Conflux – Maelstrom Angel

A quick review on Conflux mythic rare, Maelstrom Angel.

Aesthetics:

Ah… Now I get it!

Previously cards like Conflux (review forthcoming) and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker seemed very out of whack. Like I guess they can print largely impractical if aesthetically flavorful and eye-widening cards like these… But the main villain? Do you really name the set after a Constructed Unplayable?

With Maelstrom Angel, the formerly impossible becomes free!

I actually thought about this a bit today after seeing this card… Will Magic de-volve to just who can hit the other guy with a Maelstrom Angel? It seems like you can make a deck to be able to cast Maelstrom Angel and pack it with all kinds of impossible jones and hope for the best.

Can you imagine accelerating this one out then getting in there to the tune of a turn five Cruel Ultimatum? Conflux is pretty exciting, too.

Hit you with Maelstrom Angel

Play Conflux.

Hmmm… Go get Firespout, Cruel Ultimatum, Thoughtseize, Cryptic Command… and… um, Beacon of Immortality.

5/5 flying — in Black — seems like a nice recipe for something that is not going to die [easily]. The card is big and Terror-proof to start.

Where do I see this fitting in?

Wherever there are domains in play that have not done anything yet or horribly overpriced cards waiting for a mercy cast, she is there.

Snap Judgment Rating: Ever the Flagship! Even if the ship ain’t that good in the end, it wouldn’t have existed at all maybe…

LOVE
MIKE

All Conflux

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18 comments ↓

#1 Gifts Ungiven on 01.21.09 at 11:36 pm

This looks dangerously like one of those cards that induces players to make bad decks in the hopes of it all coming together.

If you’re incidentally playing a big card as a finisher (e.g. Cruel Ultimatum in 5CC), then this girl’s sort of good, except that you maybe have one or two of those big “tap out, kill you” cards, so you may or may not play one for free off of the Angel before you would have played it anyway. On the other hand, if you pack the deck with high-cost goodness, then you are the saddest of all the pandas when Ms. Maelstrom is Condemned (or, God forbid, Sowered).

It’s a 5/5 body, which is nice, but I’m unconvinced that it will prove to be better than using the slot for the expensive finisher itself.

Notably, R&D does seem to be hitting the sweet spot with the previewed Mythics so far, in that they are viscerally impressive and appealing, yet by and large not tournament gimmes. I approve.

#2 ReeceP on 01.22.09 at 1:15 am

Mike, you’re not thinking hard enough! The White card you want is DOUBLE CLEAVE, obv 😀 😀 😀

#3 admin on 01.22.09 at 8:00 am

@Gifts Ungiven
I agree with you. But think about all the times you lose to this!

It might be “stupid” like Battle of Wits was, but there is enormous upside potential as well. I think we shouldn’t discount that on account of it being somewhat fragile. A 5/5 flying for five mana that is also Protection from Terror is compelling in my opinion.

@ReeceP
I confess I wasn’t thinking at all when I wrote this. I actually fell asleep in the section where I rattle off cards of each color… Three times. Isn’t Thoughtseize a mite flaccid in relation to Cruel Ultimatum? I might as well have just written, I dunno, “Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker”, no? If you’re already crashing with Maelstrom Angel and deploying Conflux for free what do you need with a Shock myself Duress? As for Beacon of Immortality, I was trying to be funny at the end. Sorry if it didn’t translate. I plead no thinking, &c.

LOVE
MIKE

#4 ReAnimator on 01.22.09 at 8:39 am

I have to ask how relevant is being terror proof now?

Like Path to Exile, Oblivion ring, Condemn, Bant Charm, Celestial purge, Flame Javelin and Fanatic, Agony warp and a dude, Unmake, all take down this guy.

#5 jmgh on 01.22.09 at 10:14 am

I like this creature but have the same problem, the converted mana cost.

This is not unplayable but men five mana from five different colors??!!

On Extended we have Channel the Suns and on T2 we have Vivid lands, Reflecting Pool, Birds of paradise… But i think it’s so complicated have 5 colors mana in turn 5 without lose a few damage, specially if we play against RDW and aggro strategys.

And, when Lorwyn block rotate from Standar, we have a multiple cards with a high converted mana cost and it’s possible the next T2 it’s so, so slowly…

Really, i like the cards from Conflux, but his price it’s so expensive I think :'(

#6 admin on 01.22.09 at 10:37 am

@ReAnimator
In my opinion the presence of reasonably priced answers has never obviated the incentive to active cards.

I think being Terror-proof is significant in that we still see cards like Shriekmaw played. Terrors might not be as common, but they are still played and I think that is a plus sign for this card if not as gigantic a one as it might have been when Slaughter Pact et al were commonly played in Standard.

