This entry is part 12 of 24 in the series Unexpected Results

Posted by Brian aka ChaosMTG.

ohlookapictureBeing the end of the season, I was going to write about something different today… I just wasn’t sure what. Luckily, I didn’t have to decide and a topic presented itself to me. A topic that makes me very… what’s the word?

Oh yeah… Anger – It makes me very anger.

From the Vault: Twenty

As much as I’d like to, I’m not going to rant about this. Instead, I’m just going to go through the entire product and give my opinion on its inclusion, my thoughts on the art used, a rating of its relevance to EDH, what I think would have been a better choice (if applicable), and an overall opinion rating.

Dark Ritual
I’m not in love with this choice, but I’m ok with it. It’s interesting that they chose the Divine vs. Demonic version that combines the Ice Age flavor text with the Fifthe Edition art. For such an important release, I would have expected them to use the Tempest flavor text (“If there is such a thing as too much power, I have not discovered it.” —Volrath), which has also appeared with this art in Planechase. Personally, I would have preferred the Mercadian Masques version.
CMDRelevance: 2/5 (Rituals aren’t as good here, but some decks still use them, so…)
Opinion: 6/10 (Could have been a 7 Tempest flavor text or Mercadian Masques art or an 8 with both.)

Swords to Plowshares
While there are a lot of great cards they could have used from the deck, I can’t complain about this choice. I enjoy the use of the Terese Nielsen version; presumably to make up for the lack of Force of Will. (This easily could have been “From the Vault: Terese Nielsen”, much like FtV: Realms could have been “From the Vault: John Avon”.)
CMDRelevance: 5/5 (Best white removal.)
Opinion: 9/10 (I would have liked new flavor text.)

Hymn to Tourach
This is ok, but the list they took it from also has Mind Twist, Land Tax, Mishra’s Factory, and (a personal favorite) Dance of the Dead. I’m honestly not impressed by this art; it’s not bad, and purple usually looks amazing in foil, but three out of four of the original arts for it would also look great. (I would have gone for the Liz Danforth version.)
CMDRelevance: 3/5
Opinion: 3/10 (Underwhelming for such an iconic card)

Fyndhorn Elves
This is the first one I take issue with; a mana elf. Not just a mana elf, a functional reprint of Llanowar Elves. There weren’t a lot of great choices from this deck though, but there’s one obvious choice that I would have preferred: Jokulhaups. The new art is nice though.
CMDRelevance: 2/5 (Some decks just need all of the elves… Most of them don’t though.)
Opinion: 1/10 (No, just no.)

Impulse
I’d put this one below Hymn to Tourach, but above Fyndhorn Elves. It’s good that it finally has the correct text; but taking a look at the list that it was taken from, this could easily have been Vampiric Tutor. As for the art, it doesn’t seem all that impulsive to me; it feels more like it should be on Mystical Teachings. I would have preferred the original.
CMDRelevance: 2/5 (A few decks use it, but you’re more likely to want Brainstorm or Ponder)
Opinion: 2/10 (This could have been Vampiric Tutor, and no amount of corrected text can make up for it. I wouldn’t mind this having been printed over Glimpse the Future in M14 though.)

Wall of Blosoms
I love this card… Just not here. While the two main cards of the deck this was taken from are both on the reserved list, they could have easily used another wall from the same deck that also happens to be playable in modern: Wall of Roots. As for the art, while I like the piece, it really doesn’t convey wall… At all. I would love to have seen new art for this that actually shows it being a wall. Something like Cadaverous Bloom, but with a few more flowery corpses, preferably in purple.
CMDRelevance: 2.5/5 (I’ve never seen it played, but it’s a cheap cantrip wall, so I’m sure a decent amount of green decks somewhere use it.
Opinion: 4/10 (New art would have helped a lot.)

Thran Dynamo
A solid choice, and one of the few cards in the deck that aren’t on the reserved list and haven’t already been FtV-ized. I’m a bit disappointed that it wasn’t given new art though.
CMDRelevance: 4/5 (It’s a giant mana rock, what more needs to be said?)
Opinion: 3/10 (It’s not a card that excites me, especially without new art.)

Tangle Wire
Solid card, nice new art, not much to say about this one. One of the few hits for me.
CMDRelevance: 5/5
Opinion: 10/10

Fact or Fiction
Another time-tested great card, Terese Nielsen art again (which is discussed in the article so I won’t go over it, let’s just say that I disagree with the choice, no matter how much I love her art.). The only other card in the deck this was taken from that I could see being used is Meddling Mage. Either one would have been fine with me.
CMDRelevance: 4/5
Opinion: 7/10

Chainers Edict
This is ok, but it’s from yet another deck with many other good choices including Counterspell, Cunning Wish, and Psychatog (and Darkwater Catacombs, which I’d just want to see with Ftv foiling). The nice thing about the new art on this one is that it actually shows Chainer instead of some… Thing. (I assume it’s one of his nightmares)
CMDRelevance: 4/5 (Great removal, but usually outclassed by Diabolic Edict because of its instant speed.)
Opinion: 8/10 (My favorite piece of removal in my Thrax Deck, and it’s nice to see Chainer on his own edict.)

