It's not much of a secret, but I adore Type Four. I play it regularly, and I've written many an article on it. I've played it for more than ten years. That's a long time!
Today I wanted to delve into the format, remind you of how awesome it is if you haven't experienced it yet, and then write about some of the great additions that have been (newly) printed in the last six months.
Welcome back to Type Four! If you haven't heard of it, welcome to your new drafting and quick-play sensation!
How to Play Type 4
There are really only a few rules for playing this format. Let's go over them:
- You build a stack of cards to draft.
- You draft the cards based on the number of players you have.
- All cards drafted are in your deck. There is no sideboard.
- You can make any amount of mana that you want, at any time.
- You may only play one spell a turn.
- If you play a spell with an alternate casting cost (such as Force of Will), it does not count against your "one spell per turn" rule.
That's the format. Six simple rules lead to a sandblasting amount of fun!
As we are about at the halfway stage of the year, it's a good time to look at the best cards made for Type Four so far, this year!
Here we go!
Honorable Mention -- Josu Vess, Lich Knight?
Nope! I try to stay away from something that kills in one hit. It's not that fair when you can cast this with kicker and have 20 damage on the table. I do run Phage the Untouchable, but she can be answered by any pinpoint removal spell, pinpoint bounce, and more. This needs a board wipe. For the same reason, you don't run critters with fire-breathing like Shivan Dragon. I also don't run . . .
Honorable Mention - Grunn, the Lonely King
For the same reason. A 10/10 looks fair at first, but it swings for 20. That's not super great. At least it can be chump blocked. I would run Grunn before Josu Vess, by the by. But I'm not running either.
I also don't run Army of the Damned for the same reason. You need two board wipes to answer it. Or counters or something.
All right, so what does make the cut?
10. Ghalta, Primal Hunger
Ghalta isn't even the biggest body I am running. But where Ghalta brings the beat stick is with that awesome trample, attached to the sexy 12/12 beefy Dino body. Unless you burn or use an alternate means of winning, you have to win by tapping a creature and swinging. Ghalta refuses your chump block. Did you block with Iridescent Angel? Here's 8 damage to your face! Did you block with Silklash Spider? Here's 5 damage to your face! You can't answer Ghalta in the red zone. Except with Shifting Wall, I suppose. If you cannot answer Ghalta, you are not long for this world.
9. Angrath, the Flame-Chained
Angrath is the best 'walker printed for Type Four since Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh. The first ability is powerful. Type Four is usually played in multiplayer, so a free -2 life and -1 card for everyone else is both an ongoing card advantage stick and a clock. Angrath can win grinding card advantage matches. He also wins with Threaten. Often, he'll allow you to Threaten and kill someone. In this format, Threaten effects are a lot more powerful, as people tend to have a few big nasties rather than a big, developed board. Stealing a dork and hitting someone with it can be game. Did you just play Ghalta? Take 12! Good game?
8. Archfiend of Despair
Eight-mana might be a little too much for common play elsewhere, but it isn't a barrier in Type Four. You can cast something with an eight cost all day long. That's what this format is all about. Now there aren't a ton of life gain effects running around, but those that you see are strong. We can gain 20 life at a time with Heroes Remembered. You can gain life with a few effects here and there as well as lifelink. The Archfiend of Despair shuts down all of that junk. But the best part is doubling down all damage you deal to your foes! For example,
We have a few burn/life loss effects that deal precisely ten damage:
(*cough* see card #2 below *cough*)
The power of these burn effects twinned with Archfiend of Despair is just nasty.
The synergies of Archfiend of Despair are deeper than a quick 20 to the face though. Doubling (later) your damage to someone from a critter is awesome. Dealing 12 damage to everyone and 6 to everything at instant speed with Inferno is going to be cool. (You only take 6 from Inferno, as the Archfiend doesn't' trigger for you). It gets insane with double strike or similar effects that you control. The Archfiend deserves to be on this list.
7. Play of the Game
In a format with this many problems, you need a correct answer. You need to just have a card that will take out everything. Enter, Play of the Game. It'll exile and answer a lot of junk. Darksteel Forge? Gone. #1 below? Gone! Avacyn, Angel of Hope? Gone! Karn Liberated? Gone! You can exile everything that's not a land, and then you don't have to worry about reanimation junk, stuff that can dodge normal removal, sweep up tokens, and a lot more. Play of the Game is, in fact, the Play of the Game!
