[mtgnexus] Random Card of the Day - Maelstrom Archangel

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Mookie
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Post by Mookie » 1 year ago

Teferi's Isle is pretty bad. Tapping for two mana is really good.... but phasing means you only get it every other turn, and entering tapped means you won't get your mana until two turns after you play it, which is pretty bad. Playing any untapped land will result in more mana over time, unless you have some way to untap it. Plus, being a nonbasic means you won't benefit from cards like High Tide or Gauntlet of Power.

That said, there are ways to make use of it - while it may naturally yield less net mana than an Island, it does provide more mana on the turns it is available, which is relevant if you desperately want to hit some number a turn earlier. It also does tap for two mana, which makes it good with stuff like Cloud of Faeries that untaps lands. And finally, there are some ways to make use of the phasing with MLD like Sunder or Armageddon. Alternatively, if your commander is Taniwha, you may not even care.

Also: is it a coincidence that we have two phasing Teferi cards in a row? I think not.

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Post by 3drinks » 1 year ago

Thursday, December 19th, 2019; Skullclamp

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Post by Mookie » 1 year ago

Skullclamp is an extremely efficient draw engine if you have plenty of expendable critters or tokens to 'clamp. Good with stuff like Ophiomancer, Bitterblossom, and Lingering Souls, but you can also cash in an Arbor Elf or other small creature in a pinch. One mana to cast and equip is also really cheap, and it can be fetched by Trinket Mage, Stoneforge Mystic, Artificer's Intuition, and other tutors. It's probably the best draw engine available in mono-white.

That said, there are a few weaknesses - only equipping at sorcery speed means you can't really use it as a sacrifice outlet, and people can blow it up in response to the equip. It is also rather awkward with anthems that pump your creatures' toughness, unless you also have a sacrifice outlet. It's also a sufficiently high-profile card that it will draw hate even if you don't have any creatures to feed to it, which can be annoying. Also, while it is cheap to equip, the cost of getting creatures in play in the first place can make it really painful to use repeatedly without free token generation - I wouldn't want to feed it with Mobilization, for example, because it costs so much mana.

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Post by Dunharrow » 1 year ago

If you have a deck built around sacrificing, the two altars are good options.
I have definitely used it to draw my deck with infinite mana.
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Post by RedCheese » 1 year ago

ahhh yes, one of the more infamous design mistakes.

and yeah, if my deck loves tokens and sac outlets, this thing is a shoe in. Krenko loves clamping his boys

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Post by lyonhaert » 1 year ago

A classic.

IMO the matchup with Ophiomancer is not optimal with just Skullclamp because you really want to use the snakes with outlets you can activate on opponents' turns to get more value out of Ophiomancer's "each upkeep make a snake". But if the clamp happens to be around it's a good use on your turn.

I really like it in mono-black with stuff like Bloodghast and Abhorrent Overlord. Even Reassembling Skeleton isn't optimal due to cost, but 2 cards for 2b that's repeatable is still pretty good to me.

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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 1 year ago

RedCheese wrote:
1 year ago
ahhh yes, one of the more infamous design mistakes.

and yeah, if my deck loves tokens and sac outlets, this thing is a shoe in. Krenko loves clamping his boys
It's a *shoo-in for me too. Basically any token deck wants this. It can also be used with mana dorks.

White really likes it, though. White makes a lot of one-toughness tokens, but has atrocious card draw. No more.
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pokken
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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

So I only have one skullclamp deck right now (Alela) but I have actually found it counterproductive sometimes in other decks. A lot of times if you just made 10 tokens and 10 mana vs. drawing 20 cards you could win the game off the tokens plus one spell with the 10 mana. It is a great card and it should see play but a lot of times I think people go too far and get intoxicated with drawing cards and spend too much mana at it.

I tend to like it the most with stuff like bloodghast that doesn't actually cost you much board state or additional mana.

Another thing I kinda dislike is that there are a lot of decks I've seen that simply do not work without skullclamp -- like they get a clamp they go nuts and win, no clamp or it gets destroyed and they stall out. Lots of strategies are just really dependent on it.

Still obviously great, just some downsides. It is insanely powerful in my Alela deck, enough so I play a Stoneforge to find it.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 1 year ago

I think it's overrated tbh. Let me be clear: it's amazing. That's indisputable. I've Fabricated for this card as much or more than any other probably. But even so, I think the general EDH population overvalues it and just jams it in lists where something else would be better sometimes.

In certain decks it is bonkers. It was part of a combo that almost always ended the game in my The Locust God deck along with Ashnod's Altar, but even without the altar it was great. I ran it in a Ghave, Guru of Spores deck that combo'd about a hundred different ways and it was one of the best cards. I run it in my current main deck, Kykar, Wind's Fury, which gives the added flexibility of getting around the anthem problem and also gives some instant speed clamping options if you do happen to have a spirit with an anthem effect or counter on it.

