Tiny Monsters Infest Venice
Let's face it, everyone loves big, splashy spells. The Silvoses and Akromas of this Tour are the ones getting all the glory. But there are a number of less-than-monstrous creatures being cast in every game that are making a big difference. Here's a short list of some of the more pervasive.
He's not just for Zombie beats anymore! Uncle Fester has been seen starting for a number of the control decks that rely on black, as an additional weapon to fight the tide of goblins. A two-for-one goes a long way to putting goblins on the back foot. He even comes back with Cruel Revival! How lucky!
What does he do? What doesn't he do! He's a Time Walk that lets you play your other Time Walk a turn earlier! Having him and Explosive Vegetation in your opening hand is like a grade school vinegar-and-baking-soda volcano. Suddenly Silvos is on the table and your opponent hasn't played a fourth land yet. Wirewood Elf is the very model of a catalyst.
True, Vitality Charm's starring role is in defusing Akroma's Vengeance and Starstorm, but the Ant Ambush mode of the spell is seeing a fair bit of play also. The surprise 1/1 often hands the beast deck just enough tempo to establish its big men.
Speaking of acceleration, that's what the Goblin 49er is all about. It doesn't seem like there's a lot that red needs to accelerate to, but you'd be surprised. All day players have had to suffer the indignities of a turn three Goon. 6/6 really is just that large. Jeff Cunningham played out a four-of-a-kind on turns three through six. He won that one.
You can't talk about the Goon without mentioning his Antimatter Double, the Broodhatch Nantuko. Even if you can't catch the goblins player looking with a surprise morph, the little fellah acts an awful lot like moat. If it manages to block the Goon, the insect explosion negates them entirely.
There's always the flipside, though. This guy loves to run interference, and really shines when he gets the jump on an early Wall of Mulch, forcing through early damage without sacrificing time. With Goblin Burrows he gets a lot more dangerous, and he conviently plows through Broodhatch Nantuko.
"The Littlest Serendib" definitely makes a red player's board look like a great draft start. Sledder, Sparksmith, Primoc? You can't beat that. Most importantly, he's a cheap, evasive beater that doesn't die to Lightning Rift. Not as flashy as Avarax, but considered by many (Tomi Walamies included) to be essential.
He doesn't look so dangerous on his own, but with so many sacrifice effects already in the red deck, he often goes right to the face. Get two of them in play and see how quickly your opponent dies.