Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Sylvan Offering: Tainted Promises"

"Sylvan Offering: Tainted Promises"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Multi Player EDH games require a lot of different skill sets so that one player can control the playing field and eventually emerge victorious. There are times when you have all yout pieces set up and you could be unstoppable. Then there are times that an ally would be necessary to further your goals and how do you ensure that you will have the support of this ally?Why you offer a bribe of course. A very big bribe. All colors in this news batch of Commander decks have an Offering card , for today I would love to focus on the Green Offering card Sylvan Offering which gives potential allies to your cause an army and hopefully a great motivation to assist you in dispatching other opponents as the game wears on.

In the first set of Commander decks the card that gave creatures to your allies was Death by Dragons , where every player except your chosen opponent gets a 5/5 Flying Dragon. This 5/5 dragon was a bribe , an incentive especially in situations where one strong opponent needs to be taken out immediately. I am happy to see that the current Commander set is building on this great concept for multiplayer.

In Commander 2014 , one card that might offer your opponents a whole army in exchange for their loyalty would be Sylvan offering. This is a great political card that has subtle implications on every players actions in the following turns.At the cost of 1 green mana and X.You have the option to choose 2 opponents or  just one. You could give one an X/X Treefolk creature and X number of 1/1 Elves. While you choose opponents to give armies to you have also amassed your own because what they have , you will also have on your side. I mean giving an army to an opponent is one thing but leaving yourself defenseless from that same army is quite another thing.You still need to look out for number 1 and none of them are in front of you right?

Several scenarios spring into mind where Sylvan Offering can be used. And a well timed bribing card like this spells all the difference:

Scenario#1 - An opponent has been dominating the battlefield and has almost eliminated an opponent on his last attack. You are the active player and you cast Sylvan offering , paying 10 for its X cost. You end up with a 10/10 Treefolk and 10 1/1 Elves.The opponent you choose must be the one who will be the active player after you.Both you and that opponent can deal 20 damage each to the dominating player. With a slight nod or wink you give a signal for the next player to attack since on his turn all of the creatures you have given him or her no longer have any summoning sickness. 
In this scenario you have given an opponent ally means to attack or defend himself while also solidifying your own board position.

Once the current dominant player is dealt with , you better have a plan ready to deal with the army that you have given to your ally/opponent since you might be the next likely target.

In cases like these you could turn to Phyrexian Rebirth to board sweep and leave you at least a 22/22 creature (just counting the 22 creatures you and your bribed opponent controls , more if other players have other creatures in play), you could also use Rakdos charm to deal 11 damage to your opponent because of all the creatures that they have or just plain and simple go Wrath of God. Be very careful when you do this though , Rakdos charm also damages you.So check your life total before casting it!

Scenario #2 - Another scenario where you could use Sylvan Offering is to protect an opponent/ally who has a very weak board position and is in the red of the damage zone because he or she is unable to defend his or herself. This is especially significant if an opponent is likely to attack after your turn. Of course you would expect a grateful ally since you essentially saved their butts from being gored but then again don't be so surprised if they turn out to be not so grateful. Phyrexian Rebirth and Rakdos Charm are always close at hand any way to foil any of their plots.

Choosing the right opponent to be an ally increases your chances to get a win every time and I am happy with this very strong political card that could offer tainted promises to your potential allies. Be careful of the gives that are given to you as well. You can never determine the true price of each one. By the time you may have noticed it might have already been too late. 

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