Ah, Kird Ape. Definitely a classic card that
combined strength with speed.
Let me spell out the pain for you:
Turn 1: Stomping Ground, Kird Ape
...and, that's it! You've now got a 2/3 out
on turn 1, before your opponent has even played
their first land. From there you just try to
overwhelm them in the early game, finishing them
off before they can even really get started.
Kird Ape is a card designed to put the pressure
on early, forcing your opponent to change their
game plan to deal with it. With a Giant Growth,
you could swing for 5 with it as early as turn
Can you believe this card used to be banned
at one point? It's not anymore, nowadays you'll
even find things like Loam Lion and Wild Nacatl
trying to cash in on what Kird Ape started.
Presumably this card was much more of a threat
when your opponent wouldn't really even have an
answer until turn 3, unless watching their
Grizzly Bears die pointlessly on turn 2 counts
as an answer.
The only problem really with Kird Ape and
things like it that the further the game drags
on, the more outclassed they become. They're
great for super early pressure, don't get me
wrong. But as soon as your opponent plays a
Watchwolf or Wall of Omens or Frostburn Weird on
turn 2, the fun's pretty much over. Low-level
vanilla creatures - even effeciently costed ones
- aren't as good later in the game as ones with
combat tricks or cool abilities. People like
cards such as Qasali Pridemage not just because
it's an efficient early game creature, but
because it'll always be useful for something,
even later in the game. When your opponent plays
a 10/10 Apocalypse Hydra on turn 7, Kird Ape is
not the next card you want to topdeck.
Of course, Kird Ape is there to ensure your
opponent never gets to turn 7 in the first