Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Amulet of Kroog: a Beautiful Nightmare

When Fourth Edition swept through the world, it brought with it a bracing wind…a signal to the changing of seasons. There were many differences. Sol Ring, Regrowth and Demonic Tutor were all gone. And there were also some new additions like Inferno.

Not every new addition was met with happiness, however. One new artifact sent waves of accusation and mistrust throughout our magic community.

That card was, believe it or not, Amulet of Kroog.

You see, only a little while earlier the Antiquities version of this card had made it into our collective consciousness. A common then, we found it scattered in the singles collections of the local Shinder's amid such treasures as Boomerang, Giant Slug and Force Spike.

This card soon became incredibly powerful, coming to dominate the local metagame. And for one good reason…we didn't understand how the card worked.

You might read people's humorous t-shirts nowadays and think it was a simple concept to "tap" this or that permanent. Well, in Revised it took a while to get the hang of it, even when the cards instructed you to.

Back in Antiquities, artifacts didn't even TAP. You had to remember it in your head!

We didn't know this. The "mono" in the type line of this fine trinket meant you could use it once every turn. See Forcefield as an example of what we THOUGHT we could do with a simple common like Amulet of Kroog.

You can really make a lot of blocks go the way you want with the helping hand of a misunderstood Amulet. 6 mana added to six creatures trading suddenly turns into 3 creatures massacring 3 other very surprised attackers.

White Knights and Black Knights, in particular, suddenly started looking like the champions they were always meant to be. You could literally protect your entire army with enough mana. An in the slow moving decks we rolled with, you had all the time in the world.

When Fourth Edition reared it's head, the scales fell from our eyes with the spanking new card templating:

It was absolutely sickening for those who had spent good, hard-earned money on these gewgaws. The gnashing of teeth could be heard around the world.

While it was still somewhat good, it felt absolutely terrible compared to how awesome it once was. Only one Knight, only one point…the humanity.

I can only imagine the chaos if a Jalum Tome had snuck its way into our collections. Luckily that would wait for Fifth Edition.

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