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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day


Image from Wizards.com

Spellshift
Planar Chaos


Reviewed April 09, 2007

Constructed: 1.44
Casual: 2.44
Limited: 1.55

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 


DeQuan
Watson

* Game Store Owner

Spellshift - Monday

This feels like there are some gimmicky ways to use it, but honestly, I'd stay away from it. The cost isn't that appealing to begin with. And it's not even a sure fire spell counter. There's a chance that you could be dealing with a spell that is worse than or identical to what you are trying to stop. There are so many better spell counter available, that this one shouldn't merit much consideration.

Constructed: 1.5
Casual: 2
Limited: 2.5

BMoor

Spellshift

It's like a Polymorph but for instants and sorceries. The main problem with effects like this is that even though you are stopping something, your opponent still has something (albeit a random something). If you play this to counter an opponent's spell, you're basically saying "I think a randomly selected card in your deck will be less threatening than the one you just played, even taking into consideration that you might randomly select another copy of that very spell." In constructed, there's better counter spells available-- ones that actually stop a spell. In limited, countermagic isn't great to begin with, but you do then have the advantage that it's unlikely for an opponent to have two copies of a threatening instant or sorcery. It's in limited where this really shines-- you can build your deck around countering your own little cantrip and 'shifting it into a Storm Herd or a Plague Wind.

Constructed- 1
Casual- 4
Limited- 1.5

Aethereal

Monday - Spellshift

An interesting card that basically lets you turn a spell into a different spell. This could have (very) limited uses against decks that run few to no sorceries or instants, because then you can counter something important and replace it with a less important card. However, I think if this gets used at all, it'll get used on your own spells, and it's not worth it at 4 mana, unless *maybe* you're countering your own uncounterable spell (you get both the uncounterable spell and whatever you reveal from your library). A card that definitely needs a deck built around it.

And in casual is where that deck might pop up, so try it out. This is a 50-cent rare, after all.

In limited, why would you want to help them find their bomb?

Constructed - 1
Casual - 3
Limited - 1

-David N

Monday:
Spellshift

Ok this card is a counter that really isn't a counter. It counters the spell at hand but allows the controller to get another spell for free?!?! This might be a good thing if the player doesn't play many instants/sorcs but who doesn't? You might be countering a spot removal to be faced with a wrath or damnation and lose all of your creatures instead. Now on the other hand if you counter your own spell and know what kind of other instants/sorcs you are running it could be a personal tutor.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 2
Limited: 2
David Fanany Spellshift

Not only is Spellshift narrow in what it counters, it gives your opponent a consolation prize which may end up being worse for you than whatever he was trying to cast. (Imagine Spellshifting something like Mortify into Wrath of God.) The best use for this card is probably in some kind of casual deck that tries to transform its small spells into something like Storm Herd. It seems a little risky for limited play as well, even though limited decks often have proportionally more creatures and fewer instants and sorceries.

Constructed: 1/5
Casual: 2/5
Limited: 1/5
PsychoAnime With this card, you can "shift" a "spell", hence the name Spellshfit. I really
see no potential in shifting your opponent's spells as it would be completely
random, so let's see what you can do by shifting your own spell.

To make sure the spell you get is good, you have to (a) make sure every instant
or sorcery in your deck is good or (b) play 1 or 2 instants or sorceries so
you will always get what you want. Now the problem with (b) is if you play a
single type of instant or sorcery, the card you flip up will be the same card
as the one you played. That's no good. The problem with (a) is that not every
good instant or sorcery can be played at any time, eg. playing Wrath of God
when you have creature board control.

As we can see, countering your own spells isn't good either, and obviously
countering your opponent's spells isn't good either, as you might as well just
Rune Snag it or something which costs less and won't give your opponent a spell.

Constructed: 1/5
Casual: 1/5, looks combo-able but I can't see it
Limited: 1/5, still doesn't do anything here.

Arcane
Spellshift

Constructed: In terms of straight counterspells, there are a lot more, better options right now (Remand, Rune Snag, Rewind). The only way you get any card advantage using it against your opponent’s spells is to get them to reveal a card that can’t be played due to lack of a target. The best use for this will probably be in some combo deck using it to play an expensive splashy spell, but even considering I don’t think there’s any spell like that in standard right now (maybe see some use with the Epic spells from Kamigawa) there isn’t a guarantee to hit without more deck manipulation. Luck and chance cards aren’t the blue mages style.

Casual/Multi: Now the randomness of this spell I can appreciate a bit more in a multiplayer format, or in a format where you can play outside the normal deck construction boundaries like standard or Extended. I can picture this working well as 4 of in a blue decks that runs lots of splashing game breaking spells (in a variety of colors, since Spellshift doesn’t care if you have the right mana). Imagine running a deck with cards like Decree of Pain, Beacon of Tomorrows, Warp World, Reverse the Sands, etc. and brainstorms to put the ones you draw on top of your library ripe for the Spellshifting. This is just one deck idea obviously, but I’m sure Spellshift can be used to mix up your play group; just be prepared to become the target of the new spell if your opponent isn’t too happy with you for countering his first spell. And on a side note I’d love using this against an Urza’s Rage or any other “can’t be countered” spell.

Limited: On the surface it doesn’t have many applications in a limited environment, but I’ve been changing my mind recently. Removal spells or combat tricks aren’t always in steady supply in a limited format, and Spellshift can actually manage to save your cards from a spell like Strangling Soot or Return to Dust. This isn’t always the best option as it relies entirely on your opponent having worst cards in their decks, or having cards that won’t help them, and you take the risk of letting them play a much more expensive spell, but it could be useful in a blue deck where you don’t have too many tricks or ways to protect your permanents.

Constructed: 1.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 2.5
The Missing Linc
Spellshift
 
Four mana to possibly counter a spell.  Even if you counter it, you may end up getting something worse than you wanted.  I can't see this spell's use.  Enlighten me.
Constructed: 1
Casual: 1
Limited: 1
Necro
nomikron
Spellshift:

Constructed? Nah, too expensive for what it does, and too unreliable. What are you going to get with it that is worth two cards and 5+ mana?

Casual: Maybe some wierd eye of the storm + spellshift combo...

Limited: Nah, you can't control it, and they still end up with a spell cast of some sort.

Constructed: 1.5/5
Casual: 3/5 (for you johnies out there)
Limited: 1/5 (not lower simply because I can't take it any lower)

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