A Gruesome Menagerie Indeed
It came up in conversation recently between Kevin(Rogue Deckbuilder), Nikk(Tasty Snackies), and I, that Tasty and I both suffer from a compulsion to always one-up ourselves with each and every thing we produce. That there is an empty void of dissatisfaction that just inhibits our ability to churn out regular content. At the time I was insistent that Kevin was full of himself once again; who is he to psychoanalyze me over a long-conversation, anyway!? What does he know anyway!? Well much to my dismay, yeah… I have something in common with Nikk. I mean, this is the 5th Rogue Roundup and my 3rd article, and there is a distinct parabolic increase in the amount of effort I put into the drawings that are meant to accompany these pieces.
I don’t know what it is. I was delirious when I wrote the first one and needed something to spice up the article to make it feel complete. So like a normal, well adjusted person, I put in like an hour of doodling in Photoshop, a program that I am STILL fumbling around with the basic functions of, mind you, and came up with an author avatar for myself just out of the blue. Then, for the second article, I refine that avatar and then ADD my interpretation of an Arclight Phoenix to hype up a card that has just hit my prediction of $20 as of the day I post this (My dear reader, I hope you took our Sage advice on that one, a $2 mythic with that kind of playability is a needle in the haystack for MtG Finance.)
And now! I’m a week overdue on getting this one out! All because I got sick and took my sweet-ass time trying to make this one as perfect as possible. What happened to me being more time efficient with these? Ugh, whatever. I like my creation. But you tell me, was it worth it? I mean I just saw the art of Gruesome Menagerie and it just begged for me to be front and center of that card. Not to be egotistical, but there was a space in the art that wanted someone standing there to be assaulted by an army of newly undead. And as a strong independent woman that is riding on the coattails of middle-of-the-road internet success, it just felt right that I should be the one to be the victim of that assault, truly a proud tradition of Magic: the Gathering! *cough* Triumph of Ferocity *cough*
Also Halloween is coming up and I mean, it just felt right to use that card over the other one that was inspiring me. I.E. Eidolon of the Great Revel. With all that said, let’s just get this over with. Thank Jeezus that Kevin is late on episode #6 of the Rogue Roundup, I have an opportunity to catch up now. So let’s get this over with, c’mon friend!
PAUPER – DAZE
Starting us off, is once again Pauper. As unlike Kevin, I actually care about retaining a repeatable order in which I talk about these cards. No seriously, click the link to the video above, check out the previous weeks on the channel, subscribe while you’re at it, but most importantly take notice that Kevin does not use the same format order in any of his videos. Trust me I noticed immediately because I wanted to keep my order the same and I have to watch his videos as he haphazardly decides order based on some combination of his general mood, the movement of the stars, and whether or not the crisp on his morning toast is a light brown or a dark beige. Or something like that. OR something to that effect(one can only imagine what goes on in the minds of geniuses). What was I talking about? Oh right! Daze.
Let me start over. Daze is cool. Daze is fun. Daze double dips and makes me lose my shit. Why you gotta contaminate the sauce for my chips? DAZE!? Yup, while double-dipping isn’t the word of the week this time, we do have one spec that intimately touches on two formats, consensually of course. And as this Cardboard Crack comic so eloquently put it, “I return an Island to Daze your Daze.” “Lands are optional.” And it is such a low investment to make sure your opponent doesn’t Exhume a Griselbrand or Iona or something. Or in Pauper, Keep those damned Birchlore Rangers off the field so Elves don’t go crazy. Or something else, Daze is a Force Spike and Force Spike is good. Daze is good. Daze is often better Force Spike, which is good. Trust me, I clearly have a lot of experience resolving this spell.
STANDARD – GRUESOME MENAGERIE
“This is the last bulk card to see a ton of play in Standard.” Frickin’ A’, Kevin! With an endorsement like that, what am I even here for? Yes, Stitcher’s Supplier and Glowspore Shaman, and Plaguecrafter is a deadly triple threat on its own, but you know what’s even better? Viscera Seer, Vizier of Remedies, and Kitchen Finks. Now that’s a combo. Does this make Gruesome Menagerie better than Collected Company? Sign… No. But it is fun to imagine and besides having this combo available in a Commander deck is a great way to achieve the adoration and appreciation of all your friends. Not even being sarcastic. I’m dead serious(sarcasm).
Anyway… No matter how you slice it, Gruesome Menagerie is a fantastic card, and you should be collecting. You know, for being the featured card of my article, I really don’t have a lot to say on it, huh?
COMMANDER – DETECTION TOWER
When I first started playing Commander, I thought Glaring Spotlight was some hot shit. It helped with dealing with Uril, the Mist Stalker, whom a member of my college playgroup absolutely adored, while also allowing my Olivia Voldaren to target just about anything with her vampiric powers. Shroud was still one of the safest shields from targeted spells at that time. Also yes Uril has Hexproof! Check the oracle text, you pleb!
