1/16/2013 LI: "Sounding the 'Horn"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

I think this is a really powerful mechanic, and despite being basic, this is a really cool card.  It's really good with things like infect or double strike and it can also be played out as a creature in a pinch.  No real downside.
My first thought was "Oh, nice card design. Giant Growth shouldn't be obsoleted, so they made it +3/+2, which meant it had to be 3/2; which is a fine size for a common creature with some other ability. Spot on the power curve on both halves. Very elegant design."

(Why yes, I am a Melvin - why do you ask?)

Marshall makes a very good point, though: this is not Giant Growth. It's no good on defence, or against sorcery-speed burn spells. I bet more than one player will be tripped up by trying to use some bloodrush card that way at the prerelease.

Nonetheless, very solid. Not an early draft pick but a very solid role-player. 
i like. particularly that flavor text.

it's a nice body with bloodrush attached, it helps you max out on pump spells (provided u need them for attacking) and when dragon maze somes out, it will let you save that giant growth for when you need it defensively. really nice card. bloodrush is just so fun
Although this isn't your first article, I've watched some of your drafts at the academy and congrats on the limited information column. I feel like you made a lot of points about this card and while some of them were more obvious than others, should absolutely have been made, i.e. its versatile and its pump mode is NOT like giant growth.

With the note that overall I liked your preview of this card, some constructive criticism:

Some points you made were a bit redundant:

"On turn three, if we have no other reasonable play, simply playing Slaughterhorn as a 3/2 is going to be the correct move most of the time. Developing your board with high-powered creatures usually takes precedent over anything else in the early stages of a game. "

and

 "We also can't forget that it's a reasonable play to just play Slaughterhorn out as a creature and beat down with it. The decision to do this will be guided by the state of the board, how many creatures we have, if a 3/2 can attack profitably, and if a pump spell could break the game open for us."

 I agree that when to play this card and when to use it as pump will often be a difficult decision based on board state, which is why I really like bloodrush as a mechanic.

Some points I feel may have been useful to mention:

The mana cost: Its a monogreen spell! While its easy to associate bloodrush with gruul and extort with orzhov, I think its important to remind people to avoid falling into that trap. You mentioned gruul repeatedly throughout the article, but never simic or evolve as far as I could see. 

Synergy with evolve: 3 power! A lot of the spoiled evolve cards to date have low power/high toughness. 3 power for 3 mana seems key at getting an powerful evolve deck to curve out properly. There is also a more subtle synergy: since many of the evolve cards make terrible topdecks, players will begin to hold creature spells in hand on relatively stalled board states so that their evolve guys get a bit of a boost when they are finally drawn. Having a high power mono green bloodrush guy is perfect in this situation, since you can use the bloodrush to help trade back to board parity if needed, and if not you can say hello to better evolve creatures.

Further use in simic: Playing against a gruul player, everyone and their magic-playing grandmothers will learn (eventually) to respect how much creature pump gruul has. They should be slower to expect bloodrush in a simic deck, which actually makes it even more powerful there. Against a gruul deck, the odds of a bloodrush creature coming in to change combat are incredibly high, but such predictability makes pump spells weaker than normal. As you alluded to in your article, players may often try to bait two-for-ones. I would predict this will happen far less often against simic due to their lower concentration of the mechanic.

Neither of us has the full set, which obviously handicaps our abilities to make exact predictions. From the cards spoiled thus far, however, it seems better to me as a key role player in simic than as a part of the gruul horde.
I wouldn't be surprised if this was a high pick, actually. Bloodrush seems mostly to be very high impact but also relatively expensive to activate. Having a one mana Bloodrush option allows you to make use of it early in the game without missing a creature drop. In a deck that is presumably all about tempo, that seems super important!

Although this isn't your first article, I've watched some of your drafts at the academy and congrats on the limited information column. I feel like you made a lot of points about this card and while some of them were more obvious than others, should absolutely have been made, i.e. its versatile and its pump mode is NOT like giant growth.

With the note that overall I liked your preview of this card, some constructive criticism:

Some points you made were a bit redundant:

"On turn three, if we have no other reasonable play, simply playing Slaughterhorn as a 3/2 is going to be the correct move most of the time. Developing your board with high-powered creatures usually takes precedent over anything else in the early stages of a game. "

and

 "We also can't forget that it's a reasonable play to just play Slaughterhorn out as a creature and beat down with it. The decision to do this will be guided by the state of the board, how many creatures we have, if a 3/2 can attack profitably, and if a pump spell could break the game open for us."

 I agree that when to play this card and when to use it as pump will often be a difficult decision based on board state, which is why I really like bloodrush as a mechanic.

Some points I feel may have been useful to mention:

The mana cost: Its a monogreen spell! While its easy to associate bloodrush with gruul and extort with orzhov, I think its important to remind people to avoid falling into that trap. You mentioned gruul repeatedly throughout the article, but never simic or evolve as far as I could see. 

Synergy with evolve: 3 power! A lot of the spoiled evolve cards to date have low power/high toughness. 3 power for 3 mana seems key at getting an powerful evolve deck to curve out properly. There is also a more subtle synergy: since many of the evolve cards make terrible topdecks, players will begin to hold creature spells in hand on relatively stalled board states so that their evolve guys get a bit of a boost when they are finally drawn. Having a high power mono green bloodrush guy is perfect in this situation, since you can use the bloodrush to help trade back to board parity if needed, and if not you can say hello to better evolve creatures.

Further use in simic: Playing against a gruul player, everyone and their magic-playing grandmothers will learn (eventually) to respect how much creature pump gruul has. They should be slower to expect bloodrush in a simic deck, which actually makes it even more powerful there. Against a gruul deck, the odds of a bloodrush creature coming in to change combat are incredibly high, but such predictability makes pump spells weaker than normal. As you alluded to in your article, players may often try to bait two-for-ones. I would predict this will happen far less often against simic due to their lower concentration of the mechanic.

Neither of us has the full set, which obviously handicaps our abilities to make exact predictions. From the cards spoiled thus far, however, it seems better to me as a key role player in simic than as a part of the gruul horde.



You should have written that article

This is a card I would have hated having to preview, as there is only so much you can say about it, and it's not exactly exciting.
@phaseshifter: thanks ; )

I actually think a simple card like this has a lot of depth in terms of actual gameplay, but also when to pick it up in draft. I do think previewing them is a tough position, because you are stuck between making bold predictions based on a third of the set or sticking with the basics. It would be fun if the previewers had complete spoilers so they could make higher level predictions with more confidence, but I know wizards has been burned by giving out spoilers early before.

For example ethereal armor could range from borderline unplayable to fairly high pick depending on the removal in a set.

On the other hand, if 'pros' had the spoiler early, they might have 'too much' insight, leading to a format that grows 'stale' more quickly...  
Is Bloodrush considered casting or are you playing the ability?  In other words, can you counter the bloodrush?  If not, this may be a pretty good fit for pauper infect.
Is Bloodrush considered casting or are you playing the ability?  In other words, can you counter the bloodrush?  If not, this may be a pretty good fit for pauper infect.



It is considered using an ability (I think an activated ability).  It can't be countered by counterspell type cards as it is not a spell put on the stack, but is counterable by cards such as Stifle if the ability is considered an activated (or triggered) ability.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
It's an activated ability, and so GreenBuster is right: Cancel can't counter it, but Stifle / Squelch can.
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