Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst. 3 ... average.
5 is the highest rating.
(Top 4 at
2004 GenCon - Indy
The Light Civilization
secret that I dig several things about the Light civilization, having
pioneered Phal Control. Despite what most people think, there’s more to
Light than just some godly tappage in Holy Awe and some blockers that go
berserk when you cast Diamond Cutter. Let’s check it out:
basically gives an opponent permission to summon his creatures, and then
tries to answer creature summons by preventing them from making
effective attacks thru tap-and-destroy. The problem with the approach is
that tap-and-kill requires more than a one-card and a one-move
investment. Holy Awe is generally the most economical form of creature
tappage as it has shield trigger and affects your opponent’s entire
field regardless of what civs he’s playing. Tap can be a defensive or
offensive play, giving it some versatility.
Currently Most Played Tappage Cards:
Craze Valkyrie, Miele, Kolon
Recursion—although limited in capacity as its restricted to spells,
Light’s recursion helps cut down on the randomness associated with
gaining more options, and eases the reliance upon drawing another copy
of a spell to use it. It also helps extend the use of the singletons and
doubles of spells in deck by allowing you to re-use them, and helps curb
the damages of hand discard. The tactic is a huge asset when you want to
“abuse” a spell like Future Slash.
Most Played Spell Recursion Cards:
Tutoring—no card can match Crystal Memory’s level of flexibility and
secrecy, however Light is the civilization to turn to if spell tutoring
is what you need or you’d like to have access to a creature with the
effect. You can use tutoring to decipher your shield zone and keep track
of the options you have left in your deck. Running a creature that can
search for spells like Forbos gives you a way to net even more card
advantage as you gain a card in hand and field presence. It also greatly
enhances spell recursion effects.
Most Played Spell Tutoring Cards:
Blocking—ways to prevent the loss of a creature or a shield. One of
the drawbacks of playing blockers is that most blockers simply sit there
until something attacks and then can only block. But many of Light’s
blockers have the distinction of not only sporting great cost-to-power
ratios but also being able to attack tapped creatures, and some can
attack players and untap after blocking/end of turn.
Most Played Blocker Cards:
Senatine Jade Tree, Kenesill, La Ura Giga
Drawing—enables you to get to your answer/threats and maintain
options in hand. It helps you build your mana supply without sac’ing
your draws and generate card advantage. No civ can match Water’s card
drawers, but Light has some solid offerings. Magris is one of the best 4
drops in the game, and is similar to Aqua Hulcus as it’s a body that
replaces itself and has utility as evo material. Mist Rias has the
potential to be a downright scary source of card draw, and lets you draw
cards on your opponent’s turn, which basically penalizes him for
building board presence.
Most Played Card Drawing Cards:
Negation—card negation like
Alcadeias, Lord of Spirit’s “anti-Light spell” effect cripples your
opponent’s ability to use his cards effectively. It also gives you
something called virtual card advantage—every time your opponent draws a
non-Light spell with Big Al out it’s a dead card aka mana. He won’t reap
any of the advantages associated with playing such cards because he
can’t play them.
Most Played Negation Cards:
a way to overextend
your attacking options and cut down on a risk you incur when you
attack—your creatures being vulnerable to retaliatory attacks.
8. Mana Zone Drawing—grab
back an option & cut down negative effect of losing a card to mana.Water completely pwns Light in this
department with Thrash Crawler, since all of its mana zone drawers are
limited to spells except for Boomerang Comet. Notable:
Lena, Vizier of Brilliance.
9. Shield Placement—prolongs
duel and complicates opponent’s thinking game. Sundrop Armor still sees
some play although it drains your hand and is overshadowed by Mana
Nexus. Sphere of Wonder is a nice asset for deck out decks since
opponent will often have more shields than you. Notable:
Sundrop Armor, Sphere of Wonder (deck out).