Ahem! Not only was Spotlight good for dealing with Hexproof, but it could also be sacrificed to give Olivia hexproof, which was great because I had a bit of a Voltron subgame that was built into the deck at the time. And on top of that, it could be brought back to be used again with Goblin Welder! It was great! And then Arcane Lighthouse came out, and I had to ask myself… What am I even doing with a card like Glaring Spotlight? This thing is too wieldy and cumbersome, and it could be better suited to having literally any other card in its place. And thus Glarling Spotlight was binned in exchange for a recently accquired Vampiric Tutor and a land was swapped for Arcane Lighthouse. And now Detection Tower is out and is a strictly worse option in that Olivia Voldaren deck.
That’s not me saying that Detection Tower is strictly worse, however. Both Tower and Lighthouse have their functions… One answers Leyline of Sanctity and another answers Lightning Greaves and if you really value that utility you can run both. However, while I will be collecting this card for future use, I don’t think that the deck that got me inspired by Hexproof negation is gonna be able to find room for it. Colored mana is already as tight as it feasibly can be in that mana base. Still think it was fun to share my sentimental experiences with the previous iterations of Detection Tower.
LEGACY – ICHORID
Did you know that Ichorid was one of the first cards that really caught my attention back when I was a simple noob? Black was always the most alluring color for me, so at that time it was a thrill for me to learn new and exciting ways that the color interacted in gameplay. Naturally, when it was just sitting there in the display case at the LGS I frequented at the time, it stood out among the vast array of rares I think that old Magic border made it even more of an enigma to my curious mind. At that time I remember, this being the original version from Torment, the card was sitting quite happily at around $8. Why do I remember this detail? *shrug* I d’nno? It was just something I remember, and looking back on Goldfish, that price does match up for the 2011-2012 timeframe which was when this all occured. One thing I remember thinking, who would pay $8 for a single card!?
LOL JK! I wasn’t one of those types, I collected fossils and coins when I was a kid, hoarding is a specialty of mine. It is a simple leap in logic to think that I would easily respect collector’s value on something when I saw it. However I was a poor college kid and never could justify to myself spending that much for this card. Besides, the very design of the card breached a Golden Rule I had in regards to what constituted a good Magic card, “if it exiles your own stuff, it is restricted and therefore bad.” I actually hold rather firm to this rule to this day, especially in commander, where I still would rather build an elaborate recursion engine than use a mechanic like Delve. However something I have been forced to come to terms with since then is my sexuali~ uh I mean that I had to come to terms with the reality that “restrictive, yet efficient” has its own strength. And that strength is something to be reckoned with. And so when Legacy Dredge is looking to amass an army on turn 1 with no mana, you best believe that Ichorid will be among those undead hordes. So when Dredge sees play, Ichorid sees play. When Ichorid used to be $8, you’d do well to take advantage of $0.75. That’s a steal if I ever saw one. And the card really isn’t that bad, afterall. Huh, almost like you cant’ trust a beginner to make good judgments. Even though my assessment then has paid off in how much I’ll be saving by buying a playset now. Torment, though. I am actually disgusted that Kevin would show that ugly Eternal Masters version. Ew!
MODERN – EIDOLON OF THE GREAT REVEL
Any sensible person shouldn’t spend over $5 for an Eidolon. Historically speaking, since its inception into the Modern format, it has had this sort of love-hate relationship with the market and the player base. And this relationship is so perfectly illustrated by its price history. Highs and lows, spiking and crashing, its mood so swingy that you’d swear that Katy Perry wrote a song about it. Katy Perry? No? No one cares about her, ugh fine… I’ll just stash those jokes away with my unrequited high school crushes. They’re all from the same era anyway.
The point I’m making is that this card is something that I’ve moved a fair amount of while trading. They’re easy to pick up when they’re cheap and they’re easy to dispose of after they spike. It is weird, like a card that has a high intrinsic value, but no price memory to allow it to hold. And the one time that, that trend seemed to finally break in a genuine price spike, it got reprinted. Thus bringing it back down to the low, low price of $5. And if you are new to the game or simply missed all your other opportunities to get this card, now is the time to pick up a playset. Not only for such an occasion that you actually might play them, but just because they will be a viable asset to have in your collection for long term trading.
Welp, that will do for now. I hope you enjoyed the time we spent together here, it really was a treasured memory for me. I’ll be sure to stuff it under my bed for years on end for safe keeping and dust collecting. I have a deviantArt that I’ll be posting this week’s art and more to in the future, also I did a livestream on twitch.tv/fatalaryia while I was trying to get this drawing together. I plan on doing more of that in the future if that is something that’ll catch your fancy. I don’t talk much, but there will be music and an idiot who bulls her way through Photoshop in the most inefficient ways she can imagine. Someone probably finds that entertaining. Give me a follow if you care to check that out. Otherwise, if you like this sort of thing, be sure to subscribe to Rogue Deckbuilder on Youtube as well as the Rogue Market, which hosts all of the Rogue Roundup videos.
Thank you for joining me for another Rogue Roundup, dear reader. Until next time, PEACE!