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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day


Image from Wizards.com

Manabarbs
10th Edition


Reviewed July xx, 2007

Constructed: 3.20
Casual: 3.10
Limited: 2.00

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 

BMoor

Manabarbs

The original go-to card for throwing damage around wantonly. Casual players love it for the chaotic effect, but can it stand up in Constructed and Limited, where cards are expected to have predictable effects? I think so. In many ways, an aggresive deck could use it like a psuedo-Armageddon: if you're wining the damage race, this card assures that your opponent can't play anything that could inhibit your damaging capacity without damaging himself enough so that you'll still win the damage race.

Constructed- 4.5
Casual- 4.5
Limited- 4


David N

Wednesday - Mana Barbs

A card that I've always wanted to use but never could find a good way to abuse it. The best way I see around this is having a lot of mana producers such as elves or artifact mana producers.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 2
Limited: 1

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Manabarbs

Manabarbs punishes people who like to play big spells - but unfortunately, it also punishes you. If you're an aggressive red deck, you shouldn't be worrying about that. Instead, you should be worrying about the cost; four mana is a little expensive for some decks, and many times when you're playing red you won't be reaching four mana or don't care whether or not you do. In spite of that, though, I think Manabarbs could be a sleeper hit of the new Core Set, especially against control decks that rely on their big expensive spells to either keep them alive (like Wrath of God) or win the game (like Korlash). Most decks don't have enchantment removal maindeck, and taking four to the face for playing Wrath of God makes the red deck's job much easier.

Constructed: 3/5 (I'm betting on this card!)
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 2/5 (I have to admit I had a hard time rating Manabarbs for limited)

Arcane
Manabarbs

Constructed: Every time I hear/think about this card I get all excited until I read the card again and it pulls me back down to earth about just how bad it can really be. First off it hurts you as well so it’s a double edged, er…barb. Second, the four mana cost means it’s not coming out too early, which means that aggro decks will already have a few creatures out and take a lead and have lower casting costs meaning that they’ll probably win the damage race against you and control decks generally spend less mana on disruption (removal or countermagic) than you pay for your threats which means that you probably won’t win that race either. Now the plus side I see to this is running this in a G/R deck using all 3 mana producers in green post-tenth (Birds, Llanowar elves and Coldsnap’s boreal druid) to get around the damage and still play threats.

Casual/Multi: Cards like this almost never seem to work around the multiplayer table. Cards with effects that damage everyone, while seeming fair, just send signals of one thing: I’m trying to make the game un-fun by denying you something you like to do; in this case tapping lands. What it means is that everyone at the table will either try and kill you before your barbs kill them, or clamor for a disenchant effect then hold their low life total against you the rest of the game as they think they’re at a disadvantage. Now having said that I have thought about ideas for a deck around this using things like Aether vial, or the Future Sight Pacts (along with the ever-so handy and Multiplayer friendly Angel’s Grace) and things like signets and fellwar stones, etc to keep your lands from being tapped. I could also see this being used in a deck with lots of walls to prevent your opponents from getting through with the creatures they have, solidifying a defense, then slapping this down to punish people after you’re all bunkered down.

Limited: A card like this requires a very tight low mana curve to make an aggressive surge out of the games, and then slap down the barbs. If you can get out a few early creatures against a slow player, the barbs keep them from really coming back into the game costing them life for every removal spell they want to cast. Another cheap aggro deck though is going to put the pressure on you, meaning that if they can beat you out of the gates, your barbs are probably useless in the end making Manabarbs really a win-more card, helping to solidify positions you’re already favored in, but not really doing much to help you if you’re losing.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 2
Limited: 2
PsychoAnime

#1 Magic Noob in Canada since 2002
Manabarbs has a symmetrical effect, so how can the symmetry be broken?

Aggressive burning in early game to deny opponent mana? Run non-land
mana sources? I'm not sure how these ideas will fare so I'll just give
this a 3/5 in constructed just because I think it has great potential.

In casual, I'm pretty sure this can be part of some combo. In limited,
this doesn't immediately kill your opponent and it's harder to break
the symmetry here.

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3.5/5
Limited: 1.5/5

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