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Thursday, February 4, 2010:


The Worst Card Ever: Rumbling Aftershocks

I heard someone (or two or three) on a podcast (or two or three) grumbling about how much Rumbling Aftershocks sucks. Hearing my cue to defend the possibly misunderestimated MtG cards of the world, yet again I stand up to defend...
The Worst Card Ever!

Rumbling Aftershocks 4R
Enchantment Uncommon Worldwake
Whenever you cast a kicked spell, you may have Rumbling Aftershocks deal damage to target creature or player equal to the number of times that spell was kicked.

Too expensive, it sucks. That's what I think. Anything over 2 mana makes me hesitate. Maybe if we had a mana ramp. Well, at least Rumbling Aftershocks is not heavy red, so we can just splash for it, that gives us some slack in building a deck to highlight this monstrosity. I'll be focusing on support cards from Worldwake, that way if your format supports this card it will support my support. Thus it makes sense to approach this from a draft perspective, which may be helpful if you accidently draft 4 Rumbling Aftershocks in picks 1-4. Seriously though, you might actually consider drafting a Multikicker deck with Rumbling Aftershocks if you grab a pack 1 rare multikicker like Joraga Warcaller, Marshal's Anthem, Strength of the Tajuru, or Wolfbriar Elemental:

Joraga Warcaller G (1)
Creature — Elf Warrior (1/1)
Multikicker 1g
Joraga Warcaller enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
Other Elf creatures you control get +1/+1 for each +1/+1 counter on Joraga Warcaller.

Marshal's Anthem 2ww (4)
Multikicker 1w
Creatures you control get +1/+1.
When Marshal's Anthem enters the battlefield, return up to X target creature cards from your graveyard to the battlefield, where X is the number of times Marshal's Anthem was kicked.

Strength of the Tajuru xgg (2)
Multikicker 1
Choose target creature, then choose another target creature for each time Strength of the Tajuru was kicked. Put X +1/+1 counters on each of them.

Wolfbriar Elemental 2gg (4)
Creature — Elemental (4/4)
Multikicker G
When Wolfbriar Elemental enters the battlefield, put a 2/2 green Wolf creature token onto the battlefield for each time it was kicked.

Ok, so let's get cracking. To abuse Rumbling Aftershocks and multikick, we need cheap multikickers and mana-accelerators. ... Well, well, well, speak of the devil, a cheap multikicking mana-accelerator:

Everflowing Chalice 0
Artifact Uncommon
Multikicker 2
Everflowing Chalice enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it for each time it was kicked.
T: Add 1 to your mana pool for each charge counter on Everflowing Chalice.

Everflowing Chalice helps us pay for Rumbling Aftershocks, it helps us pay for most multikickers and their multikicks, it helps pay for itself, and if we bring Everflowing Chalice into play after Rumbling Aftershocks, it burns something (or somebody) for every time it was kicked. Yay synergy. We'll get alot of colorless mana, so we'll keep an eye out for artifacts. Get your playset of Everflowing Chalice, you'll need it for Rise of the Eldrazi anyway.

Let's check out the other multikickers, starting with the commons you're most able to pick up:

Skitter of Lizards r (1)
Creature — Lizard (1/1)
Multikicker 1r
Skitter of Lizards enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
[Another candidate for The Worst Card Ever, it's a 1/1 with haste for 1, but it's great for an "equip and swing" and Everflowing Chalice loves paying for equipment. A +1/+1 counter for 1r may suck, but a +1/+1 counter and a ping from Rumbling Aftershocks for 1r sounds fine to me. Besides, nobody else likes this card, so we can pick up a couple of these when other people are deciding between Bull Rush and the land.]

Quag Vampires b (1)
Creature — Vampire Rogue (1/1)
Multikicker 1b
Quag Vampires enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
[People love drafting vampires, so hatedrafting a cheap vampire with swampwalk sounds like a plan and if it helps Rumbling Aftershocks burn them or one of their vampires as well, all the better. Solid card for a Sideboard or splash, if not main deck.]

Gnarlid Pack 1g (2)
Creature — Beast (2/2)
Multikicker 1g
Gnarlid Pack enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
[2/2 for 2, I hate it, but Green has Joraga Warcaller, Strength of the Tajuru, Wolfbriar Elemental, and mana acceleration like Explore. So I might go heavy green and pick up a few Gnarlid Pack which could be mid/late game 4/4 double-pingers.]

Enclave Elite 2u (3)
Creature — Merfolk Soldier (2/2)
Multikicker 1u
Enclave Elite enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
[Islandwalk doesn't seem as good as swampwalk. I'm just not very exited about this card, but I'd consider it if I saw a few Voyager Drake or thought the meta liked blue. Meh.]

Apex Hawks 2w (3)
Creature — Bird (2/2)
Multikicker 1w
Apex Hawks enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
[2/2 flyer for 3, eh, maybe, but it's white. If I had Marshal's Anthem, maybe.]

All the common multikickers' multikicks cost at least 1 colorless, so Everflowing Chalice will help cover the cost of our kicks, but getting too excited about too many of these common multikickers' could screw our colors. I prefer the red and black, because they're cheap and thus save our mana for kicks/Aftershocks, but green is the mana acceleration color and we need big kicks to show off Rumbling Aftershocks, so I might want try for G/R with a splash of black.

