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View Full Version : MTG COTD: Maze of Ith



klducks
7th January 2006, 4:50 AM
http://www.wizards.com/global/images/magic/dark/maze_of_ith.jpg
Maze of Ith - The Dark. Uncommon
Land
T: Target attacking creature becomes untapped. This creature neither deals nor receives damage as a result of combat.


This card can really go either way. Is it worth the landdrop? it is a free tap, but only works on ATTACKING creatures. Leonin Bola and Icy Manipulator is another story. They dont take up land drops, however, they cost mana to play. It really can go either way, but I'm sticking with Bola.

The Duck's Rating: 2/5

Shadow Trainer
7th January 2006, 5:04 AM
A decent card, the ability to stop an attacking creature in it's tracks is pretty good, but not being able to produce mana is a downside. 3/5

chaoslord
7th January 2006, 6:40 PM
I would play this over Leonin Bola any day of the week. It's just better, unless you need to swing for the win, in which case this is worse. In most, if not all, other situations, Maze here wins.

As everyone pointed out, its a free drop, but it costs a land drop. Wizards now days doesnt do that anymore, so thats not a modern problem. But I digress.

With this, you get to STOP an attacking creature, by tapping it. With Leonin Bola, its a guessing game. You have to do it before they attack, or it doesn't matter, as the creatures will be attacking. So, you have to make your decision in the Beginning of Combat Step to be able to use this. Ith, on the other hand, can be used up until and during the Combat Damage Step, if what I refer to is right, and I'm pretty sure it is. There's a window to use spells and/or abilities before damage resolves, and I THINK from the wording on Ith that the damage would be prevented from doing so. If anyone who posts after me can confirm or debunk this for me, please do so.

Anyways, it's just a matter of when you can use the card, and this thing is relevant longer into the turn in its primary purpose, which is stopping damage.

3/5

klducks
8th January 2006, 4:51 AM
It's just better, unless you need to swing for the win, in which case this is worse. In most, if not all, other situations, Maze here wins.
That's what I'm saying. I'm more of an offensive guy, then defensive guy. And if not, Leonin can play on both sides of the field (even if it isn't as good on defense), unlike Maze.

mindripper
9th January 2006, 1:04 PM
I give this an easy 4/5. A few years back, this would have been an easy 5/5. It may have lost some of its power over recent years because of the proliferation of sligh and mainstream land destruction, as well as the focus on combo, but believe me when I say that this was really one of the cards to beat back in the day. Yes, the maze is activated before damage resolution, and both attacking and blocking creatures are untapped with no damage done and received. This may seem like a pretty crappy ability, but think about it again. Just having one on the table makes people think twice about playing that ball lightning.

Also, the Maze is far better as an offensive weapon as a defensive one. The most obvious situation is when you attack with two 2/2s, and your opponent blocks with a single 2/2. You save your creature from death and still keep the creature advantage you have, also discouraging your opponent from attacking with his 2/2, as your own is untapped. Also, magic has a lot of weenies which have pump bonuses when they attack, like Marton Stromgald, which gives your creatures +X/+X when he attacks, where X is the number of other creatures attacking. Pretty powerful, but Stromgald, a 1/1, is likely to get killed. Maze prevents this from happening, and gives your creatures the bonus as well. It is simply both an offensive and a defensive tool. Lumping it together with the Icy is simply unfair to it, as they are both designed to do different jobs.

klducks
9th January 2006, 11:39 PM
Also, the Maze is far better as an offensive weapon as a defensive one. The most obvious situation is when you attack with two 2/2s, and your opponent blocks with a single 2/2.
hmm... I never thought of that.

In that situation, it easily gets a bit of a higher rating.

However, in a way it is still a defensive situation.

mindripper
10th January 2006, 12:39 AM
Actually, it is offensive. Think this way. If things remian status quo, you get in two free points of damage each turn, and the opponent would not attack you. Even if he does attack with his 2/2, just do not block, and next turn he takes 4 damage from both your 2/2s, and then your Maze is untapped to prevent his from attacking the enxt turn. What does this equate to? Your opponent being on a clock, and you saving your creatures pretty easily. Being offensive is great, but getting your creatures killed through mindless attrition is actually detrimental towards being offensive.

