If there was any reason to blame for my delay on this article, it is me working on this. Sorry Kevin!
Greetings dear reader! We’re back for another edition of the Rogue Roundup! This is epsiode #4: The Phoenix Rising. While this intro is usually where I take a moment to roast Kevin a little for some of his questionable choices that he likes to focus on, this time I really don’t have a lot to say. His choices are on point this time. All 5 picks are solid and hell, he even gave me the full library of images this time around! The only thing is that this took me way too long to produce as I am not a professional content creator and I still have yet to find a healthy medium between my ambition and my free time to work on this stuff. As an apology for the delay, allow me to just jump right in.
THE WORD OF THE DAY IS DOUBLE-DIP.
PAUPER – RIFT BOLT
Kevin really loves his double-dipping investments, huh? It has reached a point that I am actually terrified of having any kind of sauces at the table when we finally, for the first time ever, have dinner together. I think the anxiety of such a prospect is actually instilling a germaphobia into my mind. But enough about my aspirations of workplace misconduct, let’s get back to bringing the thunder. Inter-dimensional thunder, more specifically. Rift Bolt. I should probably talk about the damn card.
Hmmm, let me think, what is there even to say about it anyway? It goes into nearly every conceivable burn list across all formats and because of that will always be desired at a strictly worse Lightning Bolt. Besides the “free” cast you can get on your upkeep is super handy when you are trying to cast Arclight Phoenix from the graveyard. Hell, with the right draw, you could build a 12-Bolt deck that can get Arclight out on turn 3 from Rift Bolt’s suspend mechanic. But let’s not dwell on the birdie too much. I promise you that we’re not quite done talking about that particular card.
STANDARD – AZOR’S GATEWAY
So like I mentioned, I am a bit late on this article because of the time that it took crafting that glorious image of yours truly casting an Arclight Phoenix. However in regards to this one, I think that worked out in my favor. You see, in the previous Standard season Kevin tried out this deck that utilized Cut // Ribbons as a way to dump the obscene amount of mana one can produce with an Azor’s Gateway. However the deck suffered greatly from Abrade just dominating the Red removal in the format. Artifacts that required sitting around for a few turns to accrue value just weren’t able to compete in an environment so heavily dominated by splash-able mainboard artifact removal. This time things are different however. And Kevin is back with a new deck to prove it.
If I had to guess, this is what Kevin is getting at when he says that there is room in the format for Azor’s Gateway. The power level is obviously there, afterall it is a terrifying card when someone succeeds in flipping it in Commander(again with the double-dips), however I think Standard has already written it off as unplayable because of how thoroughly it was crushed out of the format. Mnemonic Betrayal is certainly an interesting angle for one to go with this card and from the way he touts its prowess on Discord, I’m inclined to believe him when he says it is the real deal. Even I’ve been considering it as I try and figure out how to best build a Soul Sisters list. The appeal of Marching the Multitudes for 60+ mana is a tempting prospect indeed. And if worse comes to worse, the format always has Banefire hanging around.
COMMANDER – OPHIDIAN EYE
As proud as I am to have been able to finally dispose of my Necrotic Oozes, I do get a twinge of disappointment when I look back at the price history of Ophidian Eye foils and realize that I was in the dark of this Common’s rise in casual appeal. But really, can you really blame me? Flash on a Curiosity is such an odd mix of mechanics that has always baffled me in its functionality. Like what is your goal here? Is the idea that when you are in a draft, and you want to chump-check your opponent, you throw a dork at them and see if they block it? Assuming they don’t call your bluff, you just flash in the Eye and get a free card off it? I mean that’s cute and all, but that is such a weak justification for an aura that functions as a combat trick. You are better off putting it on a Thornwind Faeries type card like Prodigal Sorcerer or Prodigal Pyromancer and letting it just do the thing that pingers do best; sit back and slowly kill your opponent. The advantage of Flash is to have your pinger out while holding up a counterspell of some sort, and then flashing in Ophidian Eye when you go to deal damage on your opponent’s end step if you didn’t need to use that counterspell that turn. That’s like the best thing one could do with this card, and it is oddly specific, mind you.
Sorry folks. This question always rests on my mind in regards to Ophidian Eye, I’ve just never really had an opportunity to vent my confusion about a card that seems so needlessly convoluted. Anyway, like Kevin said in the video, it works great with Niv-Mizzet. All Niv-Mizzet variations in fact, but in particular Niv-Mizzet, Parun being the latest craze. Like for real, one mana or three, Curiosity is Curiosity to a Niv-Mizzet. It just wins you the game if you draw one.
LEGACY – ANIMATE DEAD
We got ourselves a triple scoop of doubling dipping today. Someone be sure to notify the Mainstream Media, I heard that they don’t like when someone dips into extra scoops… Or something like that, I’m not here to talk politics. Let’s talk about a card that doesn’t make you friends. Animate Dead! As the arguably second best reanimation spell, next to Reanimate(which is like $23 dollars at the time of writing this, mind you!), it is why you occasionally see that one guy turn 1 Thoughtseize himself only to drop an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger that just makes everyone want to scoop by turn 4. Sometimes I like to be that kind of villain, but I’m not a fool that will run Thoughtseize in a multiplayer format. Naw, I’m more likely to run Raven’s Crime if I’m gonna pull shenanigans like that. Anyway if the price of Reanimate is any indication, the competitive demand is compiling itself on the casual demand for an already demanding card, and the supply cannot simply keep up with demand anymore! As your financial consultant on all things MtG, I demand you make sure that you have Animate Deads in your collection. They’re climbing up, I can guarantee you that.
And they say Blue is best color. *scoff*
MODERN – ARCLIGHT PHOENIX
The Birdie hit $5! The standard I use when investing in a spikey mythic has been achieved. This is absolutely your last chance to buy in before this card takes off, guys.
Now I know that you must be tired of hearing about it by now, but Arclight Phoenix is the real deal in Modern. It is fast, powerful, and evasive. While not as fat as its green counterpart, Vengevine, it is a creature that just works with a “Spells Matter” strategy and never asks you to invest mana into it. Instead you just do the thing that you want to be doing, and that’s cast spells. Lots of spells. Maybe some Storm spells? Don’t play Storm Spells. Manamorphose is a good spell though. Play more Manamorphose. They’re the premiere card to play with Arclight Phoenix.
H’kay! Ladies and gentlemen, that will about do it for this week’s Rogue Roundup. Which is last week’s Rogue Roundup. I’ll be sure to not spend nearly as much time on my doodle for next week’s, however I do enjoy spicing up this particular series with a little bit of my own flair, so lemme know what you think of me using these articles as an excuse to practice with Photoshop. My Twitter is @fatalaryia for those of you who care to know. Thank you and until then, later!