Monday 8 November 2021

Innistrad: Crimson Vow Preliminary Review Part IV


0 - unplayable in 40 card singleton

1 - effectively unplayable

2 - has low tier constructed decks it might go in

3 - has mid tier constructed decks it does go in

4 - pretty powerful stuff with several potential homes, able to perform well in lower powered cubes

5 - powerful stuff that is either just too narrow or has too many superior alternatives

6 - fringe cube worthy

7 - cube worthy

8 - cube staple

9 - unpowered cube bomb

10 - powered cube bomb 

Concealing Curtains 8

A kind of black take on Vendilion Clique. There are three or four ways in which it is worse than Clique. Menace is worse than flying but not by miles. Sorcery speed is worse than flash and in this case, by a fairly large margin. That is the main drawback. The final one is that this is four mana total to use although the way it is split makes it more of a three mana card than a four mana one. In some respects it is easier to play than Clique as you can do so with a single black mana. Discard rather than bottom of library is probably worse overall too as it powers up delve and escape things but it is pretty minor and will sometimes be better too. It also can't target yourself so no cheeky rummages for card quality instead of disruption. So where is this better than Clique? Firstly it has 3 more toughness which is a pretty big deal. Not quite yet making up for lack of flash but certainly getting there. It effectively has haste if curved with so being able to smack down for 3 on turn three is quite a big deal too. That combined with the extra toughness make this rather superior in the tempo department. Lastly the wall mode is going to have it's uses. It is nice and cheap and can protect walkers or stave off a bit of early damage. Black does need hand disruption less than blue but blue didn't exactly need it either and Clique is still great there. For cube the perks on Curtains seem to outweigh the downsides when compared to the classic staple Clique and so it should perform well. I am reluctant to give it an eight and would give it more of a tentative seven on feel but it seems hard to argue with the logic when Clique is a nice healthy 8/10 card. Clique has one big flash thing that is better and two or three small advantages while Curtains has three perks all closer to flash in significance than the minor things. Concealing Curtains is a versatile and option rich tempo play that comes with potent disruption. Perhaps black just wants to play four drops that give actual card advantage in this area like Greif and Tourach but tempo and options are better than value in cube at present. Very interested to see where this ultimately lands power and play wise. 

Hallowed Haunting 3

This is just a Sigil of the Empty Throne that costs a bit less and has to scale up rather than starting at full power. I am not sure it is better than Sigil even though it can be and cheaper cards that do the same sort of thing tend to be more desirable too. The thing is that by the time you have 4 spirits to compete with the size of the angels the angels would have won game already. Getting to 7 enchantments in play is going to take some doing too and buffing all your dorks (as opposed to just the tokens this makes) isn't mattering that much as all your permanents will need to be enchantments or lands for this kind of card to not suck too much. The best thing this has going for it is that you might well want two Sigil of the Empty Throne effects and this certainly a lot more appealing than Hoofprints of the Stag! Only playable in enchantress builds but a reasonable win condition in such places.

Archghoul of Thraben 3

Great little tribal value card. Works with tokens and no loss of life. No Undead Augur but quite possibly better than Midnight Reaper in a tribal build. 

Halana and Alena, Partners 3

A card than can get a bit out of hand but it really needs to be supported by other cards and survive a while in play. Give out four total counters and give something relevant haste and you probably get your monies (manas) worth. That means you need a dork in play already and you need to cast one the following turn too. For a gold four drop 2/3 I want rather more reliability and playability. 

Mindleech Ghoul 2

Decayed tokens and the likes of many recursive or on death trigger one drops give this a bit of hope in synergy decks, and not just tribal ones. You do have to want a sac outlet or a zombie as a simple Acquisitions Expert is achieving more otherwise and as such this isn't going to compete in drafting cubes over the smaller but less needy alternatives. 

Geralf, Visionary Stitcher 2

The gift of flight is powerful in tribal zombies. I probably prefer a zombie lord that just gives +1/+1 or something, not being part of the tribe in question really means a card needs to be nuts. The sac effect is hardly that exciting. The best thing it does is to fizzle life gain or Jitte counters! Playable but given how many good zombie cards there are at three or more mana I think this is going to see little to no play in 40 card decks. 

Investigator's Journal 2

My favourite thing about this is that it is a clue! Very cool but sadly rather worse than Mazemind Tome and also even Treasure Map. 

Consuming Tide 1

Ok against a go wide deck but little more than that. Mostly just too situational. It is not an easy, clean, or convenient defensive tool and even with a potentially reasonable ceiling it is not going to be worth the risk of running. 

Cemetery Protector 4

I don't like this card and I am not sure why but I think it is making me underrate it. It seems to be a situational mid sized dork that offers mild value if supported. I like the flash, I also like the potential to disrupt with the exile but I dislike everything else. I need to test this because bais seems to be clouding the judgement! It has a bit too much in the way of positives to ignore but I both hope and expect this to fail the test. I do think it is better than Emeria Angel and Hero of Bladehold but neither of those have been in my cube nor performed well for a very long time now. I think I prefer Glorious Protector and Brimaz to Cemetery Protector which doesn't bode all that well - a card that didn't last testing and a golden oldie hanging on by reputation rather more than current performance. 

Packsong Pup 2

Good tribal filler but that is as far as this one goes. Wolves are not any sort of top tier tribe and tribal decks are not among the high tier decks in general so yeah, filler card in a whipping boy sort of deck. 

Undead Butler 6

Good little support card that offers a cheap body, mill, and value. Mill plus recursion often has a card quality feel to it. The only thing I dislike about this is the self exile but that is just me being greedy. I want to use this for graveyard decks and as such I want my cards to go to the bin so I can use and abuse them! Obviously the mill more than makes up for that and the card rather has to do that else it sets up silly loops in constructed. I am not sure if this has what it takes for cube. Mire Triton is on the fringe as far as support cards go and this feels close to that. Triton is a much better body but this doesn't have a card cost. The more zombie and graveyard shenanigans going on in your cube the better this gets. I think my cube has just enough to make this get enough play. It doesn't have the power or universal playabiltiy for me to want to rate it as a 7 or higher card but I do think it will probably last when I put it to the test in my cube.  

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