Rise of the Eldrazi – Sarkhan the Mad

Concerning:

Sarkhan the Mad ∙ Jund ∙ Rise of the Eldrazi ∙ Sprouting Thrinax combinations ∙
Bloodbraid Elf (as usual) ∙ WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? ∙ … and Sarkhan the Mad

Short story:
Basically I was super busy at work.

So I didn’t update in about two weeks.

Then my computer network blew up, which resulted in my not having any MTGO for like a month. Net net – Little or no Magic, resulting in little or nothing to say.

Will we find out what the right play around that Celestial Colonnade is? Soon, I promise (kind of). But for now… A few words on this chap:


EN MTGROE CardsT4_V5.indd
Sarkhan the Mad!

So… A Planeswalker with neither a (+) ability nor an “ultimate” ability. Weird! Crazy! Dare we say “mad” … ? Well, WotC did, so who are we to disagree?

Brian Kowal and others on Twitter have been quite excited (mad even) over the potential on Sarkhan. What gives?

I think the most interesting abilities are the latter two, the (-2) “Target creatures’s controller sacrifices it, then that player puts a 5/5 red Dragon creature token with flying onto the battlefield[.]” one in particular.

Consider:

  • Turn three: Sprouting Thrinax.
  • Turn four: Whatever good / better / busted turn four you plan to run out there. It can be a Bloodbraid Elf (pretty good), or a Blightning + a tapped land, a Garruk Wildspeaker… Whatever (another Sprouting Thrinax even). You have a damn Sprouting Thrinax in play.
  • Turn five: This is where it gets more interesting. You can swing with your Sprouting Thrinax. Now run out Sarkhan the Mad. You can run the (-2) to blow up your Thrinax, and net three blockers (what opponents typically want to avoid giving you), and you get a 5/5 Dragon. He is back on D, along with the other three Saprolings.

PRO TIP:
At this point I think most opponents are going to have to be very wary of Sarkhan the Mad. Because turn six can be mad about you if you grok. If possible, I would say get Sarkhan the Mad below four loyalty, even if you have to use a Lightning Bolt or whatever.

Why?

Otherwise you might be dead on board.

Especially now that Jund decks play like 27+ mana sources you can easily be facing down Broodmate Dragon. That is bad enough, but remember, there is already a 5/5 on the board. If you let Sarkhan the Mad get all mad at you… that is 13 to target player!

This play might not be lethal by its lonesome, but you can still be facing five in the sky from the non-summoning sick Dragon, plus sundry attacks from Saprolings various; if the turn four play was like Bloodbraid Elf + Blightning, that would probably have made the (-4) lethal. Or if it was Garruk Wildspeaker, then the preexisting 5/5 Dragon might have trample.

There are all kinds of, you know, mad things that can ruin your game come turn six.

The (0) ability is whatever, gravy… Relevant a lot of the time, but not strategic in the same way the (-2) ability in particular is. But hey, five mana to draw a card, why don’t ya?

Snap Judgment Rating: Role Player (high); possibly Staple in Jund

LOVE
MIKE

Currently Reading: The Night Watch (Watch, Book 1)

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4 comments ↓

#1 Alfrebaut on 03.31.10 at 2:29 pm

I know there’s like a 70% chance of me being wrong here, but I don’t feel like he’s really all that great. Sure, in Jund, with a decent board position, he’s great, and accelerates your clock by a considerable margin when he gets in there, but I kind of feel like he’s got the other Sarkhan’s problem in that he doesn’t really do enough without the help of creatures on the table. From a losing position, he doesn’t seem all that great. Oh, and I feel he’s somewhat narrow as well. The minus abilities only template is interesting, but neither this nor the white planeswalker excite me in the least.

But I know I’m probably wrong, and will live to see these hit $60+. >_< Maybe I’m just not seeing it, but I don’t feel like ROE has very much of what I like at all.

#2 Frenchy on 03.31.10 at 8:19 pm

WB Mike, I see this and outcast doing well together. Also I’m stoked about fatty mcfatterson Khalni Hydra.

#3 MTGBattlefield on 04.01.10 at 1:45 am

Rise of the Eldrazi – Sarkhan the Mad…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#4 Attack With My Planeswalker, FTW? « I Want My MTG on 04.02.10 at 12:54 pm

[…] new white planeswalker from Rise of the Eldrazi? He’s bonkers! (No, not in the same way that Sarkhan the Mad is bonkers…although Sarkhan is pretty nuts, […]

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