Saying that Riftwing Cloudskate is more
dangerous than it looks is like referring to
Tactics Ogre's learning curve as "steep." In
other words, it doesn't begin to cover it. Oh,
that's just a comes-into-play bounce ability?
Right - except that it works on planeswalkers.
And creature lands. And tokens, which of course
can never come back. And enchantments. And your
own Vivid lands that you might want to reset,
and your own Nekrataal-style creatures that you
can use again. And you also get a 2/2 creature.
With flying. And often haste. Often for two
mana. Yeah, nothing to be afraid of here.
Today's card of the day is Riftwing Cloudskate
which is a five mana, or two with Suspend 3,
Blue 2/2 with Flying that returns a target
permanent to owner's hand when it enters play.
As a five mana 2/2 with evasion with a Boomerang
effect this is an efficient and thematic card
for Blue that works well in a build that slows
the game down with control. The two mana Suspend
option is a bit more chaotic and able to be
mitigated by an opponent somewhat, but managing
the field is what Blue does best and the worst
case scenario of returning itself or a land to
hand isn't really that bad. Overall this is a
decent card that is useful for the two cards in
one aspect and can be combined with blink
effects in existing designs.
For Limited formats where this is allowed the
mana cost is not a major concern and evasion
with Haste and removing a threat that can block
it can be quite effective for a little damage
and edge in tempo. There's no real drawback
aside from the double Blue in the hard cast,
which can be overcome with Suspend, and it is a
solid inclusion for any deck with Blue in
Sealed. The options in a pack determines the
value in Booster, but a fairly early pick is
reasonable with the card efficiency being the
primary deciding factor.
You get +1 creature, and your opponent gets -1
creature. Or -1 artifact, enchantment, or even
land-- it won't fail to find a target. It's a
big tempo swing, at the expense of your opponent
getting to see it coming from 3 turns away.
Maybe he can do something about it? Maybe he
waits a turn to play his trump card? Maybe he
just sits there dreading it, in which case
you're in his head psyching him out. It's been a
control staple pretty much for as long as it's
been legal in a tournament format, and Modern is
its new home.