I think it deserves a slot in nearly all token and aristocrat builds where you often want to death triggers as well as the card draw.
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Post by The_Hittite » 1 year ago

Finally, a use for Artificer's Hex.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

It's a great card, no doubt. If you can produce x/1 tokens in any quantity you can keep yourself in cards.

That being said, whenever I've added it to a deck that doesn't immediately scream for it to be used (say Krenko or w/e) it ends up on the chopping block. That could be purely because I don't tend to go down the dedicated swarm/token route, or because the decks I've put it in have just had better draw engines.
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Post by 3drinks » 1 year ago

Friday, December 20th, 2019; Riftsweeper

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 1 year ago

A nice little historical curiosity. Before the command zone was invented, commanders used to live in exile, and this thing was banned as a result.

These days this thing has some cEDH use, plus I'd guess you could see it from time to time in decks that exile their own stuff for profit.
 
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Post by MeowZeDung » 1 year ago

I ran it in a Saffi Eriksdotter deck that abused False Prophet and had lots of recursion engines to have Riftsweeper trigger multiple times and creature tutors like Eladamri's Call to get whatever you shuffled back in.

Unless you have a reliable way to put a card in exile and then tutor it back out of your library I don't think this is worth running.
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Post by 3drinks » 1 year ago

I guess it'd seem fine in a flashback deck? Most these are Jeskai or Grixis though...
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Post by lyonhaert » 1 year ago

It's got a place in my Spiders deck since it's a bit flashback-based. Offers some resilience against exile if somebody happens to send my graveyard that way, especially if I can bond it with DEN.

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Post by onering » 1 year ago

I'm sure theres plenty of combos you can do with this and stuff like Leveler. It's worth mentioning how much the "face up" clause hurts it, as otherwise you could use it to mess with hideaway lands and other such things. One more reliable application for this card is in blink decks with creatures that slow blink or temporarily exile things. Exile something with fiend Hunter, shuffle it wirh riftsweeper, repeat.

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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

I have only played this in Gitrog monster as a way to get back a missing dakmor/kozilek. Works pretty well for that although getting grasped is still game ending ofc.

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Post by tstorm823 » 1 year ago

Astral Slide, cycle twice.
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Post by materpillar » 1 year ago

I run it in my dredge deck as a way to get Lab man back if it gets exiled. I've only ever cast him a handful of times. Most notable memory is pulling a land of my opponent's extraplanar lens.

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Post by Mookie » 1 year ago

Riftsweeper is a fairly unique card - there are extremely few ways to get your own cards back from exile. The rate isn't particularly good - one card shuffled back in means you're unlikely to draw it again - but it is a unique enough effect that when you want it, there aren't really any substitutes. Mirror of Fate and Pull from Eternity are the only ones I can think of.

Fun with Oblivion Ring and Flickerwisp effects. I've brainstormed Brago, King Eternal processor tribal before, and Riftsweeper may make sense if you wanted to expand it to Roon of the Hidden Realm.

I suspect the strongest thing you can do with it is to use it as a Vampiric Tutor after exiling your deck with Demonic Consultation. Find some way to flicker it and draw the perfect card every turn.

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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 1 year ago

3drinks wrote:
1 year ago
I guess it'd seem fine in a flashback deck? Most these are Jeskai or Grixis though...
It can be used to hose imprint, but Eldrazi Processors are more fun that way. But mostly you aren't using it unless you have tutors ready.
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Post by 3drinks » 1 year ago

Saturday, December 21st, 2019; Dismantling Blow

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Post by MeowZeDung » 1 year ago

An overcosted Disenchant with Divination stapled onto it is not the droid I'm looking for in 99% of EDH decks, especially in WU, the colors that have the most efficient non-land permanent removal and card draw options respectively. I would look at running this only in a list with a heavy cost reduction theme that would make it cost a significant percentage of the time, or a "kicker matters" deck. Unfortunately for Dismantling Blow, Mizzix of the Izmagnus and Hallar, the Firefletcher are not in these colors.
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Post by Mookie » 1 year ago

Dismantling Blow falls into my 'cool, but inefficient' bucket. I like the idea of the card - a Disenchant that gives you the flexibility of also drawing cards in the lategame. But six mana three-for-ones are rarely what I'm looking for when building a deck, when better and cheaper options exist. And if you're not kicking it, then you're running an overcosted Disenchant, which is.... not good.

May be an interesting option for a Sunforger package? There aren't that many options for card draw off of Sunforger. Needing to still pay the kicker makes it pretty painful though.

I think this card would be pretty playable if it were at-rate - either the front half cost two mana, or the front half were the Divination half. But at that point, you wouldn't really be paying the premium for the flexibility anymore.

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