[GTC-ICD] Skullcrack

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Skullcrack (Uncommon) -
Insant
Players can't gain life this turn. Damage can't be prevented this turn. Skulcrack deals 3 damage to target player.

Source: MTG via Dailymtg mistake
So now control players aren't even allowed to stabilize with Sphinx's Revelation?
Oh...oh yes.

Me likey...Me likey A LOT
This card was awesome when it was 3 mana for 4 damage, and 2 mana for 3 damage is probably just better.  Sweet sideboard card, and potentially maindeckable depending on the meta.
So now control players aren't even allowed to stabilize with Sphinx's Revelation?


Sure seems like it. Looks like we're going to see even more RDW at FNM. 
Yep, that's another card to get four of asap. Might as well start making a list.

L1 Judge

...Ninja'd...
I made an ICD-thread as well. I even put everything fancy up there: did a spellcheck, flavortext and a Link to the article...  *Sigh*
So now control players aren't even allowed to stabilize with Sphinx's Revelation?


Sure seems like it. Looks like we're going to see even more RDW at FNM. 


As a RDW player, I'm estatic.

And it's not rare. That also makes me happy.

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This seems really overrated to me - why is everyone going nuts over this card?

It's decent against Sphinx's Revelation, but they still draw their X cards, so the impact is minor. It certainly doesn't make RDW viable because Bant Control isn't what made RDW bad - RB Zombies did.

It's decent in response to Tusk's ETB trigger (5 mana for a 3/3 Beast), but again, you're still down a card without actually answering the whole threat.


I mean, this card is fine as an uncommon but it's barely better than Incinerate, and that broke no formats. 
Yay. Definitely playing RDW when Gatecrash comes out.

"This list much made Niche barf a lil' in his mouth, so I can be proud of that." -rstnme

This seems really overrated to me - why is everyone going nuts over this card?

It's decent against Sphinx's Revelation, but they still draw their X cards, so the impact is minor. It certainly doesn't make RDW viable because Bant Control isn't what made RDW bad - RB Zombies did.

It's decent in response to Tusk's ETB trigger (5 mana for a 3/3 Beast), but again, you're still down a card without actually answering the whole threat.


I mean, this card is fine as an uncommon but it's barely better than Incinerate, and that broke no formats. 



It doesn't hit creatures.

So, they still get their Tusky. 
So now control players aren't even allowed to stabilize with Sphinx's Revelation?


Sure seems like it. Looks like we're going to see even more RDW at FNM. 


As a RDW player, I'm estatic.

And it's not rare. That also makes me happy.


Yup, keep that wonderful creation at like $50 still. 

I mean, the deck didn't need more help and quite frankly I find the deck annoying seeing that mostly the people who play it are bads.  
This seems really overrated to me - why is everyone going nuts over this card?

It's decent against Sphinx's Revelation, but they still draw their X cards, so the impact is minor. It certainly doesn't make RDW viable because Bant Control isn't what made RDW bad - RB Zombies did.

It's decent in response to Tusk's ETB trigger (5 mana for a 3/3 Beast), but again, you're still down a card without actually answering the whole threat.


I mean, this card is fine as an uncommon but it's barely better than Incinerate, and that broke no formats. 


Turn 4-5 is when RDW wins or loses. So this solidifies it more. 
Well, this is an anti Revelation and an anti-Thragtusk in one go.  Biggest problem my red deck has with Thragtusk isn't the big body it brings in, but the lifegain stabalizing the opponent long enough to pull off shenanigans.  Now I will have something to counter act that.  A great instant here, and perfectly sideboardable in the current standard. 

That said, Revelation hasn't really proven a problem for me.  The deck is fast enough to outrace decks that use it. 
This seems really overrated to me - why is everyone going nuts over this card?

It's decent against Sphinx's Revelation, but they still draw their X cards, so the impact is minor. It certainly doesn't make RDW viable because Bant Control isn't what made RDW bad - RB Zombies did.

It's decent in response to Tusk's ETB trigger (5 mana for a 3/3 Beast), but again, you're still down a card without actually answering the whole threat.


I mean, this card is fine as an uncommon but it's barely better than Incinerate, and that broke no formats. 





This card has seen play before at a worse mana to damage ratio and was still very good back then.  In fact, it was maindecked in a pro tour winning deck.
It also negates Fog...

It also does 3 damage.

It also makes aggro decks even quicker.

It makes Goblin decks...

Horrifying...

So much love for the art and flavour, too - goodbye, Searing Spear!
This seems really overrated to me - why is everyone going nuts over this card?

It's decent against Sphinx's Revelation, but they still draw their X cards, so the impact is minor. It certainly doesn't make RDW viable because Bant Control isn't what made RDW bad - RB Zombies did.

