DLCR: Chaos Imps

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Todays RtR card to rate is...

Chaos Imps

 
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5.0: First pick no matter what pack.
4.5: First pick pack 1.
4.0: I will strongly consider playing this as the only card of its color.
3.5: I feel a strong pull into this card’s color.
3.0: This card makes me want to play this color.
2.5: Several cards of this power level start to pull me to this color.
2.0: Should generally make the deck if in this color.
1.5: Decent filler.
1.0: 23rd card if you have to.
0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in.
0.0: I will never put this card into my deck (main deck or after sideboarding).


This card is a pretty legit threat.   If you unleash it there are very few things that can block it effectively.  I consider this to be a bomb.

4.5

Discuss! 
I'd agree with it being a bomb.

The double RR hardly slows this thing down at all.  Even pack 3 I'd imagine being able to grab enough red to force this into a deck, even if you weren't in R already.  The 6 mana cost means you don't need to worry about the double RR till you likely have it anyway.

Draft the bombs.  4.5
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Sure, 4.5 seems fair. Either a 6/5 flyer or 7/6 trample flyer that can't block is something I want in every deck that can play it.
4.5 for me.  An absolute beast.
Probably an A-. Two forms of evasion mean nothing is ever trading with it or chumping it effectively, and it should only take one or two turns to finish the game if you are a Rakdos or Izzet deck I'd think. It can even just be a giant blocker in a tough situation, blocks everything in the format.
3.5. This is a win condition, I guess.
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3.5. This is a win condition, I guess.



How can you rate this a 3.5? Are we playing a format where Dragons+ are no longer first picks?
3.5. This is a win condition, I guess.



How can you rate this a 3.5? Are we playing a format where Dragons+ are no longer first picks?



Yes.
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I knew it! Every time Lobster makes an erratic ranking, he's off playing another format. Which one is it this time? The one where everyone starts with 10 life instead of 20?
I knew it! Every time Lobster makes an erratic ranking, he's off playing another format. Which one is it this time? The one where everyone starts with 10 life instead of 20?



I'm playing RTR Limited, I don't know what you are doing. Have you drafted this card yet? Put it in a deck? Was it good?

I've passed it once (in pack two, I think), and I left it in my board in my Rakdos deck for Grand Prix San Jose and only brought it in if I needed to board into a more controlling build (which was neither as strong nor consistent as my main build). I don't like this in any of the Red decks I've played so far though I'm guessing I wouldn't mind it in the slowest of them, my Izzet one. But that wasn't really a haymaker deck and I think it would appreciate something like a Street Sweeper almost as much.
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I'll try and broker some peace here. How about we just agree on 4.0?

 I would rate it as a 4.5 if it weren't for the double mana cost. 4.5 means "I will play this card as the only card of its color". Would you? Not without unreasonable amounts of fixing.
I would certainly try. I would value R/x guildgates (where I was already playing x) much more highly than I would normally if I saw this. A 7/6 flying trampler or a 6/5 flyer for 4RR is insanely good, even more so in a set with few common removal to deal with it. Aerial Predation, Avenging Arrow, Explosive Impact, Launch Party and Paralyzing Grasp are the only ones that work to remove him. However, Explosive doesn't kill him in 7/6 form, the Arrow and the Grasp both require him to deal damage/tap first and Launch Party requires you to sacrifice a creature. Leaving Aerial Predation as the only common that can reliably kill him 1 on 1. And people are not maindecking Aerial Predation due to the lack of common/uncommon flyers outside of Azorious. I think I might like this guy better in RtR than Shivan Dragon in the last Core set.
4.75

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4.0. No haste makes this worse than Hellstead.
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oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
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Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
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4.0. No haste makes this worse than Hellstead.



It's just plain worse than Hellsteed. I might be overstating it, but I'm calling Moldgraf Monstrosity on this one.
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4.0. No haste makes this worse than Hellstead.



Given the number of ground board stalls, and the lack of flyers, I'm going to have to call Shenanigans on this. Although it appears that most experts are putting them on equal footing so perhaps that is the easiest way to call it.
3.5. This is a win condition, I guess.



How can you rate this a 3.5? Are we playing a format where Dragons+ are no longer first picks?



Yes.

I actually agree with lobster here, Aggressive rakdos or Izzet might want to pick something like bloodfray giant or hellhole flayer over it, because they are curving out low. Or even an explosive impact as a six drop might be better as a finisher because a lot of the time 5 damage will be all you need.

Where the chaos imps really shine is in a more controling Izzet build.
3.5. This is a win condition, I guess.



How can you rate this a 3.5? Are we playing a format where Dragons+ are no longer first picks?



