Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hulk Flash! A new deck that has some older cards suddenly worth something!

I'll later get to a post getting everyone up to date on recent happenings here at The Sundry (short version: I'm now up to Lot 20, and am currently buried in 6000+ new cards that need to be processed and added to the inventory) but first I wanted to share an oddity that I discovered while processing Lot 14.

Lot 14 consisted of 460 rare cards - a nice little set. In there were included two copies of a card card Flash - one of the original copies from Mirage, and another copy of the reprinted version in Sixth Edition. When I went to list these two I was very surprised to find a feeding frenzy of sorts going on with this card right now. So, being as curious as George I decided to investigate.

It turns out that the official errata to the card, which made it a good deal less effective with certain combinations, has been revoked, allowing someone to find a combination that can, typically, result in a win on the first or second turn of the game.

The deck hinges upon two cards, the above-mentioned Flash and Protean Hulk from Dissension, thus the name Hulk Flash (a take off on the immortal "Hulk smash!" battle-cry of the green Goliath in Marvel Comics, presumably). Other important cards in the deck are Phyrexian Marauder from Visions, Shifting Wall from Stronghold and Disciple of the Vault from Mirrodin.

The basic gist of the deck is that you cast Flash, which allows you to pay the casting cost of a Creature -2 mana as an instant, and puts the Creature into the graveyard if you do not. You use Flash to cast Protean Hulk, but do not pay the mana cost. When Protean Hulk goes to your graveyard, you are allowed to find any number of Creature cards in your library with total casting cost no greater than 6 and put them into play. You grab four Disciples of the Vault (total casting cost 4) and four Shifting Walls and 4 Phyrexian Marauders (both are Artifact Creatures that have casting costs equal to X - any amount of mana you wish). When Creatures with X in the casting cost are brought into play in this manner, X is equal to 0. Since both of these are 0/0 Creatures that come into play with X +1/+1 counter on them, and X is 0, they therefore get zero +1/+1 counters, die immediately and go to your graveyard. Disciple of the Vault allows you to have target player lose 1 life whenever an Artifact is put into a graveyard from play. You just put in 8 Artifact Creatures, and you have 4 Disciples of the Vault in play...BAM! Your opponent loses 32 life right there. Since you start the game with only 20 life....

Incredibly nasty, incredibly fast and also incredibly difficult to stop. Ergo, everybody wants one! So the key pieces of the engine have become very popular, with prices to match. Mystery solved. If you'd like to read a bit more on this deck, here's the article I read when researching the thing.