[Welcome back to Taking A Swipe: Dominaria edition! Today, Todd Anderson and Sam Black analyze ten of Dominaria's most unique cards, Tinder-style, by either Swiping Right (that's good!) or Swiping Left (that's bad!). And just like Tinder, both Todd and Sam are allowed one Super Like to let that card immediately know that they're a big fan!]
Todd Swipes Right. The triple white casting cost should restrict your ability to play it multicolor decks.
"Life finds a way." - Ian Malcolm
I'm thankful this card pumps all your creatures instead of just your white ones. That means it can work alongside stuff like Angel of Invention or other spells that generate artifact creatures. While this card isn't necessarily "pushed," I do think it's very good. I'm most excited to pair this with History of Benalia, which is conveniently quoted in the flavor text, for some serious "cookie cutter" deckbuilding.
Is this the best of the cycle? We'll see.
Sam Swipes Right. This card knows what it likes and wants a serious commitment, but it's also great at what it does and seems to have the right kinds of friends.
This isn't like Fatal Push, where you don't necessarily know what your relationship will look like, but you're sure you'll get along and you'll at least hang out from time to time; this one's all or nothing. Will I end up playing mono-white or mostly white aggro in a tournament? Maybe, but probably not. Will I try it out? Almost certainly, thanks to this card.
Todd Swipes Left. A classic wet towel hoser card, this artifact doesn't do nearly enough to warrant an inclusion in anyone's sideboard. Yes, it can slow down Tron by removing their mana advantage, and yes it can stifle Storm's ability to combo out, but will it lock either out of the game? No. If I'm going to play sideboard cards like Damping Sphere, I want them to end the game on the spot if my opponent doesn't kill it. I want them begging for death.
Don't half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.
Sam Super Likes. I've been waiting to play with this since the moment I saw it. It might be a victim of its own success-so good and widely applicable against Storm and Tron that it substantially cuts into their metagame share, but as a Lantern player, I'll want access either way, and if I don't get to side it in, that's even better.
Todd Swipes Right. Discarding cards to draw cards? Generating a butt-load of extra mana? An ultimate that doesn't end the game, yet rewards you for building your deck in a certain way? This is definitely a card I want to try out. Unfortunately, it's a Planeswalker that fails to protect itself and that's usually a death knell for Standard.
If you've noticed anything about which Planeswalkers see play and which ones don't, the ones that see play are generally geared towards interacting with opposing creatures or generating a huge advantage if you get to untap with it. Jaya Ballard does none of these things, which leads me to believe that it won't be good enough to see Standard play, which is unfortunate for a character as awesome (and quotable) as Jaya Ballard.
Sam Swipes Right. I usually hate when someone just has a bunch of group pictures of them and their friends and you have to do a bunch of detective work to find the common thread to figure out which one they are, but here, I really want to know who she hangs out with. It's mostly Sweltering Suns and her own signature move, which is a solid start, but I'd still like to know a little more. This is certainly in the "more likely to test than play in a tournament" space because it's narrow, but I'm also more likely to actually test it than just scribble it in some lists and move on.
Todd Swipes Left. "Hexproof from white."
Are you joking? What kind of mental gymnastics did you have to jump through to justify making "hexproof from white?" Did you do this because you said you weren't going to print "Protection from X" ever again? All I know is that Black Knight shouldn't be able to wear Serra's Embrace.
What are you going to tell me next? That Serra Angel could be a black/green card because of how the color pie works?
Sam Swipes Left. An homage to Black Knight might be a cool card to look at, but that's not the kind of card you should want to put in a deck in 2018. Creatures are better than this now.
Todd Swipes Left. If you're so smart, then why do you enter the battlefield tapped, huh?
Sam Swipes Left. This is a very cool cycle, but the kind of deck that wants this isn't looking to go down a land and we have duals that are looking for basics. This isn't helping them, which means sometimes it functionally makes more than one of your lands enter the battlefield tapped. The kinds of decks that want this don't want to sacrifice a land in the late game. They want all the mana they can get for Search for Azcanta.
Todd Swipes Left. A conditional white removal spell, you say? Why, I'm a white mage, and that's basically all I can afford these days. I'll take three!
