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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Ral Zarek
Image from Wizards.com

 Ral Zarek
- Dragon's Maze

Reviewed May 7, 2013

Constructed: 3.75
Casual: 4.00
Limited: 3.88
Multiplayer: 3.75

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

Ral Zarek

I'm not sure how I feel about this guy. At four mana, he's cheap enough to come down early enough to impact the game significantly. His +1 ability is pretty nice, letting you deny your opponent a blocker while untapping a land of yours for re-use. His second ability is basically Volcanic Hammer-- handy to have if you need it, but hardly a draw. It does at least deal more damage than it costs in loyalty, so that Ral can win the war of atrophy against an opposing planeswalker if necessary. His third ability? Well, given that his first ability is better than his second, you shouldn't have to worry about whether or not the right play is to charge up Ral, so there's a good chance you'll get 7 loyalty on him to spend. If you do, you could anywhere from zero to five extra turns. If you get even one, you can use that extra turn to use the +1 ability again, so you're barely even denying yourself the ability to keep something locked down. If you get more than one, you can tap down several blockers and swing in. Extra turns don't win games unless you can spend them wisely, but getting several of them at once can put you a great deal ahead as long as you don't topdeck nothing but lands. That said, the idea that there's a chance, albeit a small one, that Ral's ultimate will have no effect at all? I feel like that will scare most folks away from using Ral except as a tapper-downer/mana accelerator, and maybe as a diversion.

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


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Ral Zarek

Ah, the long-awaited Ral Zarek. It's inevitably going to be somewhat difficult for a card like this; people have been anticipating Ral for so long that at least some of them are going to be disappointed by what he actually does in-game. Personally, I think it was worth the wait. His mechanical identity reminds somewhat of Ajani Vengeant, a planeswalker who ended up having a stellar tournament career. While Ral's ultimate doesn't read like as much of a blatant "you win!" button as Ajani's, the laws of probability dictate that it should give you at least one extra turn the majority of the time, and when you're in these colors, that counts for a lot.

He also reminds me how cool it would be to have an entire block based around steampunk imagery as opposed to just one guild. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go write some letters.

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 4/5


Paul

Welcome back readers todays card of the day is the new Izzet planeswalker from Dragon’s Maze Ral Zarek. In standard this card may see a fair amount of play its +1 ability allows for some permanent manipulation allowing creatures to get through opponents defenses and untap some of your tapped lands to provide somewhat of a mana boost. The second ability of having lighting bolt stapled to a planeswalker cannot be overlooked in its power and finally the ultimate is going to the majority of the time net you one or two extra turns making it a powerful finishing tool but somewhat underwhelming due to the random nature involved. In modern I can see this card seeing a little play as the popularity of red/blue decks does not seem to be decreasing. In legacy and vintage this card can do some work untapping and manipulating powerful artifacts making it somewhat of a role player. In casual and multiplayer coin flip cards have an audience and having a coin flipping planeswalker is sure to be popular, its other two abilities have real uses and provide a solid planeswalker. In limited it’s money rare but also quite a powerful card making it an attractive choice. Overall a somewhat powerful planeswalker but not obscenely so, more of a role player in specialized decks.
 
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 3.0

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Ral Zarek which is a four mana Red and Blue planeswalker with four loyalty and three effects.  The plus one taps a target permanent and untaps another permanent, an ability that is almost always beneficial both for mana management, to tap a blocker, or untap an attacker.  The minus two deals three damage to target creature or player and is quite useful to remove threats or help finish an opponent directly.  The minus seven can potentially give five extra turns, though most likely will give two, and should ensure the win nearly any time it is activated.  Overall this is an excellent planeswalker, reason to play Izzet colors, and sure to be a popular choice across formats for a very long time.
 
In Limited this wins games, period.  The effects have the same benefit as in Constructed, just magnified due to the reduction in other removal and burn options in the format.  An absolute first pick in Booster and well worth splashing in Sealed.
 
Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 4.5

John
Shultis
Phoenix
Gaming

Welcome back to the Pojo.com card of the day section. Today we are looking at Ral Zarek from Dragon's Maze. Ral Zarek is a mythic rare blue and red planeswalker-ral that costs two generic, one red, and one blue mana. Ral Zarek enters the battlefield with four loyalty cojnters. Ral's first ability is a plus one loyalty, and says tap target permanent, and untap another target permanent. Ral's second ability is a minus two and sats deal three damage to target creature. Ral's final ability is a minus seven and says flip five coins, take an extra turn for each heads.

Ral Zarek is a decent planeswalker. He may not see crazy standard play, but due to how easily his final is broken in older formats using Krark's Thumb, I think he will see a lot of play there.

The great thing is even his slower ability is helpful, potentially locking down a blockrr while gaining an extra mana, or even better, reusing a tap effect.
And a Lightning Bolt to a creature is also always a good thing when needed.
A solid card all around, but for now I think his expertise will be held in older formats.

Limited: 4/5
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

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