Sunday, February 4, 2018

My MVP's of the Winter Derby: Evil Presence

Despite the old school feel of old school, very few Enchant Lands see play in the format. This is largely due to how common Land Destruction is, in particularly EC (since I'm in the states). With a set of Strip Mine, Demonic Hordes, Sinkhole, Armageddon, and Stone Rain (not to mention Ice Storm, Mana Vortex and other fringe spells) it's easy to see why this would happen.

However the handful of Enchant Land Spells that do see play, are usually in some way offensive spells. This includes blue's personal favorite Phantasmal Terrain, the burn players Psychic Venom, and yes, Evil Presence.

Behold the presence of evil!

While I naturally always knew of the card, I never actually used it in a deck until modern times. After all, why change the land type into a swamp when I can blow it up (no I never built a swampwalk deck, yes I'm terrible I know). It wasn't until I was brewing for the 'Betamax' deck that I realized how potent it could be. After all, I was building with an extremely limited cardpool, I needed every answer I could get, and a spell that could shut down manlands and hurt greedy mana bases seemed too good (not to mention it's potentcy against one of the earliest decks in the format Tron).

I quickly fell in love with it. One time, I managed to draw three in my opening hand, and shut down a 4 color ally deck with it rather quickly (guess which color he wasn't running). Another time, I managed to play it on a turn 2 tower, and he failed to draw an Expedition Map or another Tower (it was the w/u variant).

The version that made this all possible!

While I hastely threw the deck together, the four Evil Presence was an auto include into the board, and I honestly wish I just threw them into the main. Every time I drew one that I sided, it was met with good use.

Just to sum up how useful it was:
-Bait a Strip Mine
-Turns a Library into a Swamp
-Kills Factory
-Makes Workshop fair
-Turns an open player w/ Maze into an open player
-Able to get rid of Island of Wak-Wak
-Hurts the utility lands from Legends
-Hurts duels, disrupts Tron

Basically it's almost always useful, even if it's annoying. Once again, this was one of those cards I had to play disc around, because the question become was it better to shut down the land, or blow stuff up and return the land into a good card.

I wonder if instead of the disc, if I just ordered some Hellfire-s, and ran a few Bog Wraiths with this in the main how different would the deck honestly performed. It's forever a mystery of what could have been, but I'm sure I'll brew something along those lines.

Next Article: BetaMax, how I designed a deck utilizing only cards originally printed in Beta.

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