Being hit by this card is quite devastating in my opinion. Worse, I think, than being clocked one time with a Deus of Calamity (another card with five specific mana requirements albeit not nearly as difficult to hit), at least on average.

The issue is that it is quite difficult to get THESE five mana together (probably has to be in a specialized strategy)… But when you pull it off, that is pretty impressive and I think it warrants attempt.

#7 Gifts Ungiven on 01.22.09 at 10:47 am

I agree that the 5/5 flying for 5 with bonus blackness is pretty solid…

I still think this will entice people into making bad decks, though, because it slots the best into a deck where you’re probably not playing it until it’s going to kill the opponent in a couple swings, and at that point you may or may not have anything that isn’t a counterspell or removal in your hand to use.

(Although imagine what fun Maelstrom Archangel + SDT would have been. Attack, stack trigger, top, see a good card, pop it up…)

#8 KZipple on 01.22.09 at 11:14 am

This is the flagship of Liberace’s armada. Enormously flashy, but ultimately not that good.
As an aside, I think this is even more likely to get applause than Heights into Biorhythm if you can come up something cool to play.

#9 admin on 01.22.09 at 11:46 am

@Gifts Ungiven
It doesn’t necessarily have to be bad. A 5/5 flying for five in Black is a fundamentally solid starting point for evaluating a card.

What if it had the ability of Thieving Magpie, Looter il-Kor, or Okiba-Gang Shinobi? What if it just does some stuff out of your hand for free? Isn’t that a powerful ability?

Yes, loading your deck with Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker and Conflux might be a bit “out there” and result in some sub-optimal decks, but then again we can see some good coming out of it as well. I think it is exciting.

@KZipple
You sir are a poet. Not quite a madmanpoet, but a poet nevertheless.

#10 ReeceP on 01.22.09 at 3:25 pm

I don’t know whether you took the accusation of not thinking personally or not, but you didn’t have to be mean about it 🙁

#11 Anth0919 on 01.22.09 at 4:20 pm

I think there is a lot of potential with this card in 5CC. I am going to test it in place of the 2 Broodmates I am currently running. Playing Mulldrifters, Esper Charms, Cruel Ultimatums, and Cloudthreshers for free seems good to me. This gives you the ability to play cards that draw you cards for card advantage for free. You can play Mulldrifter without tapping out. That’s kind of good. You can play Cruel Ultimatum without tapping out, which allows you to have mana open to counter their counters. That seems REALLY good to me.

#12 kingpete on 01.22.09 at 4:32 pm

Good review! I also was glad to see you got to preview the best rare in the set today on magicthegathering.com! Im thinking this would be fun in 5cc as not only a finisher a la Oona, but as a cheaty way to get Cruel Ultimatum or something of similar casting cost into play, while leaving open mana to cryptic if they have a response. Turn 4 wrath, turn 5 this thing, turn 6 Cruel Ultimatum for free seems like an awesome sequence of turns… Dont know many decks that can recover from that. Itd be the nuts godhand draw, but still, with all the card draw that 5cc has right now it could happen? Keep the reviews coming! And do an extended primer on mono blue faeries for me.

#13 Rerepete on 01.22.09 at 11:06 pm

How about dream opening hand of Mountain, Simian Spirit Guide, Desperate Ritual, Seething Song, Manamorphose x2, and Maelstrom Archangel..LOL

Turn One : Mountain, ditch SSG, cast ritual, cast song, cast manamorphose for BU, cast manamorphose for GW, cast Maelstom Archangel…..

#14 admin on 01.23.09 at 8:00 am

@ReeceP
What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?

@Anth0919
Already stole your idea 🙂

@kingpete
See the “already stole your idea” RE: Anth0919, above.

@Rerepete
Good idea! … But the problem is, what have you got left to Angel them with?

#15 Rerepete on 01.23.09 at 8:11 am

You, draw 2 cards from manamorphose….hope for Clout and Nicol Bolas….LOL

#16 Anth0919 on 01.23.09 at 8:17 am

Wow, I’m flattered that Mr. Flores himself would steal an idea of mine. Now, I know it wasn’t some crazy tech idea, and Mike, you may have been thinking the same exact thing before reading my post… but it’s at least good to know I think along the same lines as one of the great minds in Magic history. Yep, that’s called brown nosing and I do it with the best of them. I’d be real interested in hearing how your testing with this goes.

#17 admin on 01.23.09 at 9:02 am

@Anth0919
Keep reading the site and I don’t know that you would be able to avoid this 🙂

#18 kingpete on 01.23.09 at 3:00 pm

GIVE ME BACK MY IDEA

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