Besides, who would dare cast giant growth on anything with Maze in play? No way this gets lower than 4/5.

klducks
10th January 2006, 2:46 AM
Actually, it is offensive. Think this way. If things remian status quo, you get in two free points of damage each turn, and the opponent would not attack you. Even if he does attack with his 2/2, just do not block, and next turn he takes 4 damage from both your 2/2s, and then your Maze is untapped to prevent his from attacking the enxt turn. What does this equate to? Your opponent being on a clock, and you saving your creatures pretty easily. Being offensive is great, but getting your creatures killed through mindless attrition is actually detrimental towards being offensive.
is why it seems defensive to me.

mindripper
10th January 2006, 9:41 AM
Getting one creature through for damage each turn while ensuring the other survives to attack next time if possible is not defensive. It is being offensively intelligent.

Shadow the Hedgehog
10th January 2006, 3:15 PM
I would give it a 3/5. I really like Icy Manipulator better. And Enervate for that matter. Maybe if you could get mana out of this....

klducks
10th January 2006, 5:29 PM
Getting one creature through for damage each turn while ensuring the other survives to attack next time if possible is not defensive. It is being offensively intelligent.
yes, but even if you didnt have this card in play, you'd still get the damage from one of your creatures through. That being said, this card SAVES one of your creatures. Protecting one of your creatures = defensive. Not offensive.

It is offensively intelligent, but more of a defensive mechanic.

mindripper
10th January 2006, 6:10 PM
Yes, you would, but then and again you are unlikely to have two vanilla, identical 2/2s in play. Compare Meddling Mage and a Grizzly Bears. Your opponent has a Withered Wretch, for example. Let me break it down into steps.

You realise that you need to get your opponent on a short clock, and thus have to play aggresively.

You have to decide whether to attack with one or both creatures. Attacking with just the Grizzly Bears will likely result in you getting two damage through, as I do not think people would trade a Withered Wretch for a Grizzly Bears. However, attacking with both the Mage AND the Grizzly is more offensively sound. Why? Firstly, there is always the chance that all 4 damage will go through. Of course, you will ask why. Because players with Meddling Mages and other creatures with similar kickass abilities do not often attack. Attacking with both also allows you to give the fake impression that you either have an instant buff in your hand, or have something like aether burst to ping the wretch back to owner's hand. The very worst circumstance is that your opponent takes a risk and blocks, with you activating the Maze. You still do 2 damage, and even if the wretch attacks for 2 damage, you attack for 4 damage the following turn, all conditions held constant. Trading 4 damage for 2 is a great scenario for an aggro player. Why is Char a good card? Would Serendib Efreet be worth 5 stars if it was 2U for a 2/4 flying creature instead of the 3/4, take one damage during upkeep flyer?

Another way to look at it is this. You play a weenie deck, and have 3 2/2weenies in play, while your opponent has a single 4/4. You must attack, as weenies are built to be aggresive. Maze of Ith allows you to get two of your creatures through at the least, and saves your creature if the 4/4 blocks. Of course the 4/4 might be attacking for 4 free damage the next turn, but you attack for 6 damage on the following turn, AND have the maze untapped to deal with the 4/4. All this offensive momentum stems from your saving the 2/2 creature to begin with. Magic is not a game in which two players play a game of attrition. Making a creature untargettable is considered defensive by some players, but would Morphling be the beatstick that it is without that ability, without the ability to protect itself from burn and the like? Sometimes, being offensive simply means being able to defend and protect whatever you have. You cannot be offensive if you cannot protect any of your stuff. Why else do goblins play Rishadan Ports, or why does Desire play turnabout as a defensive spell at tiems? Because decks need to be able to protect what they have. Maze of Ith simply allows flexibility in both attack and defence, and I have listed many ways for that. Of course it is not as great as Icy, but when it first came out and was first used, it was damn powerful.