My booster pack today was good in terms of filling out my binders with 6 new cards including Sentinel’s Mark, Root Snare, and Clan Guildmage. I also received a 3rd copy of Wilderness Reclamation which I definitely need to talk about at some point. For now, though, it’s another Simic split-card:
To my great shame, I wasn’t familiar with the word repudiate although I’ve since found it to mean “refuse to accept”. That is certainly a good name for this part of the card which allows something not seen since the Aether Revolt set; a straightforward counter to abilities. There are cards already that let you counter abilities in very specific circumstances (i.e. Amulet of Safekeeping and Siren Stormtamer) but this lets you counter any ability that is activated or triggered. It does not, however, allow you to counter mana abilities (like that on Atzocan Seer) not does it allow you to deny abilities that create replacement effects (i.e. you can’t deny a creature with riot from getting a +1/+1 counter or haste).
The thing I like most about this counter is that it does work against the abilities that Planeswalkers have access to and, if my interpretation of the rules is correct, that could be pretty devastating. To take a hypothetical scenario, imagine you spend to cast Raging Regisaur and then your opponent uses Cancel to counter it; you lose the 4 mana you spent. In another hypothetical, assume that you have Huatli, Radiant Champion in play with 8 loyalty and activate her -8 ability which is then countered with Repudiate; Huatli should then die as the 8 loyalty was spent but the ability simply didn’t resolve. That is a crazy powerful ability to stop an ultimate, especially as many players will happily perform a sacrificial ultimate.
If I had one quibble it would be that I’d have liked it to counter both spells and abilities similar to the card from Aether Revolt. Had it been a standalone card at this rarity then that might have happened but as it is bolted onto Replicate that would likely be too much choice.
I’m always a big fan of cards that let you create clones such as Mirror Image and Quasiduplicate. This is incredibly similar to those and at the same price point allowing you to create a token that is a copy of a creature you control. Unfortunately, like those examples, it is also only operating at sorcery speed which means you can’t flash in another Carnage Tyrant during your opponents turn. This is a real shame as it reduces the inherent choice between Repudiate and Replicate; ideally you want to hold onto enough mana to cast either and then cast Replicate if your opponent didn’t activate any nasty abilities during their turn. Again, though, this is a split-card and it is generally accepted that the individual parts are going to be slightly worse than they would be if they were standalone cards.
One thing it is always worth mentioning about cloning abilities is that they do not let you clone legendary creatures. I found this out to my folly during a game when I cloned an Etrata, the Silencer with Quasiduplicate only to have my other one instantly graveyarded. If you want to clone legendary creatures, you need to use Lazav, the Multifarious1 which creates a token with a different name circumventing the “Legendary Rule” or Helm of the Host as it specifically removes the “legendary” descriptor.
Which is tricky with Etrata, the Silencer bearing in mind she doesn’t go to the graveyard terribly often. Of course, you could Replicate her and then discard the original leaving behind the token; she is then in the graveyard ready for Lazav to begin his impersonation. Hmm, I think I have a deck idea… ↩︎
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.