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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Xathrid Slyblade
Image from Wizards.com

 Xathrid Slyblade
- M15

Reviewed August 1, 2014

Constructed: 2.90
Casual: 3.60
Limited: 3.70
Multiplayer: 3.35

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

Click here to see all of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Deck Garage

Xathrid Slyblade

I love the mental image of an assassin who lurks in the shadows, completely hidden, only revealing herself when she's ready to go in for a kill. A 2/1 isn't particularly gutsy, but with hexproof, your opponent isn't going to be able to straight-up kill it despite knowing it's there. Once she's ready to leave her mark, first strike and deathtouch are a brutal combo-- the blocking or blocked creature won't live to strike back. In neither situation does her one toughness really become a liability, but she has to shed hexproof for the rest turn to make her kill, leaving her exposed to any instant-speed tricks, or post-combat sorceries if she's killing by blocking. Not a game-ending card, but definitely a creature whose presence you have to respect.

Constructed- 3.5
Casual- 4
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 3.75

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Xathrid Slyblade
 
I actually really like this card. Yeah, it's nowhere near as efficient as killing the creature in question with one of those spells that looks like it has a targeting restriction but actually doesn't, but it's not actually in direct competition - Doom Blade doesn't attack for damage, and Nekrataal can't deal with a creature with hexproof. Plus it's the closest I've ever seen to the Assassin's Creed style of murder in Magic form. (Too bad "Eagle Strike" sounds like it would be a white card!)
 
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 2/5

Paul

Xathrid SlyBlade
 
Welcome back readers todays card of the day is so amazingly flavorful and playable its perfection. For three mana you get a 2/1 hexproof body, using the activated ability it loses protection but gain first strike and death touch meaning it trades with the majority of creatures barring certain circumstances. In standard and other constructed formats having hexproof is a real boon and based on that and a relevant second ability this card could see some fringe play not becoming a formal all-star but solid. In casual and multiplayer this card owns combat as long as you keep mana up, keeping up four mana is a lot to ask but it defiantly can dominate the board and hexproof is amazing for survivability. In limited its not quit a bomb but one of the most powerful black cards easily, it turns combat into a losing proposition on defense or offense for your opponent. Overall a well designed flavorful card that is powerful as well.

Constructed: 2.0
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.0

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Xathrid Skyblade which is a three mana Black
2/1 with Hexproof and for four mana it loses Hexproof and gains First Strike plus Deathtouch until end of turn.  The mana cost for the effect is high which makes it draining to maintain as well as anticipated by the opponent, which can be a psychological threat at least.  The effect is more of a secondary benefit, useful in certain situations, as Hexproof options are few and far between for Black.  The Skyblade is an excellent target for auras and equipments and will be very popular in Black decks using them as a safe and lower cost choice to build up in current formats.
 
In Limited this may see the effect used more aggressively to prevent attacks and is a fantastic target for Eternal Thirst or counters from Feast of the Fallen.  For both Hexproof and the reusable effect this is a solid second or third pick in Booster and easy inclusion in Sealed when running Black.
 
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 3.5

Mattedesa

Deck Garage
Xathrid Slyblade
 
To finish a week of interesting cards, we have Xathrid Slyblade. A 2/1 hexproof creature is borderline useful, since it won't survive combat, and only takes down small creatures with it. The activated ability of gaining first strike and deathtouch are what makes this guy intriguing. 
 
The flavor is wonderful. An assassin is waiting in the shadows. No one even knows she is there, so no one can stop her. When the right moment comes, she steps out of the shadows and takes someone down before they even knew she was there. But upon stepping out of the shadows, she has to reveal her location just long enough that an opposing mage can target a spell at her. 
 
I think most likely, the activation cost of 4 mana is going to be too much for this to see much serious play. But if it cost any less, and the combination of deathtouch and first strike would be too powerful. She will find a place in my tribal Assassins deck, and I'd be happy to play her in my draft or sealed deck, but I that's about the extent of it. Most of the time she'll just be a 2/1 hexproof while just threatening more.
 
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 4.5

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