Tuesday, January 5, 2010

YO! MtG TAPS! Episode 8 Addendum: Relevant Research

OK, so in the most recent episode of YO! MtG TAPS!, Joey Pasco and I debated the mythic rarity of the spoiled card Comet Storm. Here is the card for those of you who haven't yet seen it:

While I don't necessarily think this card is MYTHIC, for the sake of the podcast I took the position of someone who agreed with the card's mythic rarity. I used the argument that there haven't been too many Red Instant Spells with X in their mana cost. Here are all of the cards I was able to find that met that initial criteria (Oracle wordings included under card pictures):

Balduvian Rage XR:
Target attacking creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.
Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.

Blazing Shoal XRR:
You may exile a red card with converted mana cost X from your hand rather than pay Blazing Shoal's mana cost.
Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.

Captain's Maneuver XRW:
The next X damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn is dealt to another target creature or player instead.

  Dwarven Catapult XR:
Dwarven Catapult deals X damage divided evenly, rounded down, among all creatures target opponent controls.

  Enrage XR:
Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.

 Fault Line XRR:
Fault Line deals X damage to each creature without flying and each player.

 Flaming Gambit XR:
Flaming Gambit deals X damage to target player. That player may choose a creature he or she controls and have Flaming Gambit deal that damage to it instead.
Flashback XRR (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

 Heat Ray XR:
Heat Ray deals X damage to target creature.

Lavaball Trap 6RR:
If an opponent had 2 or more lands enter the battlefield under his or her control this turn, you may pay 3RR rather than pay Lavaball Trap's mana cost.

Destroy 2 target lands. Lavaball Trap deals 4 damage to each creature.

(Doesn't have X, but has a very similar effect in the current standard environment, so included for comparison's sake)

Outmaneuver XR:
X target blocked creatures assign their combat damage this turn as though they weren't blocked.

Rock Slide XR:
Rock Slide deals X damage divided as you choose among any number of target attacking or blocking creatures without flying.

Starstorm XRR:
Starstorm deals X damage to each creature.
Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

Timecrafting XR:
Choose one — Remove X time counters from target permanent or suspended card; or put X time counters on target permanent with a time counter on it or suspended card.

Volcanic Geyser XRR:
Volcanic Geyser deals X damage to target creature or player.

 So, not counting Lavaball Trap as it does not have X in it's mana cost, there have been 13 cards printed, in the history of Magic: the Gathering, that are Red Instant Spells with X in the mana cost.

Next, since Comet Storm is a burn spell that hits multiple targets, I eliminated any spells from this list that did not meet that criteria:

Balduvian Rage, Blazing Shoal, Enrage, Outmaneuver, Timecrafting - OUT! (Not burn spells)

 Captain's Maneuver - OUT! (Contains white, only has one target)

Flaming Gambit - OUT! (Only one target per time cast, although DOES hit 2 total targets)

Heat Ray, Volcanic Geyser - OUT! (Only one target)

So that leaves us with the following spells:

4 spells that have a similar effect to Comet Storm, at instant speed, with X in the mana cost.

Now let's compare the cost of each spell.

For this, we will use 4 damage to 4 targets.

Comet Storm: RR + 4(for x) + 3(for 3 instances of multikicker) = 9 CMC
Dwarven Catapult: R + 16(for x) = 17 CMC (and can't hit players)
Fault Line: RR + 4(for x) = 6 CMC (although can't hit flyers and damages the caster)
Rock Slide: R + 16(for x) = 17 CMC (although can't hit flyers or players)
Starstorm: RR + 4(for x) = 6 CMC (although hits your own creatures)

And for comparison's sake:
Lavaball Trap 6RR = 8 CMC (although doesn't damage player)

So, the conclusion I've reached is that this is a very versitile spell, capable of a good, one-sided sweep, for a decent cost. Does that make it Mythic-worthy? Probably not. Lavaball Trap seems like a better bargain in Standard, and Starstorm would have been more exciting as a reprint, in my opinion. It's cheaper than some of the other instant speed, Fireball-like abilities in the past. (Fireball, by the way, would cost 20 CMC for the same effect) Joey, my podcast partner, seems a little more up in arms about this than I am, but he also is more unsatisfied with Mythic Rarity as a whole. How do you feel about this? Let me know by emailing yomtgtaps@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!


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