Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cherry Caustic Rain

I have stacks of interesting new material to go over. One particularly exciting card came wrapped in a bunch of Christmas cookies, mingling a rush of sugar with the standard collectible urges and impulses.

Strangely enough, what I have chosen to talk about first is strictly a freebie. A throw-in with some other cards I ordered, and a fairly worthless card at that.

Caustic Rain. Guildpact. Sorcery. Remove target land from the game.

Not the kind of card you would go on the lookout for. Mostly because it's too much mana.

4 mana to take 1 land out of the game is not a very good tradeoff. Stone Rain does almost the same thing for 1 red and 2 colorless. And if you absolutely need your spell to be black, there's also the near-equivalent Rain of Tears. Way back in the day, in the prehistoric times when even I wasn't playing Magic the world even had Sinkhole, which I probably have no hope of ever laying my hands on now. Unless it ends up in some sort of Duel Deck or Premium Deck (hint, hint, Wizards!).

There are a few lands powerful enough to be worth spending the big mana.

1. Academy Ruins
2. Volrath's Stronghold
3. Gaea's Cradle

Honorable mention also goes to Tolarian Academy, even though it's officially banned by the Highlander Rules Committee, now the more generic Commander Rules Committee (I guess?).

I've never seen a pre-banned card in its out-of-control state, so my sympathy still lies somewhat on the side of the user. Even though the Rules Committee puts forth very few actual bannings (and even tries to un-ban cards as the format matures) I have been on the receiving end of two of them. Tinker. And now apparently Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. And I was just learning how to spell it.

So you can play with your Tolarian Academy if you want. But I'm going to say its worth blowing up with Caustic Rain.

And naturally, these are also the lands most desired when it comes time for reanimation shenanigans. While I would pay 4 for the Rain, surely my opponent would pay 2 mana for Grim Discovery. The graveyard is a terrible place to put your opponent's more powerful cards, so the "removed from game" portion of our spell is actually very, very relevant.

And this, of course, brings us to graveyard triggers. The real meat of the issue.

A lot of people have discovered the wonderful world of graveyard triggers…these cards usually give you some benefit as soon as they go to the graveyard. Off the top of my head I can think of one Trigger McNasty I can use as an example.

Genju of the Fields

Have you ever been at the receiving end of this one? It's pretty uncomfortable. This is a one mana enchantment that turns into a creature essentially with lifelink. And I say "essentially" because unlike lifelink, your opponent can stack the ability until they run out of mana. Until they gain 10 or 20 life from a single hit.

And normally when it dies, your opponent gets the enchantment back. And then pays 1 white mana to stick on another plains. Which they probably have. Since they're playing white in the first place. And Land Tax is in play.

Okay, I'm making up that last part, but it could very well happen.

So there are a few minor uses for Caustic Rain.

Finally, it has the right color. Black has access to all the awesome tutors. So I'll probably be able to hunt around for this particular tool when the Genju and other similar threats. Note it would still get 1 attack in, since the stupid 2/5 spirit land has effective immunity from summoning sickness.

Long Story Short: Caustic Rain. My copy just showed up one day. And its foil. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, and never argue with a foil singleton's mana-efficiency. Or something like that.

In the top stories section, I see that evil is getting an upgrade in the new Mirrodin Set. Suckers like me have been casting Phyrexian Ragers that look like this:

Now I find out all the kids are going to be slinging Ragers that look like this:

Go Magic Artists! There is no doubt the brilliant imagery is one reason these environments and settings never get stale. If there is one thing you can always be sure of, the next new Magic set will bring with it some fresh new fleshy wastoids to blast your foes with.

As always, I hope to post again soon!

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