Friday, March 12, 2010

Secret Chronicles Tech: Horn of Deafening

We played Revised, and Revised was all we knew. Then something happened. A new set appeared down at the local Shinder's and we flocked to it. It was white bordered, and cards had a random assortment of strange set markings on them. The set: Chronicles!

While the broader history of Magic will remember Chronicles as the set that SLASHED prices on everyone's Elder Dragons (not mine, since I got 'em in Chronicles), I will always remember the most played card from this set among my personal play group.

Horn of Deafening ruled the combat phase, reducing the biggest collossus on the opposing side into a mewling kitten.

Forget about using your Frozen Shade, Serra Angel, Sengir Vampire or Shivan Dragon.

Yeah, that's right…Shivan Dragon. I'm telling you, this card was a real monster.

And with an activation cost of only 2, you could afford to play your normal game every turn as well, nullifying attacks while simultaniously working your way to victory.

I remember games devolving into a race to see who could get more Horns of Deafening out first…who could win the "Horn War" per se. It worked in any deck, and completely crushed any creature-related strategy. I'm looking at my copies of the Horn, and the only edges more worn in my entire collection are the ones on my Sol Rings.

Horn of Deafening:

Didn't die to Wrath of God.
Couldn't be Terrored.
Could be Shattered…but who played with those?

You might ask me: "Isn't this worse than Icy Manipulator?"

1. Yes, Icy Manipulator did virtually the same thing only in a slightly different way. And for only 1 mana.

2. Believe it or not, NO ONE had an Icy Manipulator at this time. Having an Icy Manipulator was like having a Mox. It was a rumor you might have heard about. Shady details, wild inaccuracies. You'd never see one in the flesh, unless it was through about 6 inches of plexiglass.

Icy Manipulators were regulated more tightly than Thermonuclear Devices.

Instead we blew the Horn. Again and again, until things settled into a long winter of artifact-powered creatureless control. Because the man with no creatures was immune, you see.

I'm looking at my copies of the Horn, and the only edges more worn in my entire collection are the ones on my Sol Rings. Horn of Deafening was used almost as much as a Sol Ring.

I recently uncovered my collection of Horns during excavations related to the building of a new EDH deck. "What the heck", I thought and threw it in.

I see some very specific benefits to Horn of Deafening in EDH, namely the enemy Generals.

A lot of 'em are either HUGE, or they have annoying abilities that activate when they do combat damage. Horn of Deafening completely protects you from General damage. Unless they have shroud, which has potential to be a concern. We'll see.

And besides generals, there are plenty of other nasties you never want getting through the red zone.

I see Maze of Ith in EDH decks all the time. Not to mention Kor Haven. What's the difference? Maze of Ith is annoying because it produces no mana. Kor Haven requires white mana.

I'm not a betting man, but if I was betting, I think I'd bet on Horn of Deafening.

Get ready to make some noise!

1 comment:

  1. Oh man...what memories! I used to have a blue/white mill deck with 200 cards (so nobody could mill me :P) back in 1998. Hardcore milling with Millstones and Grindstones. And I protected myself with Horn of Deafening. I vividly remember that card from my deck :) Thanks for this story, I feel warm and fuzzy inside now :)