I keep expecting this card to have Split Second.
Sadly, it doesn't. It does rout most
combat-based decks pretty effectively though, if
you're able to make good use of the tempo. As an
instant, it's more useful than Sleep, since it
can be used to lock down up to two attackers as
well as just getting blockers out of the way.
The fact that it adds Scry 1, and costs 3U while
Sleep costs 2UU, sounds like an admission that
Sleep was underpowered. Or maybe they just want
to "push" this ability harder than usual, and
will keep bringing Sleep back even when they
aren't pushing it.
To use this effectively, you pretty much have to
be in a position to race the opponent. It
doesn't actually get rid of the creatures it's
"removing", so time is definitely of the essence
here. A green/blue tempo deck would love it, but
I'm not sure about much else.
I guess this is like the Magic equivalent of the
storm at the beginning of the Odyssey that sends
Odysseus to Libya. It somehow doesn't read quite
as big or impressive as that event, at least the
first time. On subsequent readings, you start
thinking about the fact that there are plenty of
decks only control one or two creatures at a
time, and that getting to scry is almost always
worth the card. While a lot of decks will go for
something cheaper or more permanent, this is not
a card that should be discounted entirely.
Today's card of the day is Sudden Storm which
is a four mana Blue instant that taps up to
target creatures that then do not untap during
their controller's next untap step and you Scry
1. Locking down two creatures for two turns, if
used after the opponent's untap step, is a
powerful effect that is already popular with
Frost Breath and other similar spells as well as
creatures like Frost Wall. The extra mana for
Scry 1 probably won't be enough to justify the
increased cost over Frost Breath in most
Constructed formats, though it may see play in
In Limited this is a strong weapon for
opening up multiple attacks or an extended stall
that even applies to gods. The single Blue is
easy to manage and Scry is always a welcome
bonus to a spell. This is a solid early pick in
Booster and an easy inclusion for any deck in
Sealed running Blue.
Sudden Storm is what you call a tempo card.
It doesn't do anything permanent, but it slows
your opponent down, giving you a turn where you
don't have to deal with their two biggest
threats. Depending on the type of deck they are
running, this could mean tapping down their
attackers so you can scry and have another turn
to find your combo piece or a permanent answer,
or this could mean tapping down their blockers
to let your attackers get through for the kill.
Either way, I like this card more than most
people seem to.
It's probably a little outclassed in
constructed, but not a terrible option. It's
kind of a boring effect for a casual game, and
casual players usually don't like temporary
effects as much. As with many cards, the value
is higher in limited, since the number of
options you have is much smaller. Cards with
mutliple targets can be fun for multiplayer
because you could choose one creature from two
different opponents. There will always be
options on how to use this card, but much like
casual, it's not necessarily the most fun card
to use in what's a pretty fun-driven format.
Sudden Storm is a neat card because it actually
has more versatility than it might seem at a
There are basically two ways to use a card
like Sudden Storm, aggressively or defensively.
When used aggressively, it's a pretty potent
combat trick. All of the sudden, those tough
creatures your opponent held back to block your
attackers aren't doing their job anymore. And
not only are some of your guys getting through
this turn, but your opponent better have an
answer up his sleeve soon or they're going to
get through for more damage again on your next
turn as well. This works especially well when
your creatures have some sort of triggered
ability when they deal combat damage to a
player, such as drawing a card. Now of course if
you're using this card aggressively, it means
you're already in a pretty good position. It's
heavily dependent on what you've already got on
the field. But offensively this card isn't so
much a "win more" card as it is a stalemate
If you're NOT in a good board position, then
using this basically means you're stalling for
time. Your opponent has you on a clock, has some
serious threats on the field, and you're in
trouble. The traditional weakness with cards
like this is that they aren't actually answers.
They aren't eliminating the problem, they're
just making it go away for a little while. But
eventually you're going to need to find an
answer. Sudden Storm however is a lot better
than other stall cards for 2 reasons. 1) It
keeps your opponent's creatures locked down for
two turns instead of just one, and 2) Scry.
Scry is a great ability. Scry is what helps
turn this card from a random roll of the dice
into a serious potential comeback for you. If
you're in trouble and a card is going to give
you an extra turn or two before you die, you
rely very heavily on whatever you topdeck next.
But scry helps you tilt the odds in your favour.
Scry can see that next land you're about to
draw, say "no thanks!" and help get you the kill
spell or creature or combo piece you need to
really rebuild your board position and get back
into the game.
In the end, you'd USUALLY rather just have
some kind of kill spell, and this isn't a card
you'd want to include in every blue deck you
see. As effective as it is defensively, I really
do think one of the best ways to use this card
is a deck with creatures that have "deals combat
damage to a player" triggered abilities. There
may be better options out there, and real
removal always trumps
quasi-lockdown-style-semi-removal. But for what
Sudden Storm does, it does it pretty well.
Be sure to heed the wise words of the flavour
text. You'll never win in an arm wrestle against