Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shadows over Wizardstrad

Hello again basement dwellers. Gaige finally back in action to lay down some realness because it is time for the mediocre-est day of the week: Wizard's Tower Wednesday! I've missed the last few because I've been busy building a really shitty Standard deck that we have finally proved doesn't work. I've also kind of been busy at work. Either way those are stupid dumb reasons and I won't slack off again. So for all 3 of you reading, I'm sorry and thanks for caring (shoutout to that one person on reddit who asked what happened to Wizard's Tower Wednesday, this article is for you)

Not sure what Wizard's Tower is? Then good luck understanding anything in this article. Maybe now you'll actually get some work done. Or you can take a look here to see a breakdown of what this format is. Don't worry we'll wait. Did you read it? No? Yeah, I don't blame you. If you did though, feel free to continue on.

With the release of a new set and the release of new cards there are definitely going to be some fun new interactions. So today we will be going over SOI cards that would make great or terrible additions to a Wizard's Tower. As an added bonus because I do truly love you all, since I've missed a couple Wednesdays, today will be more than just two cards. Please save your applause for the end, or don't applaud at all because you'll just look dumb sitting at work clapping at your computer...

The Good

These are cards that are fairly balanced in this format and can cause really fun card interaction. These are the cards you want in your Wizard's Tower especially because they probably won't find a home anywhere else.

"I see. It is called the drownyard because people drown here." - Jace Beleren
This card is my favorite SOI card for Wizard's Tower. Like all great Wizard's Tower cards, it has deck manipulation and graveyard manipulation in the sense of dumping a huge pile of cards in the graveyard. You get X plus one cards and one pile goes into your hand and the other into the graveyard. Now there are a lot of things to keep in mind when playing this. Who do you want to pick in the pile for you? Does that person have a means to get cards back from the graveyard? How high are you? Not only are they picking what you get to keep, but they are picking what other players can potentially grab from the graveyard, which may totally change the pile they want to drown.

The best feature of this card is that it's instant speed. So when your opponents scry the top cards of the deck and leave you with the worst one, just play this and grab them all. No one can be mad at you for taking all the cards with a card this silly since probably half will get dumped in the graveyard anyways.

It has all the things that makes a card in Wizard's Tower great: card draw, deck manipulation, throwing things away, a cheap price (in case you want to go out and pick one up), and of course Jace is in the art, so you know its premium.

If Tibalt were and Animorph
Oh boy, look at this card that is too bad for standard or probably any other format. Don't get me wrong, I have a standard deck with this in it, but it's bad. In Wizard's Tower, like all bad cards, this card is great. Three Pronged Tibalt will let you potentially get an extra card each turn, and in a deck with no lands (or I guess a deck of only lands depending on how you look at it) you'll always do some amount of damage to someone. If you never get a card out of this you can at least watch your friends life totals slowly go down as you swing in with your 3/2 at the weakest link since they don't have at least 2 creatures to block it. Next thing you know you'll be perched in your chair holding a pitchfork smiling like idiot devil while all your friends desperately look for a boardwipe.

I just opened one of these. Already working on the "Richard Nixon's Head in a Jar" alter. -Dan
As writing this I'm realizing that every card I'm putting in the "good for Wizard's Tower" category is everything that makes up my standard UR control deck which tells me I need to just set that deck on fire and start over. On another note, I keep trying to force this in standard because I want to cast sorcery spells at instant speed and for only 1. This is what make this card fun in Wizard's Tower. You can just start putting counters on it to cast instant and sorcery cards for 1 and at instant speed. Or if you keep whiffing on everything you can just scry infinite and know what people will be drawing for the next forever turns. This card will be better in some Wizard's Tower than others depending on how you build it, but if you have a couple sorcery speed boardwipes in yours, than this card can be a lot of fun.

The Bad

These cards are either too weak or too strong and you want to avoid putting in your tower. These are cards that will either immediately get turned face down as a land or immediately played since it's the best card in the tower.

I wonder if Jace got a promo Jace in his pre-release pack?
Now I'm sure you're all used to reading girls journals, but this is a journal with secrets you never want to know. Like if Billy really does have a crush on you or if Mrs. Stragoneli really is the Satan. Investigating is something that would be fun in the format, but giving someone the ability to search through the tower is how your game falls apart and how your friends stop playing magic permanently. In a deck of 250 cards where no one knows what cards are in it and you probably forgot what you put in it, giving someone the ability to pick a single card out is horrifying. In a bad case scenario (it's not worst case because the worst case is probably someone dying or a meteor hitting the earth or something) your friend looks through and reads every card in the 250 card deck to make sure they get a good one. In a good case they maybe only go through and read 100 cards. Either way, play has stopped and people are getting bored as he searches and it's not like you can just take turns while they're searching since they have the whole deck now. Don't add this card. It is nothing but pain and suffering.

We angels can see everythiiiiiiiiiing

This card is currently in Standard pro decks. That is a huge red flag that should let you know it's probably too strong for Wizard's Tower. Which it is. It is WAY too good. When someone can swing in and just not leave themselves open to other attacks, especially if they already have big dudes (that are now slightly bigger) all hope is lost. You're probably thinking "You're not my mom, this will be silly so I'm gonna do it any ways!" DON'T. It won't be silly and it won't be fun. You might as well have someone drag you bared assed across concrete because when someone plays this card it will leave you with the same feeling. This card is a steak in a deck built up of leftover hot dogs. LEAVE IT ALONE.

Oooh. Eeee. Ohhh. Ahhh Ahhh. Ting Tang. Wadda Ladda Bing Bang.

Now on the flip side of the dice. A card so underwhelming that if you rolled it up, dipped it in hot sauce, and put it in your bum, you still wouldn't notice anything. Mana ramp in Wizard's Tower doesn't do anything. "But wait, I could play this turn 7 creature on turn 4." Yeah and I could drink beer and call it "Performance enhancing drugs" but that doesn't make it better. Ramp will never make a significant difference in your tower. Even if you're running X cost spells, it might be silly once but that would require one player to have both cards and yes they get to pull the top 17 +1 cards from the library to split into two piles, but any other time someone will pull this and be thankful that they finally drew a land. Probably not though since they draw a land every turn and never miss a land drop unless they want to. I don't know you and I have no way of finding out who you are, but I'll know if you put this in your tower and I'll just repeatedly call your house and when you answer your phone I'll just breathe really heavy and hangup.

So that's it for this week. There are six cards from SOI that you know work or don't work in your tower so you can just slap them in there or avoid them without having to think too much about it. One final thought: Overall delirium is probably a fun mechanic in Wizard's Tower since you will have a full graveyard a lot of the time. It just may take some testing to determine if some delirium cards are too strong. On the other hand madness probably blows unless you know you have a lot of discard triggers. Some cards like Fiery Temper might be okay to use since you can just cast that regular type and is still a decent card if you ignore the madness part. SOI has a lot of fun cards for Wizard's Tower so just start slapping a tower together, grab some strangers at your local K-Mart, and start a game while you hide under the clothes racks.


Did you hate every card in SOI? Did you stop playing Magic after reading this article? Are you eagerly awaiting the release of Battleborn and have nothing better to do at work so you're here reading this? Let us know!


  1. I'm the guy from Reddit. Thanks for the shoutout!