Yes.

Also, a thing to consider is that there is an abundance of six drops in this format and you can only have so many in an aggressive build. You will have no problem getting a good six drop, and sometimes it doesn't really matter if it's a Skywatch or chaos imps.

As a RTR draft strategy it might be better to get the more difficult spots in your curve filled out earlier.
Ground stalls happen a lot, which makes this a much better Hellstead. Also Hellstead is rakdos only - you can play this as a finisher in Izzet to great effect. 
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Ground stalls happen a lot, which makes this a much better Hellstead. Also Hellstead is rakdos only - you can play this as a finisher in Izzet to great effect. 



Is that comment based on experience or hypotheticals? Because I've run Hellsteed (in Rakdos) and left this in the board in the same game and almost all of the time, the Hellsteed felt way more relevant than if it had been a non-haste flier.
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Ground stalls happen a lot, which makes this a much better Hellstead. Also Hellstead is rakdos only - you can play this as a finisher in Izzet to great effect. 



Is that comment based on experience or hypotheticals? Because I've run Hellsteed (in Rakdos) and left this in the board in the same game and almost all of the time, the Hellsteed felt way more relevant than if it had been a non-haste flier.



I'd say with the experience of playing both with and against both that they are pretty much on par.  Hellsteed's haste is very very nice and first strike make it a major pain to get rid of, but it does get chump-blocked quite a bit.  (I was able to do so quite well with Azorius v. Rakdos while winning above the fray.)  It's still pretty much a one-sided The Abyss and in limited, that rocks.

The Imps two forms of Evasion make it also worth running.  Trample and Flying are really huge and there are some nice tricks in both Izzet and Rakdos that can make it game ending the next attack.  I once lost to an Imps being double Dynacharged over my Trestle Troll to trample for the win.  That was almost embarrassing.

I'm never sad to run either of these in my deck. 

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All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
I'm not sad, per se, to run this (I gave it 3.5 after all), I just don't think it's as bomby as everyone else seems to think.
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Even in an aggro deck it's a safety net that wins the game on its own. Even if you're playing a very aggressive deck, in the games where you almost kill your opponent and another cheap creature would have done it your opponent will still be forced to play a fair amount of defense if they don't just want to die to a counterswing, so you'll probably get there. The games where you don't get there at all, the games where they drop two Centaur Healer, this will help immensely. And there's not much they can throw in front of it. I think it's fair to call it a bomb.
You are fully entitled to that opinion - maybe I am the one who's off on this one, but so far it has not impressed me enough to warrant more than a 3.5. To be fair, though, the Rakdos deck where I left it out was build from 12 packs (Team Sealed), so I had enough good cards at low costs to keep my curve low enough for sixes to feel a bit awkward.
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You are fully entitled to that opinion - maybe I am the one who's off on this one, but so far it has not impressed me enough to warrant more than a 3.5. To be fair, though, the Rakdos deck where I left it out was build from 12 packs (Team Sealed), so I had enough good cards at low costs to keep my curve low enough for sixes to feel a bit awkward.



This is not a matter of opinion, this is a matter of fact. Whether or not there exists an ultimate Rakdos deck that uses Rakdos Cacklers, Thrill-Kill Assassins, Hellhole Flailers, Ultimate Prices, Auger Sprees and thus never gets up to 6 mana does not make the Imps any less of a bomb. The definition for bomb is "Can this card win the game more or less on it's own" a criteria that the Imps clearly meet. Further, in an 8 person pool you can't realistically make a 3 pack draft deck playing red that would be stronger without the Imps than with them.

Why do you insist on being down on this 6/5 flyer? You've rated Civic Saber ahead of them.
You are fully entitled to that opinion - maybe I am the one who's off on this one, but so far it has not impressed me enough to warrant more than a 3.5. To be fair, though, the Rakdos deck where I left it out was build from 12 packs (Team Sealed), so I had enough good cards at low costs to keep my curve low enough for sixes to feel a bit awkward.



This is not a matter of opinion, this is a matter of fact. Whether or not there exists an ultimate Rakdos deck that uses Rakdos Cacklers, Thrill-Kill Assassins, Hellhole Flailers, Ultimate Prices, Auger Sprees and thus never gets up to 6 mana does not make the Imps any less of a bomb. The definition for bomb is "Can this card win the game more or less on it's own" a criteria that the Imps clearly meet. Further, in an 8 person pool you can't realistically make a 3 pack draft deck playing red that would be stronger without the Imps than with them.

Why do you insist on being down on this 6/5 flyer? You've rated Civic Saber ahead of them.



I would take Civic Saber over Chaos Imps P1P1 every time.

