Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mind Control Hats

If you've kept your ear pressed to the wall for Scars of Mirrodin previews, you've probably already visited Monty Ashley's blog.

I've read both good and bad reactions to the reprinting of Mindslaver. Me, I think its an exciting card. But I've also never been locked out of the game by one. Relatively balanced at first, people start to complain once someone figures out how to use the Mindslaver over and over again, preventing the unlucky opponent from ever getting a non-slaved turn again.

I don't know anyone who runs the card, to be perfectly honest.

Which is why, with its reprinting, I'm looking forward doing some serious turn stealing…or perhaps more likely having my turn stolen.

While others have found ways to win the game with Mindslaver, my encounters will more probably see Mindslaver in its originally-intended configuration…simply a source of advantage to put you ahead.

I'm reminded of Nevinyrral's Disk. Both at their most basic are simple artifacts sitting across the table from you. It's only when they're activated that the trouble starts.

Much like the Disk, in the more casual world I traverse Mindslaver is going to sit on the board until its power can be used most effectively.

And its going to take some thinking.

What are the ingredients to a good Mindslaver activation? Again, much like the Disk, the more "stuff" your opponent has, the more havok Mindslaver wrecks. If your opponent lacks any board position, there's very little you can do with that one precious turn. Perhaps cast a single spell aimed at nothing in particular, effectively Thoughtseizing your opponent. For the bargain price of 10 mana!

If you have a bunch of creatures, and your opponent has a bunch of creatures, you might also get a Master Warcraft out of it. Hopefully in a way where all his creatures die, or at least are tapped for you to deliver the coup de grace on your next regularly scheduled turn. For the bargain price of 10 mana!

Unfortunately, we are only up to 5 mana worth of effects. For me to be happy with my Mindslaver, I'm going to want to see an effect more in tune with 10 mana. I'm thinking something more on the lines of this:

That's right, a 10-for-1 effect. Unless that single "Thoughtsieze" wins you the game, my Mindslaver is going to sit on the board and act threateningly, hopefully making my opponent steer around it for the rest of the game.

Because if Mindslaver is anything like the infamous Disk, having to play around it for a while is way worse than just having the stupid thing blow up.

While in normal Magic you might want to sculpt your hand until you have the perfect assortment of cards to deal with any threat, in Mindslaver Magic the exact opposite is true. Woe be it to someone with a Memoricide in their hand!

I'm looking at the current spoilers, and I'm seeing a lot of "target player" instead of "target opponent".

I'm also reminded again of the specific wording of the Proliferate keyword.

You choose!

A Mindslaver on the board might just make an opponent feel uncomfortable in their own skin after a while, unhappy even when their hand is the best hand imaginable.

And finally, like the Disk, there's very little they can do to stop you…unless you get caught with less than 4 mana. Then it will almost assuredly be Shatter time. "Seconds of Smashing."

But woe be it to someone who has Shatter in their hand when you activate Mindslaver.

So much thinking!

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