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 Card Discussion: New Planeswalkers

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Posts : 90
Join date : 2010-01-19
Age : 37
Location : Post-Apocalyptic North Carolina

PostSubject: Card Discussion: New Planeswalkers   Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:54 am

So far there are 2...

They are trying them out in different ways now as both of these have a 0 ability, there both very interesting and we should proxy them up and test right away!

Last edited by Eurekafox on Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Crooked Lotus

Crooked Lotus

Posts : 63
Join date : 2010-01-19
Age : 108
Location : The Maelstrom, just across from KFC

PostSubject: Re: Card Discussion: New Planeswalkers   Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:41 am

First I'll start with Gideon.

I think this guy's potential is absurd.
He can work towards both control and aggro strategies, making the demand for him even greater.

The design team is really opening the door on the possibilities for planeswalkers. Good job R&D!

I believe there are already several archtypes that may give this guy a try.

White Weenie:
This is an aggro strategy that is already doing well in Standard. The majority of existing White Weenie lists curve out at 4 mana, but there are a few that top out at 5 mana with Conquerer's Pledge. I don't see Gideon being a 4 of for this archtype, but his synergy with White's aggro strategy helps give them an edge. He works well with Martial Coup and Day of Judgment as well. Sweep the board and proceed to swing with him seems like a fine strategy to me - but that's more of a control oriented approach. Speaking of.....

U/W Control:
As if this archtype didn't already get the goods in Worldwake. First Jace 2.0 and Everflowing Chalice.....and then this?!? Holy Crap on a Calcite Snapper Batman! Simply being able to get 3 Royal Assasin abilities for 5 mana is good. And no matter how low he gets (besides the obvious zero), he can still swing in for 6. That's good stuff. His first ability has good interactions with Wall of Denial as well, making the forced attack weaker. He's not as good as Jace and he's fightning the 5 cost slot with Bankslayer but I think his cost is just efficient enough for U/W Control to at least try him out. Should be interesting to see........

This archtype seems the most obvious to me. I mean it's a fog deck already, meaning that now there's an actual drawback to attacking into you, rather than just "using up your fog effects". They can now actually lose more creatures, besides to your sweepers.You can simply begin killing a creature per turn, and should Gideon get low on loyalty simply activate his first ablility when you have your fog effect in hand and ready. There is no risk involved to the Jace player in doing this. Aaaannnnnnd (if that wasn't already enough) he provides another possible win condition. Those Time Walks just got a little better, when you can swing with Gideon for 6, cast Time Walk and do it again. I really see this guy going here, but as a 1-2 of. They already have their 4 drop slot pretty heavy, so keeping the curve to a minimun will still be key. But considering how much this deck draws, just running 2 feels more like running 4 once the engine gets going.

And that's just with these 3 existing archtypes - not counting what is to come!

An amazing card that is indeed expensive. But the truly competitive players will not let finances interfere with a card that holds this much power (also see Bankslayer and Jace the Money Sculptor for more examples).

Spike Scale: 5 (out of 5 stars)
Johnny Scale: 5
Timmy Scale: 3
Vorthos Scale: ? (i'm not familiar with the storyline, anyone know about it?)
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Crooked Lotus

Crooked Lotus

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Location : The Maelstrom, just across from KFC

PostSubject: Re: Card Discussion: New Planeswalkers   Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:25 pm

Sarkhan the Mad:

Now this guy is kind of hard to gauge, so let's start with some facts.

He has the highest starting loyalty to date at 7. With Chandra Nalaar being the closest with the same starting loyalty and converted mana cost. (I know Sorin also starts at 6 but he's nearly mono black and costs 6 mana.)

(Pros +)
(Cons -)

(-) He cannot gain loyalty at all.

(+) You are able to perform any of his abilities the turn he enters the battlefield.

(+) He can draw cards - meaning he at least can replace himself. (CA)

(-/+) He has removal, but at a cost.

(-) His ultimate is meaningless without Dragons, unless you are using his second ability on yourself.....and if you are, you will only be able to do so ONCE if you are wanting to use his ultimate (7-2=5 then 5-4=1)


With that said, it is already looking like we have yet another failed Sarkhan IMO. The best thing going for this guy is his first ability. It kind of reminds me of Jace's "free" brainstorm. I'm not saying it's on the same power level, rather it also costs 0 loyalty and draws you a card.

