To kick start this, I’m going to talk about one of my personal favorite sort of cards, CHARMS! With the release of Gatecrash being release February 1st lets see how these universal charms can effect the formats
Let’s start off aggressively and powerful with this article and there is not better way to do that, then to talk about this ferocious card. The easiest way to analyze how powerful a charm is, is too look at each separate abilities play-ability and relate to other cards that can be good in the format, or have already been proven. So the first ability is a Flame Rift with no downside. This is getting legacy play for the 40 lightning bolt deck, and in standard and modern deck 4 damage is no joke when it comes down to the choke points. Overall this ability alone for standard is enough of a draw to be a decent playable in an aggressive deck. The second ability to me is the big one for this card. Now everyone is raging how insane it is protecting your creatures, making it so u can hit harder with your guys so on so forth. What my main interest here was that it hits all permanents. SO in standard, yes, you will probably just protecting your guys here. BUT the brewer in me is yelling at me to find a way to break this ability to wipe your opponents board and protect yours. Imagine playing 1 sided Wrath of God’s in modern, or destroy your opponents with a well played Armageddon. Realistically is this possible and not just cute, probably not but I will try. The last ability which is sort of like a mixture of Silverblade Paladin and a bloodrush card, most of the time it will actually be “protect your guy in combat/make indestructible” or “deal 4 damage” All in all i definitely see this guy in standard, a lot of him in modern, and hopefully some fringe play in legacy.
I am conflicted about this card. On the surface I see it and I am not too excited about it, but the more versatile it looks the more I want to just jam pack him and see if it works The Giant Growth side to this card is what first grabs my eye. Combat tricks can be good when they aren’t incredibly narrow, and since this is a charm I feel like this section of the card will be very good when its good. I’m thinking this part of the card could go in some of the modern infect lists because of this pump plus the next part. The hexproof side of the card feels a lot like a protective Stifle, across all the formats. It stifles all forms of removal and like targeted abilities such as Tamiyo’s tap ability will be countered. This feels very strong to me in a standard and modern filled to the brim with spot removal, and can protect key cards such as Glistener elf. I am a huge tempo fan, so unsummon strapped onto the side of this card is super sweet. Unsummons have proven to be strong lately, especially vapor snag because it helps widdle life in the tempo style decks. This card does that as well, to a point. It bounces creatures and deals damage. I am going to try fit this card in some sort of sweet BUG tempo list for standard.
The most skill intensive of the fives charms is Dimir Charm. It also has the most mixed reviews. I would auto include this card in any sort of UB deck that wants removal, consistency, counter magic, and deck manipulation… which is all of them btw… will probably want this card. It isn’t the best at what it does for each section so lets break it down to see how strong of a card it really is. Envelop is an ability that was strong when it was released because the meta game was filled with powerful sorceries. Today it may be hitting Terminus or Bonfire of the Damned which may not be good enough. The first ability in the current format is a miss for me in standard modern and legacy, for right now. The removal is very good. Swat is a good card believe it or not. Dimir Charm gets to kill your opponents mana dorks if you need it to, or some stronger cards like Huntmaster of the Fells. The second ability seems very playable in this current format and some sweet U/B control decks are going to abuse this card. DO YOU LIKE PONDER? DO YOU LIKE FORBIDDEN ALCHEMY? I DO! I also enjoy skillful cards like this. The last ability allows you to either set up a sweet turn for yourself (does not actually net a card like ponder) or if you see your opponent is stumbling, this card can make the stumble harder while you continue to build your board possession. The reason i give so much credit to the last ability of this card is the fact that it will be sweet early game and late game, which is not often seen on charms.
This card is way to weird for me. I enjoy myself an interesting fun card that does fun interesting things, but this is just odd. The bounce ability seems very strange kind of like a super Saving Grasp, -ish. I don’t think it will ever be relevant so we are down to 2 abilities left (fingers crossed). This second one is much better than the first one, but the bar was not set very high. A Vendetta is a decent removal spell but overshadowed by the swat from Dimir. I can see it being very strong as removal in draft though (Second verse, same as the first) The last ability is like the tiniest zombify ability I have ever seen. In standard what are we bringing back in that color combo??? I KNOW GRAVE CRAWLER (-_-)… this card is a bust overall but prove me wrong please.
Thor’s hammer has let us all down. SPOILER ALERT THIS CARD IS UNPLAYABLE… given that lingering souls and variants don’t become so overwhelmingly strong we need a pyroclasm effect to deal with it. To think positively it can allow for some creatures to become un-blockable for a turn which in the right situation can be a win for a game, but that just seems way to narrow to see constructed play. the middle ability which give you back your toys seems just so week and narrow… It’s weird calling a hammer narrow…
All in all I am happy with this cycle of the charms, they are flavorful and some are very powerful. My ratings are
- Boros Charm
- Dimir Charm
- Simic Charm
- Gruul Charm
- Orzhov Charm
- Orzov Charm
- Simic Charm
- Dimir Charm
- Boros Charm
- Gruul Charm