Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Fist Full of Uneven Exchanges

Gauntlets are the subject for discussion for tonight.

Okay, well the Gauntlet of Might is a pretty cool card to talk about…but I was thinking of something else.

NO! Not that one either.

Oh, yeah. Here we go. That's the ticket.

Boom! Gauntlets of Chaos. The first time I saw these, I knew they were going in my deck. And they were bad, oh so bad. By the time you get to 5 mana, you want something a little better than a skewed trade of creatures and enchantments. At least in a 2-person duel.

My forays into multiplayer have given me new hope I might find use for this card. In the games I've played it seems there are some really nice pickins', and by turn 5 I definitely have some junk to trade. I've  had some luck with Juxtapose in my Niv-Mizzet deck, I'm thinking a slightly more expensive but less "fair" colorless version is ready for deployment in some of my non-blue decks.

Here's another Artifact similar to the Gauntlets:

Avarice Totem is a little cheaper, more versatile, but also gives your opponent the power to do exactly the same thing to you. Or another player they hate even more. But after taking their stuff, they probably hate you most.

Much like Avarice Totem, the Gauntlets of Chaos have the advantage of activation at instant speed. You can respond to just about any action by doing a quick switchero. And if someone sneaks some instant speed artifact destruction in there somehow, well the Gauntlets have already been sacrificed so no targeting for you!

Certainly, there are better cards out there…but few of them can find a home in a strictly red-black deck. Gauntlets of Chaos sits on the board and becomes exactly what you need, when you need it. They can solve problems regarding:

1. Hard-to-get-rid-of creatures (Iona, Akroma, any General)
2. Hard-to-get-rid-of artifacts (Colossus, Foundry)
3. Even the ever-present hard-to-get-rid-of lands (Academy Ruins, Maze of Ith)

Now is the time I must mention Maze of Ith has one of the coolest judge promo cards ever:

Really, Wizards of the Coast Art Department's not playing around anymore.

The odd bit of enchantment destruction stapled to the end of the rules really shouldn't matter the vast majority of the time. But if it does matter, it will probably be in my favor since most people don't use much in the way of "beneficial" creature enchantments.

The final thought for the Gauntlets: make sure you have a really embarrassing card to perform the trade with. I'll try to come up with something.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely use something that creates tiny artifact creatures (Diamond Kaleidoscope comes to mind because the creatures are tiny but you can still use them for mana boost but your opponent can't, not to mention a pain free way to sac them in response to the ability being on the stack) to cover both artifacts and creatures and then be sure to use the fading/vanishing enchantments and/or creatures for some fun.