The Potential of Carapace Forger


Carapace Forger :: Putrid Leech :: Nest Invader
Metalcraft :: Random Artifacts :: … and Carapace Forger

Here is a Scars of Mirrodin common, Carapace Forger:

Carapace Forger
Carapace Forger


I saw this card in a Metalcraft preview over on the mother ship. I actually thought that it was more interesting than it might superficially look. I mean compare it to a card like Nest Invader. They are both just some Balduvian Bears with some extra text. Neither one is a Wild Mongrel, right? Nest Invader makes a kind of pseudo-irrelevant 0/1 tagalong and Carapace Forger has a potential bonus.

… Point is that the potential bonus on Carapace Forger seems kinds of jeepers creepers to me… maybe.

I mean compare Carapace Forger to Putrid Leech. Putrid Leech is a monster. Everyone who has tried to play a control deck in the last 12 months knows that Putrid Leech is the single most important card to consider when testing Standard. Putrid Leech is the limiting factor. If you don’t have the Terminate, they do like 12 before you can deal with even one Putrid Leech; I wouldn’t be surprised if the little Golgari two-drop has decided more duels Jund v. Control than either Blightning or Bloodbraid Elf.

Putrid Leech just came out on turn two and started hammering for four starting turn three. It was not easy to deal with and it out-classed everything in its weight class. It is kind of silly thinking about Knight of the White Orchid as a battlefield presence when it is stuck battling Putrid Leech. Just the threat of being able to go 4/4 made Putrid Leech dangerous, even when it wasn’t necessarily jumping the curve on turn three.

So the question is, will Carapace Forger ever be in the Putrid Leech class?

The fact is, if we can get Carapace Forger a couple of buddies (I dunno, whatever makes Phylactery Lich playable), then it is possible that it can be Tarmogoyf-class. Really!

Where can I see this fitting in?

There are three kinds of decks where you can play Carapace Forger (as far as I can tell at this point, having relatively little more information RE: Scars of Mirrodin than you do):

  1. Any old deck
  2. Any deck with random  potential value
  3. A true Metalcraft strategy

In theory you can play Carapace Forger in “any old deck” … It would be potentially better than a Runeclaw Bear but probably not a lot better. That said, one of my old playtest partners once made is out of the Swiss rounds at a Northeast Regional Championships (or perhaps it was Mid-Atlantic?) with five vanilla two-drop Bears in his deck. This would be the kind of deck that I can imagine — and therefore assign a minimum of “Role Player” to a card — but later make fun of on the Top 8 Magic podcast when someone actually plays it.

We start to get more value out of Carapace Forger in a deck with random artifacts. In a deck that has a certain amount of equipment (there is probably playable equipment in Scars of Mirrodin; we haven’t suddenly stopped seeing potential value out of Basilisk Collar), Relic of Progenitus, or artifact mana… Carapace forger starts to approach the Putrid Leech level. In general Carapace Forger is not going to be as good as Putrid Leech here because Putrid Leech can basically always jump to 4/4 whereas Carapace Forger only gets to 4/4 with a good amount of help. It is probably worth pointing out that cards like Dragon Claw out of the sideboard will be highly valuable in this potential strategy.

Obviously the card with the word “Metalcraft” printed in italics in the top-left of the text box is probably going to see its best days with lots of other Metalcraft cards. If the idea is to play lots of artifacts in order to build up the value of having lots of artifacts in play, we are going to see the highest incidence of the 4/4 Carapace Forger, and at maximum speed.

It probably goes without saying that if there is a Legacy Affinity deck, Metalcraft cards may be very effective alongside Seat of the Synod and other essentially no-cost opportunities to get artifacts in play.

Snap Judgment Rating: Pretty clearly Role Player


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#1 MTGBattlefield on 09.07.10 at 8:53 am

The Potential of Carapace Forger…

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