See my earlier comment about Moldgraf Monstrosity. That card can win the game by its own. Does it do so very often? No, because it doesn't fit into the most drafted Green decks in Innistrad (mainly because of speed) and it's not an early pick for that reason. While 6 is more reasonable than 7 and the format a little bit slower (on average), I still think Chaos Imps just don't quite cut it for a 4+ ranking.

Is Iona a bomb in Zen draft? Yes, by your definition. Is she playable? Probably not - at least not that often. You're right that by your definition, this is a bomb. That does not make it automatically a 4+. Winning the game by itself is also possible with stuff like Vedalken Entrancer and Bladetusk Boar.
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Ground stalls happen a lot, which makes this a much better Hellstead. Also Hellstead is rakdos only - you can play this as a finisher in Izzet to great effect. 



Is that comment based on experience or hypotheticals? Because I've run Hellsteed (in Rakdos) and left this in the board in the same game and almost all of the time, the Hellsteed felt way more relevant than if it had been a non-haste flier.


Personal experience. I've played in 4 swiss prerelease events with Rakdos, once I had two chaos imps and once only one. Between the two, it wasn't even a contest where Chaos Imp was hands down the greater agressor.

Hellstead, thanks to his First Strike, was actually more relevant as a blocker when I was on the backfoot. The corner cases where it being a better defender than Imps was slim, though.

All in all, in a foil rare case, P1P1 is obviously Chaos Imps due color commitments; and even firmly in Rakdos, I'd almost always take Imps over Hellstead. Haste is good; but ground is a big weakness, and I've so far only lost 1 game with a resolved Imp in about tens of games with it; the statistics for Hellstead is far worse.
I would take Civic Saber over Chaos Imps P1P1 every time.


Aaaand there goes all your credibility.
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Aaaand there goes all your credibility.



Really? How slow are the decks you guys are drafting? Because I love seeing the Saber in my opener and I can't imagine feeling that way for almost any six-drop. Saber is a really, really good card in this format.

The reason these threads exist is so that we can discuss and learn from each other. If you blankly dismiss my reasoning and rating on this and on the saber, I don't see what you're getting out of this. I am considering the possibility that I might be wrong on Imps, at least, but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet (and haven't actually faced the Saber vs Imps pick yet either).
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.
I would take Civic Saber over Chaos Imps P1P1 every time.


Aaaand there goes all your credibility.


It's valid. Saber will make any deck, and lets you put off choosing your colors. I wouldn't make that choice unless the pack also had annihilating fire and guttersnipe, meaning my left is almost certainly going to think about red. However, it's not unreasonable.
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57193048 wrote:
You should never explain layers to people unless one of the following is true: they're studying for a judge exam, you're both in a Ben Affleck movie and it's the only way to save the world, or you hate them.
56663526 wrote:
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56333196 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
Aaaand there goes all your credibility.



Really? How slow are the decks you guys are drafting? Because I love seeing the Saber in my opener and I can't imagine feeling that way for almost any six-drop. Saber is a really, really good card in this format.

The reason these threads exist is so that we can discuss and learn from each other. If you blankly dismiss my reasoning and rating on this and on the saber, I don't see what you're getting out of this. I am considering the possibility that I might be wrong on Imps, at least, but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet (and haven't actually faced the Saber vs Imps pick yet either).



I'm not sure about not drafting imps, but this format is pretty fast, which is why I'm always leary of picking 6+ drops early on. I have to say, my best draft decks had mostly 3-drops.

On another note, the limited forums seem much more polite than the standard forums. I know nighthavk was kidding, but as Lobster pointed these forums are about discussion and that happens a lot more here and I really like it that way. I may not always agree with Lobster, or Sleeping, or bobus, but at least I'm always getting a new POV or affirming what I already thought. So. Yeah. My gf just made bacon bbl.

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Another point to consider is how easily you can pick up another 6-drop that might fulfill the same function (albeit less effectively). There is no other equipment in this set at all, and the Saber is a really good piece to boot. Substituting Chaos Imps with Skyline Predator or Zanikev Locust might not be the most exciting but you literally can't substitute Civic Saber with anything else...
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Aha, I have found a good picture to help illustrate how Chaos Imps might be helpful to an opponent. And yes, you saw that right, I have a total of 10 lands drawn and 3 spells. This was after muliganing a 1 land hand into a 4 land one:



The last 10 consecutive losses in RtR have all been to mana issues (or something equally stupid, see Sundering Growth misclick). The one after this one I kept a 2 land hand and had a total of 3 lands on turn 8 when the game ended. It is rough to do that after winning a blowout game 1.