6. Slinn Voda, the Rising Deep
Recently we've seen a few versions of Slinn Voda that tether a powerful body some bouncing on arrival. Here you are getting as 8/8 powerhouse on arrival that kills in three hits. (At most). That ain't nothing. Then it bounces all of the non-sea creatures to folks hands as well. Again, that ain't nothing. And I have used it after swinging with a big, angry 10/10 Shipbreaker Kraken after opening the board up. I enjoy this sort of a drafting synergy that I can prioritize and unveil on folks when they aren't paying attention. Rise Away my Leviathan-Loving Friends!
5. Profane Procession // Tomb of the Dusk Rose
This card is awesome here! You can easily invest the mana upon casting it to exile three dorks, and then flip it. It becomes a reanimation for those over time that can reanimate three dorks you exiled. It has immediate power as it comes down and can answer a lot, and then it has a strong board presence thereafter. You can play it, and then lean on it to answer stuff, and force your foe to send out sacrificial dorks to the altar of the Profane Procession. It's a powerful entry to any Type Four stack.
4. Nezahal, Primal Tide
One of the keys here is how game-changing Nezahal can be. There are a ton of counters in Type Four, as they cannot be answered by another counter, nor can the person who had their thing countered cast something else now that they have baited the counter. The normal counterspell interplay is mostly missing from Type Four (with some notable exceptions). That makes a big beefy body such as Nezahal something that's proactive and hard to answer. If you try to kill it, "Oh look, it went and got exiled for a turn." And then it the owner a big beefy hand and great card drawing. So it'd strong. I had someone cast it on me turn one in a game and win a few turns later on the back of Nezahal.
3. Demonlord Belzenlok
Normally a 6/6 flyer with trample would be okay but a little underpowered for Type Four. Demonlord Belzenlok certainly does more. It offers a Do or Die service. Because so many cards out there cost a ton of mana, they are easily going to hit the "converted mana cost is 4 or greater" trigger here to keep going. And then you could kill yourself. You could draw 11 or 17 cards and die. But what If you don't? What if you draw 8 cards when you had 20 life or something? Sounds good to me! That's the seductive power of Belzenlok.
2. Fight with Fire
This is an awesome card! The only reason that this is not hitting my top spot is that sorcery status. It just keeps it from being a true house. So here is what Fight with Fire is going to do for you. You are going to deal 10 damage divided as you choose. You can deal 10 to someone's face. You can kill Johnny by pointing 4 at him, and then kill Janie's 5/5 dork and deal another damage to her. You can kill a bunch of dorks but, conveniently, none of your own. It's massively flexible. It just wants to be an instant.
But that's okay . . . It's still powerfully powerful.
1. Zetalpa, Primal Dawn
"Hello! I'm an indestructible, flying, doubles trike, vigilance, trample Akroma in a format of mass removal. Where do I sign up to dominate your table?"
I mean there's just not a lot to say here. It smashes for 8 damage in combat. It's hard to answer. It's got a giant butt. It flies, sticks around to block after it swings, and rocks trample. It's eight-mana cost is meaningless. It can hit for 16 with Archfiend of Despair. It's a powerful solo act and It can twin well with cards that care about it. There is nothing here to not love.
Super Secret #1
Darigaaz Reincarnated is one of my personal favorites because it plays into what I want from a critter, but it's hard to rate it higher than some of the other cards her. In reality it's probably more like #6 or #7. But I want it to be #1. But just because it's my personal favorite doesn't mean it's really #1, and I have to be fair to Zetalpa and Fight with Fire and such.
So let me sell you on Darigaaz Reincarnated
7/7 Body -- Darigaaz has size to matter.
Haste -- The most important keyword is haste. In a format with this many sweepers, you need to hit now, not wait a turn.
Flying -- Flying is good too. Every deck needs flying. Evasion matters, even in Type Four.
Trample -- Trample matters too. There are some cool flyers that are hard to swing through, like Pristine Angel or Iridescent Angel that can stop your flying assault, but Darigaaz Reincarnated is going to stop it.
When it dies, you can bring it back three turns later. This is fine-ish, but it's hard to truly rely on as games can end quickly, before it matters. But a free second creature in this format for this size is amazing. It doesn't take up your spell for the turn, and can immediately swing out!
Reincarnated and it feels so good!
And there we go!
There are some awesome cards that have been printed in 2018 for one of the most fun formats ever. It's all about some of the craziest plays! Free mana for everyone! Just one little catch.
Are you running Type Four? Anything in here that has make some memories at your table? Are you going to try out the format?