I know that this card might sometimes "trade up"
and give you something scarier than what you
originally stole. I know that it holds the
promise of attaching itself to something you'd
otherwise never see stolen, like Thrun or Plated
Slagwurm. I know this, but I also can't help
thinking about what happens when the opposition
can use a one-cost creature to effectively force
you to trade back. Of course, sometimes it won't
always matter - just like the Doom Blade that
everything supposedly dies to, they won't always
be able to pull that off, and sometimes you'll
just win before they can even try. This card
clearly isn't as dominant as its famous
predecessors, but it may have a role to play.
Today's card of the day is Illusory Gains which is
a five mana Blue aura that gives you control of
the creature and whenever a creature enters play
under an opponent's control the aura becomes
attached to it. This is an interesting
control magic that on the surface may appear to
take whatever strongest creature the opponent
plays as the game goes on, but can easily be
disrupted with stockpiling a second card and
playing them in a beneficial order. The
lack of control makes this weak by itself, but
supported with counter-magic it is very powerful
and can make winning very difficult for any
creature based deck. This will see play in
Casual and possible at some competitive levels,
but outside of a more chaotic theme it is
difficult to rely on in Multiplayer and is more
for fun than power.
In Limited this is at worst a two for one by
removing a creature from the opponent's
battlefield and adding it to your own.
This is a solid first pick in Booster even if
the opponent can mitigate it as it puts them on
the defensive against the card first which
allows you to apply additional pressure.
In Sealed the two Blue out of five mana is a
little high for a splash, though the power and
psychological aspects make it worth the effort
if the pool can even moderately support it.
Have you ever run into this situation? There’s a
marginally troublesome creature on your
opponent’s board. You have a removal spell in
hand. You know they have bigger threats in their
deck, so part of you wants to save the kill
spell in case they come out. But, on the other
hand, the smaller creature is pinging away at
your life total right now, and it could really
add up. What to do?
Enter Illusory Gains. Instead of destroying the
creature, gain control of it AND discourage your
opponent from playing their bigger threats. It’s
certainly possible that they make a token
creature and you get downgraded, but the
deterrent to playing a bigger threat is still
I’m not sure it’s predictable enough to see much
constructed play, but it sure is a fun card for
casual and multiplayer formats, and stealing a
creature in limited is very powerful.