[mtgnexus] Random Card of the Day - Maelstrom Archangel

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 2 years ago

This just looks too narrow to me. Sure, most decks are playing some artifacts, but a lot of them aren't going to be super wrecked by bouncing them to hand. For the same cmc there's plenty of mostly-unplayed artifact OR enchantment removal (in different colors of course) or more flexible single-target bounce spells in the same color.

I mean, it's sweet when it's sweet, but if my opponent is majorly overcommitting on artifacts, I'd probably rather blow them the hell up if I have the option. This probably has some place in cEDH or something, but I'd much rather have, say, fracturing gust or cleansing nova or something. Something more flexible and more final.
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75chan
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Post by 75chan » 2 years ago

Great but narrow card. I run it in storm where it pulls the double duty of helping me storm off as well as being another interaction card. In most decks though I'd much rather run destruction of some sort or mass bounce of some sort.
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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 2 years ago

I like this one. It's actually really good before a wipe, but it can also be used to put things like affinity and improvise and mana rocks in their place if you're playing Winter Orb-style Stax. Beyond that, you can use it for storm (or storm-like cards, i.e. ones where you get a win condition from just casting a lot of spells) with a bunch of things like Ornithopter.
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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

Hurkyl's Recall is a fairly niche card. I don't think it fits into many decks, but I do see it played occasionally. I've seen two different uses for it:
-as a way to Cyclonic Rift an artifact-based deck
-as a way to generate storm count and mana alongside a ton of fast mana rocks (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, etc).

#1 is pretty narrow, in my opinion, but it can occasionally be a decent meta call. There may be an argument to playing in an artifact-based deck as a way to save your stuff from a board wipe, but I suspect actual countermagic will usually be better due to the added flexibility.
#2 is the reason I suspect most decks run it. It's not quite Paradoxical Outcome, but certainly potent alongside something like Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

You could theoretically run it alongside Mycosynth Lattice for a one-sided Upheaval, but that's also pretty niche.
Consider also: Paradoxical Outcome, Rebuild. and Retract.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Mookie wrote:
2 years ago
Hurkyl's Recall is a fairly niche card. I don't think it fits into many decks, but I do see it played occasionally. I've seen two different uses for it:
-as a way to Cyclonic Rift an artifact-based deck
-as a way to generate storm count and mana alongside a ton of fast mana rocks (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, etc).

#1 is pretty narrow, in my opinion, but it can occasionally be a decent meta call. There may be an argument to playing in an artifact-based deck as a way to save your stuff from a board wipe, but I suspect actual countermagic will usually be better due to the added flexibility.
#2 is the reason I suspect most decks run it. It's not quite Paradoxical Outcome, but certainly potent alongside something like Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

You could theoretically run it alongside Mycosynth Lattice for a one-sided Upheaval, but that's also pretty niche.
Consider also: Paradoxical Outcome, Rebuild. and Retract.
These all miss one key trait of recall - recall is targeted. Two of the ones you name are either self or global and one of them is 4cmc. Recall remains flexible in it's role offensively while also being good at reigning an offensive player in.
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Sunday, August 18th, 2019; Ulvenwald Hydra

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

My group's Lord Windgrace runs this, and it's been recommended to me for my Ghired. Being a gigantic combat-ready lard would be decent for the token's survivability in combat, but the question becomes whether the mana overhead is worth it given the impact level of other six-drops in the list. I guess it'd merit more consideration if I was running busted lands this could get.
 
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Post by WizardMN » 2 years ago

I run Hydra in a lot of my green decks and its use is more far reaching than just the land fetching. I have won countless games off it by getting it down, sacrificing it to Diamond Valley or Miren, the Moaning Well to stabilize (maybe sacrificing it a couple times if needed) and then using it as a blocker or beater. Since he can get me these lands, though I do need to wait a turn, it can be a 10-15 gain life spell with a permanent land along with it.

6 mana ramp is tough to justify but the big body it brings along has been instrumental in a number of ways to me winning games I would not otherwise have won.

