The Cards Realm MH2 spoiler and artifact hate

Magic: the Gathering

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The Cards Realm MH2 spoiler and artifact hate

Cards Realm will spoiler a new Modern Horizons 2 card, but for that, we have to discuss cards that are specific hates for card types in the game

By Leon, 05/25/21, translated by Super Tabs, with help from our readers

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In a Magic match, it is common to see cards with extremely specific effects that appear to have been placed in the opponent's deck suddenly, due to the misfortune of fate and his/her pure luck. I'm talking about the situation when you just need to keep one of your creatures on the battlefield to win the game through a combo, but then your opponent destroys it at the last crucial moment, or an enchantment that is a centerpiece of your game plan is exiled by your opponent. In Magic, we see thousands of removal spells with specific targets. Cards that destroy anything, like Assassin's Trophy or Anguished Unmaking, have some weak points, which can be mana ramp for your opponent, loss of life or even higher mana value. Meanwhile, removal spells with specific targets usually have the same effect for that specific target in a much better way, like Light of Hope, which can destroy an enchantment for just one mana or even do something different if you want to.

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When the opponent has a deck with a card types that are difficult to interact with, such as artifacts or enchantments, specific removal spells end up being important in the Sideboard of our deck. In this article we will discuss a very important topic: we'll talk about cards that control our opponent’s artifacts that you may choose for your deck.

Should I worry about artifacts?

Before we talk about these cards, let's ask a significant question:

should I be concerned about artifacts?

. This question must be answered by analyzing the metagame from where you play (MTGO or your LGS, for example). To help us understand this question, I have compiled the card types that exist in each format and the frequency they appear. I’ve used our metagame page to do this analysis, looking only to the best tournaments decks!
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Here’s a graph with the percentages side by side as well:
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Something we can notice through these images is that each format has its own peculiarity. Pauper doesn't have planeswalkers and makes up for that with several instant spells. Vintage and Commander, which have had a huge pool of cards since the beginning of Magic, provide an interesting focus on artifacts. It is possible to see in this graph the posture of Wizards of the Coast over time. In the beginning, sorcery spells and artifacts had huge power levels; and these have slowly been reduced. Today their main power level focus is on creatures and Instants, with more dynamic gameplay focused on the battlefield. But let's talk about artifacts. As can be seen, these occupy a relatively small percentage of the metagame, very similarly to the number of enchantments, and even so, this is usually a type of card that evokes a chill up the spines of many players because these are extremely strong and are able to win a game by themselves. Here are some examples:
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Another example is Inkmoth Nexus, which is, in fact, neither an artifact nor has it entered the charts above. However, it can become a 1/1 flying artifact, and is often used on affinity or infect lists, enabling you to win the game with one or two buff effects if your opponent doesn't have a quick answer. This is also true for the other artifacts presented above. Artifacts will not necessarily be the main win condition of most decks, but they can be the strong tools against many decks. They end up giving you the same "satisfaction" as a whole win condition. Below are some cards that any deck can have in its sideboard as these are colorless and may give you a huge advantage depending on your opponent's deck:
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Even if your deck doesn't play with artifacts, you must have artifact-hate spells on the sideboard to deal with your opponent's artifacts. These enemy pieces may be artifacts that will damage your game plan and, because they are colorless, any deck can have them; as well as artifacts that may be core pieces of your opponent's main game plan.

How to choose an artifact-hate spell?

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When choosing a card to be your defense against artifacts, you have to check if it is part of your game plan. This can be the difference between choosing a creature as an artifact hate (even though there are many creature removal spells in the game) like Collector Ouphe in place of a Stony Silence enchantment. If your deck has cards that can protect creatures, then choosing a creature will make more sense, of course. You should also check the restrictions of certain cards or how the decks will be able to play certain cards. For instance, a colorless hate like Spine of Ish Sah is unrestrained, while Force of Vigor can be cast at any time for zero mana, but it depends on having another green card in your hand. After these choices that are inherent to your deck, you will end up making a choice between 3 factors: 1.

Speed

. How quickly you can cast your artifact hate spell. This is important depending on the format you are playing, which may require answers to combos on turn 3, for example. Nature's Claim costs only 1 mana to destroy either an artifact or enchantment. 2.