But I'm going to take this a step further in order to get a better grasp on him.
Let's analyze each of his abilities.

{0}: Reveal the top card of your library and put it into your hand. Sarkhan the Mad deals damage to himself equal to that card's converted mana cost.

This is as good as it's going to get for Sarkhan. I really like how it's him that takes the damage - not you. That's better than most abilities like this, where it's you that loses the life (see Ad Nauseum and Dark Confidant). But without good library manipulation or a low mana curve, you're taking a risk. Risk is something competitive players try to avoid.
What makes Bob so good is that for one, he's 2 mana and gets to work quickly. Second, decks he is typically found in have a very low mana curve. And third, his is able to attack and block when needed.

Sarkhan can relate none of these. (Even if you ran a deck with a low mana curve, you're still topping out with his 5 coverted mana cost.)

That said, his Standard applications are very narrow. But there is one place I can see him working....but I'll get to that in a second.

{-2}: Target creature's controller sacrifices it, then that player puts a 5/5 red Dragon creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

This one is horrible.
Would you pay 5 mana for a sorcery speed removal spell? Not me.
Now would you pay 5 to do all of that and give your opponent a creature that is usually going to be better than what you removed?
Did I mention their new dragon can attack on their next turn - meaning it essentially has haste? And they now have the option to hit you or kill Sarkhan?
A simple Hell No will suffice.

But I know what you're going to say: "Yeah but it works better if you do it on yourself! And it goes so well with his ultimate" Yeah, but as mentioned above: If you plan on using his ultimate, you will only be able to do his second ability ONCE.
That's not enough to me.

{-4}: Each Dragon creature you control deals damage equal to it's power to target player.

If only Changelings were still around, this one might be worthy. But no.
This is the crappiest "ultimate" I have yet to see on a planeswalker. I even put quotations around the word Ultimate, because this does not feel like that at all.
It's so bad, I can't even think about what already exists that can work well with this ability.

How many Dragons do you see in Tier 1 decks, besides Broodmate Dragon??

I'm done with this ability. And save yourself the braincells if you're still obsessing over how it goes with his second ability: it's not worth it folks. You'll lose your dude, get a fresh new 5/5 flying Dragon, and next turn you activate his ultimate, deal 5 to them and then swing in for 5. That's a maximum of 10 damage. Chandra can do that in two turns and doesn't have to lose any of your creatures to do it.

This is the opportune time to create a new term for this weak 'walker.
Sarkhan will from now on be called a Jankwalker.

Sarkhan the Mad???
Yeah, that's what you have to be in order to think this dude is good: mad
Evil or Very Mad

One last thing.
I'm trying to be fair with this dude, as I don't want to leave out any potential future a card may have.
If this guy can go anywhere, it could be in Grixis control alongside Jace the Mind Sculptor.
Yes Grixis.

I want you to look at how good he works with the new Jace: the Brainstorm ability in particular.

By Brainstorming with Jace, this allows you to extend the use you get out of Sarkhan's draw ability.

You do remember the sickness that was: Dark Confidant + Sensei's Divining Top??

Sensei's Divining Top allowed you to manipulate to top of your library, keeping the damage from Bob to a minimal.
Sarkhan the Mad + Jace the Mind Sculptor is very similar in this fashion.

You will be drawing 2 extra cards a turn and Jace's brainstorm will be showing you a fresh new 3 cards that you didn't see previously! That's hellagood folks.

That kind of engine could give grixis the push it needs to be Tier 1 again.

Oh but wait!! This reply isn't long enough!!! Razz

Remember how terrible I said his second and third abilities were?

How about in conjunction with Elspeth???

Cast Elspeth turn 4. Make a token.

Cast new Sarkhan on Turn 5.
Make another token with Elspeth.
Use Sarkhan's second ability to turn the new made 1/1 soldier token into a 5/5 dragon token.

Turn 6:
Activate Elspeth's +3/+3 ability, making the Dragon a 8/8 double flying (just kidding).
Swing in for 8
Activate Sarkhan's "ultimate" and do 8 more, for a total of 16 on turn 6!
Not bad.

Or you can simply keep turning Elspeth tokens into Sarkhan tokens (3 times maximum).

Either way, it looks like Sarkhan is the kind of planeswalker that can be good in conjunction with other cards - particularly planeswalkers.

Spike Rating: 2 (out of 5)
Johnny Rating: 3
Timmy Rating: 4
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