Thursday, February 6, 2014


I've been diligently working on the second part of my review of Born of the Gods for Standard Pauper. Part One has already been published over at PureMTGO, and Part Two should be up by the end of the week. Anyway, as I was working through the remaining Blue Commons, the time came to review Crypsis, which is easily the most interesting Common in the set. In fact, this simple card does something that has never been done before at Common: give a creature unconditional protection from all of your opponent's creatures.

In my review, I likened this to a Blue Gods Willing, which is high praise considering just how good that card ended up being. Of course, while there is certainly overlap between the two cards, their actual function is quite different.

So what does Crypsis actually do, exactly?

In actuality, Crypsis could have read something like this:

Choose one or more - Target creature is unblockable until end of turn;
prevent all damage to target creature that would be dealt by creatures your
opponent controls; target creature cannot be targeted by creature
abilities your opponent controls; or untap this creature.

That's quite a bit of value from one simple card, especially for only 1U. Let's break these four categories down a bit more:
  • Target creature is unblockable until end of turn - This is pretty self-explanatory. Your opponent cannot choose to block the creature with any of his or her creatures during the Declare Blockers step.
  • Prevent all damage to target creature that would be dealt by creatures your opponent controls - If this creature blocks an opponent's creature, or if Crypsis is cast after your opponent has already chosen to block this creature, any damage that would be dealt to this creature is prevented. However, this creature will still deal damage as normal.
  • Target creature cannot be targeted by creature abilities your opponent controls - This means that abilities like the tap-ability of Ephara's Warden cannot target this creature. Interesting enough, something like Pit Fight could still target this creature (since the spell, and not the creature, does the targeting), but your opponent's creature still wouldn't deal any damage.
  • Untap this creature - If the creature is tapped, then this will untap it. This will trigger Inspiration if the target creature has that ability.
Notice, of course, what Crypsis does NOT do. It has no effect on spells that your opponent casts on that creature. It can still be bounced with Disperse, or still destroyed with Grisly Spectacle.

So how good is this effect? Honestly, I'm still not sure. There is definitely some value to be had here. Most of the time, you can probably get a full card's worth of value out of this. However, the fact that it does nothing to prevent removal is a pretty big liability. I certainly think this is playable; I'm just not sure how effective it will end up being.

What do you think? Is Crypsis one of the best tricks in the format, or merely a decent card in some matchups? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. See you next time.

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