Akroma’s Vengeance
A good board wipe, and it has nice new art. My only complaint is really only a half-complaint. Akroma was in the deck (albeit in the sideboard). I get the feeling putting the original Akroma art into the new frame in this would have been better received.
CMDRelevance: 5/5
Opinion: 7/10

Gilded Lotus
Another solid choice, and very nice new art. The other two real options from this deck would be Goblin Welder and Platinum Angel. I would have gone with Platinum Angel, but I’m not complaining about the lotus.
CMDRelevance: 4/5 (Another great mana rock)
Opinion: 5/10 (I have a lot of unfounded hatred for this card… But the art is nice!)

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
An obvious commander plant. I would probably be ok with this if not for two reasons; she was the prerelease card for her set AND was just reprinted in Planechase 2012. From that deck, I think Sakura-Tribe Elder or Kodama’s Reach would be better served by being FtV-ized, while also helping to kick out those damn Fyndhorn Elves.
CMDRelevance: 5/5 (Legend? Check. Reanimates things? Check.)
Opinion: 6/10

Char
Char… Y’know what else was in this deck? Lightning Helix and Umezawa’s Jitte… And they didn’t even have the courtesy to give it new art.
CMDRelevance: 0/5 (Can’t say I’ve ever seen someone play this… Does mono-red play it? I don’t know. My guess is no.)
Opinion: -6/10 (Negative six. That’s how much “NO” I have for this.)

Venser, Shaper Savant
Another one that’s perfect for me, a great card all around. While I prefer the old art, I like that he now matches his planeswalker art.
CMDRelevance: 5/5
Opinion: 10/10

Chameleon Colossus
A tribal mana dump beater, overall a great card. But this deck also contained Thoughtseize (and Tarmogoyf, but let’s not get into that). I get the feeling the foiling on this will be beautiful.
CMDRelevance: 5/5
Opinion: 7/10

Cruel Ultimatum
The best of the Ultimatums, not reprinted in Modern Masters, and great new art? Works for me. Not all that playable though, even in many grixis decks.
CMDRelevance: 3/5
Opinion: 7/10

Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Oh, Jace, what do I have to say about you? Nothing. Nope. Not touching this one. I wouldn’t be saying anything that hasn’t already been said. My opinion may change once I acquire one of my own. (coughcoughIhaveaTarmogoyfIdontwantcoughcough.)
CMDRelevance: 5/5 (I can’t deny he’s good…)
Opinion: 0/10 ([Insert rage-filled rant of your choice here.])

Green Sun’s Zenith
Good card, good art, no complaints other than that it’s banned in modern.
CMDRelevance: 5/5
Opinion: 9/10

Kessig Wolf Run
The next deck is virtually identical to the last, both are wolf run ramp, just pre and post DKA… Meaning the difference is Huntmaster of the Fells. So, obviously, the last card is Kessig Wolf Run. I would love to have seen Huntmaster FtV-ized though. DFCs were a huge innovation, and with Huntmaster being the most prolific, it only seems right that it should be included in a product primarily based on Magic’s history.
CMDRelevance: 4/5
Opinion: 6/10 (Have you ever seen a normal foil Wolf Run? It’s not all that impressive. I don’t think FtV foiling can fix that.)

 

Well, that’s it for this season of Unexpected Results. Over the break I’ll be working on the start of a special series for next season as well as going back to school (Hint: those are related somehow).
I’ve also recently found myself with an abundance of penny sleeves, so I’ll be doing a lot of deck building for my planned forays into pauper, strict theme, and other more unique styles of deckbuilding. (My first project will probably be Duel Pauper: Qasali Ambusher vs. Shambling Remains… But I’ll finish Sasaya first.)

Even though we’ll be on break, you might still see me making some posts during it. From now on, I’ll be posting any important updates and product announcements that are relevant to us Commander players; so if anything happens over the break, you won’t have to wait until we get back to hear about it. (Not that I expect you to only get your info from us…) I’ll also, hopefully, be continuing my Unexpected Posts pseudo-series as, essentially, outlets for community interaction. (Hopefully meaning, I’ll post something if I have an idea, nothing consistent though, so just keep checking back.) (That first one I posted will eventually be relevant… Whenever I get around to it.)

Stuff you should do in the comments:
Tell me what you think of FtV:20.
Tell me what you think of the other FtVs
Let me know what you’d like to see from this article next season.
Tell me other things

(I can post gifs? This changes everything!)

 

Series Navigation<< Unexpected Results 011 – Fistfull of ForestsUnexpected Results 013 – “Good” >>Unexpected Results 014 – Wanderlust & Making the Cut >>