i would disagree. even with an aggro deck you can still play a few cards to help control the game. zombies shouldn't be about just throwing down your entire hand, turning sideways one or two times and then winning (mostly because that will rarely ever happen). this card isn't a beater, but it still this is probably better then the other two drops in the format. your opponent is unlikely to block it the frist few turns unless they have no hand (or nothing they worry about losing), so if you ARE dropping a lord turn 3, then your getting in for 2 damage for.......... i'm going to say 2-3 turns.
when dealing with decks that dont have a lot of powerful creatures, its all about getting advantages when you can.
as you have said, the zombie deck needs stuff for the two drop slot, so if not this then what?
i think zombies has to give up on the idea of going mono black or splashing blue. black does have some nice guys, but i think the real beaters are going to show up in blue.
Other than the Lord, blue has no creatures worth considering for zombies.
So we have a card that doesn't beat down, doesn't have much board presence, and can be safely ignored by an opponent. I suppose it makes a halfway decent wall, a la Typhoid Rats, but still. What are you doing blocking with your two drop in your aggro deck?
I actually think you want to attack with this thing constantly. 1 power isn't much, I agree, but with Lords and potentially equipment in the deck, even a Mons' Goblin Raiders will start whittling down an opponent's health. The bonus is that no one really wants to block something that will Half Tourach them, unless they feel confident that they can come out ahead in the trade through either Flashback spells or something else.
It's not a threatening clock, but I think it's the sort of card that people can't really profitably deal with early in the game (with maybe minor exceptions). Who's going to throw a removal spell at Black Cat? No one. Who's going to toss a blocker in its path that will outright kill a Black Cat or trade with it? No one. No one will want to get 2-for-1'd by this, and in the meantime you can present a reasonable threat with it through global pump and perhaps random cheap equipment.
Besides, I think Zombies as a Tribe are all about forcing your opponent to make unprofitable trades. Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger, surely the two all-stars of the deck, shrug off single-target removal and laugh at board wipes. Diregraf Mans Booster penalizes your opponent's life total when using removal spells, too. The only guys in the Zombie stable that don't really work this way are Cemetery Reaper and Skinrender, and the latter at least takes a dude down with him before he dies while the former can Rebuild the board in the event of a full sweep. Black Cat might not be the beefiest attacker but it does fit in with that overall scheme of making your opponent's removal spells and defenses less effectual.
Originally Posted by rincewind32
I have leprosy, i'm not half the man I used to be.
Yeah, that's actually I was getting at, though perhaps I was a little roundabout regarding that. Black Cat is somewhat akin to an unblockable 1/1 attacker for 2, and gives your opponent the option to turn off this unblockability at any time.
Does a 1/1 unblockable creature really scare anyone in this day and age?
Mons' Goblin Raiders is a great analogy, actually. When was the last time a 1/1 for 1 saw play? Merfolk of the Pearl Trident comes to mind, and that was only because of the raw power of Lord of Atlantis. They just don't make lords like they used to.
If what we're all agreeing on is that this critter needs to be pumped by one of the four (or eight?) lords in the deck to go from "utterly useless" to "marginally competent", then I would very, very much like to be on the opposite side of the table. Because if you take a second and think about this from your opponent's perspective, why should they care that you've taken your second turn to play a 1/1 for 2 in their attacking deck? You're not putting any pressure at all on their game plan with this scaredy cat. Then again, I suppose they would care - it might help them come to the realization that the coast is clear for their victory.
Invisible Stalker sees play. This isn't an Invisible Stalker but you could argue that it's a reasonable facsimile. On that note let me make it clear that I know I'm arguing in favor of a 1/1 for 1B with a good leaves-play effect that isn't so good as to make up for the cost and body (but isn't odd that if this had 2 power, the conversation would be completely different?). I think it says something about the 2 CMC spot on the Zombie curve that I actually favor this.
The biggest difference between this and vanilla 1/1s is that its death gives you value, but no one is going to care much about a 1/1 in the Red Zone unless you can find a way to make it scary. And in that case you're playing a bunch of cards predicated on the hope that you can sucker someone into killing your Black Cat just so they can lose a card. I'm not trying to objectively argue that this thing is amazing, but pointing out where it might be useful given that it's really just about all we have outside of Highborn Ghoul-- which I'm more nonplussed by.
Originally Posted by rincewind32
I have leprosy, i'm not half the man I used to be.
This is nowhere near an Invisible Stalker. The Most Annoying Card Ever Printed doesn't give your opponent options. They can't block it. They can't target it. They can't interact with it. What they can do, however, is die to it.
Black Cat, on the other hand, gives your opponent all the options. They can block it. They can interact with it. They can ignore it. They can chuckle at it with a bemused expression, and scratch its belly while it purrs with affection. Cards that give your opponent the power to control their own fate have traditionally been shunned for this exact reason.
I guess my real point is that I know there are lot of zombie fans out there. A lot! And I feel for you. While I don't harbor the same fondness for the mindless, brain-eating horde, I do have an unnatural love for anything White that's also Weenie. So I know what it feels like to be fed tantalizing morsels, and hoping those tiny morsels will satiate. But sometimes there's just not enough food to go around the table, and that seems to be the case here. The zombie tribe is a couple cards short of playability, and no amount of sheer willpower can push it over the top. The fact that folks really want Black Cat to be good is endearing in its own way, but that alone doesn't make the card good. It doesn't even make the card mediocre, I'm afraid.
I don't doubt that people will sleeve up zombie decks the first few weeks after Dark Ascension hits the shelves, but I would stress patience above all else. If Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger are any indication, Wizards will come through at some point. The dream is still alive.
i think people expect to much from the two drop slot. Platypus, you keep saying its not strong enough, and that made the comment about playing this gives the green light to your opponents attack. what are they attacking with that playing ANYTHING else would have stopped?
i think if need be, people need to just not run a two drop creature and instead fill that slot with removal. then its less worrying about "does this creature live through X/Y/Z, or does this guy have enough power to put my opponent on a clock?" and more "is the creature hexproof, or black/artifact?" even aggro decks need a few ways to control the board.
The trouble with putting removal in the 2-drop spot is that if your opponent doesn't play anything to kill (control deck) or plays something resilient to creature kill (Doomed Traveler, loyal cathar), than you've just wasted your second turn in an agro deck.
Don't get me wrong. There should be some 2-drop removal. But also some other stuff to play.
I mean, curving from Gravecrawler into a Phantasmal Image copying Gravecrawler isn't terrible. The fact that Image can later on be used to copy a Geralf's Messenger just seems unfair to boot. Maybe Image with Mortarpod and a couple of 2 CMC Black removal spells fills out the 2 CMC spot enough on its own.
The problem I identify with Black Cat is that it's a 1/1 for 2. The implications of its leaves-play effect shouldn't be ignored, but no aggressive deck really wants a 1/1 as their second play of the game, even if the discard effect is reasonable. So maybe,
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