It's decent in response to Tusk's ETB trigger (5 mana for a 3/3 Beast), but again, you're still down a card without actually answering the whole threat.


I mean, this card is fine as an uncommon but it's barely better than Incinerate, and that broke no formats. 



It doesn't hit creatures.

So, they still get their Tusky. 



In that case, this card is terrible and no Aggro deck should play it except in the sideboard.
Of course it's a sideboard card. But it's an excellent sideboard card against things that give my RDW the most trouble at FNM, so I'll be packing 4.

L1 Judge

This seems really overrated to me - why is everyone going nuts over this card?

It's decent against Sphinx's Revelation, but they still draw their X cards, so the impact is minor. It certainly doesn't make RDW viable because Bant Control isn't what made RDW bad - RB Zombies did.

It's decent in response to Tusk's ETB trigger (5 mana for a 3/3 Beast), but again, you're still down a card without actually answering the whole threat.


I mean, this card is fine as an uncommon but it's barely better than Incinerate, and that broke no formats. 



It doesn't hit creatures.

So, they still get their Tusky. 



Having Tusk out isn't the problem.  Having Tusk's EtB ability trigger, and having the body out is the problem.  By turn 3 on the play I have the opponent usually down to 5-8 life.  If thragtusk enters the battlefield, it pretty much puts the win out of reach as they will gain decent life, be able to block a lot with the Tusker, and put the win out of reach.  That 5 life gain slows down RDW enough for decks that run Thragtusk have plenty of time to stabalize.  If they don't gain the life, I could easily attack through the Tusk and deal the needed damage to finish them.

So now control players aren't even allowed to stabilize with Sphinx's Revelation?


Sure seems like it. Looks like we're going to see even more RDW at FNM. 


As a RDW player, I'm estatic.

And it's not rare. That also makes me happy.


Yup, keep that wonderful creation at like $50 still. 

I mean, the deck didn't need more help and quite frankly I find the deck annoying seeing that mostly the people who play it are bads.  


Most bads I come across either play G/B or netdeck whatever the current protour FOTM is at the moment.
This card was awesome when it was 3 mana for 4 damage, and 2 mana for 3 damage is probably just better.  Sweet sideboard card, and potentially maindeckable depending on the meta.



Ehh...I'm not convinced this is better than Flames of the Blood Hand at least in standard.  I mean, sure, there are legacy and modern burn decks that would be much more likely to run this than flames.  But in a format where your whole deck isn't burn, so some of your threats can  and will be stopped, you generally want most of your threat cards to have the potential to deal 4-5 damage if they aren't dealt with.

Consider, people ran Char with the plan that it would frequently be used against opposing players, but were much less inclined to run Volcanic Hammer during the same time period.  And I'm pretty sure Flame Javelin is still considered a better card than Searing Spear, at least in the context of a metagame like Standard.

Time will tell, though; I find burn much harder to predict than creatures. 

Cats land on their feet. Toast lands peanut butter side down. A cat with toast strapped to its back will hover above the ground in a state of quantum indecision.

Yeah but this card does not stop the only card that hurts rdw more than thragtusk That Rhino.
This seems really overrated to me - why is everyone going nuts over this card?

It's decent against Sphinx's Revelation, but they still draw their X cards, so the impact is minor. It certainly doesn't make RDW viable because Bant Control isn't what made RDW bad - RB Zombies did.

It's decent in response to Tusk's ETB trigger (5 mana for a 3/3 Beast), but again, you're still down a card without actually answering the whole threat.


I mean, this card is fine as an uncommon but it's barely better than Incinerate, and that broke no formats. 



I'm hoping and praying this isn't the Thragtusk "counter" we've been hearing about. Other than that it'll definitely see play in at least the sideboard and RDW and R/B aggro may even run it in the main; there's a pretty high chance of that methinks. And I love the flavour text! "Blunk"= so much win
A wise man on film sequels:
Watching sequels to really good films is like visiting a bollock kicking parlour, paying your money and then proceeding to get your bollocks kicked...then leaving and returning at a later date to repeat the process. -iamthehollow
Decks: :R::G: Karn Tron :R::U: Bloody Fish There Will Be Blood (movie).
This is only a good maindeck card for bad decks. It's also only a passable sideboard card for good decks.

I would be surprised (and disappointed in the pilot) to see this as more than a 3-of sideboard in RB Zombies. 
searing spear on steroids, what a more expensive lightning bolt should look like  

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This seems really overrated to me - why is everyone going nuts over this card?

It's decent against Sphinx's Revelation, but they still draw their X cards, so the impact is minor. It certainly doesn't make RDW viable because Bant Control isn't what made RDW bad - RB Zombies did.

It's decent in response to Tusk's ETB trigger (5 mana for a 3/3 Beast), but again, you're still down a card without actually answering the whole threat.


