Friday, November 25, 2011

Random Card of the Day #14

Random Card of the Day #14:

Spiritual Sanctuary - 2WW
At the beginning of each players upkeep, if that player controls a Plains, that player gains 1 life.

Initial thoughts:

Wow. This card is just awful. It costs too much, is not very splashable, has a drawback, and it's lifegain is somewhat conditional. The first card I would compare it to is Ajani's Mantra. Ajani's Mantra is simple, effective, doesn't help out your opponents, and if it was ever relevant, is a may ability. (To be honest the only time I could ever think if it was relevant is if you were playing Near-Death Experience or your opponent Mindslaver'd you. Aside from the obvious misplays by missing your may abilities on your upkeep by drawing first.)

Other than that I also have somewhat of a hatred to life-gain abilities. It is perfectly suitable by adding it onto something, such as Lightning Helix, Sorin's Thirst or any Lifelink ability--but in general I do not like playing a card to just gain life. Heroes' Reunion, Sunspring Expedition, and Rest for the Weary are perfect examples of cards I would never play. They don't win games, they prolong games, and while prolonging games can give you the chance to draw another card, it is not stopping your opponent. Every time I play this card I kind of see it as:

Bad Lifegain card - 0
You gain 8 life. Each of your opponents may draw a card.

Even if the cost was free, you are beginning to see the drawbacks. If your opponent is winning, he will only be winning more. If you are playing this card and you were winning, you would much rather have the card beneath it to beat your opponent, or stop your opponent from playing the card the might get him out of the trouble he is in.

Now if I were to make a life gain deck, I would definitely be playing four of Sanguine Bond. This turns life gain into a win condition. My turn one-drop would probably be Golden Urn, and the rest of the deck would be anything to stop my opponent from winning. Day of Judgement, Consume the Meek, and Sorin's Vengeance are other good cards that I would play. But this is quite a silly deck that would never make it in a tournament. I would play other cards like Felidar Sovereign, but for the amount of effort for you to gain 40 life, you could have easily won the game with Sanguine Bond.

But as for this card, it just doesn't stand up to anything like the other "pro life gain" cards out there. It doesn't win games. It doesn't stop your opponent. And it's not even the best card for life gain out there. I understand that life gain cards can sometimes be clutch in the right times, but I would probably be playing Timely Reinforcements every time.

How to fix this card:

Fixed Spiritual Sanctuary - 2WW
At the beginning of each players upkeep, if that player controls a Plains, that player gains 1 life. Then, if that player has more life than target opponent, he or she may draw a card.

The card is already a rare, and one of the worst ones I have seen in a while to boot. By adding the conditional draw a card, it becomes a double-edged sword. But if you know anything about Magic: the Gathering, any drawback on a card can easily be thwarted for profit. Not to mention this fixed card would be an absolute bomb in multiplayer.

But as it stands, its just a terrible card. Costs too much, and can even help your opponent. 1/5

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