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Post by Morganelefay » 2 years ago

Some people thought it'd share Primeval Titan's place on the banlist, but as time shows, it's "just" a decent card with a good body and a reasonable ETB effect that becomes better if you run busted lands, but isn't nearly as generic-use as the Titan. This is how busted cards get properly balanced.
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Post by 75chan » 2 years ago

I've ran it in the past, and I'm not a big fan, it's just kind of never been up to par. It'd need a more relevant keyword than reach or have some kind of other trigger (like getting a land on attacks) for me to really like it. Now it's a bit meh. In decks that want big beaters and specific lands, it's okay. I might retry it in Wanderer now that we have the bounceland, but I probably won't bother. Maybe if the land turns out to be even better than I've expected.
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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 2 years ago

As previously stated, the Hydra's mileage varies by the degree to which a manabase is broken. 9/10 times I'd rather just have a sylvan scrying though. 6 mana is a lot, and I want my Cradle by turn 3 or earlier.
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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

Ulvenwald Hydra is a pretty straightforward card - a large beater capable of fetching out utility lands. There are more efficient beaters and more efficient ways to fetch nonbasics, but with Primeval Titan banned, I believe this is the only creature that can fetch out any land on ETB. Obviously better if you're doing Hydra tribal (such as Gargos, Vicious Watcher) or have ways to flicker it, although there may be better flicker targets depending on what lands you have to fetch.

Trample is usually the default keyword to throw on big green things, but I've really grown to appreciate large creatures with reach like Ulvenwald Hydra, Cavalier of Thorns, and World Breaker. Green doesn't have a ton of great ways to interact with fliers without running specific anti-flier tech (such as Silklash Spider or Sandwurm Convergence), so getting reach incidentally on value creatures is quite nice.

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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 2 years ago

Morganelefay wrote:
2 years ago
Some people thought it'd share Primeval Titan's place on the banlist, but as time shows, it's "just" a decent card with a good body and a reasonable ETB effect that becomes better if you run busted lands, but isn't nearly as generic-use as the Titan. This is how busted cards get properly balanced.
It doesn't even. It's a one-time Sylvan Scrying that just puts it on the battlefield. (Yeah, you could blink it, but still...)

Prime Time...If I was playing enchantress, I was searching for Serra's Sanctum. Tokens, Gaea's Cradle. If I was playing bg anything, Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. Affinity, eggs, Animar, Tron and Post and artifact lands. It makes it very easy to get five mountains or seven plains even in a five-color deck, let alone I could cheat spells in via hideaway lands just when I needed them. I could thin my deck every turn. I never had to worry about having two cards I don't need right now at the top of my library. I could grab something like Dark Depths or Glacial Chasm or Maze of Ith or The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. Oh, and this defaults to at least two landfalls a turn.

This is good (I'd probably prefer trample since I'm usually going on the offensive when I get to six or seven mana.), but not in the same league as PT.
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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

I really like this card in my Maelstrom Wanderer lands deck because it gets gigantic and has haste, so often is nearly one-shotting someone. And it gets Cradle (although slowly).

Blocking fliers is another kinda niche benefit. I find a lot of the decks I build tend to get pecked to death by fliers and random reach cards (like this and world breaker) have helped me stem that bleeding a bit.

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Post by Dunharrow » 2 years ago

I play it in one deck, where there is a lot of support.
I tutors my Nykthos (and cradle should I decide to sleeve it up), but also synergizes with Mwonvuli Beast Tracker, Fierce Empath, and can work with Wild Pair and my general to tutor specific creatures. .
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Post by plushpenguin » 2 years ago

It's... a balanced prime time.

It would see play if both the big stats and land fetching was valuable, and even then only if you aren't going for 100% optimization.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Monday, August 19th, 2019; Concentrate

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

3drinks wrote:
2 years ago
Monday, August 19th, 2019; Concentrate

Notes for discussion: "why is this card ohsovery average while Harmonize is considered amazing?"
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Post by 75chan » 2 years ago

Because green doesn't have as many all-around stronger options, I'd presume. A lot of the better card draw spells in green want some kind of synergy with your deck (Greater Good, Beast Whisperer, Soul of the Harvest etc)) & Harmonize is perfectly fine in a deck lacking those. Blue cards like Mystic Remora, Fact or Fiction etc doesn't require any form of synergy and thus smoothly outclasses Concentrate.