Value

. How much advantage the card will give you during the course of the game. Hurkyl's Recall returns all target player’s artifact cards to their hand. Ancient Grudge is a great card for destroying two artifacts using its flashback. 3.

Versatility

. Here comes what the card gives you in addition to the destruction effect itself. Cards like Krosan Grip also fall into this category due to their ability to not be countered. Angrath's Rampage is also an example of a card with good versatility due to its many effects, like Reality Hemorrhage, which it is colorless and can target Etched Champion. Usually, an increase of one of these factors causes a decrease of the others. Kolaghan's Command is a card that gives value and versatility to its owner, but it is a slow card, since it costs 3 mana, while Spine of Ish Sah has great versatility, but little value and speed.

Which are the best artifact-hate spells?

The big question about which are the best artifact-hate spells for your deck evokes the answer that everyone expects:

it depends

. I mean it depends on the metagame and whether you prefer to favor speed over value or versatility. So let's look again at our metagame page. I have separated in it all the cards that have "Destroy target artifact", "Exile target artifact" or "Destroy target permanent" phrases in their texts, in addition to various similar combinations. I have created a TOP 5 of the most played artifact-hate cards for each format, starting with

Vintage

: 1. Shattering Spree 2. Nature's Claim 3. Assassin's Trophy 4. Abrade 5. Ancient Grudge Standard: 1. Shredded Sails 2. Prismari Command 3. Wilt 4. Rip Apart 5. Gemrazer Pioneer: 1. Kolaghan's Command 2. Knight of Autumn 3. Abrade 4. Prismari Command 5. Wilt Pauper: 1. Abrade 2. Smash to Smithereens 3. Gleeful Sabotage 4. Shenanigans 5. Ancient Grudge Modern: 1. Abrade 2. Assassin's Trophy 3. Pillage 4. Kolaghan's Command 5. Nature's Claim Legacy: 1. Abrade 2. Assassin's Trophy 3. Ancient Grudge 4. Fiery Confluence 5. Wilt Historic: 1. Abrade 2. Reclamation Sage 3. Knight of Autumn 4. Prismari Command 5. Fragmentize Commander (based on our deck database): 1. Reclamation Sage 2. Generous Gift

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3. Acidic Slime 4. Cleansing Nova 5. Vandalblast It is remarkable how Vintage has a preference for speed over value or versatility. The two most used artifact-hate effects have a mana value of 1. Meanwhile, Pioneer and Commander have higher cost artifact destruction spells, but they add a lot of value to their game plan since these effects usually create a “2 for 1” situation. Legacy and Modern seem to focus on versatility, their artifact hate spells usually cost 2, but they are suited for different occasions.

Let's go for the Cards Realm Spoiler Card!

The moment awaited by many:
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Mogg Salvage is an uncommon instant. It destroys target artifact for three mana, but it can be a free spell if the opponent has an island, and you have a mountain. Without the "free" condition, the card is not playable competitively, as there are cards that have the same effect for two mana. However, the fact that it may be"free" makes it one of the cards with the best speed among the possible artifact-hate spells. This card is restricted to red decks. Let's go to the general “grade” analysis:

Speed

: Grade 10 or grade 2, depending on the situation.

Versatility

: Grade 0.

Value

: Grade 5, because there are cards that generate negative value in exchange for speed, like Force of Vigor.

How likely is Mogg Salvage to be cast as a free spell?

Once again we went to our metagame page. The objective this time was to analyze how many islands appear on the main decks of each format.
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In short, if you play Vintage, Legacy or Modern, more than 10% of the time you'll see decks with an island on the other side of the table. Since Vintage has more artifacts(four times more) the joint probability of having an island on the opponent’s side and an artifact is greater in the Vintage format than in other formats.

Conclusion

When you are looking for an artifact-hate spell, you are looking at three factors. Among these, Mogg Salvage excels in speed, but the card is restricted to certain formats that require this speed and use blue with frequency. One of its biggest rivals is Shattering Spree, which in addition to speed provides value, since it can destroy several artifacts at a time. In any case, we are very honored to have our first spoiler!
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Leon

Programmer for the Cards Realm website. Magic goes far beyond cards. We are people, a huge community.

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