Saturday, June 4, 2011

No Head? No Problem!

Choosing to automatically win is such a primo power.
The Headless Horseman (Ravenloft, 88/100) is another awesome card that has become a staple of Spellfire decks in general and TAV decks in particular. He rivals Erellika as the best attacking champion, but she edges him out for the crown because the Horseman frequently has to die to win.

In Standard play, he can win one round of combat automatically, erasing one of the defender's champions. Good, but not great. In the Antigonish Variant, however, he can automatically raze a realm! That's right, when the Headless Horseman swings, and the defender has no way to prevent the attack, one of three things is happening. I'll list them in order of "goodness" for the defender, from best to worst.

1 - You block the Horseman, combat begins, the Horseman is losing and his owner decides to sacrifice him to make you raze the realm he was attacking. The attacker gets a spoils. Yes, this really is the BEST possible outcome!  

2 - You block the Horseman, combat begins, and you can't beat him. Either with an instant-kill card, or through level-up, the Horseman comes out on top. Damn. Now you raze your realm, your opponent gets a spoils, AND they get to keep the Headless Horseman, meaning he will plague you again next turn. Pretty bad, right? Wait, it gets even worse.

3 - Your opponent has picked the right time to attack you. Having no chance to defeat the Horseman, or no defending champion at all, he waltzes in and razes the realm unopposed. Your opponent didn't even have to use a card, and keeps his fat, fat hand for use against you next turn. Oh, and they get a spoils to make it even fatter. And they get to keep the Horseman. Yup, it's time to concede (maybe).

What makes the Horseman even more evil is that he's a flyer. He can grab back realms, front realms, basically any land he wants except for a few that specificaly exclude flyers or monsters. With a Silver Hands or Coming of the Phoenix, the Horseman becomes a double or triple threat, making multiple appearances to bedevil you.

I've used Wish on this guy, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! Once up against the Horseman in TAV play, you'll feel like Ichabod Crane for sure.

Next time: Menzo, my Menzo.       

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