Wizards Asks: 2/3/2009

Posted in Feature on February 3, 2009

By Wizards of the Coast

Are there any cards you love that everyone else seems to hate?

Kenneth Nagle

Kenneth Nagle: Well, there are cards that I play and greatly enjoy that others seem to completely dismiss (actively "hate" is too strong a term for Magic cards!).

Orzhova, the Church of Deals

Orzhova, the Church of Deals

This card holds the record for the greatest jump from least respected to most respected land in the game for me.

Side-by-side with the Worlds-winning Vhitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree, Orzhova, the Church of Deals looks like a steaming pile of feces, and I declared the card a travesty. MORE mana? 1 life?! Orzhova, the Church of Deals can't kill a player who is gaining 1 life per turn. Vhitu-Ghazi can kill someone who is gaining 200 life per turn, algorithmically speaking.

Within a month, I was playing Orzhov Control with the Church of Deals as my primary win condition.

Epic Orzhov

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The Church of Deals is a ponderous but unerring threat, yet nigh-immune to everything, including Cranial Extraction, Putrefy, Mortify, Wrath of God, Night of Souls' Betrayal, Hinder, Time Stop, Worship, and even Faith's Fetters (thanks, Orzhov Basilica!). While hard at work as a 20-turn clock, the Church of Deals ensures that your opponent's Chars, Kokusho, the Evening Star triggers, and Lightning Helixes are only temporary, relentlessly tilting the life total balance back in your favor.

Around 75% of this deck wins come from a Church of Deals twenty-turn clock. Another 24% are won via Neverending Torment, about a two-turn clock after some setup (their deck becomes completely benign on the second turn, though it takes five or so turns to kill). Once I had to kill my opponent with desperation Dimir House Guard beatdown in extra turns.

Lesser men might put their faith into a Kokusho, the Evening Star or Yosei, the Morning Star to kill a Persecuted and Cranial Extractioned opponent. Though Dragons they may be, immortal they are not. I am willing to kill my opponent by sinking a hundred mana into a land across twenty turns.

Orzhova, the Church of Deals is a weapon for the dry accountant, the stoic monk, the patient sculptor, or the extreme griefer. It's my weapon, and I wield it proudly.

Are there any cards you love that everyone else seems to hate (or completely dismiss)? Click the Discuss link below to tell us your story and then see what everybody else has to say!

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