As for your previous argument -- how easy is it to pick up a 7/6 flying trampler?
You're obviously not getting my argument; While there are no other 7/6 Tramplers in the set, there are plenty of "big guys" of some quality. Your position in that screenshot would be almost as bad had that Chaos Imps been a Courser's Accord, a Tenement Crasher or an Archweaver.

Also, this thread is not for mana-flood gripes, you've got plenty of others for that, please don't start that in here.
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You're obviously not getting my argument; While there are no other 7/6 Tramplers in the set, there are plenty of "big guys" of some quality. Your position in that screenshot would be almost as bad had that Chaos Imps been a Courser's Accord, a Tenement Crasher or an Archweaver.

Also, this thread is not for mana-flood gripes, you've got plenty of others for that, please don't start that in here.



I'm sorry, but the picture works fairly well for both. One would have to imagine that had I had not been mana flooded that the Chaos Imps would have won the game anyway, since the deck had only 2 removal (Luanch Party, Martial Law) that could deal with the Imps. Game 1 was a blowout win (20-0) in my favor that would have still been a blowout win if he had played the imps due to Martial Law. But had I not played that (or sat on a Launch Party) the Imps would have completely turned the game around for him as no other card could. You can make a case for other cards having a larger impact because they come out earlier, but this can be said of any earlier drop. I just lost one out of three to a Rakdos matchup because my opponent got the dreaded Chainwalker->Flailer->Giant->Spawn succession. However, once the Imps are in play you would be hard pressed to find another 6 CMC card with a bigger impact. If you are already ahead a 7/6 flying trampler should seal the deal. If you are behind a 6/5 flyer can block and live vs pretty much everything. Bombs are effective in every format and you should be able to cast a 6 drop in every game unless you've already won earlier than that.
I'm sorry, but the picture works fairly well for both. One would have to imagine that had I had not been mana flooded



So what you're saying is that the picture would work if it had been a different picture. I see.

I know it can be hard to deal with a Chaos Imps, but almost all of the removal that deals with a Skyline Predator deals with the Imps, too. I maintain my position that your situation would not be radically different if that Imps had been a less powerful card in the "6-CMC (evasive) win condition".

Had it been a T1 Judge's Familiar, T2 Civic Saber and equip, eventually packed up by something like a Frostburn Weird or even worse a Rakdos Cackler into Saber into Hellhole Flailer, you could not come up with an equivalent to the Saber (Deviant Glee and Pursuit of Flight come closest but can't be transferred/reused on bigger creatures later).
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I'm sorry, but the picture works fairly well for both. One would have to imagine that had I had not been mana flooded



So what you're saying is that the picture would work if it had been a different picture. I see.

I know it can be hard to deal with a Chaos Imps, but almost all of the removal that deals with a Skyline Predator deals with the Imps, too. I maintain my position that your situation would not be radically different if that Imps had been a less powerful card in the "6-CMC (evasive) win condition".

Had it been a T1 Judge's Familiar, T2 Civic Saber and equip, eventually packed up by something like a Frostburn Weird or even worse a Rakdos Cackler into Saber into Hellhole Flailer, you could not come up with an equivalent to the Saber (Deviant Glee and Pursuit of Flight come closest but can't be transferred/reused on bigger creatures later).



Every [Non Packrat] RtR deck is going to lose if it draws a 10|3 land|spell split. However my deck had answers for all of the other cards you mentioned. The only answers in this deck to Chaos Imps were Martial Law and Launch Party and a typical deck I've drafted in RtR would between 0 and 1 answers to Chaos Imps on average.

Although I think I realize why I find your 3.5 rating of Chaos Imps so erratic. It's because you've already given out 4's and 4.5's to all of the other 6 CMC bombs and even to all of the other 7 CMC bombs. So rating this one 3.5 is internally inconsistant. If you made 3.5 your upper limit for 6 CMC cards because the set was too fast to play 6 CMC cards it's certainly too fast to play 7 CMC cards. But since you've played the set you know that is clearly not true. It's rare to end a game under 6 mana unless you had mana issues and that was the reason you lost in the first place, or because you pulled a clear aggro hand and it was over before that point.
Every RtR deck is going to lose if it draws a 10|3 land|spell split.



Disregarding Pack Rat, yes, but that's entirely beside the point and I already once told you so.

However my deck had answers for all of the other cards you mentioned. The only answers in this deck to Chaos Imps were Martial Law and Launch Party and a typical deck I've drafted in RtR would between 0 and 1 answers to Chaos Imps on average.



What answers to Skyline Predator that could not kill Chaos Imps were you playing, pray tell? I can think of one off the top of my head and it is a Rakdos card.