10. Mana Acceleration—helps
bring late-game online sooner. Light’s offerings like Glory Snow are
extremely poor in comparison to Nature’s offerings, especially since
they are conditional. Lightening Charger is the most playable offering
since it doubles as tappage, and isn’t conditional. Notable:
a hit with “can’t be blocked” spells. Cards like Sonic Wing are limited
to a certain number of creatures, usually one. Far outclassed by Crystal
Paladin and Holy Awe. Notable:
12. Blocker Creation—turn
other creatures into blockers unexpectedly and have answers to your
opponents attacks. Notable:
surprise attacks. Miracle Portal fits this effect too, but is
overshadowed due to Diamond Cutter affecting the whole field. Notable:
more effects in the civilization such as Peeking (Wyn, the
Oracle) and Hand Discard (Rain of Arrows), but I covered a solid
question that if you want to tap creatures or build a deck focused on
spells then Light is the civilization to use. But, some of its
attributes are more soundly performed by other civilizations such as
Card Drawing or best avoided like Hand Discard. Due to all the
blocker-hate in the environment mono-Light has seen its heyday come and
go in most metas. Light’s lack of direct creature removal hampers its
ability to generate card advantage and control the duel effectively on
its own. Light’s a solid support civilization if your strategy calls for
use of its best tactics, and is most competitive in non-mono strategies.
gentlemen, today marks a wonderful occasion for the
COTD section. For the first time ever, we are
reviewing not one card, not a combo of cards, but an
ENTIRE CIVILIZATION. Thus, we shall redub the Card
OTD to the Civilization OTD. Best yet, we don't even
have to change the abbreviation. It's COTD time!
The Light Civilization
We start with the light civilization. This is a civ
that is well known for two strategic elements.
Blocking, and tapping. Light has the best blockers
in the game. Their power/cost ratio is always nice,
and these blockers usually have the ability to
attack creatures, and sometimes, players. It is
fairly easy to summon a swarm of blockers, then use
the Diamond Cutter card to unleash a world of hurt
on your opponent!
Also good in the light realm is the ability to tap.
Spells such as Holy Awe, and creatures such as Kolon
the Oracle and Craze Valkyrie, the Drastic have
abilties to render your opponent's creatures
helpless! This is great for destroying your
opponent's creatures. Just tap them, and have
something attack! Also, you can simply tap all your
opponent's blockers, and go for the win!
The light civilization also has some draw power, in
the form of Magris, Vizier of Magnitism and Mist
Rias, Sonic Guardian.
The light civilization creatures have some nifty
abilities! Wyn the Oracle allows you to look at an
opponent's shield every time you attack, so you can
choose to get rid of that shield or save it for
later. Great for springing or avoiding shield
Light has very little to accelerate it's mana curve.
Glory Snow is the only card I can think of that can
do this. Light also suffers from having virtually NO
killing spells. Additionally, light does not have
many attackers, and those that do exist tend not to
have terribly helpful effects.
The light civilization combos very well with the
water realm. By using some water cards, such as
Emeral, Corile, and Aqua Hulcus, light can for a
large army and knock their opponent out. It gives
light some desperately needed control options, and a
little more offensive muscle.
Light and Nature have been used before, and they
kicked butt! Using cards like Craze Valkyrie, along
with nature cards to give you extra mana, you can
drastically hurt your opponent quickly.
Fire and Darkness might seem wierd to pair with
light, but this too can work well to your advantage.
Using darkness to destroy your opponent, the light
realm can serve to draw you cards and protect your
shields. The fire realm has no blockers at all, so
light makes an excellent ally for them
Notable Light Cards:
Alcadeias, Lord of Spirits - A powerful evolution,
this card shuts down all spells other than light
spells. Your opponent will have a hard time coming
back from this!
Holy Awe - A powerful shield trigger, this card is
excellent both offensively and defensively. I
currently own 36, and I want more!
Sundrop Armor - This spell nets you an extra shield.
Great for keeping yourself alive, it's also a great
way to get shield triggers like Holy Awe in the mana
Mist Rias, Sonic Guardian - A creature that allows
you to draw any time a creature is summoned, this
card allows you to draw a multitude of cards
quickly. Your opponent won't be able to keep up!
