Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RCotD #25

Random Card of the Day #25:

Stand - W
Prevent the next 2 damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn.
Deliver - 2U
Return target permanent to its owner's hand.

Initial thoughts:

I actually haven't seen this side-by-side card. I was fairly excited to talk about it. The two cards I would compare these to is Healing Salve and Boomerang. Healing Salve is not exactly my favorite card for preventing damage, but it's the same mana cost and I'm not exactly going to compare it to Harm's Way. The first half of the card is especially weak. Healing Salve is already considered a fairly weak card, but at least it does more than this.

Stand will only prevent 2 damage, Healing salve prevents 3 damage. Stand can only prevent damage to creatures, Healing salve could prevent 3 to a player. And more importantly, it could be relevant to gain life if you have something like Ajani's Pridemate. Typically any side-by-side cards is weaker than a similar card. (Unless you compare Assault // Battery to Scorching Spear.) But that's the cost of playing an either-or card though, if both halves were considered powerful you would get something like Life // Death. This is not one of those cards.

Okay, Stand is standing up to what it should be. So Deliver will surely deliver rest. For 2U you get to return target permanent to it's owner's hand. That's actually important. Target permanent means you can bounce a land. Bouncing a land early can cause a huge tempo change in the beginning. This is why I compare it to Boomerang. Boomerang was already considered too powerful for it's own good and they stopped printing it. If you play first and your opponent does not have a turn 1 play, Boomerang their land. Congratulations, you just Time Walk'd your opponent. They have to discard and you must be pretty lucky if you draw another Boomerang or Eye to Nowhere.

That may however, be unrealistic. But so is changing the tempo for 2U. There's a really big difference in probability between not having a 1-drop but having a 2-drop. Almost every deck has a two-drop, even if it's just an Everflowing Chalice. Most of the time I don't think it would be relevant to bounce a permanent over a nonland. I mean it would be great if on turn three you bounce your opponent's Golgari Rot Farm or any other bounceland from Ravnica.

Most of the time I don't see this being any different from Into the Roil. It's more expensive and it doesn't have the option of letting you draw a card. Additionally, if your deck focuses about bouncing creatures and doesn't care for other noncreature nonlands than stick to Vapor Snag or Unsummon.

Stand // Deliver is not a bad card, don't get me wrong. It's just when you compare it to other 4/5 cards it just doesn't really compare. It does have the either/or when responding to your opponent which is great because they are both instants. It's both a combat trick and a removal spell so that's a plus, it's just not a broken or powerful card. It's another 3/5.

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