Now the Uncommon multikickers:

Comet Storm XRR
Multikicker 1
Choose target creature or player, then choose another target creature or player for each time Comet Storm was kicked. Comet Storm deals X damage to each of them.
[RR to cast, so we might need Pilgram's Eye for manafixing if we're not heavy red, but the multikicker is a colorless 1. Everflowing Chalice is having a torrid love affair with Comet Storm. It's removal, it's a finisher: rate it high.]

Deathforge Shaman 4r (5)
Creature — Ogre Shaman (4/3)
Multikicker r
When Deathforge Shaman enters the battlefield, it deals damage to target player equal to twice the number of times it was kicked.
[It's 4 power for 5 in Rumbling colors and if we have alot of mana from Everflowing Chalice or green accelerants then it's efficient burn if we have two or three red mana to put into it. Good finisher if we go heavy red, which I probably will. I like it.]

Bloodhusk Ritualist 2b (3)
Creature — Vampire Shaman (2/2)
Multikicker b
When Bloodhusk Ritualist enters the battlefield, target opponent discards a card for each time it was kicked.
[Awesome, love it. Discard your opponent's hand late game and make Rumbling Aftershocks burn for cheap... if we have two or three swamps, that's the catch.]

Lightkeeper of Emeria 3w (4)
Creature — Angel (2/4)
Multikicker w
When Lightkeeper of Emeria enters the battlefield, you gain 2 life for each time it was kicked.
[White has the fliers, but I'm not feeling it. Rumbling Aftershocks should help clear the board for our midrange, so we don't need too much evasion.]

Voyager Drake 3u (4)
Creature — Drake (3/3)
Multikicker u
When Voyager Drake enters the battlefield, up to X target creatures gain flying until end of turn, where X is the number of times Voyager Drake was kicked.
[Needs heavy blue and I'm already being pulled towards red, green, and black; maybe a splash of blue for Spell Contortion could be justifed if we have some Pilgrim's Eye.]

Spell Contortion 2u (3)
Multikicker 1u
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 2. Draw a card for each time Spell Contortion was kicked.
[Another candidate for Worst Card Ever, but Everflowing Chalice may give us plenty of mana, so 3 cards and 3 burn damage late in the game might set up our finishers, the possible counter is just gravy. I'd think about it, because we do need card draw and any draw is better than no card draw, but I might rather Explore to ramp and draw early.

Explore 1G
Sorcery Common
You may play an additional land this turn.
Draw a card.
[Ramp up, fix your mana, draw a card, undercut landfall decks, sounds good.]

Here are some artifacts Everflowing Chalice would love to pay for:


Pilgrim's Eye (3)
Artifact Creature — Thopter (1/1)
When Pilgrim's Eye enters the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
[Looks like Pilgrim's Eye is THE manafixer for Worldwake and we don't seem to be going mono-red, so I rate this high. It's colorless, so it's a good early drop for a multicolor deck which has extra colorless mana. A 1/1 flyer for 3 sounds terrible, but it is evasion and really pay for our multikicks. Grab it before someone else does, because they'll need it too.]

Walking Atlas (2)
Artifact Creature — Construct (1/1)
Tap: You may put a land card from your hand onto the battlefield.
[Early colorless drop, may help cast our multikickers if we have the right land in hand, but I'd really want Pilgrim's Eye before valuing it high.]

Kitesail (2)
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +1/+0 and has flying.
Equip 2
[We have midrange attackers without evasion, so if we can't burn out high toughness creatures, it's nice to have this option. We can only do so much damage with a flying Pilgrim's Eye, and Rumbling Aftershocks might get stuck burning creaures instead of burning face.]

These are the main cards I'm looking for:

r Strength of the Tajuru (we should be so lucky)
u Everflowing Chalice (people like it, so we'll like it more)
u Comet Storm (rr, we'll pick it up pack one when other people won't commit)
u Deathforge Shaman (get it before someone uses it as filler)
c Pilgrim's Eye (THE manafixer, get it when people are still getting uncommons)
u Bloodhusk Ritualist (awesome splash, but someone else probably wants it more)
u Rumbling Aftershocks (we'll be passed it, we'll take it.)
c Skitter of Lizards (we'll be passed it, we'll take it.)
c Gnarlid Pack (probably not too hard to get)
c Quag Vampires (black players will want it)
c Explore (probably one of the only green cards most people want)
u Spell Contortion 2u (if we get a few Pilgrim's Eye we might splash for it)
c Walking Atlas
c Kitesail

Early game: Walking Atlas, Everflowing Chalice, Pilgrim's Eye
Mid-game: Rumbling Aftershocks and multikicked midrangers
End-game: Comet Storm, Deathforge Shaman

Throw in some Kitesail/evasion, Bloodhusk Ritualist/discard, or Spell Contortion/card-draw as needed.

Looks like I might just lay off the green, unless I get a bomb rare; I'm liking Red/Black with artifacts.

Before trying to put this plan into action, I feel like need to get away from the theme of the deck and simply look at other cards we might want, maybe Quicksand, Smoldering Spires, Tectonic Edge, Ricochet Trap, Searing Blaze, Slavering Nulls, Smother, Vapor Snare, maybe hatedraft Kor Firewalker.

To be continued.
Not to be continued. I should have been writing about Razor Boomerang.

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Thomas Painter   
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