Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Banned Seven: Imprison

The card that got me banned from the stillborn that was the Captain format. Imprison is the most bewildering of the Salty Seven. Obscure, even among old school players, its not a particular common card, is rarely seen in play, and before this had no noriety at all. When I read through the list of cards, this one stood out as odd. I understood the logic behind Jihad, Crusade and Gypsies. I understood the stupidity around Cleanse and Invoke Prejuidice. This one wasn't nearly as clear a year ago as it is now. However the reason I was told, was the person looks like an African Slave. After a logical argument that slaves weren't wearing electric bondage gear, nor does the person in question look necessarily African, I was told to rest the topic. I didn't, and eventually got banned from the various captain discords, just as the format was flatlining, and already assumed dead. Which is to bad. I hate Magic's attempts at crossovers more then anything, and a format that potentially removes them appeals to me. However I still don't see the logic behind this. Would you also ban brainwashing and arrest? What about Oubliette? The idea that it could be banned because it could be perceived as something terrible is stupid, especially in a game with cards like Forced March, Overwhelming Forces, Famine, Engineered Plague, and not even touching the few cards that touch on real life events like Burning oof Xinye. It's a game with numerous racist, xenophobic, and even genocidal factions and cultures. Anyway it might be a year late, but I did make a mock up for this one card with alternative art. It's a nice piece of art by William Blake, and while I admit I took some liberties with the text on the card, I rather enjoy it. You can feel free to use this card as needed, if you so choose. Just print it out.
Playability: At it's surface, Imprison is a very interesting card. While it's probably strictly inferior to Paralyze, it's in its own ways interesting. Playing a cat and mouse game of having to keep mana open to keep a creature useless is a very interesting mind game. The down fall of the card is it only effects tap abilities, and while that's a good amount of activated abilities on creatures, its not all of them. Also the 1 is mandatory, or else Imprison is destroyed. So while its a neat card, it being good is up for debate. With Paralyze being easily available, as well as Mind Whip and Seizures in 95, the role this card serves is just done better by other cards. Sure, its certainly neat, and for that I'll give it credit, but saying its good is a whole different thing. 3/5 Art: You know in their defense, the man in the picture is definetly tan. While I generally like Chris Rush's art, this isn't exactly his best work. It shows a tanned man, in front a orange background, with a black electric bondage mask. There are white streaks of lightning around the subject. I think the main problem with the image is the lack of color. It lacks something that allows it to pop. It's not the worst art of old school Magic, or even modern Magic, but it's not the best piece. 2/5 Flavor: The flavor appears to work like this. You put the mask magically on the creature, and everytime it attempts to do something, you can pay a mana to shock it, which will cause to stop the creature. Otherwise it breaks the mask. The flavor doesn't work perfectly, since it only stops tap abilities. However, most cards don't work perfectly as abilities to flavor. Still, the idea gets across well, and makes for a unique design of a card. 4/5. Final Conclusion: This card is fairly flavorful, but extremely niche. The fact there is better cards that due the same thing is what hurts this card. The lack of availability also hurts. 9/15=3/5. and Average card. Impact: Honestly I never seen this card in play before, which is pretty amazing for 20+ years of play. I think the theoretical ban of this card wouldn't impact the format at all. though I would love to play it some day. 1/5