I mean, this card is fine as an uncommon but it's barely better than Incinerate, and that broke no formats. 



I'm hoping and praying this isn't the Thragtusk "counter" we've been hearing about. Other than that it'll definitely see play in at least the sideboard and RDW and R/B aggro may even run it in the main; there's a pretty high chance of that methinks. And I love the flavour text! "Blunk"= so much win

Why does Thragtusk need Wizards to print a specific answer, there is more than enough in standard already that deals with it.
WoTC were the ones that took it upon themselves to bringing a "Counter" in GTC. But really, what in standard actually deals with it? Countering it/Slaughter Pacting it/Nevermoring it and making it unable to attack or block through something like Crippling Blight are the only ways to stop it. There's not a lot of countermagic flying around because of the uncounterable spells and Cavern of Souls in the format and the last of option is not effective all the time, and they still gain 5 life.
A wise man on film sequels:
Watching sequels to really good films is like visiting a bollock kicking parlour, paying your money and then proceeding to get your bollocks kicked...then leaving and returning at a later date to repeat the process. -iamthehollow
Decks: :R::G: Karn Tron :R::U: Bloody Fish There Will Be Blood (movie).
Responding to a Thragtusk ETB with this is 8 damage for 2 in my books (or one). My Standard Guttersnipe deck  likes this card quite a lot, if only for sideboard.
Standard Pauper! (play it on MTGO)
Why 8? It doesn't give a Rain of Gore effect. I wish they had just reprinted that...would seriously ruin Control/Thragtusk's day.
A wise man on film sequels:
Watching sequels to really good films is like visiting a bollock kicking parlour, paying your money and then proceeding to get your bollocks kicked...then leaving and returning at a later date to repeat the process. -iamthehollow
Decks: :R::G: Karn Tron :R::U: Bloody Fish There Will Be Blood (movie).
The bassline of Volcanic Hammer with the Lava Axe targetting system is a little low for constructed play. This is a great sideboard card for decks that simply cannot win against Thragtusk and Sphinx's Revelation- but if you have Slaughter Games and they get to keep their Revelations, you deserve to get buried under cards while this rots in resolution.
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Why 8? It doesn't give a Rain of Gore effect. I wish they had just reprinted that...would seriously ruin Control/Thragtusk's day.


3 damage from the spell itself, plus negating a gain 5, puts them at -8 from where they would be without this spell. It's useful.
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seems alright.
WoTC were the ones that took it upon themselves to bringing a "Counter" in GTC. But really, what in standard actually deals with it? Countering it/Slaughter Pacting it/Nevermoring it and making it unable to attack or block through something like Crippling Blight are the only ways to stop it. There's not a lot of countermagic flying around because of the uncounterable spells and Cavern of Souls in the format and the last of option is not effective all the time, and they still gain 5 life.

Exactly you can counter it, slaughter games it, nevermore it, to stop it from being cast at all or you can pacify it, aggro around it like red black does, fly over it, stop the two for one with double strike (Silverblade), or play your own thragtusk.  Also Door To Nothingness does happen in competative standard and that does not care about life totals.  I think this about covers a way for every style of deck to effectively deal with thragtusk.
Only hits your opponents life total.

This seems over-rated to me.

Not even sure if this is playable, even in SB's.

The "cant gain life" and "damage cant be prevented" clauses are cute and all, but this is still just an Incinerate that cant hit creatures.

Seriously, do people actually think preventing your opponent from gaining life a single time is going to amount to anything at all? Especially in a format full of Thragtusk, Faithmender, Revelation, Trostani, Huntmaster and Resto Angel? Not to mention the new Ghost Dad, and the entire Extort mechanic.

This card is a trap. I'll stick with Slaughter Games thank you very much.
"I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God."

Seriously, do people actually think preventing your opponent from gaining life a single time is going to amount to anything at all?


Yes.
Standard Pauper! (play it on MTGO)
WoTC were the ones that took it upon themselves to bringing a "Counter" in GTC. But really, what in standard actually deals with it? Countering it/Slaughter Pacting it/Nevermoring it and making it unable to attack or block through something like Crippling Blight are the only ways to stop it. There's not a lot of countermagic flying around because of the uncounterable spells and Cavern of Souls in the format and the last of option is not effective all the time, and they still gain 5 life.

Exactly you can counter it, slaughter games it, nevermore it, to stop it from being cast at all or you can pacify it, aggro around it like red black does, fly over it, stop the two for one with double strike (Silverblade), or play your own thragtusk.  Also Door To Nothingness does happen in competative standard and that does not care about life totals.  I think this about covers a way for every style of deck to effectively deal with thragtusk.



