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card review Spellskite: Oh, so easy to abuse!

Card Review
Spellskite: click to enlarge

Card text:

({PU} may be paid for with either {U} or 2 life.) {PU}: Target spell or ability that targets only a single creature target's Spellskite instead.

  • Number: 159
  • Rarity: R
  • Power: 0
  • Toughness: 4
  • Type: Artifact Creature
  • Subtype: Horror
  • Mana cost: 2
  • Color: Artifact
  • Artist: Chippy
Oh, so easy to abuse!

written by sindbad7cs
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General description:
I love this card! Cheap to cast, useful as a defensive creature, and dynamite in its ability to shift good stuff away from opponent's own permanents and move bad stuff away from my high-value units!

I showed up at the recent Game Day in my local shop. Having been out of Standard rotation for several years, I bought the event deck called Hold The Line (think white weenie deck). My opponent had a nasty version of a Tempered Steel deck. After I beat him in the first game, he broke out Spellkites and kept my enchants and instants from helping me and hurting his Glint Hawks and Vault Skirges. He took the match easily. Not just with the Spellkites, but they removed my answers to his other creatures. I intend to build a similar, fast deck that uses these to my advantage. I may even tweak my Hold The Line somehow...

Strategies and game play:
You make your opponent waste precious time and mana and spells trying to negate it. That attention and spells are diverted from what you wish to protect. In a sense you do double duty. You can watch the opposing mage declare an attack with a couple of 2/2s. When he pumps them up, take those +X/+X spells onto this card and block one of those invaders hard. He wastes a spell and loses a creature. I recommend running 3-4 of these (if you can find them...) and never having more than two on the board.

Combos with other cards:
Why not have this card and Elspeth, Knight Errant together? Tempered Steel is magnificent help, obviously - now your Spellskite is an even better blocker and can even swing for attack in a pinch. That added toughness means soaking up some more direct damage too, if you've got a red mage across the table who is threatening your very life.
And speaking of life, run some life gain as a mana engine to support lots of spell kiting!

Ways to counteract it:
Prevent it, perhaps, with Nevermore. Counter it. Destroy it. Exile it. Take it. Wipe the board. It's NOT invulnerable, but it is powerful.

Its casting cost is budget-friendly, even if its current market cost isn't! Just look - for two colorless mana, you get the ability to lay down a 0/4 creature that can do some blocking duty of pesky littler creatures or equip it, with say a Kitesail (how fitting!) and do some attacking. Better still is the activated ability that can be fired by a single blue mana or 2 life. Options, baby! And that ability is the wonder of pulling targeted spells TO it. Unlike the distant cousin, Shimmering Glasskite, this kite l-o-v-e-s spells and abilities that target others. It's greedy, yet magnanimous. It sees an opponent casting a Spidery Grasp on some wee green elf to block your Glint Hawk, but no! You pull the Spidery Grasp onto your Spellskite, saving your bird and more importantly - frustrating your opponent! Little do you realize you are setting him or her up for the scoop on game three when they've seen enough. Hehe! Someone trying to Lightning Bolt your BoP? Nah. Pull it to the Spellskite. See? Annoying as heck. Someone trying to tap down your big bruiser and escape damage? NO! You take the targeted tap on Spellskite, because this card can use this ability as soon as it hits the mat and can use it while tapped as well.

First and foremost, you'd better be able to manage your life if you don't have blue mana sources laying around. While the alternative cost of 2 life to use the activated ability is attractive, you can quickly put yourself in a no-win (pun intended) situation by spending too much life. And this Horror is a creature, an artifact creature, so creature AND artifact removal are just around the corner, maybe even in the sideboard, when your opponent gets a look at this rare. It might be a pricey rare if you don't pull one from the pack - I got three of them for $6.50 each on Feb. 27, 2012...

Available in New Phyrexia only, as either a non-foil or foil, I would think. Languages available are all the languages of Magic.

Artwork and aesthetics:
Meh, it's an Alien-esque kite possessive of an orb of spell energy, perhaps? I'm not overly in love with the art, but I'd say the power of the card for play more than makes up for its looks.

Overall rating:
Let us review! A relatively cheap creature to cast and use its powerful ability instantly with alternative costs AND easy to run in mono or multi-colour decks make this a versatile, powerful card across formats. I give it a 9 with no hesitation.


Modified on April 6, 2012 04:04 pm

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