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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day
Daily Since November 2001!

Lava Axe
Image from Wizards.com

Lava Axe
M11

Reviewed August 26, 2010

Constructed: 2.00
Casual: 2.17
Limited: 3.33
Multiplayer: 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

Lava Axe

Five mana for 5 damage to an opponent seems like a bad deal when you've seen Lava Spike. It's also tough that you can't use it to take out a creature. Sure, it can be good for forcing those last 5 points through, but it's an awfully expensive way of doing that.

Constructed- 1.5
Casual- 2
Limited- 2
Multiplayer- 1.5

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Lava Axe
 
One way to succeed in any gameplay format is to figure out what the format is about, so to speak. Ask yourself what its decks are trying to do, and then do something that either counters that or avoids it entirely. In the case of draft and sealed games, for example, decks are trying to have better creatures than the opponent. For such a situation, Lava Axe can be a high-impact, game-winning card, as it goes around the creature race and literally hits your opponent where it hurts.
 
Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 2/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 2/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

  An aside, but I won a M10 Sealed tournament with a deck built around three copies of Lava Axe and a few other burn cards.  The final game was against one of the store's more outspoken personalities and he was rather frustrated with being burned down as opposed to the usual attacks one might expect in Limited.  We were the last game of consequence and had a pretty rowdy audience watching every play.  Ultimately the game was decided by a topdecked third Lava Axe knocking out his last five life and he calmly said good game, shook my hand, then walked off before yelling and storming out of the store.  He was followed by some of the crowd, at a distance, and he went into a bar where he seemingly had a few too many before wandering around the parking lot muttering and cursing.
 
One of the other players enjoyed all of this so much that he insisted I sell him the copies of the Lava Axes I had used so he could frame them in the store.  I politely declined until gathered additional support from others and offered quite a bit more than commons are worth and I couldn't really object to free money.  Though they then demanded I autograph them as well.  So, as far as I know they have three copies of Lava Axe autographed and framed sitting in the store thanks to one very burn oriented sealed pool and a guy who takes losing way too hard.
 
My little story that I always think of when I see this card, so I thought I'd share.
 
Maikeruu

 
Today's card of the day is Lava Axe which at five mana for five damage isn't overly impressive or versatile when other cards like Unstable Footing or even Fireball exist that can add more value to the deck.  It isn't really a bad card, but the burn slots of a deck are often better filled with cards like Lightning Bolt which can hit players or creatures for less investment.  The change in flavor text from 2010's elegant "Catch!" isn't the best either.
 
For Limited this is actually an overlooked card that is really quite devastating as there are few responses available and a decent supply of support in set.  Chandra's Spitfire and Fire Servant both work very well with this and any other burn alongside a copy or two of Lava Axe can end the game in short order.  The single Red in the cost allows it to easily be played in a multicolor deck, often with Green for the acceleration, and works well in almost any Sealed build.  For Booster this can be a tough draft choice, but when going Red this can be picked up quite early for a very aggressive deck design.
 
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 2.5


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