Mirrodin‘s Spellbombs are a funny group: giving you slightly slower cycling or an effect that required the appropriate color. They are mini decision trees that good players see and great players use correctly. Originally, my cube had two of these trinkets: Æther Spellbomb and Pyrite Spellbomb as a blue and red card, respectively. They are very nice cards that provided suitable options.
However the others were less than exciting. Similar to the “spell lands” from Zendikar, the spellbombs weren’t a completely explosive cycle. You gain 5 life? Target land becomes a 3/3 creature until end of turn? Worldwake‘s spell lands were a bit more intriguing and finally compelled me to add a cycle of nonbasic lands that grant an effect for each color. Note that I picked through and chose which lands from different sets, not just the cycle as it was printed!
Scars of Mirrodin looks to be providing a similar potential for spellbombs. Let’s look at Origin Spellbomb:
Origin Spellbomb is something that makes the “You gain 5 life.” on Sunbeam Spellbomb look anemic. There are two differences between the original cycle and the revamped that should be pointed out:
- Getting the effect requires tapping the spellbomb
- Drawing a card is and optional triggered ability, available for a colored mana, when the spellbomb hits the graveyard
Unlike the older versions where drawing a card or the effect was the choice, here you get the option regardless. Manic Vandal or Tin Street Hooligan ruining your day? You can draw a replacement – for the right price.
Origin Spellbomb’s ability puts a creature into play at instant speed. This is very handy in that it can be used to both reserve mana for other uses, like counter spells or combat tricks, and mess with the combat math of opponents. It makes any untapped land look suspiciously tricky.
While Scars of Mirrodin‘s metalcraft cards care about you keeping the little bomb around I sincerely doubt my cube will have such restrictions: in a cube this will get since better when it can truly be used at any time. Metalcraft, like threshold before it, requires management of a resource (artifacts in play) which can be powerful against opponents without the tools to disrupt it but risky against the prepared.
I hope the remainder of the cycle, in conjunction with the original series from Mirrodin, will provide the incentive to get a few more artifacts into the cube. And the likely losers to get this cycle shoved in?
Sweet, sweet consistency is only going to get better.