While You’re Waiting… Calcite Snapper


Calcite Snapper ∙ aka the Convertible Turtle ∙ Day of Judgment
Jace, the Mind Sculptor ∙ “synergy” ∙ … and Calcite Snapper

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who posted a comment in our previous You Make the Play post.

I would even like to thank the bums who only responded on Twitter!

The follow up post is going to take a little while to write (for reasons that will become obvious when the post appears… hopefully this weekend), so I figured I’d post something in the meantime. In this case that “something” is a Worldwake review of the convertible turtle… Calcite Snapper!

When I first saw this:

I was like wha!?! Who the!?! … What was Kyle smoking?

Calcite SnapperI guess I missed the word “Shroud” in the text box.

Without Shroud, Calcite Snapper is actually probably still playable. Antonino De Rosa won a Grand Prix with four copies of River Kaijin in his sideboard, after all.

But with Shroud? We are talking about a card on a totally different level now!

Sorry Elite Vanguard. Here is an, um, unstoppable, you know, stop sign. I guess?

Calcite Snapper is a superb blocker that can’t be [easily] “finished off” by a burn spell. It comes out on turn three for a Blue deck, making it superb pre-emptive Planeswalker defense. For instance, you can follow up the Snapper by tapping for Jace, the Mind Sculptor and be reasonably secure in your big (and by “big” I mean “financially expensive”) card’s immediate safety.

Thematically, Calcite Snapper might work well with Sphinx of Jwar Isle (if you lean that way), as a Shroud + Shroud team… but doesn’t really work well with defensive sorcery Day of Judgment. That is, you might not want to blow up your own Calcite Snapper as you take out a chunk of the opposing forces.

So in a deck like I posited in the previous post, you might want to cut down to two or so copies of Day of Judgment and make room for Calcite Snapper.

Snapper is also a decent anti-Planeswalker option in a color that doesn’t usually get them. Due to its ability to go to four power easily (and potentially at instant speed with the right kind of dual land), you can take a big chunk out of an opposing Planeswalker’s loyalty in a single swing.

All in all, an interesting card that will certainly influence deck design for the next year or two.

I must say that its presence in the format is causing me to re-think some of my original biases, such as “definitely” playing Motherloving Cup in tap-out, or perhaps going back to Grixis when I have intended for the past week or so to concentrate on base-Azorius (or Esper) Control decks.

Clearly: Staple


facebook comments:


#1 tededfred on 02.05.10 at 11:49 pm

Hoping to see an updated grixis list with Jace, the Mindslayer. 🙂

#2 MTGBattlefield on 02.06.10 at 3:51 am

While You’re Waiting… Calcite Snapper…

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

#3 fikkyfikky on 02.06.10 at 4:24 am

Honestly, I’m not sure what to think about Calcite Snapper.
It’s a good card in the abstract, but I’m not sure it does enough in this format.
My thinking is that, every time you want a deck that needs a card like this, you’re better off going U/W and running wall of denial.
So many of the creatures that you want to block are too big for it or fly over it, whereas wall of denial blocks all of them and walks away unscathed, e.g. leatherback baloth, knight of the reliquary, boros creatures with double landfall, vampires with nocturnus, baneslayer angel, and sphinx of jwar isle.
The upside of being able to swing for 4 hasn’t really come up all that often in testing, although I probably haven’t tested it enough. Regardless, I’m still pretty sure that, in a Grixis deck, you’d be better off with more burn/spot removal.

#4 Tekanan on 02.06.10 at 7:09 pm

The biggest question is whether would you play the turtle over the nighthawk in grixis ctrl?

One gets removed by ligtning bolt, whereas the other is unable to block up in the air and lacks deathtouch+lifelink.

#5 ibanez on 02.07.10 at 6:20 am

I would never put calcite instead of nighthawk simply because I can’t count the number of times I’ve killed a sphinx of jwar isle and gained 2 life. In my opinion, making calcite a 4/1 isn’t that good if your opponent has 1 single 1/1 blocker. For this reason, I would put calcite as sb against control decks(it could be a pain against grixis burn haha).

#6 bloodyspasm on 02.08.10 at 4:07 am

I’ve been playtesting with snapper, treasure hunt and jace in Grixis as soon as WW was spoiled.
I started off with mike’s build, but soon discovered that sedraxis specter was nothing more than a difficult to cast rampant growth, as it got pathed like nothing else (what do you expect, if you only have 1 target, it will get targetted…)
if you play nothing but shroud, you’re sure to make a lot of spells useless for them.

here’s my decklist for the moment:

4 burst lightning
4 lightning bolt

3 terminate
4 treasure hunt
2 Into the roil

4 blightning
4 calcite snapper

3 jace the mind sculptor
2 sorin markov

4 cruel ultimatum

4 crumbling necropolis
4 scalding tarn
3 dragonskull summit
4 drowned catacomb
2 halimar depths
1 creeping tar pit
2 mountain
2 island
4 swamp

4 spreading seas
1 earthquake
2 pyroclasm
3 thought hemorrhage
2 malakir bloodwitch
3 countersquall

#7 scoutinthenight on 02.08.10 at 9:29 am

I just opened my boxes of Worldwake last night, so I’ve been staring at alot of card art. The turtle looking left seemed odd to me, and then I saw your comment. I was a little sad you didn’t swap the 1 and 4 as well.

#8 ripper234 on 02.12.10 at 5:33 am


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#9 thissatori on 02.13.10 at 6:29 am

People above talking about vampire nighthawk don’t realize the huge number of wrath effects a good deck with this turtle will include. Sphinx isn’t too scary when you have wraths and good draw spells to find the wraths.

I have been playing with a white blue control deck and i have one games vs vampires and other control decks grixis and otherwise attacking with the turtle. Countering gatekeepers etc. to keep him alive.

I 100% agree that snapper is a great creature and a staple. I just fear that basilisk collar will take over and start killing my shroudy friends.

#10 justaguy on 02.15.10 at 11:10 am

Still anxious and waiting!

#11 KillerStudio on 02.18.10 at 12:01 pm

^^^ Me too!! ^^^

#12 cornerman on 02.23.10 at 11:14 pm

Mike! Mikey! Mike-a-reeno! Mike-n-ator! Mikeasaurus Rex…………..Hows about keepin a little bit more content flowing yo? 🙂

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