Also, if you feel like you need answers for creatures like these, pick inconditional removal earlier. Trostani's Judgment and Assassin's Strike are fine cards if you just need to kill something. Or run Aerial Predation maindeck.

Although I think I realize why I find your 3.5 rating of Chaos Imps so erratic. It's because you've already given out 4's and 4.5's to all of the other 6 CMC bombs and even to all of the other 7 CMC bombs. So rating this one 3.5 is internally inconsistant. If you made 3.5 your upper limit for 6 CMC cards because the set was too fast to play 6 CMC cards it's certainly too fast to play 7 CMC cards. But since you've played the set you know that is clearly not true. It's rare to end a game under 6 mana unless you had mana issues and that was the reason you lost in the first place, or because you pulled a clear aggro hand and it was over before that point.



The reason I like other "curve-topper" bombs better than this is either because they go in a deck that needs them more (such as a slow, Green-based deck in the case of Risen Sanctuary or Necropolis Regent (which by the way probably also are around 3.5 both)), or because their abilities are more relevant (prime example being Carnival Hellsteed's Haste and First Strike being better than Imps' Flying and (eventual) trample). I am being consistent as long as you realize that context matters and that the ranking scale is not an abstract measurement of power but is a measure of power in this set and format.
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No, Carnival Hellstead's Haste and First Strike are not more relevant because it can still be chump blocked while Chaos Imps cannot. I've won every game vs Hellstead for precisely this reason, while I have yet to win a game once Chaos Imps have hit the board. Unleashed Carnival Hellstead plays out like Desecrating Demon except that it hits the board at least two turns later and doesn't get counters when it taps. Leashed Carnival Hellstead plays out like a 5/4 first-striker that can't block flyers. Hence why the Imps are better in both forms.

You are being both internally inconsistant in your ratings as well as externally inconsistant with every rater on here as well as every professional rater who uses numeric scores. All have this as 4.0 or higher. I'm sorry but I have to agree with Nighthavk at this point, you lose credibility when you make statements like this.
No, Carnival Hellstead's Haste and First Strike are not more relevant because it can still be chump blocked while Chaos Imps cannot. I've won every game vs Hellstead for precisely this reason, while I have yet to win a game once Chaos Imps have hit the board. Unleashed Carnival Hellstead plays out like Desecrating Demon except that it hits the board at least two turns later and doesn't get counters when it taps. Leashed Carnival Hellstead plays out like a 5/4 first-striker that can't block flyers. Hence why the Imps are better in both forms.

You are being both internally inconsistant in your ratings as well as externally inconsistant with every rater on here as well as every professional rater who uses numeric scores. All have this as 4.0 or higher. I'm sorry but I have to agree with Nighthavk at this point, you lose credibility when you make statements like this.



I'm not gonna continue this discussion until I've got more play experience with the card, but I trust my gut on this one.

I have to point out, though, that my opponent usually don't have lots of creatures to chump with out when I hit Hellsteed on the top of my curve (because my deck is aggressive enough to have them on the backfoot).

How am I being internally inconsitant? I have reasons to the contrary. And I honestly don't care if my initial feelings are "off" compared to "common knowledge". I prefer to think for myself and only then compare to others. Have you read "Information Cascades in Magic" by Patrick Chapin? I suggest you do so, it's on SCG.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
After drafting the nuts hyperaggressive Rakdos deck: only two four drops and a single five drop, Hellhole Flailer, Mizzium Mortars, three Splatter Thug, Civic Saber, Stab Wound, Auger Spree, and a lot of other great stuff, I can say that I would have loved Chaos Imps in my deck. Match two I just got completely trounced by Centaur Healer and Trostani, Selesnya's Voice when I failed to draw enough gas. Yuck!
There are quite a few situations where both Carnival Hellsteed and Chaos Imps will work equally well, but far more situations where Chaos Imps are better than those where Hellstead is better. There are a lot of commons that allow you to reliably chump block a single non-trampling ground attacker. Centaur's Herald, Trestle Troll, Seller of Songbirds are the first 3 that come to mind. I remember one game where Korozda Guildmage made my opponent's Hellstead and entire offensive ground game completely irrelevant while I was able to deal lethal damage over time through the air. Whereas I've never negated a Chaos Imp. So far the Imps have always shown up as 7/6 flying tramplers and I've never had enough air power to stop that, and it's never made sense to chump with the flyers I did have due to the trample. Even Stab Wound is typically a poor response. This is a set without a lot of removal and a set where the majority of flyers are in the 2 power range, 7/6 flying trample is a pretty big deal.
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