I'm not sure if you've played much competitive; if you have you would know that it is a prominent, some would argue the most prominent, threat in standard at the momment. Some feel that it's fine how it is and how it interacts with the standard metagame, others do not. I'm more inbetween, but definitely leaning for not; you are in the former, and I can accept that. As it is now, Slaughter games is really the only thing that stops it permanently (everything else is temporary until certain conditions are met). Some would like the list of things to deal with it permanently expanded somewhat.

And 2 things: 1) Double Strike does not work that way. 2) Door to Nothingness sees fringe play at the very most and is not a viable option in constructed.
A wise man on film sequels:
Watching sequels to really good films is like visiting a bollock kicking parlour, paying your money and then proceeding to get your bollocks kicked...then leaving and returning at a later date to repeat the process. -iamthehollow
Decks: :R::G: Karn Tron :R::U: Bloody Fish There Will Be Blood (movie).
Only hits your opponents life total.

This seems over-rated to me.

Not even sure if this is playable, even in SB's.

The "cant gain life" and "damage cant be prevented" clauses are cute and all, but this is still just an Incinerate that cant hit creatures.

Seriously, do people actually think preventing your opponent from gaining life a single time is going to amount to anything at all? Especially in a format full of Thragtusk, Faithmender, Revelation, Trostani, Huntmaster and Resto Angel? Not to mention the new Ghost Dad, and the entire Extort mechanic.

This card is a trap. I'll stick with Slaughter Games thank you very much.



For a fast aggro deck, the turn 4-5 stage is crucial.  Often the single lifegain from Thrag is enough to stabalize the opponent for a follow up the next turn with RestorationAngel.  As I said, I usually have the opponent down to 5-10 life after turn 3 attacks.  Even if I do nothing on turn 2 or 3 other than attack with a Rakdos Cackler and a Lightning Mauler(Or Ash Zealot pref.), that leaves them at 12 life, and likely playing Thragtusk the next turn.  Turn 3 I drop another 1 drop(Let's say another Cackler).  Their next turn they drop Thragtusk(assuming ramp), and in response I cast this.  They are at 9 life now.  Next turn I have a number of options open to me.  If they block any one of them with thragtusk I can get through 4 damage, putting them at 5 life, within range of any two burn spells I have open.  Since I will have at least 3 lands on the board, there's a decent chance that I will be able to do that.  If I hit my 4th turn land drop,  that provides more options.  If I have any hasters in hand(Either a single Mauler or Zealot) I can drop and get them in range of a Searing Spear.  If I have any 1-drop and a Mauler I can get them within range of a Pillar.  If I send out the Mauler with Gore-House Chainwalker(Or Mogg Flunkies if You're into the that sort of thing), And they block either one of the 3-power dudes they merely get a token. 

It's not terribly likely they have a second Thragtusk in hand, and even if they do we still put them at 1 life and 1 token out.  If they happen to have Thrag in hand, and I don't have a second one of these, they are now at 6 life, two blockers.  Attack with everything again, and I should be well withing range of finishing the game. 

Now, preventing that damage for one instance, on one crucial turn, wins the game.  If I don't do that, the next turn is likely to follow with a Restoration Angel, placing another creature on the board, they gain 5 more life, and a token to boot.  Suddenly the game becomes unwinnable for mono-red beats.

Granted, Slaughter Games.  However for those who do not want to go R/B for whatever reason(I like mono-red, for instance), this is a very solid card that can give you the edge you need to win out against Thragtusk.  It won't be great for all decks, but for certain types (Particularly mono-red) it'll be solid gold.
searing spear on steroids, what a more expensive lightning bolt should look like  



Searing Spear is much better than this card overall.

Cats land on their feet. Toast lands peanut butter side down. A cat with toast strapped to its back will hover above the ground in a state of quantum indecision.


Seriously, do people actually think preventing your opponent from gaining life a single time is going to amount to anything at all?


Yes.



Good luck with that. Better hope you can kill them the turn after you cast it, otherwise they are just going to flood you with tons more life gain.

Cool, you stopped me from gaining 5 from my Thragtusk, guess I'll just cast Revelation for 6 the following turn to gain 3 life and 3 cards, or Huntmaster, or Ghost Dad, or Resto Angel blinking the Thragtusk you conveniently weren't able to kill with this card.

That is without even considering the fact that they could have Trostani or Faithmender on the table for even more life gain later on.

Seriously, in most cases, if you cant kill them the turn after you play this, it is going to amount to literally nothing in the long run.

Outside of straight up burn, this card isn't that good, and burn currently just doesn't work in Standard (and this card isn't going to change that any).

Edit: Oh yeah, forgot to mention Centaur Healer, Elixir of Immortality, Deathrite Shaman, Drogskol Reaver, Vampire Nighthawk, Blood Artist, Griselbrand, Azorius Charm, Vault of the Archangel, and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad.


"I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God."
Inferior to Searing Spear, but certainly better than Thunderbolt. I need 4.
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