Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pulse of Murasa

Today I want to talk about the card that has been powering out many of the top decks in the recent Standard Pauper tournaments: Pulse of Murasa. When I originally reviewed Oath of the Gatewatch, I thought that the card had some potential, but I never would have predicted that it would become a cornerstone of Green decks in the format. So what makes this card so good?

While the general consensus is that Lifegain cards aren't very good, it turns out that in Standard Pauper they can prove to be quite important. Past cards like Lone Missionary and Sylvok Lifestaff have been surprise hits in the format, and it seems that Pulse of Murasa is following in that same tradition. In a similar vein, cards like Reclaim or Disentomb are pretty bad in most Limited and Constructed formats. But when you put these two effects together, you end up with something that somehow is greater than the sum of its parts.

Additionally, it must also be mentioned that this card is both reasonably costed and an Instant, making it easily slot into any Control archetype that has access to Green mana. Place this in a format that has above average removal, and where most decks are geared around winning the long game, you have a perfect environment for Pulse of Murasa to be at its best.

So are there any good ways to deal with this card? Unfortunately, at the moment the format lacks any method of dealing with opposing creatures once they are placed in the Graveyard. Therefore, your only real option is to directly counter the spell using permission spells like Negate. Alternatively, you can also use removal like Complete Disregard or Oblivion Strike to ensure that your opponent's best creatures never end up in the Graveyard in the first place.

What has your experience with this card been? Got any good strategies to deal with decks that utilize it? Let me know in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I also rated Pulse a 'D' during my set review - borderline unplayable. Yikes ha.

    I made a misplay the other day at SPDC. My opponent cast Pulse of Murasa, and in response I could have cast my own Pulse to target the same card, which would counter his spell, effectively denying him the lifegain. For some reason I missed this interaction and it probably cost me the game.

    So how do you beat Pulse? With Pulse, of course :D

    I could see Cancel getting some more play to compliment Dispel and Negate to help, too.

    Without Monastery Loremaster I do not believe Pulse would be that busted. The ability to infinite re-buy is the reason why it is the best late-game deck in the format right now.

    I hated playing the Sultai mirror so I'm trying to come up with ways to beat it but this exercise is proving difficult.