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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!


Image from Wizards.com

Surgical Extraction
New Phyrexia

Reviewed April 26, 2011

Constructed: 4.20
Casual: 3.80
Limited: 2.40
Multiplayer: 3.00

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 of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Surgical Extraction

Looking at this card, I shudder at the prospect of having to play in Standard with it. Mostly because of the art, but the actual effect is pretty disturbing too. Extirpate was quite popular in its day, for its ability to completely derail combo decks by eliminating a combo piece, and to hamstring control decks by snatching their best win condition. I can see this card make short work of Valakut Ramp by eliminating Primeval Titan, dismember Vengevine Aggro by cauterizing the namesake card, or disrupt Caw-Blade by extracting Stoneforge Mystic. And you can do it all at instant speed, even when tapped out!
The drawback, of course, is that your target must be in their graveyard. But of course, that's no difficulty for a black deck. Turn one: Duress, Surgical Extraction. Or in older formats, Thoughtseize, Surgical Extraction. Sure you paid 4 life to pull that one off, but their whole deck's raison d'etre is sitting forlornly in the exile zone. Heck, you can pull this one off BEFORE your first turn-- if you're on the draw and your opponent cracks a fetchland or casts an instant or sorcery, you can Surgical Extraction before you ever even get a turn. And you don't even need a single black mana source in your deck for this thing to be a nightmare. Turn One: Island, Tome Scour, Surgical Extraction. You've got up to five choices for what to rob them of! Get lucky and hit a Valakut or a Primeval Titan and life looks bad for Valakut Ramp! And you never know what sort of deck will spring this on you either-- even monowhite decks can drop a Surgical Extraction in response to just about anything. No library is safe anymore!

Constructed- 4
Casual- 4
Limited- 1
Multiplayer- 2


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Surgical Extraction
 
Some historical trivia for today: this card is a callback to Spinal Embrace from Invasion, which was itself a reference to the lore about Phyrexian control implants that replaced the victim's spinal column. Now that the Phyrexians are consolidating their control over Mirrodin, I'm not surprised to see the implants return, but I'll be quite surprised if this card doesn't make an impact on gameplay. Its function mimics Extirpate, which was popular as an answer to graveyard-based strategies and certain combos, and has even appeared in maindecks in the right metagames. And if that function can now appear in literally any deck, no-one will ever know when they're safe again. 
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 2/5
Multiplayer: 2/5 

Paul

Welcome back readers today we continue review cards from New Phyrexia. Surgical Extraction is by far one of the most hyped phyrexia mana cards and illustrates the concept perfectly. In standard this card will see a fair amount of play removing a titan or a decks other win condition can be devastating and combined with discard and land destruction it can punish Valakut decks as well. This card can go in any deck as well meaning it will appear in a lot of sideboards. In extended and eternal this card will see a fair amount of play due to the presence of powerful cards and the universal nature of phyrexian mana. In casual and multiplayer it can punish a player if you know they have multiple copies of powerful cards such as instant win cards or just powerful cards. I am not sure it deserves a spot in your deck as it may not do much in the course of a game and it may not find a powerful target. In limited its doubtful your opponents have multiple copies of a problematic card but right now it could be a rare draft its hard to grade this card as its possibilities have not been fully explored. Overall a perfect conept of phyrexian mana and a hyped card from the set believe the hype.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 3.0
Multiplayer: 3.0

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Surgical Extraction which can cost either one mana or two life and allows you to exile non-basic land cards from a target player's hand, library, and graveyard with the same name as a target in their graveyard.  For the cost this is an incredibly efficient form of disruption that works best when combined with hand or library destruction.  Even without one of those if your opponent uses a key card or you destroy a key permanent once this can remove the threat of seeing any additional plays of that card for that game.  Being able to use this at instant speed and without mana, on the first turn, or whenever needed makes it even better.  This will definitely see play either maindecked or at least in the sidedeck and with the option of paying life won't be exclusive to Black decks.
 
For Limited the lack of multiples of cards make this the exact opposite of Constructed formats and a nearly unplayable rare.  It is unlikely your opponent will have multiples of a card and even if they do they may not even see them in a single game.  Aside from a card that can get returned to play there is little use in playing this card and the primary reason to draft it would be for rarity alone.  In Sealed this should always be left in the sidedeck and only switched in if you really want to see someone's deck, know they have multiples of a major threat, or some way of returning a big threat into play.
 
Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 1.0
Multiplayer: 4.5

John
Shultis
Phoenix
Gaming

    Welcome to New Phyrexia preview week here at Pojo.com! Today we take a look at Surgical Extraction. Surgical Extraction is an instant that costs one black Phyrexian mana. This means that you can either pay one black mana or two life to cast Surgical Extraction. Surgical Extraction allows you to choose a target card in a graveyard except for basic land, then search that players hand, graveyard, and library for all cards with the same name as the chosen card and exile them. That player then shuffles their library.

    There has been no shortage of these kinds of spells recently. Cards designed to attack players where it hurts, everywhere! In Scars of Mirrodin Memoricide quickly ran up the chain as a must play for several deck styles including Black/Blue Control. Now with Surgical Extraction, it should continue. The reason is simple, cast anything that forces discard, and then if they pitch something good, you merely give up two life to ensure they never see that card again. Take for instance any card with a shuffle clause, such as Emrakul. When discarded, its shuffle clause goes on the stack, you respond by casting this for two life (or one black mana) and there goes Emrakul. Or in staying with block, perhaps this comes up at the prerelease or booster draft, Blightsteel Colossus. When the card would get shuffled, it instead vanishes to exile, bringing all copies of it with it.

    Surgical Extraction and all the similar cards can literally kill combo decks, simply by removing one critical piece of the equation. A counter spell followed by Surgical Extraction could spell doom if not careful. And what’s better, due to the fact you don’t need mana to cast Surgical Extraction, it very well could find a new home outside of a black deck. A lot of players went to black and blue control instead of white simply because of Memoricide. Now they can return to their white and blue, and just add in Surgical Extraction.
 
Limited: 5/5
Casual: 5/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Constructed: 5/5


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