In all seriousness, white removal spells that can't proactively remove creatures from the battlefield rarely see tournament play. Condemn being one mana made it the exception, but even then, you couldn't aggressively attack your opponents' Stoneforge Mystics. Seal Away isn't a bad card by any stretch, but creatures like The Scarab God and Glint-Sleeve Siphoner demand an immediate answer before they start to take over the game.
Sam Swipes Right. A cheap ideal answer to Scrapheap Scrounger, Hazoret the Fervent, Rekindling Phoenix, and eternalize creatures? Remember that comparison I made to Fatal Push above? Well, this isn't as powerful in old formats, but it's better in Standard if you're playing a control deck, so I'm pretty sure I'll play this often.
Todd Swipes Right. Never in my life have I ever thought to myself "I'd like a pet fungus." But there's just something about Slimefoot, the Stowaway that makes me want to take care of him. On top of that, Slimefoot is actually a useful member of the Weatherlight crew, as he directs all sorts of glibs and globs to clean the ship and keep it in fighting shape.
This card isn't good, but I do love it.
Sam Swipes Left. We're not really thinking this might be a Constructed power level card, are we? I mean, this thing's clearly ready to have a great time, and I'm sure I'll love drafting with the card, but a four-mana ability and some trinket text that works with other bad cards isn't going to make me pay three for a 2/3.
This is no Catacomb Sifter.
Todd Swipes Left. I want the Legacy Weapon back. I want the badass Weatherlight that flew into the heart of Phyrexia and took down Yawgmoth (I'm pretty sure this isn't exactly true, but give me a break. I haven't read Apocalypse in almost two decades).
What's this new Weatherlight? A flying bus? All you do is pick up new passengers? And you don't even get an "enters the battlefield" trigger?
Crew up, y'all. The Weatherlight is back in town to...(checks notes...) take you to the grocery store?
Sam Swipes Left Question Mark…? I don't know, this is kind of like a mini Skysovereign, but it draws cards rather than answering problems and it doesn't do anything when it enters the battlefield. You also really have to build around both crewing it and finding things with it. It's a cool card, but it's hard to see myself playing it in Standard.
Todd Swipes Right. A fine reprint. I wish they'd do more of these, because there are plenty of Modern-era (and older) cards that could easily see play in Standard without breaking stuff. Gilded Lotus was always, at the very least, "pretty good." Personally, I hate Gilded Lotus because it reminds me of Tinker Storm, where my opponent would use Twiddle effects to gain a ton of mana and combo-kill me with Mind's Desire. Other than that, I've only really cast Gilded Lotus in Cube, where I generally use it to ramp out Avenger of Zendikar or Genesis Wave.
I'm curious to see if this card will actually do anything in Standard.
Sam Swipes Right Question Mark Again…? You know when you're swiping and you come across someone you used to know and you're not really sure what you're supposed to do? Like you kind of like them, and maybe you'd be down to hear about what they're up to now, but maybe this isn't the best way to start that conversation?
Okay, the metaphor isn't perfect, but I still feel like, even though I know Gilded Lotus, it's still a weird card and I'm not sure how we'll get along these days. That said, games can certainly go long and there's a lot to do with extra mana in this format, so I think we're ready to try to make something work.
Todd Super Likes! This isn't the best of the bunch, but this is the one that I like the most. Nantuko Shade was a big part of Standard when it was first printed, and it looked harmless on paper. Dread Shade also looks harmless, but for some reason my alarm bells are going off. Mono-Black has always been one of my favorite archetypes, and Dread Shade is pushing all my buttons. I mean, this card would have been great in Mono-Black Devotion, right?
All I know is that Dread Shade probably won't be flying off the shelves anytime soon, but I expect big things from this.
Sam Swipes Left . Like Benalish Marshal, this wants a serious commitment, but unlike Benalish Marshal, this doesn't bring anything to the table. Maybe if I were just looking to show my devotion I'd want this kind of relationship, but that was a few years ago, and besides, I'm old enough to remember how disappointing Nantuko Shade was when it came out. Everyone was swiping right, but no one went on a second date.
This time I doubt anyone's even going to be fooled.