If there’s one unwritten rule for our reviews that’s developed over time at Ertai’s Lament, it’s that just as each deck is reviewed just once, so it will be in opposition just once. This left poor Sam in the unenviable position of having to square off against Relic Breaker (the most stridently anti-artifact deck in Scars) while piloting Metalcraft (the most artifact-dependant deck in Scars). I console her by fibbing slightly, telling her that each deck is designed to ‘hold its own’ against the others in the same set. This is something that one tends to believe in principle until one is using the mono-White Kor Armory against Rise of the Vampires and a Malakir Bloodwitch hits the table, but it’s good enough for now. Sam gamely starts to shuffle, and we’re off to the races.
Welcome to the final review of the Scars of Mirrodin intro packs! So far we’re explored the tribal-based Myr deck, a Proliferate-based strategy, a healthy dose of Infect, and the Metalcraft mechanic. The predominant theme here is obvious- Artifacts- and wouldn’t you know it but Wizards has included a solution to all these problems. And that solution comes in the form of the Relic Breaker deck, tapping the bash-n-burn strategy so well suited to a Green/Red combination.
While that is the deck’s greatest strength, in some ways it is also going to be its greatest weakness. The other four decks of the set are largely self-contained affairs in that they don’t much care what your opponent is playing. Sure, Deadspread would like you to have critters, and you probably will, but generally they will perform the same regardless of the opposition before them.
Not so with Relic Breaker. So much of its effectiveness hinges on a single question: is my opponent playing lots of artifacts? It’s not an unreasonable assumption in the midst of an “Artifact block,” but may well hinder its effectiveness in a broader setting (versus an M11 precon, for instance). That said, let’s see what’s on offer here and how reliant the deck is on facing down artifacts, and we’ll begin with the beaters.