Today marked the start of my final 10 RNA boosters1 which came from the fat pack needed to access all the basic land cards in the set. Weirdly the packaging is a matt light blue rather than the shiny blue my previous 50 or so boosters have been. In any case, there were a few useful cards such as Sentinel’s Mark, Mammoth Spider, and the spectacle inducing Spear Spewer but I also found one of the final mythic rare cards I need:

Captive Audience

I usually start off by describing the card but I’m going to jump straight into the artwork today as it is stunningly good. The level of detail, art style, and colour are all utterly divine. If you take a look at a full resolution copy then you can see a ton of extra detail like the Rakdos cages, lashings of blood, and a guy trying to control his stomach. You may also notice everyone’s favourite homunculus, Fblthp, sitting atop a soldier that is averting his eyes. It sums up a Rakdos “show” in a far better way than a direct shot of the action would. I was going to say that I would buy a print of this in an instant2 – fortunately Dmitry Burmak does sell prints and so rather than “I would” I can say “I have”! He also has a rather wonderful store where he sells his artist proofs and will even draw sketches on the back. I may be picking up a few of those…

Anyway, onto the card itself:

Captive Audience is a 5 Generic ManaBlackRed enchantment that you place on an opponent. They must then choose one of the following actions that hasn’t yet been taken at the beginning of their every upkeep:

  • Set their life total to 4
  • Discard their hand
  • Allow their opponents to create five 2/2 zombie tokens

Ouch. This is definitely in the category of “game ending bombs” as it effectively gives your opponent 3 turns to live unless they have a way of getting rid of enchantments. As you are presumably casting this on turn 7, the option to discard their hand is likely the lesser of three evils as they may well be top-decking anyway. Similarly, setting their life total to 4 may actually be a boon in the late game if they’ve already taken a ton of damage. Letting you create five 2/2 tokens, though, is definitely a very bad choice for them, especially if you have something like Judith, the Scourge Diva in play.

The thing I like most about this card is that it is just pitch-perfect in design. It’s a chaotic Rakdos card that is going to make you smile whilst your opponent grimaces. It might not be the best mythic rare or 7 CMC card but it could certainly top a list of “most fun to play”.

A word of advice if you plan to use this in your deck; make sure you have a few copies of Mortify on hand just in case your opponent manages to switch this over to you with something like Eyes Everywhere. You’ll also obviously want to try and cast this when your opponent is tapped out so you at least get the benefit of one of the conditions.

Final thought: this is the first 7 mana card in BlackRed that isn’t a legendary creature3.

  1. Probably. ↩︎

  2. Or should that be at sorcery speed? *chortle* (sorry, it’s early in the morning). ↩︎

  3. I really love Scryfall↩︎

This post is part of a weekday series where I open up a booster pack and pick a card to discuss. Whilst these are often the best cards from the set, I'll often pick one that is a bit niche or one that has cool artwork or flavour text. If there's a particular card you want me to take a look at, get in touch or join my Discord community.