Just in Time: Obstinate Baloth


Obstinate Baloth ∙ Loxodon Hierarch ∙ Ravenous Baloth
Wilt-Leaf Liege ∙ Dodecapod ∙ … and Obstinate Baloth

So here’s a fun one from M11:

Obstinate Baloth

While it’s not a clear upgrade to any of the staple big bad fours in Green, Obstinate Baloth has the bonus superpower of showing up just as onetime Staple — and for that matter “best card in Standard” — Loxodon Hierarch evaporates from the Extended format. So despite the loss of Ravnica Block, the tradition of an efficient 4/4 Green creature for four mana, that somehow (either coming down or leaving town) can gain four life lives on in Standard and Extended.

As for Standard, I like this card in general. I mean it is an efficient 4/4 creature for four mana. Most of you kids out there probably don’t recall that once upon a time Erhnam Djinn (4/5 with a drawback for four mana) was the most fearsome offensive creature in Standard, and for that matter Nettletooth Djinn (4/4 with a serious drawback for four mana) was played in Pro Tour Top 16 Constructed decks. So as for precedent, it is clearly there already, not a lot of convincing has to go on here.

I like it in particular in Standard.

Right now one of the top “anti-” decks is Red Deck Wins and its cousins (Barely Boros, Devastating Red, and what have you); that deck in particular beats up on U/G Turboland to the point of making Turboland non-viable if there is any expectation of Red Deck Wins.

You probably already know that after Pro Tour San Juan BDM wanted to play a deck based around Lotus Cobra, Oracle of Mul Daya, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor but I objected on the grounds that any of the three parts that make that deck roll fold in embarassing fashion to Lightning Bolt. In order for U/G Turboland to be viable in the format, it needs a nigh-transformative plan for Red Deck Wins… I think that a counter-offense that relies somewhat on Obstinate Baloth is a good start. The card will typically require two non-Flame Slash cards to remove, and the 187 on Obstinate Baloth is the equivalent of two Red cards in counting to begin with.

In a word: Mise.

What about the other application?

I don’t know that you would play the card for just the second ability, but you don’t really have to make that decision. Dave Humpherys once won a Grand Prix with main-deck Dodecapod, but that might have been a special case (Probe, Recoil, Gerrard’s Verdict, and Ravenous Rats were all Staple at the time); we know how good Wilt-Leaf Liege was last year, played everywhere from White Weenie to Doran variants to of course Elves. So the second half is also quite good… Especially in a format that is so friendly towards Blightning.

Seems like this cat (and by “cat” I of course mean “Beast”) would play nicely with our old buddy (and by “old” I mean “new”), Vengevine. Not only is Obstinate Baloth potential fuel, but they are such jolly “I hate Blightning” friends; heck, they even share a mana cost.

Uncontroversial rating here.

Snap Judgment Rating: Staple


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#1 MTGBattlefield on 06.29.10 at 4:06 am

Just in Time: Obstinate Baloth…

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

#2 dyee418 on 07.01.10 at 8:13 am

This card also ruins one of the best 5’s in standard, Mind Sludge (aka the only counter-worthy spell in standard0 =P so that part is going to be a disheartening when playing monoblack (as I have a bad habit of doing). It’s going to be a format warp like stag to some extent but probably not as much since it still dies with Doom Blade, Deathmark, etc. but it’s a bit of a problem so who knows what this’ll do to standard and beyond. Also any new sick brews for New Extended or are you going to work off what the PT does to the format?

#3 Five With Flores » Spreading Seas and My Imaginary Superpower on 08.24.10 at 8:02 pm

[…] (eight-see you might even say), a ton of Counterspells, great curve, great high end starting with Obstinate Baloth. So playing for the 3-0 I won the first game (see any pattern here?), I kept Island, Forest, Birds […]

#4 Five With Flores » Sovereigns of Lost Alara Update on 08.31.10 at 1:35 pm

[…] 2 Jace’s Ingenuity 2 Spell Pierce 2 Obstinate Baloth 4 Celestial Purge 4 Linvala, Keeper of Silence 1 Bojuka […]

#5 Five With Flores » Primeval Titan Changes Everything on 09.02.10 at 10:36 pm

[…] Ancient Stirrings 4 Cultivate 4 Explore 4 Joraga Treespeaker 1 Obstinate Baloth 4 Primeval Titan 4 Summoning Trap 1 […]

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