Essential Magic Articles

Vintage – Analyzing Silver Bullets through Ballistics: Part 2 – Rise of the Machines

by Jostin Rodriguez

ii.  The Land of Lotuses

In my opinion, Workshop decks are the most powerful and most abusive decks to ever see the light of the format.  Most people associate brokenness with Blue, and that is true to a large degree.  However, if you could play a game of Magic where every card was legal, would you rather play two of these…

or five of these…

Such is the raw power that Mishra’s Workshop has to offer.  Mishra’s Workshop only asks for one thing in return… that the mana generated be used to play artifact spells.  Everyone understands that Mishra’s Workshop is a functional [card]Black Lotus.  However, it is also a double Time Walk.  

Basic game rules only allow you to play one land a turn.   Most lands only tap for one mana.  Mishra’s Workshop offers the access gained with three land drops in the use of a single land drop.  This type of acceleration allows you to break certain spells by allowing those spells to come online earlier than they were designed to.  This allows you to do something that blue normally cannot do:  preemptively interact with your opponent.  If you know that your opponent has the ability to search for, and cast, Ancestral Recall and you want to invalidate it, you can either force them to discard it, counter it, or prevent it from being playable.  If you get to play a resistor before your opponent gets a turn, Ancestral now costs 1{U} instead of {U}.  When they begin their turn, playing Ancestral off of a single land is no longer an option.  Such is the game-warping effect of jumping the curve.  Black Lotus’s power comes from allowing it’s caster to jump the curve to play powerful spell before one has the lands to do so.  When a deck has access to multiple cards that allow its pilot to jump the curve multiple times over multiple turns, you can control tempo to such a point that you dictate interaction.

iii.  Strength in Numbers

For years, critics have cited that this restriction makes the card and the strategy behind it weak and inferior to Blue.  Blue players claim their decks ‘ access to card drawing and tutoring make them far superior to Shops, as they have every card in Magic’s history at their disposal, and the tools to find and play whatever they wish.   This use of tutoring and card drawing and its effect on the game can be summed up in one word… Consistency.  But what is “consistency”?

Show Spelled[kuh n-sis-tuh n-see]
noun, plural -cies. [/]
1. a degree of density, firmness, viscosity, etc.: [i]The liquid has the consistency of cream.

2. steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.: There is consistency in his pattern of behavior.
3. agreement, harmony, or compatibility, especially correspondence or uniformity among the parts of a complex thing: consistency of colors throughout the house.

Last edited 11/12/2013 2:57:19 PM Page 2 of 11  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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