: here is Nature when it is calm, but poke it with a stick and an elemental dragon will bite you back. Also nature can get annoyed by itself, using the caryatid to bring its wrath to us. The menace is a bit strange, but not inconceivable. Nice.

Jenesis proposes a pair of interesting cards. The dryads are ideally sealing the behemoth (most likely discarded?) in the graveyard, and scaring your opponent from attacking with their 5+ power creatures. I like that the dryads cannot be sacrificed. A very nice card combo.

Taresivon gives us a pair of cards that speak of an enchanter animating the land to do its whims. They both are very good cards. My only issue would be board complexity, but if the set is carefully planned it will not be an issue.

Good work Artisans!

The challenge was not that easy since the images had a tenuous connection, but you came up with good combinations of cards!


  1. Two-card challenges are a lot of work, but the results are really neat to see.

    Thanks, Anastase!

  2. Behemoth is BG, btw - I chose that color combo because between them they contain all the "destroy target TYPE" effects.

    1. Sorry for that error. Indeed it fits better in BG mechanically.