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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Dictate of the Twin Gods
Image from Wizards.com

Dictate of the Twin Gods
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed June 5, 2014

Constructed: 2.75
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 3.13
Multiplayer: 3.25

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 


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Dictate of the Twin Gods
 
This is really, really lazy flavor text - almost as bad as Species Gorger, where they just took a joke from the Simpsons and changed the names of the species involved. The card's game function is pretty good, though - Gratuitous Violence definitely remains a playable card, and a version with flash is even more demoralizing. Versatility of that type is often highly dangerous, and takes it from a sort of curiosity or the realm of win-more to a major threat. There are many decks that can't beat an instant-speed Overrun, even one where the caster will still lose all their creatures in the resulting combat. It also gives red decks a chance against high-loyalty planeswalkers like Elspeth and Ajani.
 
Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Dictate of the Twin Gods which is a five mana Red enchantment with Flash that has all sources of damage deal double damage. This effect has been seen before with cards like Furnace of Rath, but this having Flash for the additional mana skews it more towards combat damage or at least playing it at the end of an opponent's turn. Either use puts this a bit ahead of Furnace as an advantage, even with the added mana cost slowing it down. It will definitely see play in Commander and Casual, though it is a bit mana intensive and double-edged to be used competitively.

In Limited this is a high risk card that can pay off in the right situation and should be drafted first in Booster if you are a highly aggressive player and can support it with cards or effects that can bypass defenses. Evasion, Trample, or burn all work very well with this and making the most of the turn before an opponent can share in the advantage is critical if not used as a win more play. In Sealed the value depends on the pool somewhat, but including it in your deck is likely to open more opportunities than not and it is a compelling reason to run Red as a secondary color at least.

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

Mattedesa

Deck Garage
Dictate of the Twin Gods
 
The Dictates are an interesting take on classic effects. The Furnace of Rath effect that is being mimicked here is a popular double-edged sword. With flash, you can time it just right to where it helps you more than it helps your opponent. You might even be able to flash it in to turn a couple unblocked creatures into a final killing strike. 
 
I doubt I need to go very deeply into the upside of this card. Every Magic player can see the potential benefit of dealing double damage. We get visions of having an unblockable creature getting through for twice as much. We see our Lightning Bolts being able to take down dragons. 
 
However, there are two main concerns with this card. The first is the issue that is somewhat reduced by flash: Could this help my opponent more than me? Even with flash, this is going to be the case sometimes. If you're behind on the board and playing catch up, you won't want to play this. The second concern is the casting cost. 5 mana is a lot to play for what wants to be a combat trick. To get the best value, you want to play this in response to dealing some damage, so it's doubled - either taking out an opposing creature or dealing a devastating blow directly to an opponent. How often are you going to have 5 mana to spare to do this?
 
Conclusion: The power of the Twin Gods is undeniable - but can you wield it?
 
Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 3

Michael Sokolowski

There are two ways to look at Dictate of the Twin Gods: playing it in a serious deck, and playing it just for funsies.

Playing it in a serious deck is easy to review. It's not that good. 5 whole mana, and what does it accomplish? Absolutely nothing when it hits the board, and what's worse you've just buffed your OPPONENT'S damage. Because now on their turn the Twin Gods will buff any damage, coming from any source, going towards anyone or anything.

Or at least that would be the case, but with flash you can cast it at the end of their turn to prevent them from exploiting it before you can. And that turns out to be pretty huge here. Dictate of the Twin Gods is basically a slightly more expensive Furnace of Rath, with flash added on to prevent it from helping your opponent win right after casting it. Even with all that though, it's still giving your opponent a free turn 5 where you've essentially done nothing.

Basically what I'm saying is it's too slow for constructed. For 5 mana you want a card to do something right away. And it's true that Dictate is threatening (to both of you, as mentioned) and that your deck will mostly be able to heavily capitalize on the damage boost next turn. But it's also possible that your opponent will have an answer to remove it, or have more damage threatening you on the board forcing you to use your burn on his creatures or lose, or that you just won't have the burst you need when you need it.

Casual though... oh man. That's a different story entirely!

If there's one thing casual loves, it's big numbers. And this can get you some REALLY BIG numbers. People are already talking about crazy combos with things like Boros Reckoner and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. This is a card you play for fun. You sit down at a kitchen table, pull out your just for fun deck, and watch with glee as your Prophetic Flamespeaker that has 5 power from a Sunforger deals 20 damage to your opponent in one attack and wins you the game.

Sure you might only pull off your instakill combo 40% of the time. Sure the whole thing falls apart if you don't draw any single part of the combo. Sure it could be countered with a single Lightning Bolt or Path to Exile or Doom Blade. But you're not playing it for consistent results! You're playing it for the 12 damage Lightning Bolts you can cast when you have two Dictate of the Twin Gods out! You're playing it for the 24 damage Ball Lightnings, again with 2 on the field. The potential for absurdity is here in this card, even if you'll only see it 5% of the time. If you have 4 Dictate of the Twin Gods on the field, and you cast a Fireball where X = 10, you have now dealt 160 damage. 10 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. That's why cards like this are fun.

You could potentially build a whole red deck with multiplication and redirection abilities and watch as the simplest of burn spells become Hydra and Titan-killing nightmares. But you wouldn't be building it to win tournaments. You'd be building it for the look on your opponent's face when you deal a bajillion damage to them.

So how good is Dictate of the Twin Gods? Well let me put it like this. Bajillion wasn't even a number before*, but because of this card now it is**!

* Citation needed.
** Don't look this up.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 4


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