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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Judge's Familiar
Image from Wizards.com

 Judge's Familiar
- Return to Ravnica

Reviewed June 27, 2013

Constructed: 3.75
Casual: 3.67
Limited: 4.17
Multiplayer: xx

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Judge's Familiar

It's a cheap flyer for one mana, in either white or blue. Both white and blue have gotten 1/1 flyers at one mana before, so nothing new there. The interesting part here is the sacrifice ability. You can sacrifice this Bird to counter a spell... if that spell was an instant or sorcery... and if the caster doesn't have an extra 1 to pay to make it go through anyway. So, in the late game when a 1/1 flyer is no longer a relevant play, you can still get some utility out of this bird.

As counterspells go, this is pretty limited. Judge's Familiar is better than Cursecatcher only by merit of having flying, and Cursecatcher only saw play in Limited decks that needed an extra Merfolk and didn't much care what it did. Blue has much better option for countermagic than this... but white doesn't. I'd like to think Judge's Familiar's counter ability had to be weakened because it's a hybrid card, but then that line of reasoning made me think Cursecatcher was better than it was. White does get the ability to make opponents pay extra for their spells though. I can see a monowhite deck that uses this as cheap beats as well as a bit of utility-- maybe comboing it with Reveillark or Proclamation of Rebirth?

Constructed- 3
Casual- 2.5
Limited- 3.5
Multiplayer- 2


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Judge's Familiar
 
I'm a big, big fan of this card, and not just because I dislike the way certain people are so dismissive of anyone who suggests there could be non-blue counterspells. Minus the line that everyone's eye is drawn to, this card is an easier-to-cast Suntail Hawk, a card that is much better than its reputation might suggest. And when you're in white, as you probably are with this card, you have more trouble dealing with instants and sorceries anyway - even in formats without Path to Exile, aggressive white decks are well capable of racing or killing opposing creatures.
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Judge's Familiar which is a one mana White or Blue 1/1 with Flying that can be sacrificed to counter target instant or sorcery unless the controller pays one mana. A one mana 1/1 with Flying is already a decent card for many decks, but the added benefit of countermagic is a great psychological threat that can slow down an opponent's tempo. This working in mono-White or on the first turn in Blue/White regardless of the untapped land played is also strong and it should remain popular in both maindeck and sideboard slots for a long time.

In Limited this is a great card both for low cost evasion as almost any
1/1 for has value, while the hybrid mana adds the flexibility to be available to seven of the ten guilds. It is a strong first turn play that still has value later in the game with both evasion and a tempo altering psychological aspect. A worthy second or third pick in Booster and barring a Rakdos, Gruul, or Golgari only Sealed should always be included.

Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 4.5


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