Rating the Rares
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I finally got two rare cards from the original set that I've needed for some time now: Archangel Magnus and Old Nick. Nick rocks. Magnus stinks. Don't get me wrong, he's okay, but after how long I waited to get him, to actually read the card -- P. U. Doesn't do much for me.
So I decided that I was going to rate the rare cards in Guardians. In no particular order. Some cards may have been left out because I don't have any strong feelings for them at the moment, or because I just haven't played with them. (Note: I didn't include Guardians or shields in this list.)
The first batch: Rare-1
Agent of Shadow: Good defensive card, but I'm always leery of giving up seven points on a command card. However, if you might lose the battle anyway, at least your opponent doesn't gain any ground. This can be important is your opponent is trying to get MDL. Good card.
Bruce the Goose: Haven't played with him. If you know what's in your opponent's shield, you can force him to lose his best creature. That's a great ability, if you have the back-up support to take it out. Good card.
Grand Avatar: Now this is a rocking creature. There are Guardians that can't channel six points, and the Avatar can do it every turn of the game. This comes at a price, however. Twelve points off one of your strongholds -- he's in the way if you have a lot of creatures or shields and don't get that upgrade out. Pitiful as a combat creature. Great card, less useful in starters -- you need creatures to channel to, and I've had decks where that was close to zilch.
Na 'Boob: Not the best of the Slag Beasts, but the immunity is nice. He can kill a Sun Spirit without taking damage. He's not too hard to stack. Good card.
Pink Flamingos: Okay, the card's a joke. I have one. It's in plastic. Any 30-point shield will beat it. Many under-30 shields will beat it -- particularly if they have a Crook End Snooter in them. That means one shield down for your opponent, and he only needs four more. I doubt I'll use it, not even with an Idiot. (Note: an Idiot or a 1-point creature may allow your Flamingoes to survive the first attack.) Not good. Play for laughs and then remove it.
Archangel Magnus: I was truly disappointed to see this one. For such a rare card, he should destroy Demons or Devils, not just get a wimpy bonus. The stats: 11, channel-receiver, +9 Vitality against Demons and Devils. That means he can kill a Doomwing without channeling. He can kill Bealzebub if neither side channels, but 'Bub maxes at 32 and Magnus at only 31. And Old Nick beats the pants off of him. Comparing the two abilities, I'd choose a Vapor Elemental over Magnus any time. And Vapor Elementals are uncommon. Disappointing.
Archangel Odessa: Love the artwork. The ability is weak. Can only channel to Angels and Clerics. There are only 10 Angels and one Cleric in the game. On top of that, the most common angel, Angel, can't receive channeling. The ones that can are uncommon or rare. Devil decks will kill Angel decks. In a starter, your opponent will probably get Demons and Devils, but you are not likely to get a channelable angel. If she said "Even to those that can't normally recieve channeling" she would be Great. She's good.
Bealzebub: A 16-point channel-receving flyer. He can kill any Guardian solo. He's immune to fire, without having a fire-based attack, so he kills Sun Spirits without taking damage. Great card.
Greater Energy Elemental: If you're playing with Harkin as your Guardian, this card sucks. Otherwise, it is freaking-awesome. Unlimited channeling. That means all those Avatars, all the stones your Guardian can spare. Combine this with a Channeling Flux and a Limitied Big Time Rebate and you have Power! Just remember that it all goes away for secondary attackers. Great card!
Lawyer: Use it once and see what happens. Another joke card, but this one may let you take a terrain, if only temporarily. I see one of these regularly. That's why I have a Super Model in my deck. If you use it, have a Djinn handy and enough creatures so that your opponent can't secondary attack. Good card.
Old Nick: Nick rocks! Aside from a Ba Choomba with an Amulet of Flying (great surprise to pull on someone), Nick is the biggest flyer in the game. And he receives channeling. Nick and one stone from Rak Nam kills most Guardians. And anything else that gets in the way. Great card.
Roving Force Inferno: There is nothing more annoying than having cards to attack with but not being allowed to attack. It's best when it knocks out a big creature, but even when it takes out a little guy, you've reduced your opponent's total vitality. Two of these is 24 points. If they kill seven points of creatures, then no matter what your other six points of creatures are, your opponent loses the space. Great card.
Spirit of the Hunt: You don't know when the one rocking creature in his shield will come out? Well, try to get it out now. Anything that reduces his number of primaries is good. Best time I've used this card: my opponent's Tookle deck with all small creatures; his shield consisted of two Female Titans. Wham! They're both on the table and I have 25 points of secondaries left. Great card.
Dragon Wing Lord: I recently discovered that I don't have one of these yet! Argh! Like Old Nick, a big channel receiving flyer. You'd have to be nuts to use it as a channeling creature. And the AOE on this thing! Yeow! Great card.
Grand Phooba Schnee: In the right deck, this card rocks. In a starter, it probably sucks. Good card.
Humungus Fungus: You have to love cards that destroy their opponents, especially if they're big. I'm not sure why Mold and Fungus are two separate classes. Good card.
Rock Rat: A 3-point ranged attack on a 4 point creature? The only drawback is that the target can't fly. Most creatures don't fly. Good against most decks. Great in a starter.
White Unicorn: I wish I had more of these: Destroys Undead, Demons, Devils and Black Unicorns. Blackies are normally Undead, but you can change a creature's class, but that won't save it. Excellent defense card if your opponent stocked up on Necropolis Park. It DESTROYS 30 cards in the original set alone! Seven more in Dagger Isle. Great card, in regular decks and in starters.
That wraps out the R1s.
Best cards: Greater Energy Elemental, White Unicorn, Old Nick and Dragon Wing Lord.
Worst cards (or at least disappointing): Archangel Magnus and Pink Flamingoes.
I'll be happy to discuss any differences of opinion.
Next time: Rare 2 and Rare 3 from the Original set.
C. J. Burke, Keeper of the Flame
Elemental, Vitality 3, OCB 0, Small, Force, Gold, CMP 0, red bar.
C: Name a creature card. If your opponent has one if these cards, it is out of play and doesn't count for control of the space, but can be attacked by secondary attackers. If not, Go Fish is destroyed.