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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Smallpox
Image from Wizards.com

Smallpox
M12

Reviewed August 2, 2011

Constructed: 3.90
Casual: 3.67
Limited: 3.50
Multiplayer: 3.25

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

Smallpox

A good way to slightly winnow everybody's resources, and also get everybody ticked at you. I don't recommend it in multiplayer, unless nobody at your table makes tokens or you've got Propaganda and Hissing Miasma to hide behind. Smallpox's symmetry is easy enough to break-- control a Grave Pact or a Megrim, sacrifice a Blistergrub or a Solemn Simulacrum, rely on noncreature artifacts and enchantments, that sort of thing. If you've got some mana rocks, or a few enchantments, or even some Zombify effects, you may want this as a widespread Edict effect that hits everyone else harder than you.

Constructed- 4
Casual- 3.5
Limited- 3
Multiplayer- 2

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Smallpox

There's a piece of Magic flavor text I've always liked which says "A single germ can kill more soldiers than ten thousand blades." If you study history you'll find that this is literally true, and if you study the history of Magic, you'll probably find that it's true too. If you ever played with the original version of Smallpox (the one illustrated by Janine Johnston) or its predecessor Pox from Ice Age, you probably don't need proof. If you haven't, I'd definitely give it a try: remember that every single "symmetrical" effect can easily be made asymmetrical. Maybe your spells are all cheap, and probably not all your opponents are going to have the cards that can survive this or return from the graveyard. On top of that, Innistrad may end up having some sort of graveyard interaction - it seems even more likely now that Ghosts and Zombies have both been confirmed as tribes - so there may be even worse things than being left with no permanents in play on your second turn just around the corner. Yeah, I really think this card is that amazing.
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Paul

Welcome back readers today’s card of the day is Smallpox an interesting and powerful card that finds itself reprinted in the latest core set. Effects that hurt each player equally are made to be broken and combining this card with Bloodghast or similar cards. In standard some black decks will find room for it, it punishes players who tap out for one big finisher such as a  Titan and can stunt mana development early. In standard and extended it can find a home in rock style decks. Decks can combine this with enough disruption and powerful beaters to make it a powerful card choice, while I am unsure of the exact context of the decks this will see a fair amount of play in standard and extended. In legacy this card see’s a good amount of play in Pox style decks and as well as white/ black style disruption decks.  In casual and multiplayer it can hurt everyone which is good but it hurts everyone making everyone possibly target you, it is in the same vein as Innocent  Blood which is a fantastic card  so it will see a fair amount  of play. In limited I don’t know how you can properly build around it? Draft lots of Reassembling Skeleton’s I suppose it’s an all right solid card but not as great as traditional removal such as Doom Blade. Overall a powerful and somewhat skill intensive card that has its triumphant comeback.
 
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 3.0
Multiplayer: 3.5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Smallpox which is a two mana Black spell that has each player lose one life, discard a card, sacrifice a creature, and a land.  This is a solid card for mono-Black for use in slowing down an opponent's speed and reducing options that is easily supported by removal and creatures returned from the Graveyard.  By targeting a creature you can destroy with removal Smallpox may force an opponent to sacrifice something you would otherwise be unable to remove at that time.  The overall use of this and fairly small penalties to a low casting cost Black deck make it something that is likely to be played in several formats particularly in Multiplayer.
 
In Limited this works in a similar manner with the differences being a reduced chance of the Smallpox player having expendable creatures to combo with it and the opponent being in a similar position of potentially not controlling throwaway creatures to sacrifice.  The double Black makes this a bit more difficult to play early on which can free it up to work against a field with larger creatures later in the game if needed.  It is possible an opponent may be forced to sacrifice the only source of a mana color they need, though they can choose whatever seems least damaging at the time.  In Sealed Smallpox should be included whenever a deck is running enough Black mana to reliably cast it as it can make a big impact and almost all removal is valuable.  In Booster this can be drafted early for the same reasons and the deck can be build as mono-Black to make using it easier as well.
 
Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 4.5


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