Magic: The Gathering: Archenemy, Pt. 4: Every Villain Is Cardboard
Hello and welcome, all players, collectors, and other fans of Magic: The Gathering, the premier collectible trading card game designed and produced by Wizards of the Coast! Now, we know that many of you older Magic fans might be a tad perplexed by the reference in this article's title. After all, "Every Villain Is Cardboard" makes very little sense except when we are talking about things like Archenemy, Magic's one-versus-many supplemental series of releases. The reference is from an older episode of Spongebob Squarepants, for what it's worth. Look up "Every Villain Is Lemons" after reading this piece for some more insight. It'll make sense soon enough.
In any event, today we will be looking at yet another three scheme cards from the first release of this supplemental series. You may begin to notice a theme but it'll stop soon enough, probably in time for you to enjoy the analysis of these oversized cards as well. Are you ready? Let's dive in!
If you've been reading our previous entries into this series, you'll know how we rate and categorize these scheme cards. For those unacquainted, however, here is how we do it:
All Schemes will be grouped according to the overall role they play: These groupings are categorized as such:
Disruption: The Schemes take something from your opponents (and only them) that doesn't exist on the battlefield. This could be cards in hand, life, or choices like the ability to attack or cast spells.
Global: These Schemes impact each player with less disparity than the other Schemes in the game. Usually there will be an even effect for each player including the archenemy and/or their opponents, for a certain duration or instantaneously.
Removal: These Schemes remove opponents' permanents from the battlefield. These are rather self-explanatory, but could include the need for an opponent to make a tough decision.
Tempo: These Schemes give you as the archenemy (and only you) some sort of expedited value, such as ramp, cards drawn, or even an extra turn, to name a few examples.
Value: These Schemes give you as the archenemy (and only you) something such as tokens or cards put onto the battlefield, to name a few resources potentially granted this way. This does not include resources such as sources of mana or drawn cards, however.
Next, the Schemes will be grouped further on a scale of 1-10 in terms of how well they do their job in the role provided, with 1 being rather underpowered and 10 being broken.
(For example, All In Good Time is a 9/10 for a Tempo Scheme, while Approach My Molten Realm is a 3/10 for a Global Scheme.)
With that, let us begin!
#10. Every Hope Shall Vanish
Every Hope Shall Vanish (Disruption, 5/10) is a discard-based scheme that aims to do a few things. For one, it allows you to force each opponent to discard a card of your choice. This in itself is not what makes this scheme good, however. What makes Every Hope Shall Vanish good, as it stands, is the fact that to achieve the effect that the card advertises, you get to see every card in every opposing hand. This, in turn, allows you to plan ahead in case you have answers to any of the opposition's shenanigans. However, this probably isn't enough to warrant inclusion of this scheme in any scheme deck short of one to assist a discard-based main deck, so even at its best, it's middling.
#11. Every Last Vestige Shall Rot
Every Last Vestige Shall Rot (Removal, 9/10) is part of a cycle of schemes (one for each of the four Archenemy preconstructed decks from 2009) that cares about the amount of mana you put into it, generating an effect that scales with that input. This scheme might be one of the best cards in that cycle, if not the best one. It does a really good imitation of Pernicious Deed, if Deed's activated ability was a sorcery with an inherently asymmetrical effect that also cared about Planeswalkers. That is enough to bump this thing up to one of the better Removal schemes in the series, and it's even better if you're in need of grave hate after the fact because, very likely, now you don't!
#12. Evil Comes To Fruition
Evil Comes To Fruition (Value, 7/10) is a token generation scheme that scales with your land count. In fact, neither of the modes are all that bad! While 3/3 Elemental tokens are probably going to occur more ideally for most players, anyone who has used an Avenger of Zendikar will tell you that there is no underestimating Plant tokens, even at power and toughness 0/1. Still, that this scheme only makes seven tokens of either ilk is good, but not necessarily 2022 good. It's hard to admit that times have progressed (might we even say that they've crept forward?) since 2009, but that's the truth of this game's power levels now. Nevertheless, it's free value, and that's not horrible, right?
So, what did you think about this article? Would you like to one day see these oversized Archenemy cards printed for Magic: The Gathering, perhaps alongside Planechase or Vanguard supplemental? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!