April 7, 2017

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Daily Dose of Amonkhet – Split Decision

Welcome all to another edition of the Daily Dose of Amonkhet, where today I’m going to be talking about some odd looking new cards from Amonkhet.

Split cards have been seen before in Dissension with cards like Crime // Punishment, and in the form of Fuse cards from Dragon’s Maze like Far // Away. Crime // Punishment allowed you choose which half of the card you wanted to cast, while Far // Away let you cast either one or both spells at the same time.

Split cards in Amonkhet have a new take on the format. While the card is in your hand you can cast one half of the card, and while the card is in your graveyard you can cast the other half. They also have a unique card design where half of the card is turned sideways.

I’m torn on the power of these cards as sometimes you’ll want to cast the other half of the card based on where the card is located. The advantage though is that you get to cast two spells from the same card, either in the same turn or over multiple turns.

The first new split card I’ll talk about today is one that is destined for control decks in the near future. Here is Failure to Comply.

failurecomply

This is one of the most interesting spells to me, as most often it will be best to play the two halves of the card on different turns. If you use it to bounce a spell during your turn, it means you will be bouncing an Instant played by your opponent. Even if you play Comply immediately after, during your next turn they will still be able to cast that Instant spell again. If you can bounce one of their spells during their turn in which they can’t recast it that turn, you could then play Comply during your turn to make sure they can’t cast it during their next turn.

Another good use for this card would be against counterspells, as you have the versatility to either bounce their counterspell so they can use it on another turn, or you can bounce your own spell so that their counterspell fizzles. This will allow you to recast your spell on another turn.

Next, I want to talk about a removal spell that in the late game could be the finisher you need to win. Here is Cut // Ribbons

cutribbons

Other than Flame Lash and Mizzium Mortars, most spells that deal four damage to a creature cost three, four, or even five mana to cast. So just by itself, the Cut half of the card packs a punch. Where this card impresses me is in the fact that later in the game you can use Ribbons to make your opponent lose X life to finish them off. Often red decks, or even Grixis control decks, are looking for a way to finish off an opponent and Ribbons provides a sense of inevitability in the graveyard as your opponent can see it and know that if they get below a certain life total, they’re dead.

On to the next split card from Amonkhet, which is a card that you will need to build your deck around for it to be successful. Here is Dusk // Dawn.

duskdawn

This is a narrow sweeper card that could blank if your opponent doesn’t have the right creatures on the battlefield, but could also provide a lot of value against a battlefield full of large creatures. To negate any of your creatures dying it would make sense to fill your deck full of two casting cost or less creatures that won’t be destroyed when you play Dusk. If you build your deck this way though, playing the Dawn half of the card will provide some major value by bringing back all your previously dead creatures to your hand. As you can see this is a very narrow card, but it could be quite valuable if put in the right deck.

Lastly, I want to talk about an all-red Split card that’s purpose is to add more damage to everything going towards your opponent. Here is Insult // Injury.

insultinjury

I’ve never been a big fan of spells, like Overblaze or enchantments, like Furnace of Rath that double damage from sources you control. While it sounds great, it’s only worthwhile if you have a lot of other creatures or sources of damage. The Insult half of this card is no different. Making it so the damage can’t be prevented is nice, but it won’t come up as being useful very often. I’m more a fan of the Injury half of the card and will wish most of the time that I didn’t have to cast Insult first just to get it into the graveyard. Where this card shines compared to the other split cards is that if you have enough mana to cast both Insult followed by Injury, you can deal 4 damage to a creature and a player.

So, overall, I am split on whether the new split cards from Amonkhet will make an impact in Standard. Having the value of being able to cast two spells from the same card is quite good, but whether both halves of a card will have an impact on the game is something to be seen. Thanks again for joining me for the Daily Dose of Amonkhet. I look forward to seeing you all Monday as we dip into week two of previews. I can’t wait to see more of what Amonkhet has to offer.