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The miracle I believe in

April 23, 2012

The prerelease of Avacyn Restored are due this weekend and from today you can now find the complete official spoiler over at the mothership.  As a whole, the set looks very sweet and there a ton of cards that are interesting to say the least but I’m just going to talk about one card in particular today.

The card I want to mention does have the much buzzed about Miracle-mechanic:

Terminus

As I said, there have been a lot of chatter about the Miracle-mechanic and in particulary the card Temporal Mastery (which I talked about for a couple of weeks ago) but I feel like this Terminus card have been somewhat swept under the rug and haven’t got a lot of attention…wrongly so.

At least as far as Standard goes, I believe that Terminus is THE Miracle-card from the set and not Temporal Mastery.

Let’s break it down. Terminus is essentially a Day of Judgement, a well respected card but with a some twists. If we look at the downsides compared to Day of Judgement, it costs 2 more colorless mana to cast. While the difference of 4 to 6 mana to sweep the board can potentially be very high depending on what decks your facing and what other form of resistance you have in your deck, if we look back to previous Standard formats we can see that spending 6 mana for a “wrath” is certainly not inconceivable. Particularly not if the card in question have some sweet upsides, which Terminus certainly have.

Terminus doesn’t actually destroy the creatures that are on the battlefield, they are put on the bottom of their owner’s libraries. This is off course very useful when combating a format that is filled with troublesome creatures with Undying, Gravecrawlers, Thrun, the Last Troll, Moorland Haunt and more. For most decks and purposes, this is a major benefit.

The other upside Terminus have compared to Day of Judgement is the tacked on Miracle-mechanic. For a little as one white mana you can get this powerful effect. While most decks that wants to cast Terminus are perfectly fine with casting it for 6 mana, getting it off for W is just dirty.

Also not to forget, while actually getting the discounted price of W for your Terminus very once in a while is certainly nice, there is another aspect of the Miracle-mechanic that is very interesting, namingly the impact it has on the opponents gameplan.

As a player that have been on the beatdown-side more often than the Day of Judgement-side of the matchup over my years in playing this game, I can tell you that one of the most important things you need to able to do as a beatdown-player is to know how to play around the sweeper-effects of the format. You need to be able to plan your curve accordingly to potential sweepers and know when to hold back your creatures and when to flood the board. This is after some practice often fairly easy to do when you know exactly which sweepers to expect and when to expect them. In the case of Day of Judgement, you need to sculpt your gameplan to fight through a sweeping-effect once the opponent has access to 4 mana.

But it’s not as “simple” to do this versus Terminus. Once the opponent has access to W, the sweeper could happen literally anytime. That situation is very frustrating for a beatdown-player to be in and the sad news is that you often will not be able to play around a miracled Terminus. You just have to say, if they got it, they got it and pray they don’t. It sucks but constantly playing around the Terminus that the opponent might pluck will rarely do you any favors.

While the move from 4 to 6 mana in casting cost for your “wrath”-effect is a big deal, I think Terminus have the upsides to make up for it. Sadly think I will be playing against this card a fair bit in the upcoming Standard format, more so than be casting it myself…

Before moving on I would also like to mention while the Miracle-mechanic is on the table, that I’m not looking forward to “have” to fake having cards with Miracle in my deck by carefully peeling every card that I draw for the next…I don’t know, forever? I hope that it will just turn out to be a minor inconvenience like the Transform-mechanic turned out to be but you never know.

As I mentioned in the beginning, Avacyn Restored looks like a sweet set and I’m looking forward to crack some packs and get to play some Limited this weekend at the prereleases. Hope you will enjoy it to.

Until next time,

Bernhard

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2012 22:14

    Terminus is pretty sweet. It’s miracle cost is insanse. You could even use it on turn two to take out a mana dork or two.

    I think Entreat the Angels could be awesome too.

    • BernhardZ permalink*
      April 23, 2012 23:24

      Sure, I think there are several cards with Miracle (including Temporal Mastery) that I can imagine being good enough for Standard. Terminus seems to be the cream of the crop though, at least in my mind.

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