So yeah, Concentrate is an okay card that's outclassed by better cards and have no interesting synergies with anything. The only reason I see to run it is if you have one laying around and haven't gotten around to picking up some better card draw yet.
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Post by Sinis » 2 years ago

Honestly, I think Concentrate is totally playable in the right deck. Draw 3 for 4 is completely reasonable, if uninteresting.

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Post by PrimevalCommander » 2 years ago

With all of the instant speed draw options, X-draw options, and Delve draw options, Concentrate doesn't get much love any more.

I have it in a creatureless Talrand deck along with other sub-par draw spells in draw slot 6-10 or something. It is perfectly playable as mentioned above, although for many decks you run out of room after looking at more flexible or powerful options.

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Post by The N82O Molecule » 2 years ago





isn't concentrate the grandfather of all draw 3 spells (well since ancestral recall)

and I mean like every card that says draw three is immediately compared to this card?

I guess im saying I think that concentrate is actually the best card at what it does. that being said I actually remember when I saw harmonize for the first time, and I was impressed.

in blue though this is vanilla which doesn't want to make the cut in commander. in other words give me this and something else. ergo smaller blue spells with the draw a card rider or filtering of some sort seem strategically more appropriate. ponder, brainstorm etc

idk I guess I think its great at what it does. if that's what you want to do (draw 3 that's it).

and even though I loathe situational magic consider
elvish piper on fourth turn
concentrate with 1 forest open on fifth turn
sounds like fun right?
situational magic sucks though haha (also I guess this tells my magic age)

now im changing and just going to say this is old tech lol

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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 2 years ago

75chan wrote:
2 years ago
Because green doesn't have as many all-around stronger options, I'd presume. A lot of the better card draw spells in green want some kind of synergy with your deck (Greater Good, Beast Whisperer, Soul of the Harvest etc)) & Harmonize is perfectly fine in a deck lacking those. Blue cards like Mystic Remora, Fact or Fiction etc doesn't require any form of synergy and thus smoothly outclasses Concentrate.

So yeah, Concentrate is an okay card that's outclassed by better cards and have no interesting synergies with anything. The only reason I see to run it is if you have one laying around and haven't gotten around to picking up some better card draw yet.
Green has stronger options, but they depend on your board state, or on a particular combination of cards. (For instance, if you get Mycosynth Lattice and Viridian Revel out, cantrip whenever anything dies.) Usually they're doing something green likes to do, but they do depend on your board state. The exception being Sylvan Library, and even then you're more likely to dig with it than draw, unless you're running a lot of good lifegain, and good lifegain is rare in green. Sylvan Library is still good if you can shuffle a lot (and you are in the color of ramp, so maybe?) or if you have Alhammarret's Archive though.

Blue has a lot of stronger options that don't depend on your board state. In fact, when I was imagining a Braingeyser cycle (which now exists!), green and white didn't have one. There's a reason for that.

And even when something could be blue or green, blue will usually get the stronger option, compare Azami, Lady of Scrolls with Symbiotic Deployment.
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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

Ah yes, the blue Harmonize. I think its main issue is the sheer number of draw options available to blue - there aren't any strictly better cards I can think of, but there are a lot of competitors - Mulldrifter, Jace's Ingenuity, Mystic Confluence, Manifold Insights, Tezzeret's Gambit, Deep Analysis, One With the Machine, Thirst for Knowledge, Fact or Fiction.... and many others.

Concentrate is a very vanilla draw spell - there aren't any decks it is particularly good or bad for. However, I think that most decks are better served by using a more specialized draw spell - decks that care about creatures use Mulldrifter, decks that play artifacts use Thirst for Knowledge, decks with self-mill use Deep Analysis, etc.

Harmonize is worth playing in green because there aren't nearly as many options there... but even then, I usually still prefer a more specialized draw effect, such as Tireless Tracker, Rishkar's Expertise, or Beast Whisperer. On the other hand, most green draw effects require some sort of investment (usually lands or creatures), so there is some appeal to a draw spell that doesn't require any setup (even if it won't draw as many cards in a best-case scenario).

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019; Sacrifice

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