The light civilization is a very powerful
civilization on it's own, and with help from the
other civilizations can be truely mighty. Out of
five points, I give this civilization a solid 4.5.
Light shines in play, so is water all washed up?
Find out Wednesday!
Sandow did the honors of choosing which cards we
review. Turns out he got a little carried away,
because the next two weeks we are reviewing
entire civilizations. That’s right! To kick
things off, dive into my fairly in-depth and
hopefully somewhat accurate analysis of....
Introduction: The LIGHT civilization generally
does not see nearly as much playing time as the
other four. But why do the majority of duelists view
yellow as the weak link? Well there are
one-hundred-eleven Light cards currently released,
tying them for the largest card pool. That breaks
down to 88 creatures and 23 spells, plus a few
promos not released in a set. According to the M:tG
color wheel (which you should all know since it
applies to DM) yellow tandems with blue and green,
while it is opposite red and black. Strong evidence
of this comes from Shadowclash.
Top Cards: In this grading category I’ll cover
some of the most noticeable themes, strengths, and
weaknesses between all Light cards. Here is my list
of the best few creatures with spells to follow:
Miele, Vizier of Lightning (3.25)
Magris, Vizier of Magnetism (3.50)
Mist Rias, Sonic Guardian (3.60)
Phal Eega, Dawn Guardian (4.00)
Forbos, Sanctum Guardian Q (3.40)
- Craze Valkyrie, the Drastic (2.83)
- All Blockers (Not
Logic Cube (3.50)
Diamond Cutter (4.30)
Bonds of Justice (2.80)
Holy Awe (4.75)
Those ratings come from past CotD reviews. If that
particular card has never been done before, then the
ranking is my opinion. Together the top Light
creatures have an average score of just 3.43, and
spells are 3.83 for a combined 3.59 between the two.
One of the main Light trends is the ability to tap
opposing creatures. This nifty effect can come in
handy either to bypass blockers or open creatures
for attack. An example would be tapping the
opponent’s Emeral via Miele, then smashing it to
pieces with your own creature. Cards like Holy Awe
can even be used defensively as a Shield Trigger.
Because if a creature is tapped, then that means it
can no longer attack!
They also have a good deal of draw power, though it
is not as prominent as in the Water civ. Having more
cards in hand simply opens up more options. That in
turn allows you to cast more cards, play more mana,
etc. Just remember that draw power can often
single-handedly decide a game.
Several Light cards are extremely spell friendly.
Searching for just about any spell can be
devastating at the moment. Cards like Logic Cube
work best in decks that have at least 16 spells so
that you have more choices to grab. Let’s say your
opponent has one card in hand. Summon Phal Eega,
then re-use Ghost Touch to shut them down.
The final major area is blockers. Most decks run at
least 3-5 for security and defense. Light’s blockers
are the best of the best, which is one of their few
advantages over other Civs. Take Senatine Jade Tree
for example. Not only is the power to cost ratio
excellent, but it can attack creatures unlike some
Underrated Picks: Now the following cards are
not necessarily godly, but I think they deserve a
little more recognition. All three can be fun to
play. Check em out.
Rodi Gale, Moonlight Guardian
- Dava Torey, Seeker of Clouds
- Thunder Net
Rodi Gale has a medium curve, with the major plus
side of being Wave-proof and unblockable at least
50% of the time. Dava Torey is the ultimate
anti-control weapon, great for catching the opponent
by surprise. Thunder Net was first shown to me by
Justin Couch. He of course used it in a deck with
plenty of Blue, using Light back up his
Overall: Light truly deserves the tag of worst
Civilization in my opinion. They have a handful of
solid cards, but nothing to really push yellow over
the top. Stick to splashing Awes along with maybe
6-10 other support cards. The more adventurous of
you could always try an updated Diamond Cutter deck,
but don’t expect amazing results. Civilization
standings thus far (one is best, five worst):
Tune in Wednesday as we continue with the Water
civilization. Agree, Disagree, think I missed
something? Feel free to contact me whenever. You can
also check out my latest tournament report which
should be up soon.