Looking at a Random Card: Rag Man

(What am I doing here? Read here!)

Swamp: This large art Unhinged swamp by John Avon has possibly the most beautiful Swamp picture overall – I’m impressed! Still, I don’t want to talk about the five original basic lands in this column. Let me just say that I like the idea of them being an always useful and readily available resource defining the basic structure of the game, and that I consider any environment which makes using them the exception rather than the norm an aberration. I will treat all future instances of these 5 cards coming up as repeats and ignore them.

Rag Man: A black creature… okay. Starting to get spooky, but okay.

This is a wonderful example of a card which has great flavor but plays horribly (making it quite typical for The Dark). It offers an inflexible, unreliable and costly discard effect on a majorly overcosted and fragile creature, which you wouldn’t even want in the slowest multiplayer environment due to its randomness. It is also hard to imagine a limited environment where you’d want to use this card, provided that this environment should be fun to play – maybe some kind of backdrafting (link leads to a German entry), where you might actually be happy to play that creature just because it’s a 2/1, but here it is even more unlikely that you’ll ever get to use its activated ability, since you will almost assuredly play at least 3 colors there. Anyway, it makes no sense to rate cards for their usability in a format which was created to force you to play with the weakest cards possible!

I strongly believe that Magic cards shouldn’t just look nice, but also play well. Thus, Rag Man’s evocative flavor cannot save it from getting the grade tailor-made for cards without any play value (also implicating that they’re at least not problematic in any way), an E.

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