Previous Unstable Set Reviews
Welcome to my set review of Unstable! There are a few things different about this review:
- This set is supposedly designed for Limited. As such, I’m going to try and nail down how good the cards are. Wish me luck!
- Some of these cards are really hard to seriously review. I’ll try, but if I feel like it’s unrealistic to evaluate a card, I’ll say so.
- Cards will be rated on flavor. There are some hits and misses here, and it feels appropriate to call both out. More than half the fun of silver-bordered sets is reading the cards and thinking “that’s sweet,” so this grade is meant to capture that.
Here are the mechanics of the set, for reference.
For the card ratings, the old ratings scale will suffice:
For flavor, I need a new scale:
5.0: Exquisite flavor, like a piping hot quesadilla with a side of fresh guacamole. (Form of the Dragon. Standstill.)
4.0: Delicious, but not perfect, like a burger when you’re ravenous, but one that’s slightly overcooked. (Manor Skeleton [is it a man, or skeleton?])
3.0: An average meal, one that fills you up and tastes good, like Chipotle. (Lightning Strike, or any other generic burn spell.)
2.0: Will keep you alive, but isn’t very satisfying or tasty, like Soylent. (Siege Rhino [what are these numbers??])
1.0: Disgusting, but technically still edible, like Shake Shack. (Pin to the Earth [HOW DOES THIS NOT LOSE FLYING?])
As Luck Would Have It
You have to roll like 30 dice for this to win you the game, but it will be oh so sweet if that ever happens. This card would be pretty bad for me, but that’s due to my verified lack of luck.
Beast in Show
This flavor is delicious. I’m in for dumb wordplay, and this delivers.
I’m still not buying the Squirrels and dice flavor pairing, and at this point, it’s unlikely I ever will.
Limited: 1.0 // 3.0
In the Host/augment deck, this is pretty good. It’s usually not worth 2 mana in Limited to go find a card (from a narrow selection), but as the name implies, there are some neat combos to assemble.
Druid of the Sacred Beaker
The number of creature types sell this for me, flavor-wise, and the ability to make 1-3 mana a turn does it for me on the gameplay side. The next round is on the Druid, apparently.
Green is killing it on the name front. I can’t speak too highly about the gameplay or how this connects to the name, but I’m not gonna give something called Eager Beaver a low grade, even if I’m not eager to play it.
Earl of Squirrel
This card is the nuts. The game play looks awesome, and the flavor is on point. It naturally buffs a ton of the creatures you will already have in play, and if it gets through once, you just win. Sounds like a hit to me.
I can’t give this a pass. If you call a card “First Pick,” can you please just make it an actual first pick? Have it deal 5 damage, or be a 4/4 for 2, or whatever. This is just a maindeckable artifact removal spell, which gets better thanks to Contraptions, but it’s nowhere near a first pick. This is a wasted opportunity.
Did they save all the awesome names for green on purpose? This is a ground pounder in all senses of the word, and will make short work of your opponent. You don’t need dice synergies to make this great, though it does get a little better if that’s how you roll.
Is the flavor that this goes nuts if you augment the right Host? I’ll take it, and that includes during the Draft, as this gives you an absurd amount of repeatable triggers.
The concept of hydra poodle is good enough to hit high on flavor, and if you add a bunch of die rolls to the mix, it just gets better. Given the average of 3.5 per die, this is good straight-up and great if you have a deck built around the mechanic.
The flavor text gives you a glimpse of what this is going for, story-wise, but I’m not blown away. On the other hand, the gameplay is amazing, and I’d slam this early every time. Making most or all of your creatures cantrips is incredible for 2 mana, and if you get there, this will win you every game in which you draw it early.
Decent flavor text and a solid 2-for-1 make this a card I’m not unhappy about.
Why do Monkeys care about when people die? That bizarre question aside, this looks like one of the tamer augment cards, and not one I’m going bananas over.
Most of the Host/augment creatures seem more about the mechanic than the flavor, and this is no exception. It does pack a punch, and I’d play this if you needed more beef (though kangaroo does taste a little gamier, in my experience).
OK, this one I buy, even if just because it will sound funny attached to anything. It also adds a lot of stats, and can trigger a ton of times in the right deck.
Really Epic Punch
Sometimes, the bear punches back. This is awesome in a Host deck, and playable outside one, making it paws-down the best green common.
Flavor: 1.0 // 4.0
I’m of two minds here—on the one hand, the name is great and the concept is funny. On the other, this makes it optimal to bring basic lands with trees on them, which sounds like a hassle. All in all, this is a good card, even if it just gets Forests, and I wouldn’t stress about the rest.
Not only does this have great stats, it’s also a trigger that can happen just about every turn. That outweighs the risk of being an augment, and makes me very high on this card.
I am loving the names in green, and this is another to add to the pile. It’s efficient, dodges removal well, and is well worth shelling out 3 mana for.
Limited: 4.0 (4.5 if your aim is good)
Now this is the kind of card I’m looking for out of Unstable! It’s goofy, but in a fun way, and will lead to a ton of awesome scenarios. Sometimes you’ll miss, sometimes you’ll fight too many cards, and no matter what, it’s sweet. Just a second is also really funny, as is the name. A+.
Who doesn’t like Squirrels?
Steamflogger Service Rep
If you have enough Goblins and Contraptions, I’d bump this a point, but needing multiple things is a bit annoying. It’s also slow and small, so I’m not over the moon about the service this provides.
This is the tamest croc I’ve ever seen, though it is a great card. You don’t even really need or want to augment it—just casting it is enough.
Willing Test Subject
I’m not thrilled by the stats here, but I’d probably play it for science. In the die roll deck, this is a solid playable.
Top 3 Green Card Names
These names were great, and there were plenty more to choose from.