HOWL FROM BEYOND!
Yep. I remember the Howl as being the first "I just win" card to go around my playgroup. About 15 years ago. Even before Fireball.
Not a lot of people played red, for some reason. But they sure played black!
I was recently reminded of all this at the Scars of Mirrodin prerelease. The card in this case was Exsanguinate. A pretty mean card in two headed giant, which I played.
But it got me back to thinking about Howl.
Poison is coming back in a big way. I saw plenty of it at the prerelease. Could anyone who grew up exposed to Crypt Cobra ever envision a simple common like Contagious Nim? Or equipment like Grafted Exoskeleton (equipment?).
In the EDH format, there are so many totals to keep track of. Regular life (starts at 40). General damage (goes to 21). Now, much more relevant, poison…which still kills you at the 10-mark. Very deadly.
I played a deck for a very long time with Howl from Beyond in it, but I don't think I ever actually drew it. Which is a perenial problem when testing a 100-card singleton deck. Experience is gained in tiny little chunks, one card at a time, and usually in bizarre scenarios you'll never run into again.
A unique blend of static effects are usually in play, with a unique balance of power between all the players at the table.
Howl from Beyond at one point came back out. My reasoning being…so what. You dump all your mana into a spell to eliminate one opponent. But then you have all the rest of your opponents staring back at you, now plotting your demise.
But now I think it's going back in. 21 points of general damage is easy with most generals. And it doesn't have to be my general (since it targets any creature).
I enjoyed "just winning" out of nowhere. I will hope someday I will do it again. With Howl from Beyond. Just one black mana, then like Mr. Fusion, any old garbage mana will do.
Maybe I'll stick it on my nice shiny new Wurmcoil Engine.