If you haven’t seen the upcoming Magic 2011 Prerelease card Sun Titan, you’re about to; here it is:
The sound high heels make on linoleum.
Bugs… Especially grasshoppers. Spiders… Do spiders count as “bugs” (certainly not insects)? Tons of our readers are frightened of those.
Garden gnomes. Heights. Overhead construction.
“Eldrazi Monument.” [me too]
“The price of Jace, the Mind Sculptor.”
There are certainly a lot of things that our readers and Twitter followers will admit to being scared of. But you know what scares YT? New card Sun Titan.
What is so frightening about Sun Titan? Is it going to be Standard’s next Faeries-like boogeyman?
Probably not. But it is scary to me.
You see, my goal in life — or at least in Magic — is to not play The Rock.
Let me explain: While I was one of the first players to popularize The Rock, handed down by Sol Malka, The Rock eventually revealed itself to be a not-desirable strategy most of the time. The Rock, being defined by progressive card advantage… You know, every Yavimaya Elder, every clever trick with Cabal Therapy, wheedling down to low margin victories, typically on the backs of anemic, even flaccid, threat cards…
I decided some years ago to try to avoid that despite some early success around 2001.
Even when you are not B/G you might be The Rock. I once played a B/U/R control deck and Zvi told me I was playing The Rock. Where was my Stage Three? Nope… My deck was all two-for-ones… Incidental ways to win while grabbing small amounts of tempo: The Rock.
That is what scares me about Sun Titan. I don’t want to get excited by a card and accidentally fall into old patterns.
It doesn’t help when one of my best friends (BDM in this case) is Tweeting…
“T/F you will Sun Titan back Borderland Ranger.”
I hope not.
It didn’t help that at the time I was confused about what a Sun Titan was. Twitter was all-a-Tweeting about Sun Titan, but I hadn’t seen the card yet; I thought they were talking about Sundering Titan. I guess Borderland Ranger and Sundering Titan can go into a deck together, I thought. Lo and behold, different card altogether.
Note that Sun Titan doesn’t get back a three, per se. You can’t, say, get back a Survival Cache for more and more action and possible card draw. It has to be a permanent. And in my case — in the very “The Rock” flavor I fear — it is going to be something along the lines of a Pilgrim’s Eye.
You know, progressive card advantage.
But maybe, like our fears of spiders and small places, this fear is unwarranted.
You see, there is nothing wrong with progressive card advantage; it is really a question of being able to finish off the opponent before he recovers, and Sun Titan is, after all, a gigantic fatty boom boom.
Let’s assume Sun Titan is non-awful. What are some of the things we can do with it?
The absolute bomb-diggity-est possibly returning permanent has got to be Jace Beleren. Jace runs himself out after drawing three cards (or trading with Jace, the Mind Sculptor… I see nothing wrong with a re-buy here to nix future Jace Planeswalkers or just shotgun more cards.
And what about shotgunning more cards?
Here are some options that seem pretty cool:
You can buy back one of these artifacts every turn, draw two cards, keep going and going while attacking and defending; remember, this fatty boom boom is vigilant as a Serra Angel.
An off the wall [of Omens] option is to get back Arid Mesa or Marsh Flats every attack. This is a case where putting the permanent directly into play is highly advantageous… One of those White strategies so good they seem almost Green. You can actually accelerate your mana this way.
Why might you want to do this rather than something more powerful?
Because you can jump from six to eight to ten to Emeria, the Sky Ruin online in just a few attacks. Which would, of course, allow you to resurrect even more expensive things.
The only problem is that you’ll probably kill the opponent before fulfilling this little strategy… barring lots of Solider tokens blocking or some such.
I guess we got over that fear 🙂
Snap Judgment Rating: Staple